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Everything posted by smittyone@cox.net

  1. Thank you. That explains why they don't show up when I play Cornell Labs recordings of (Sooty) Fox Sparrows).
  2. Seen yesterday at DeSoto NWR, near Missouri Valley, Iowa. I'm pretty sure this is a Fox Sparrow. Only the 2nd one I've ever seen. Is it a Red or Sooty subspecies of Fox Sparrow?
  3. Seen yesterday at DeSoto NWR, near Missouri Valley, Iowa. Is this a Blue-headed Vireo?
  4. It was seen today at Loess Bluffs NWR near Mounds City, MO. All pics are of the same bird. I tried to provide front, back, and side views.
  5. I saw this Eastern Towhee at DeSoto NWR last week. Is this bird just molting, or is there a pigment issue going on? By pigment issue, I mean partially leucistic, or something like that.
  6. Thanks everyone for your inputs. Follow-up question--Since the consensus seems to lean towards immature/juvenile male RBGB, do they go through this transition every year? Or would this be a "first summer" male? Because I've only seen adult RBGB before yesterday, I'm unfamiliar with their molting process.
  7. Although I agree that this bird's chest is pretty "streaky", a Google image search for female RBGB didn't present any pics with reddish or rosy breasts, while an image search for immature males showed variations from very streaky, to no streaks at all. I'm certainly no expert, and I value your thoughts on this, but I'll wait for more folks to share their wisdom.
  8. Seen yesterday under dark gloomy skies at DeSoto NWR near Missouri Valley, Iowa. I initially thought this was just a female Rose-breasted Grosbeak, until it turned around. Despite the muted colors (heavily overcast that day), I can clearly see pinkish red tones on it's chest. This just seemed a little "different" from female RBGR that I've seen, and I've never seen an immature male RBGR, as far as I know.
  9. I presume these two gulls are young Ring-billed Gulls because they were the same size as the rest of the flock of adult Ring-billed Gulls. There were non-breeding Franklin's gulls (much smaller) and a pair of Forster's Terns mixed in as well. Is the 1st pic (the one on the grass) a First Summer bird, and the 2nd pic a Second Summer bird? They were seen yesterday in Council Bluffs, Iowa.
  10. Sooo, when they're molting from juvenile plumage into adult plumage, what do you call them? Tweens?
  11. I saw a guy wearing a Hawaiian shirt in Omaha once--that's kind of tropical.
  12. A pair of Terns was hanging out with Ring-billed Gulls at Lake Manawa, Council Bluffs, IA, today. Are these non-breeding adult Forster's Terns? I think Arctic Terns would be rare in my area, and Common Terns only the upper half of their bill is black? So Forster's is kind of my only choice, yes?
  13. Thanks for the help. Not the answer I was hoping for, but at least this pic will get transferred to the appropriate folder.
  14. I've been reading about Tropical Kingbirds, and how they, and Cassin's Kingbirds, look similar to Western Kingbirds. This prompted me to look back in my archives and scrutinize my "Western" Kingbird pics. This pic, taken in Omaha back in June 2016 was originally ID'd as a Western Kingbird. Now I have doubts. The bill seems too large to be a Western. A Cassin's bill is larger, and a Tropical is even larger than that. I also don't see the prominent white edge to the tail feathers--a prominent feature on Western Kingbirds. Either a Cassin's or a Tropical, would both be new Lifer birds for me. Is this either, or just wishful thinking?
  15. I spooked this raptor before I knew it was there (typical). By the time I stopped the car and got out, it was already circling high overhead. All of the pics I captured are of it's underside. Seen yesterday afternoon at Loess Bluffs NWR, in NW Missouri. Is it a young Cooper's Hawk?
  16. Thanks for the ID help. This Spotted Sandpiper is an immature/non-breeding bird I suppose?
  17. Seen today at DeSoto NWR near Missouri Valley, IA. Is this a female/immature Solitary Sandpiper?
  18. Dark brown eyes and reddish tail feathers help identify a typical Red-tailed Hawk as an adult. While yellowish eyes and banded (non-red) tail feathers help identify a juvenile/immature RTHA. But how many years does this transition take, and at what point do you call the bird adult or not when mixed ID features are seen? For example, this month I've been seeing RTHAs with pale or light brown eyes and only one or two reddish tail feathers. How would you "age" those birds?
  19. They were seen today at DeSoto NWR near Missouri Valley, IA. One is clearly smaller and darker than the other--younger bird maybe?
  20. They were seen today at DeSoto NWR near Missouri Valley, IA. The two large ducks were nearly Mallard-sized--definitely much larger than the other dabbling ducks nearby. To me, the pair look similar to each other, except for their bill color. I don't believe I've seen them before, so whatever they are, they'd be my first new "Lifer" birds in over 2 years. My guess is that they're American Black Ducks. The smaller ducks, of which there were about 20, I believe are immature/non-breeding adult Blue-winged Teal.
  21. Seen this afternoon at DeSoto NWR near Missouri Valley, IA. Is this a Krider's, or just a light morph Eastern Red-tailed Hawk? I'm also wondering age. It's young, but is it a 2nd year bird? Would this still be a juvenile, considering the (mostly) banded tail feathers and light colored eyes? All of it's tail feathers are banded, except a single reddish one. By the way, this is the skinniest RTHA I've ever seen.
  22. Thank you everyone. I would've never guessed immature Red-shouldered Hawk. I was presuming accipiter based primarily on it's size and slender shape, not "chunky" like most buteos. Besides, despite them (RSHA) being relatively common raptors in my area, they continue to elude me.
  23. I use the codes as an abbreviation when writing (usually a photo caption) or when posting a question. I'd spell out the bird's full name first, then use the code thereafter (mostly for brevity) if it's referred to again later in a sentence/paragraph.
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