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Charlie Spencer

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Posts posted by Charlie Spencer

  1. Lockwood Folly Inlet, a tidal estuary in coastal Brunswick County, southeastern NC.  April 24, 2021

    I see a solid black cap and bill, strongly forked tail, and orange feet.  I can't find anything else that matches those features.  The main reason I'm asking is Roseates have dark wingtips, which I'm not seeing.

    All photos are of different birds, obviously at a ridiculous range.  Thanks!




  2. 19 minutes ago, Kevin said:

    6 dollars ladies and gentlemen! Do I hear 6 dollars for this valuable blackbird?!?  Note it's beautiful black colored body with rust brown mixed in. Surly I hear more than 5 dollars! Do I hear 5 and a half? Five and a quarter? Going once. Going twice...

    That's not a valuable blackbird.  THIS is a valuable blackbird.  Although you did nail the description.


    • Haha 7
  3. 7 hours ago, Tony Leukering said:

    Given these views, definitely ruling out Brewer's Blackbird would be tricky if not impossible.

    EBird shows only five reports of Brewer's in SC in Dec-Feb the last ten years, all of them at least 50 miles to the southeast.  There's only been one sighting in the county ever.  The bar chart was tastefully minimalist.

    • Like 2
  4. 23 minutes ago, Mark Ladenson said:

    But following up on your corrections I see that the female (as is the case with so many birds) has duller colors. 

    Exactly.  It's great you picked up that this only applies to 'many birds'.  It definitely doesn't apply to all birds.  In some species, both sexes are identical.

    So yes, this is a female Baltimore Oriole. We were all novices once; none of us were born knowing this stuff!

    • Like 5
  5. There's a lot less color on a House Finch and more brown.  Also, look at the bill.  This is a blackbird's general-purpose bill (orioles are in the Icteridae family), not a finch's blunter, thicker seed-cracking bill.  And while size is difficult to judge, finches are generally half the size of orioles.


    https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/house_finch, although the red shown in this example can also be orange or yellow.

    • Like 4
  6. 2 hours ago, Kevin said:

    I'm not trying to get on either side of this...

    This is the Dark-eyed Junco page and there is one record of a junco there in June. Birds don't follow maps... On the other hand it is best to guess it is the common, as apposed to the rare.

    "This philosophical razor advocates that when presented with competing hypotheses about the same prediction, one should select the solution with the fewest assumptions"


    • Like 2
  7. 2 hours ago, The Bird Nuts said:

    Why not a wet/worn adult?

    I have wet and / or worn adults hopping across my deck regularly.  Even under those conditions, the markings visible on the primaries here are noticeable across the body, like this young'un:


    Speaking of primaries, this bird appears to be short several, leading my to think it hasn't grown all it's flight feathers yet.  It definitely does not yet have the full-length adult tail.  For comparison, try these little fuzzballs:



    • Like 2
  8. 3 hours ago, The Bird Nuts said:

    'fraid not.  I'll leave that to Tony.

    Not important.  I was asking mostly because the bird is browner than I expected.  Tony would likely say that's because the bird's feathers are old and worn.  :classic_wink: 

    This is a species I've honestly haven't paid as much attention to as I could have, so I'm not yet familiar with how they look through the year.

  9. 6 minutes ago, The Bird Nuts said:

    Top birds are Rusty Blackbirds and the bottom bird is a Red-winged.  The tails are much too short for grackles.

    Thanks.  Can you venture a guess as to gender?  I -assume- they're not breeding females; they look too dark compared to the guides I'm checking.  They also look too brown for breeding males, leaving me to guess non-breeding males.

  10. These technically aren't lifers but they're close enough.  I've ID'ed only one Rusty before.  It was several years ago in flock of Red-Wingeds browsing rapidly across my back yard.  I have a second one listed that I misidentified as a COGR and a reviewer had to correct me.

    It's a bit embarrassing because I routinely forget Rustys exist.  I was determined to not rush through the photos of this flock, but I found the task intimidating and I've been putting it off for months.


    • Like 2
  11. Lexington County, central SC.  February 5th, 2021.  A large open field of several dozen acres, mowed, partially shade by a grove of pecan trees.

    I spotted a flock of several hundred mixed black-colored birds on my way home from work.  I -think- the larger bird in the upper left is a female Common Grackle.  The bottom right is a female Red-Winged.  What's the bird on the top right, above the Red-Winged?  Another Grack?  It appears too pale for a female Rusty but my only previous Rusty sighting was a male.  Female Brown Cowbird?



  12. Lexington County, central SC.  February 5th, 2021.  A large open field of several dozen acres, mowed, partially shade by a grove of pecan trees.

    I spotted a flock of several hundred mixed black-colored birds on my way home from work.  I originally marked most of them as Common Grackles but I'm reconsidering.  They're roughly the same size as the female RWBL in the same photo (not included), and the tails look squared off.  I never considered Rustys until reviewing these today; cut me some slack, it was a rough day at work and I've only knowingly seen one before.

    All pictures are of different birds.





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