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Everything posted by AlexHenry

  1. Odd bird. I feel like I could identify it in the field, but not certain based on the photos. Probably weird Ring-billed Gull I guess.
  2. I feel like I would have to study this bird in different postures to be sure of the ID - hard to make a call with a single photo. That being said, if Lesser is vastly more likely, I think it’s fine for a Lesser. Not a definite Greater at least. Leaving it as a slash is perfectly reasonable.
  3. Upper Wing pattern is telling in addition to face pattern
  4. Nothing here indicates anything other than Mallard or American Black Duck, imo. Hybrid of those two seems like a reasonable conclusion. I agree it’s tough to rule out a weird or molting Mallard, but likely a Mallard x American Black Duck. But I will defer to those with more recent experience with Mallards and Black Ducks in the east.
  5. I believe there’s a reflection from the water in the bird bath making the belly look weird. But I agree it’s a Grackle, Common Grackle
  6. Maybe, possibly canadensis group. Could always call it Canada/Cackling if you aren’t sure
  7. Center bird in second photo is a Cackler. None others are imo
  8. Funny, I’ve always used “murmuration” for big flocks of peeps and other small shorebirds flying around all synchronized
  9. Agree with Pacific. A lot of black on the neck with a straight line to the white. Good amount of juveniles seem to be on the move right now.
  10. You pretty much just gave a dozen people a heart attack
  11. Yeah, gulls are tough. Unfortunately a lot of birders use that as an excuse to avoid them, rather than taking the time to learn them. It seems like one of the most important skills with gulls is knowing when to not identify a bird. So while it’s a good practice to ask about confusing birds (that’s how we learn, after all), don’t assume the answers you get are accurate if you aren’t sure yourself! Just identify the birds you can and don’t be afraid to leave them unidentified if you aren’t sure.
  12. Could be Olympic, I guess. Not definitely a Thayer’s at least. Tough to tell without having other gulls nearby for size and shape comparison. To me the structure, especially bill structure, and plumage seem more consistent with Herring/Thayer’s type. I could see it as a Cook Inlet rather than Thayer’s. Of course you should take any ID based on a single photo of a gull with a huge grain of salt. It’s really much easier to identify them in the field when you can study their size and structure relative to other nearby birds, study the plumage on the tail and spread wings better, etc.
  13. 3 is a perfect Thayer’s. 2 I agree with your assessment. Herring-type. Probably fine to call it Herring. They’re pretty strict about Cook Inlet down there, so wait until you have a very nice intermediate bird. 1 is a Glaucous-winged hybrid. Olympic seems reasonable. 4 is possibly Herring? Not really sure though.
  14. Birds 2 and 5 look good for Thayer’s to me. Birds 1 and 3, I think we would need additional angles to identify them. Bird 1 is not a pure Glaucous-winged, but some sort of hybrid. Bird 4 I could see as Herring or Western.
  15. Correct, Greater on the left, Lesser on the right. Besides head shape, overall size is another good clue in this photo. I do not think “browner vs grayer” is a way to identify scaups, though I could be wrong. I think there’s quite a bit of intraspecific variation due to age, gender, and individual differences. But no consistent difference between species that I’m aware of. Immature males can have white around the base of the bill. I’d be willing to wager the bird on the left is a female, but I’m not sure whether the bird on the right is a female or an immature male.
  16. I agree with you that #2 is the most likely candidate and could well be a Hoary, but agree with Birding Boy that with only that one photo, it’s best not to call it.
  17. I agree they generally seem fine for Ash-throated. The second to last bird catches my eye though - any chance it could be a Brown-crested? I struggle with visually IDing some of these Myiarchus and generally rely on sound when I’m in an area with more than one species. They could easily all be Ash-throated. But that second to last one in particular seems like it could potentially be Brown-crested. I would probably leave it as Myiarchus sp without hearing it.
  18. I haven’t birded in South Texas enough to have a handle on this ID. But, I think that the best way to differentiate is vocalization. I think they are pretty much visually identical, or at least very similar. I would endeavor to identify these by ear. If you definitely heard Couch’s, but aren’t sure about all of them, you could put a couple down as Couch’s and a couple down as “Tropical/Couch’s” if that option exists, or “yellow-bellies kingbird sp” or whichever more generic option there is. If you heard both species, then list both species and that’s that.
  19. Yellow-bellies Sapsucker. Male Williamson’s would have far more extensive black on the head and underparts. Without looking at eBird or a range map, I’m guessing Williamson’s Sapsucker would be a spectacular vagrant in Georgia. Good to be cautious with that sort of thing.
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