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Benjamin

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Benjamin last won the day on May 9

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  1. OP, just for future reference, please don't edit photos before posting. Sharpening and increasing contrast like this can sometimes make a photo look aesthetically better, but generally when it comes to bird ID it can be very misleading and distort subtle field marks.
  2. I don't know that there's a good definition for what exactly an eaglet is, likely because in a scientific setting there are more precise words that would be used, i.e. nestling or fledgling, or simply denoting the age of the birds in days/weeks. Just thinking about how the word would be used informally, it is probably best used while the eagle is a nestling, although it could perhaps also refer to a fledgling as well. I don't know that I would call an young eagle that is out of the nest and independant an eaglet, but fledglings tend to spend some time in the nest and are still somewhat reliant on their parents, so they fall somewhere in the middle here. While doing research, it became clear that a lot of these words just really aren't used with consistency, which is a big problem because it causes confusion. For example, it seems that some literature (namely this) suggests that the word juvenile is purely plumage based, so any bird with its first molt of contour feathers should be considered a juvenile bird. This makes sense with the earlier definition of a bird within the first year in context of a large bird like an eagle, because most birds molt annually, however some smaller species might molt more than once and reach adult plumage or other immature plumages quicker than one year. It seems quite silly that a smaller bird could be considered a juvenile bird under several different plumages, so it's pretty logical to instead base the term juvenile purely on molt.
  3. Oh and when I say the difference between a 4th year and 4 year old bird might seem semantic, I mean it definitely is semantic. But that's the entire point of this post, no? 😆
  4. I'd say it looks good for Philadelphia. I'm always wary when using photos to judge the amount of yellow in the throat, as the camera settings used when shot can have a big impact on this, but in comparison to the eye-line and underbelly, it certainly looks like the brightest yellow is in the throat.
  5. From hawkwatch.org: So I'd say this is an immature bird, but more specifically a 4th year subadult. Also, it's important to note that a 4th year bird is not the same as a bird that is 4 years old. The difference might seem semantic, but a bird becomes a n-year bird when it starts it's n-th calendar year, while a bird only becomes n years old when it passes the date of hatching the n-th time.
  6. Correct. Hummingbirds are annoyingly variable, but the short bill, sturdy build, and green wash on breast is distinctive here.
  7. It's a tough angle, but this appears to be a Pacific-slope Flycatcher. Notice the low contrast throat and bold eye-ring.
  8. I'd agree with Indigo Bunting here, the bill looks good to me for that species.
  9. The last bird is a Traill's type. It might be tempting to consider Acadian, but notice the short, fat tail, throat contrast, and shorter primary projection.
  10. Neither of these are White-rumped, and the back bird is clearly a Semipalmated Sandpiper. The front bird looks very good for Western to my eye- with that drooping bill, bright scaps, and structure I wouldn't think twice about that bird if I saw it here in Phoenix. Great find!
  11. Actually this is a Philadelphia Vireo, notice the cutesy appearance, dark lores, and bright yellow in the throat.
  12. I think this is a Veery. I'm not seeing olive flanks, and I'd expect to be able to see some spotting on what's visible of the breast if it was a Swainson's/Gray-cheeked. Plus the tip of the bill is very light, and Veery tends to have a lighter colored bill overall.
  13. There can be variation between individual birds, and light can play a huge role in how colors actually look. The red color in birds is generally from pigments found in plants called carotenoids, so the diet of each individual bird can also play a role.
  14. Correct, this is a female Scarlet Tanager. Notice the greenish color overall, where Summer Tanager is most yellowish. Summer Tanagers also generally appear bulkier and more substantial overall, with thicker bills, all of which this bird does not exhibit.
  15. @The Bird Nuts Exactly. I think there are a few field marks (including the eyering) that suggest one species over the other, but it's probably best to leave silent birds unidentified. Also, this is kind of unrelated, but when it comes to Traill's Flycatcher, I've kind of been wondering why people on this forum are so eager to assign IDs either way when I don't know that it's a settled debate whether or not these two species can actually be reliably separated without vocalization. Clearly, there are some general field marks that either species tends to have, but even banders struggle to identify birds in the hand without a vocalization. If most banders can't or don't feel comfortable doing it with the bird in the hand, why on earth are we doing it on an online forum from a few crappy photos? I'm legitimately curious to others' thoughts, and I'm open to being wrong here.
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