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ChristmasBird

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  1. Hmm. That's looking blurry. Here's a more high-def version:
  2. zdgesb84, I can't tell you what bird you saw, but I will say that vulture wingtips don't come to a nice, concise point --they look raggedy or like splayed fingers. Also, from below you tend to see more light come through the border of the wings. Here's a group of five circling overhead:
  3. rayh, There's a telltale rusty patch under the catbird's tail. That's usually how I identify them when they are above me. That and the beautiful singing.
  4. Do you see tanagers for the whole summer? If I'm lucky, I see Scarlet tanagers in May, maybe early June, and then they disappear. (I saw a Summer tanager one time.) I'm in central Illinois.
  5. Haha! I got so excited about seeing a new bird, that I didn't even see the LENI map in my field guide. I just found that first nighthawk and kept flipping pages. ?
  6. I am guessing Common, because the wings are fairly pointy and the white spots look to span 5 primaries, but I would welcome expert input. I am thrilled because I had never seen a nighthawk before, but there were about 20 swooping around in a field across from my house this evening, along with some barn swallows, which I see all of the time.
  7. I know I'm late to the game here, but I have to say --I had a rough week, and this thread was exactly what I needed. Thank you, BlueJay.
  8. Does the beak look like it has a hook on the end to you? I guess that's just an illusion. I wish my friend had a better photo! I think the way this bird is holding the underside of the wings up to the sun would make for a great photo if it were taken with a good camera. Thanks for your help.
  9. A friend sent me this photo, taken recently, near a tributary to the Potomac in MD. My friend is not a birdwatcher and thinks this was a heron. I do NOT think it is a heron --unless I am really misunderstanding what I think is the bird's neck, but I don't have much experience with water birds, so I can't tell what it is from this photo.
  10. Thanks everyone --I'm excited that my guess was correct. I am in an area with a lot of hawk presence --Cooper's, Sharp-shinned, and Red-tailed. I consult my Crossley's Guide, but the features that people in this forum use to make their IDs are even more instructive for me.
  11. Seen today in central, IL. I am thinking Red-Tailed because of the dark leading edges. This bird was pretty far up, so I'm surprised my camera caught any detail. There was a smaller hawk --looked like SSHA to me-- that seemed to be hectoring this one. You can see the beak open in the first pic, because I caught this one mid-sound. It wasn't really a screech, but it was a shorter-than-screech sound. Any help is much appreciated!
  12. This morning there were two hawks on my neighbor's burn pile. I think they are Cooper's Hawks (although I am always happy to be corrected by accipiter experts). This may be a silly question, but...why were there two? Do they hunt in pairs? They were only there briefly, because of course my neighbor came outside and inadvertently scared them away, as he has inadvertently scared away a barred owl, indigo bunting, and scarlet tanagers. THANKS A LOT, SKYLAR.
  13. Yep --I'm already seeing changes. No masks yet, but the beaks have lightened and one of the beaks is turning orange already.
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