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TowheeTea

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Everything posted by TowheeTea

  1. Thanks for the input, there are said to be 12 sub-species of the Grasshopper Sparrow so I suspect variability in general appearance details is to be expected not to mention differing ages.
  2. Good Afternoon, I was in central Florida at Kissimmee prairie area on 11/15 a place known to be home of the endemic Florida Grasshopper Sparrow and migrating grasshopper sparrows usually arriving in late November and encountered 4 sparrows in a thicket at once - the first group of single bird photos I believe are Swamp Sparrow and Savannah Sparrow respectively, the following sets of pictures of two birds on a dead bush look to me to be two different sparrows and I'm interested in the professional advice on the board. Don't want to overwhelm you with pics that are taken from video but I put I think enough to help out. The top bird flashed yellow on the wings in the last photo and is a Grasshopper Sparrow of some kind the bottom bird is different in a number of ways, notably very strong white eye ring and there does appear to be difference in beak size and colorations. Am I looking at two different kinds of grasshopper sparrows? Thanks in advance
  3. Thanks, Sorry, my bad, I should have clarified these pictures were taken in mid-September, but this bird is much too big for a Brewer's Blackbird.
  4. Finishing up categorizing a few birds from trip - in real time I just assumed this big bird walking in the river was a female "Grackle" didn't give it much thought, buts its not like mature female Grackles I see all the time in Florida - certainly not a boat tail. Is this just a young and/or female common Grackle? The common grackles I see in my backyard in Florida usually have more gloss and more of a psychotic look and jerky behavior than this mellow strolling bird which had more of a "plumpness" to it than the typical grackle I see in the east.
  5. Ouch, Thanks! I had know idea they could be that small and I was so close, I see RWB males singing a lot, this was a lonely bird, but in a feeble defense I note that under Song Sparrow and savannah sparrow allaboutbirds doesn't cross reference female RWB as similar, but under RWB they cross reference song sparrow as being similar. 😉
  6. This bird literally perched in front of me this morning defying me to not film it out on the mid-south Florida marsh. It struck me immediately as odd as it was nearly all dark and the environmental light was good, fair and even so these untouched video frame captures are pretty accurate. I've filmed song sparrows, savannah sparrows and such etc. in Florida and North Carolina. Odd that the dark brown streaks come up from a nearly black or extreme dark brown solid belly and undertail area. I'm sure the experts here will nail it right away. Its song was nothing spectacular, but not like a song or savannah. Thanks in Advance
  7. Thanks, yeah that's the thing in overcast conditions this bird's was notably charcoal color looking which struck me as odd.
  8. This solitary bird showed up in the backyard this afternoon feeding with alongside my Painted Bunting flock and it looked exactly like a bunting only charcoal brown color and a little bigger. Brown Headed Cowbirds are fairly common in coastal central Florida and usually in small groups and never seen them alone and I've seen plenty of female BHCB's. but this struck me as different. Cornell site turned me on to Shiny Cowbirds which are known to be around here according to e-bird. This would be a first time bird for me. With such a good picture you would think it would be easy, but just doesn't quite look like other female BHCB's I've seen. Thoughts - I know you all like to look at Cowbirds!!
  9. Thanks, I found this online: Paul Miller, biologist at the Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park furnished this photo of pratensis (GRSP) and floridanus (FGSP) together, and describes them as: “The obvious and simple distinction is that FGSP (on left) is much darker overall. More specifically, the feathers of the coverts, tertiaries, scapulars, and back are much blacker with whiter edging. The same feathers on the GRSP are lighter with buffy edging. The feathers of the nape on the FGSP are darker. The FGSP’s median crown stripe is also whiter while that of the GRSP is buffier. Not so obvious is the fact that the FGSP’s bill is heavier/larger.” https://fl.audubon.org/news/florida-grasshopper-sparrows-vs-grasshopper-sparrows-whats-difference Here is as close of a clear picture as I could get that addresses the areas mentioned above and it does show a darker overall bird than non-Florida Grasshopper Sparrow, but not a direct side by side comparison. It does appear clear that neither bird is banded as you note. Banding would be the most conclusive ID in this case, with only 200 birds in existence.
  10. Thanks Tony, True, and Florida Grasshopper Sparrows are a seriously endangered unique species. I'm wondering if they can be positively ID'd as such from this evidence. I had to film from quite aways back as these prairie birds flush at the slightest disturbance. BB
  11. In a remote area of the Kissimmee Preserve State Park I was actually keeping an eye out for Florida Grasshopper Sparrows which are native there and while filming a Meadowlark I spotted these birds nearby. The birds are catching the first direct sun of the day so the light may be a little tricky with the true coloring and the screen grabs from the video not so great and to my non-expert eyes inconclusive as to ID. The most noteworthy thing in the sharp morning light in real time was the bright clean breasts and cream stripe in the center of the head weak white eye ring. Quality is probably not good enough to see any small yellow area. Thanks BB
  12. Thanks for the quick answers! Bobolink was my best guess, but they just seemed smallish to me and I needed sanity check.
  13. Recently Passed through Valentine NWR on way to Badlands and spotted these very yellowish appearing birds that struck me as sparrows, certainly sparrow size - sort of squat, but bold yellowish streaks down center of the head and the sides of head and very little streaking on a large expanse of cream yellow on the breast and no clear sparrow match. They don't have the beaks for warblers. They also seemed too small to be Bobolinks which are robin sized. Any help from the experts would be appreciated. BB
  14. Morning, Great Smoky Mountains at 3600' yesterday afternoon. I have two thrushes visit my camera trap yesterday about two hours apart that appear to me to be Swainson's Thrushes - most distinctive are the eyerings although one has a more streaked breast than the other and both a general olive color in my opinion. This would be a first-time "sighting" for me and I suspect passing Swainson's are fairly rare in these parts so am looking for expert opinion. I have these birds documented extremely well on a six minute video taking baths in the deep forest spring. 4 screen captures are attached. Wood Thrushes ring out in glorious song all summer here, but have never seen these birds. Thanks
  15. Thanks for the confirmation. There is a lot of subtle variety in RSH's around here and in juveniles especially. I'll remember the white barring.
  16. Got a great look at this hawk in perfect morning light today and assumed red-shouldered, but on editing now I'm not totally convinced. Red Shouldered and Cooper's are the most common in this area followed by red tail, but this fellows color and streaking is off a bit and the eyes are so dark in good light for a juvenile red shoulder. I need a sanity check. The way it took off I didn't get a good look at tail and wings were a blur. thanks in advance
  17. Thanks for the sanity check. I have done some further digging and realize that I am at the extreme southern end of the RBG's breeding range at the tip of the southern Appalachians so maybe that is why they don't really migrate from here but stay all winter even at this harsh high elevation. I see immature/juvenile RBGs around the feeder throughout late summer that are much bigger-adult-sized birds and different appearance than this little guy so it must be a fairly recent fledgling even though this was October 15th after several freezes already. In reviewing the video I can see where it may have been just chilling in that hemlock waiting to be fed and its the first time I ever noticed one. Since they are not leaving maybe they did have a second late brood. Interesting. BB
  18. I don't know as I've ever seen a fledgling Grosbeak, they are around all year and spend a lot of time at my feeders but this is a little thing filmed October 15th.
  19. I'm guessing this may be embarrassing, but I can't nail this little brown bird down - I have never seen it around the yard in 13 years. Lots of sparrows and house finches, pine siskins around all the time. This is Great Smoky Mountains 3500 feet in mid-October heavy and I mean heavy mixed forest. It is perched on an Eastern Hemlock Tree and oddly sitting still for several minutes and yawning while I took video. Its bright large beak and white all around the neck and white eye stripe is what caught my eye. At first thought was shrunken Grosbeak but its about a 5 inch bird. I though maybe it was a juvenile that makes ID a little harder but this is a stout little bird and pretty late for juveniles. I'm sure someone will know this right off. Thanks in advance.
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