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Everything posted by smittyone@cox.net

  1. I've seen lots of yellow-shafted Northern Flicker over the years. But today marks my first red-shafted variety. All the pics I've seen of them show the malar stripe (moustache?) as being just as vibrant red at the neck chevron. This bird's moustache has a lot of black mixed with the red. Does this mean my first red-shafted bird is actually an intergrade between yellow and red versions? And what would be the proper name for this bird? Seen today in NW Missouri. In my birding area--eastern NE and western IA--red-shafted flickers are extremely rare.
  2. Seen this morning at Loess Bluffs NWR near Mound City, NW MO. I've seen lots of adult male Brown-headed Cowbirds before. But I've never seen the blue/green iridescence before. Am I missing something, or just not very observant?
  3. First 2 pics are the same bird. Are these both Savannah Sparrows? Seen this morning at Loess Bluffs NWR near Mound City, NW MO.
  4. I watched a flock of them taking advantage of yesterday afternoon's winds and were soaring around a farmer's field. Seems weird to see gulls flying around rural areas here in the midwest. Seen just south of Council Bluffs, IA. What kind of gull was this? BTW, it did in fact catch that bug.
  5. Seen this afternoon south of Council Bluffs, IA. I believe this is an immature Northern Harrier, likely a first year bird. Can eye color (or any other feature) help determine if it's a young male or female?
  6. I'm not good at identifying ducks when they're wearing their winter clothes. Seen last week at DeSoto NWR near Missouri Valley, IA. I see two Blue-winged teal landing among some Northern shovelers. But what are the other two landing ducks? My guess is Gadwall.
  7. Both birds perched on the same branch just moments apart. I'm 95% sure the 1st one is a Song Sparrow. But the 2nd one? It kind of looks like an older, scruffier Song Sparrow. Both seen this morning at DeSoto NWR near Missouri Valley, IA.
  8. Never seen an immature one before. Also didn't know there are different versions. Never heard of Gambel's before. Thanks Akandula and Connor.
  9. It was seen late this afternoon south of Council Bluffs, IA.
  10. If it is indeed a LeConte's Sparrow, that'd be a new Lifer bird for me! Yeah! ...and Sparrow No. 19 too!
  11. It was very bold, and came very close. Perhaps it's a youngster? About the size of a Chipping Sparrow, so very small compared to most other Sparrows. It was seen late this afternoon south of Council Bluffs, IA.
  12. I saw a family of Wood Ducks this afternoon at lake Manawa in Council Bluffs, IA. Two were adults like this one, and two young 'uns. In the 1st pic, I believe this is a young male, not yet in eclipse plumage. Am I correct? The 2nd pic shows the same "adult" and both of the little ones--couldn't get a pic with all 4 of them in frame. The last pic shows both "adults".
  13. I'm sure you're right. I have seen Great Tailed Grackles in the area before, but definitely not as plentiful as Common Grackles. Plus I didn't notice the most obvious feature--Crows don't have yellow eyes. I feel like a dummy on this one.
  14. When I took this pic yesterday in NW Missouri, I thought this was a Common Grackle. Looking at this pic on my PC, the bill looks much too thick for a Grackle. Is this a Crow?
  15. So, if I understand correctly...both are first year males with the one on the right being slightly older and/or further along in the molting process?
  16. Seen this afternoon at DeSoto NWR near Missouri Valley, IA. There were a pair chasing each other around. Although I played recorded Nashville Warbler calls, they were ignored. I'm hoping that's what this was. It'd be a Lifer and make no. 205 for me.
  17. Seen this afternoon north of Omaha, NE. I believe both of these American Goldfinches are molting adults. Or at least molting into adult plumage. Is the lower bird more yellow because it is simply further along in the molting process? Or is the lower bird a male and the other a female?
  18. Both seen yesterday afternoon south of Council Bluffs IA. I think the 1st one is a LIncoln's Sparrow and the 2nd is a Song Sparrow. Am I correct?
  19. Still in NW Missouri, last Thursday. Same day, but 20 miles away from the Eastern Phoebe I posted yesterday. It might be the lighting--yesterday's was in direct sunlight while this one is perched in the shade. Only the belly on yesterday's post seemed yellow, but this one looks like the entire chest and belly are yellow. Difference in age, or just a trick of the light? Still an Eastern Phoebe?
  20. Seen on Thursday in NW Missouri. I know this is an immature Wren. My instincts tell me it's a House Wren. But because I saw an adult Carolina Wren in the same area only moments earlier, I wonder if it might be an immature Carolina Wren.
  21. Seen on Thursday in NW Missouri. Sorry, so backside view or better angle on the wing bars. The 4th pics is the best side view I could get before it flew away.
  22. I saw this Red-tailed Hawk in NW Missouri on Wednesday morning. The nearly all white head, the amount of white speckling on the wings, and white at the base of the tail, all lead me to think this is a Krider's RTHA. Am I correct?
  23. I saw this hawk late this afternoon at Loess Bluffs NWR in NW Missouri. It was significantly smaller than most RTHA I've seen by at least a third. It's also clearly much slimmer and much less "bulky" than RTHAs I'me used to seeing.
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