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Everything posted by egosnell2002

  1. Yeah, size is notoriously hard to judge, especially when they're up close, and by themselves in a tree. Female Red-tails can definitely be substantially larger than males, however. As to why the passerines weren't concerned, it could be because a Red-tailed Hawk is surprisingly not much of a danger to small birds. They prefer rodents and birds larger then you're average House Sparrow. Being a Buteo, they're not super manoeuvrable, like for example a Cooper's or Sharp-shinned Hawk, which are built to catch songbirds.
  2. #1 Is definitely in the California Gull complex, could be a hybrid with Herring, looks a little chunky, but could be pure. Ring-billed would be much slimmer, especially the head. #2 Looks like it could have some Herring in it, but I prefer not to touch those ugly west coast gulls ?
  3. Big, chunky, mostly white raptor. Red-tailed Hawk. EDIT: Sniped by Akira
  4. And that is how it is done, concerning that owl fiasco http://danbusby.ca/gallery/index.php/Waterbirds/20111108_HOGR_2401 Here's a full frame shot, and either the white tip isn't there or I can't see it (it is *helpfully* pretty much the exact same colour as the water). I've never used that field mark, mostly because I find bill colour is super hard to judge and can be pretty variable for a lot of birds, considering Horned fully change the colour of their bill by April. On the plumage part, I'll agree this bird is a little smudgier then Sibley illustrates, but if you take a look through some eBird photos here , you'll find lots of exceptions. I personally find head and bill shape the most reliable for this species. Certainty is definitely important in birding, I hate counting things I'm unsure of, so I don't! But another look at stats gives a good impression of Horned, especially combined with plumage and body proportions. Here's EAGR records for Ohio for birds in this plumage, and here's Horned, it's a 0.11% vs 4.21% occurrence. Just to put things in perspective , Eared is one of the last "common" (>0.05%) birds I need to round up for my Ontario list. Hope this helps!
  5. I don't really see anything that points away from Horned here... Head shape as far as I can tell seems to be better for Horned, same with the bill. Plus it's Ohio in the winter, and Horned is much more common at this time of year, and Eared is rare at all times.
  6. Yeah, who knows. It's weird either way. How's birding going with everyone?
  7. At this point I can't tell if you're just trying to annoy all of the other people who have already identified this bird for you, or you are actually serious. If the latter, then I would give you the advice that part of being "eager to learn and very curious" about anything involves listening to the more experienced people in that field. They actually do have more experience, and are better at birding, and identifying birds. If you have trouble seeing what they're all trying to tell you, then I'm afraid that it's going to be quite hard to get better at birding, and getting better at birding is one of the most fun things about it; realizing you're wrong on something, letting others help and correct you, and in the end, learn new things so you can slowly get better at avoiding mistakes. As well, obviously if birders that were in the field with you and saw the same bird and called it a hermit thrush, you missed something they did. As for the white spots you've pointed out, that's not part of the bird. And even if it was, you can't base an ID off of one bird, that would be like saying just because a Hermit Thrush and Barred Owl both have two white spots on them they are the same- oh wait that is what you're saying! Ok, how about a Barn Swallow and a Fork-tailed Flycatcher are the same just because they have tails that split. You have to take in the whole bird, and not just the colour, shape, patterns, giss and posture, but also range, probability, habitat, time of year, and what other people have seen! At the location you were at, people have seen Barred Owl, and they have seen Hermit Thrushes. And they are experienced birders with good reputations. If you'd like to send your photos to any reputable birder in your community, and I can guarantee that they will say at least that it's a cathartus thrush, and I would bet my life they wouldn't say Northern Hawk Owl. Sorry, computers sometimes make it hard to convey emotions through them as you said, so I'll make it clear, you make me frustrated
  8. And Fyn's picture of a Barred Owl, I think he was active on this forum a long time ago as well. I wonder if they looked at the whatbird's YB flickr group for pictures
  9. Looks good for peregrine I think, but to be honest it is a little hard to rule out a gull species from these.
  10. Wow, weird. Not really even a good photo, and in a newsletter from... Michigan right?
  11. In July as well? This is pretty much the hardest time to ID DOs I think, plumages are getting worn at this time. I'd lean Long-billed, but it's pretty hard to tell.
  12. As awesome as it would be, the Florida bird was an adult, and this is not. Looks completely fine for Laughing.
  13. Yeah looks like a Merlin, I think the tail markings are part of the bird, you can see them in the top photo too.
  14. 1. Forster's, only dark on the auriculars and a little out of it. Common and Arctic have this line continue farther back all the way to the nape. 2. Definitely a Tringa, but for some reason, Willet isn't really fitting. The bill seems weird, could be a Greater Yellowlegs I guess... 3. Western Sandpiper 4. Least Sandpipers
  15. This is a tough one, especially with the angle. But I'd agree with Cooper's
  16. Yes, by no means is the pond/lake a defining feature, I was just saying that I rarely see them together. As per Sibley: "(Ring-necked) winters on ponds and rivers, often near or among trees, on smaller and more enclosed ponds than other Aythya" and "(Redhead) winters on open water of lakes and bays". I suppose this is more applicable to people in their wintering range (like me), the only time I've ever seen a Redhead on a body of water smaller than 1km across was birds on a nest, which is very unusual for this area. They can also definitely be in smaller bodies of water along coasts as well, and I'm sure they can be wherever they want when they're migrating as well. All I was saying that for me, this is really the first time I've had to think about their similarities and differences because I usually never see them together. @RobinHood that's a very good comparison picture between the two, it really brings out the differences between the two.
  17. I just see 2 pecs and 2 Leasts in the first one, I think 3 is a Least. 8 looks pretty long-billed, but it's probably best to leave it as SESA/WESA
  18. The flycatchers are Western Wood-pewees. The sparrow could be a female House Sparrow, but I might be overlooking one of those SW sparrows.
  19. Everything fits Redhead perfect, I never really considered these similar species, but I guess that's just because you never see them together, Ring-necks are always on ponds and Redheads are always on lakes. Head shape is a key difference, and the tones of Redhead is warmer I think. A caution to only relying on Sibley: It's only one source, and it's impossible to illustrate a species perfectly, especially when not every bird looks the same. Using all about birds and google images can help a lot too, just be careful that the photo is labelled correctly!
  20. This is actually a flycatcher, but it's behaving like a swallow! I'm thinking Say's Phoebe because the tail is so black, but it would be a million times easier if it was landed.
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