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Benjamin

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Benjamin last won the day on August 1

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  1. I agree that date/location is going to be greatly useful here, but if this is in the US my initial impression is Western- although it is a bit dark and contrasty the bill is very fine, probably a bit too much so for most other species.
  2. @Charlie Spencer so Solitary Sandpiper has a tail which is dark in the center and barred on the outer edges, as you can see in the photo below. What this means is that when the bird is standing, we see spots on the outside of the tail which are separated by the dark center. In the case of Lesser Yellowlegs, the tail is fully barred, as you can once again see from the photo below. This means that when the bird is standing the tail will have lines that run horizontally across, instead of simply spots. It's a little tricky, but you can clearly see the difference in tail pattern on gstack's birds. Also, the difference in structure between the two birds is very subtle, but it's there. In particular, notice that the Solitary (#6) has a very short neck- it simply attaches the head to the body, where on the Yellowlegs (#7) the neck is much longer, and it almost appears as though there's a 'kink' in it, and it has to fold its neck a bit because it's so long. The Solitary also has a larger eye creating a 'bug-eyed' appearance, and indicative of a smaller bird overall. Finally, notice the bill shape on the Solitary (#6), which is noticeably thicker at the base and tapers strongly downwards, while the Yellowlegs (#7) is only ever-so-slightly tapered downwards with its needle-like bill.
  3. Kind of surprised the hummingbird's ID is still being discussed. No other species in that area has a tail that long in proportion to the body (certainly not Black-chinned) hence it's a Broad-tailed Hummingbird.
  4. That's the one up in Michigan, no? First state record?
  5. Yes- from what I was able to find Mangrove seems to average plainer overall with less contrast between the hood and the body, as well as the eye averages darker.
  6. This is a Gray-breasted Martin. Structure alone rules out any swallow, and this bird appears to be a male- the upperparts are far too dark for Purple Martin.
  7. Blue-capped Motmot is not found in Belize- the correct species is Lesson's Motmot.
  8. Yes, a female! That striped pattern in the throat is distinctive.
  9. Very tough angle, but I do think that it is a Traill's. Both (Willow and Alder) are found in your area so there's not really a good way to separate them without voice.
  10. It's hard to tell if the bird is entirely yellow (and the right hue!) below as there are portions of the photo which are blown out, but it certainly seems as if it is which would suggest Orchard, which was my first impression simply due to the habitat. That said, it does appear that Orchard is less common in Michigan, particularly the further north you go, so I don't know how reasonable that species is in this specific location.
  11. Yes, a female-type Indigo Bunting. That 'chip' note that is somewhere between a Chipping Sparrow, Yellow-rumped Warbler, and Northern Cardinal is distinctive- with practice between the song and this distinctive call note, you can pick out these guys both male and female almost anywhere you go in the eastern US during the summer months!
  12. It's a Song Sparrow. It lacks the strong yellow lores of Savannah, which also generally just has a different color 'vibe' to it- not really sure how to explain it well. Vesper also just has a different 'vibe' to it, both in terms of plumage and structure. I'd specifically notice the wing pattern to rule out Vesper though- rufous is concentrated on the edges of the primaries, not where it is on Vesper. Also, the fact that this bird is perching in swampy habitat alone should suggest Song Sparrow far above the others, which are more birds of dry and arid open country.
  13. For those still stuck on the second bird, notice the brownish nape as opposed to a grayish on Chipping. And again, I'll point you to notice the tail pattern. @blackburnian, good catch on the Jay. @Kevin, I totally know that feeling- it's honestly just a lot of practice and experience. Doesn't mean that I, or anybody else can't get these wrong- so just stick with it and keep sharpening your skills, and don't be afraid to bring new ideas to the table, even if it's not what the 'better birders' are saying! If it's not clear to you why an ID is correct or incorrect, then it's probably not clear to someone else too! So taking the time to explain how I, or anybody else arrives at that ID will help everyone learn, even me.
  14. Good point, that is absolutely correct. I've mistook juvenile Commons for Chihuahuans on multiple occasions.
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