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Mindy Smith

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Everything posted by Mindy Smith

  1. Seen yesterday in Kelowna (central British Columbia) in the morning at Munson pond. Dark falcon that I think is a "black' merlin flew to the water and then back up to a dead tree. Mobbed by three magpies (it was really an interesting morning) but came back several times to the tree. Joined later by a second one. Also saw this grebe. There were 2 pied billed and further away this fairly large grebe. At first glance thought horned but the bill was light/yellowish and the eye seemed dark but it was far from me and I had trouble focusing the camera with the shimmering water so wasn't sure about the reddish color. Is this a red-necked grebe? Would be a first sighting. Thanks in advance.
  2. Thanks. NOW I can find it under eclipse plumage. Never seen one before.
  3. Yesterday afternoon at Robert Lake in Kelowna BC. Lots of ducks including mallards, Northern shovelers, female common (and maybe Barrow's) goldeneye, green and blue-wing teal, gadwalls, bufflehead females and ruddy female. Then these two that could just be goldeneyes but the lighter brown color back, dark beak, and sort-of darker eye threw me. First one in front of the gadwall and other was with three similar birds. Thoughts?
  4. Southern BC this morning. Saw this small group of finch fly in just after a large flock of siskins. Sorry about the distance but they never came closer before flying off. Are they Cassin's or possibly house? I don't see any red on the chest and some of the crowns seem peaked. Thanks in advance.
  5. Southern BC, this morning. Saw a mixed group of warblers - about 8. Definitely saw a Townsend and thought this was a Nashville but when submitting onto eBird, the site only offered orange-crowned as the possible warbler who looks similar to this one, but I see a clear eye-ring. Do they assume that Nashvilles should have migrated already? Also saw a few yellow-rumps later and a yellow warbler a few days ago. Thanks in advance.
  6. Saw a small group of birds hopping along Lilly pads eating bugs at Robert Long marsh in SE Michigan yesterday at about 6 pm. They don't look red-wing black bird females, and assume they are juveniles, but I don't know what else (first two photos). The marsh is an amazing place. Also saw this lone juvenile sparrow (third photo) and I don't know this one either. Thanks in advance.
  7. It is pretty small so possibly a female calliope. What were you thinking?
  8. Agree with 1-5 and I think 6 is a female broad-tailed hummingbird. Wow on the three-toed - never seen one myself.
  9. Agreed and lovely photos. The lighter color and down-curving beak helps distinguish these two.
  10. Seen today, late morning, on Selkirk Trail in Castlegar (southeastern) BC. Three birds together mid-canopy trees. Only one crappy picture (looking towards sun and into trees) but alerted by sound like a faucet dripping (should be Swainson's) but then followed by an almost woodpecker-like call (could be the veyeer sound described for the veery). The bird was reddish head, back and wing feathers, thin beak, white eye ring, not very distinct spots on chest, and light below. No tail waging. Does it help to distinguish between them that there were three together? I have only seen solitary Swainson's. Was hoping to see veery as it would be a first for me but both birds have been seen in the area. Thanks in advance.
  11. Agree with both red-tails. Am attaching a photo of a Swainson's pair showing the dark bib on the light morph. The long wings also help ID a Swainson's. Alex, what specifically do you mean by shape difference? Also attaching a photo of a pair of red-tailed hawks that look like yours.
  12. Looks like the juvenile red-napped sapsuckers that I have been watching in Southeastern BC, but the white wing patch on your photo is less distinct. Will wait for other replies.
  13. Great call! I started down the vireo path but the wings were wrong. So difficult with all the juveniles this time of year.
  14. Where did you take the photo? First blush looked like a Lincoln's but the beak is too dark and buffy color more vivid so I would agree that it seems to be a Nelson's but I have never seen one.
  15. I agree that it is too yellow for Baltimore so would favor orchard oriole. The bill is too long for flycatchers and too thick for warblers.
  16. Lovely photo. From my reading, this is an autosomal recessive trait but is also far more common in females (95%). There are very limited statistics about how frequently this occurs - some say rare and others not uncommon. Might be a good project for someone at Cornell to take on.
  17. Hadn't heard about smoke phase but that seems correct. The eyes seem normal colored. Will read more about that.
  18. Saw this bird with another normal-appearing female and 9 chicks in Southeastern Michigan at my parents housing complex. Is this a leucistic bird or a hybrid with a domestic or what? Thanks in advance.
  19. White outer tail feathers helps with this ID; also very visible when they fly.
  20. Was going through a few older photos and found this one that I thought might be a dusky flycatcher. It was taken in Spring last year in southeastern BC - not the best photos so my apologies, but at least the bird turned for me. Any tips, other than memorizing voices which I am working on, to distinguish between members of this group of flycatchers? Thanks in advance.
  21. Still not very good with overhead ID's. Seen this week in SE BC Selkirk College trails. Pair doing some circling. Thanks in advance.
  22. Agree, and lovely photos. It helps me to look for where the primaries land in relationship to the base of the tail and whether the tail looks flat, like for these birds, or more bowed and V-shaped. Common's also look a little chunkier to me (and more attractive if one can say that about a grackle) but I am not sure if this is generally true. Am attaching a photo that I have of a great-tail male for comparison.
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