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Charlie Spencer

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Everything posted by Charlie Spencer

  1. @Quiscalus quiscula, before this morning, reputation points were displayed between your avatar and the post count. A personalized text string was also between your name and avatar. That's what Sean is referring to as a 'rank' (there was a brief notion for everyone to assign themselves a 'ranking' - nestling, fledgling, juvenile, etc.) Many people used it to show their location. You didn't need to hover or cllck to see either; they were there by default, like your name and avatar.
  2. Many species hang out in mixed flocks, esp. when breeding season is over.
  3. Thanks. I like the quiz, but I don't know if I like having to rate each photo before I can see the next one.
  4. I didn't know there was any way to rate them other than going to Macaulay. What's a photo quiz?
  5. Both species are noted for their aggressiveness in defending their food sources. However, since they eat completely different types of foods, they don't normally view each other as threats. Still, hummies have been known to defend a food source against anything that moves. It's much more likely for a hummer to guard a feeder, or to strafe mockingbirds (chickadees, titmice, finches, squirrels, cats, people, etc.) while defending a nectar source. Mockingbirds usually fly in, try to run everyone off, grab a bite, and leave. They mostly ignore hummers. It helps to separate the hummingbird feeders from the seed and suet feeders.
  6. I'll take your word for it. To me it looks like a Blue Jay and a Hairy Woodpecker loved each other very, VERY much; so much that their love needed more than just the two of them to share it ...
  7. Blue jays, along with magpies, crows, and ravens, are in the Corvid family. Corvids are among the smartest birds, so it's not surprising this one figured out how to get the bait. This one may even be smart enough to learn that the trap is a danger despite the food. Still, you may have to switch baits.
  8. This is an interesting topic for me, since I'm not much of an editor. I rarely check if my photos are rated or what ratings they draw; they're just out there as a side effect of my adding them to checklists. I have one run of photos from the same checklist that have one rating each, and they're all rated two stars. Obviously it was done by someone who didn't give them any thought. I've never searched for photos taken by particular individuals, or go to Macaulay with the intent of rating photos. I usually take photos for documentation or identification purposes, and rarely take artistic considerations into account when I'm in the field. When I select ones to post, my primary consideration is how useful the photo may be as an ID tool for others. I focus on getting ANY photo before losing the bird. Part of that comes from not being comfortable with the camera settings themselves, so art takes a back seat even for birds that are slow moving or remain stationary for long periods. I leave everything on auto other than adjusting the exposure, but at least I've learned to do that.
  9. The Mallard is a serviceable photo but there's nothing noteworthy about it, good or bad. The grackle makes me cringe. The composition makes the bird look uncomfortable. Its head is bowed at an awkward angle, left leg pulled up so it looks like the foot is protruding from its chest. Another comp issue is most of the tail is obscured by the branches. If this was cropped, I'd have given the bird a bit more room. There's also the underexposed neck and chest. I realize most of my comments are subjective and I don't want to come across as brutal, but if I were to rate this one I'd give it a two.
  10. I was actually going to ask for that once things settled down. Maybe give it a week and then move the proofreading issues out on their own.
  11. Pine cone. Seriously, which end is up? Are we looking at the front, back, or either side?
  12. Here ya go: https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Northern_Mockingbird
  13. I like the original too. The reason is the process has emphasized that red leaf in the lower left. I could overlook it easily in the first one but it's really in my face in the edit. Just me.
  14. Might I add that even if you shoot in RAW on a DSLR or mirrorless, you're going to get the best results in the long run if you get it as close to right as possible while you're in the field. But I'm prejudiced; as I said, editing intimidates me.
  15. Yeah, that sounds like an other copy / paste issue. My apologies to @Avery, and my thanks to everyone for catching the errors.
  16. Can we narrow these down to Westerns? Are they too far west to be Easterns?
  17. @dragon49, notice the greenish-yellowish legs on the upper right bird, and the bill colored light blue at the base and dark blue at the end. That one's definitely a young Little Blue Heron. Southern FL has at least seven different species of white wading birds.
  18. Oh, man. I got it wrong on the first one, copied it to my buffer, then pasted it on all the others. @Aveschapines can these be unlocked so I can fix them? I'll be shocked if this is the only typo. I abbreviated Her Highness' name as 'Aves' while transcribing, and almost missed replacing all of those.
  19. Minor addendum: if you're working from old photos, this doesn't apply. There's no value to other birders if you think the heron in that three-year-old shot is a Gray, not a Great Blue. In those cases, if your rep is a concern, definitely err on the side of caution.
  20. I was terrified it was a new gender-preference term.
  21. @dragon49, here ya go. FL has plenty of Osprey around any area with water and fish. https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Osprey/
  22. I was guessing vulture, based on feathers I've seen around known perches.
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