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Jim Highberger

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Everything posted by Jim Highberger

  1. This one was in some tall grass and vegetation near a small lake. We had severe storms come through yesterday with heavy rain and high winds that may have forced this guy to seek cover away from its normal habitat. This park has a lot of trees but also dead trees, small wetland-like areas but also jogging trails, etc.
  2. Thanks all! This is a first (lifer) for me. Recent storms may have deposited this bird in a city park away from normal habitat.
  3. Is this a Grasshopper Sparrow? Flattish head with longish flat bill, white eye ring, small orange spot in front of eye, buff breast with a few pale streaks below throat. Wings colorful for a sparrow with rust, white, dark brown and tan coloring. Appears to be a trace of yellow at wing bend area. Only able to get photos from one angle - see attached. This is noted as unreported for the site on eBird (but not for the Houston area).
  4. Right - Red-tailed - but what variation? Or just a standard? There are some morphs listed in Sibley's, Peterson's, and others including a pale morph with white-ish tail, white head coloration, etc. that are labeled as Krider's. Krider's occasionally are seen along the coastal plains here in Texas so I was wondering if this might be a Krider's version? Thanks!
  5. Based on slim profile and tail length I am guessing this is a Neotropic. Without seeing face I am not 100% sure. As a Houston resident I find the Neotropics much more common - but would wait other opinions on this.
  6. Based on banding or "belt", size, posture, etc. believe this to be a Red-tailed Hawk. However white coloration on head and whiteish tail I am wondering if this may be a Krider's? Or is it an immature standard Red-tailed? Thank you!
  7. Thanks all - your comments regarding tail length, and head shape and coloration, made me doubt my original Red-shouldered id. I appreciate your review and explanations!
  8. Red-shouldered Hawks are more common - I initially thought this was Red-shouldered but shape of body and head has me thinking this might be a Cooper's. Photos taken about 300 yards from shoreline of Gulf Coast. Any help in making final determination on this would be appreciated. Thanks!
  9. Thanks - yes all pics are of same bird - late afternoon sunlight and motion may have affected "look" of 4th photo. Willows are somewhat more rare but Alders are being seen with some consistency through area at the moment. Thanks to all for input!
  10. I have looked at attached photos several times but cannot determine which Flycatcher (Empid) is pictured. Wings appear shorter than with Wood-Pewee so I believe this is an Empid. Eye-ring is not as bold as on Least. Bird perched on lower tree branches then would swoop out or down to catch insects, including going to the ground. In the 4th photo bird is blurred as it took flight but showed a lot of yellow underneath (Yellow-bellied?). Back shows hints of green (Acadian or Yellow-bellied?). No sounds were heard so unable to distinguish based on call or song. Any and all suggestions would be appreciated. Thank you!
  11. Thanks - yes, first picture may have been of different bird - there were several different species together in a small group of trees including Pine Warbler, Canada Warbler, Chickadees, Cardinals, etc.
  12. I cannot determine if this is a female Orchard Oriole or female Baltimore Oriole. There appears to be some evidence of blackish smudge on head which would point to Baltimore (it may just be shadows). Definitely yellow in color. Note there was also a female Baltimore Oriole in same area, but it showed abundant orange coloration. I initially thought this was a female Orchard but something about shoulder coloration and wing bar positions made me consider perhaps immature Baltimore. Both species moving through Houston currently. Any pointers would be appreciated. Sorry about poor photos - we have been getting a lot of rain and overcast days here in Houston. Thank you!
  13. Initially thought this might be warbler, possibly Blue-winged. But more I look at photos (poor quality) I am considering female oriole. It shows a lot of yellow such as with Orchard Oriole but also evidence of some orange on breast in a couple pictures. Note: a lot of orioles and warblers moving southward through Houston at the moment. Thank you for tips or recommendations.
  14. Thank you all for input. This forum is always helpful! Kevin: thank you for your bullet points. While we do have occasional Prothonotary sightings in overall Houston area you are correct, they are rare in city itself. And thank you for check points on Chat. The Canda Warbler is excellent match it seems to me - possibly female as no major evidence of "necklace" (it may be obscured as photos not very good). Canada Warblers migrating through Houston area currently with multiple sightings reported in parks in greater Houston area. Again, thanks to all for assisting this amateur.
  15. Re: Yellow-breasted Chat - doesn't the yellow extend too far back to base of tail? Most Yellow-breasted Chats I have seen the yellow is primarily on the breast and throat - not back beyond legs. Again, I am open to any comments and suggestions. Thank you!
  16. I was only able to get photos from underside so this may be unidentifiable. Specimen clearly shows yellow breast and belly - then area of white before end of tail which is brownish gray and notched. Legs appear to be bright yellow. In first photo there is a portion of eye area visible which seems to show a portion of an eye ring. Final photo shows hint of bill which looks like possible warble bill. Unable to get clear shot of wings so no clear evidence of wing bars. I considered Yellow-breasted Chat, vireos (pretty sure it is not a vireo) and Pine Warbler. Pine Warblers are year-round residents at this Houston park. Fall migration underway so could be something unusual. Anyone with suggestions or who could point me in the right direction would be appreciated. Thank you!
  17. I agree on Pyrrhuloxia. Good find! I have made several attempts in South Texas this year and have yet to spot one.
  18. Not sure if other photos available. Check for yellow legs, usually fairly bright yellow, and pale eyes. Also, these are comparatively large gulls along Galveston shores. I'm inclined to agree on Lesser Black-backed. Note: I bird regularly on Galveston Island and Bolivar Penninsula - attached are photos of Lesser Black-backed taken at East Beach a couple weeks ago. Note to "Sugar Land": have you seen the Jaegers? Two have appeared at Apfel Park / East Beach.
  19. Also, Eastern Wood-Pewee typically has orange lower mandible - especially evident in photo #4
  20. Are these tow sightings the same specie or two different ones? First pic I thought initially was Least due to eye ring and short wing tips, but not 100% sure. Other photos are of Empid which appeared greenish (tints of yellowish green) as it moved about. Thought it might be Acadian but not sure about head shape and wing length. Again, first photo is of one flycatcher, other photos are of another separate specimen. Empids are confusing to me so expert advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!
  21. One quick identifier on these is the tail forks or tips - mature Barn Swallows have a true "swallow" tail with two tips that extend to a point about the same length as wing tips when perched as in your photos.
  22. Thank you both for input. I'll report it as Eastern Wood-Pewee. Thanks!
  23. Only got one look at flycatcher type bird - landed on branch then took off for flying insect. This was sighted at Eagle Lake, Texas - about 60 miles west of Houston. Initially thought it was Eastern Wood-Pewee but wing length appears too short for Wood-Pewee. Belly appears yellowish. Yellow-bellied Flycatchers are occasional visitors to this area this time of year according to eBird (as are Acadians and Leasts) - Eastern Wood-Pewees are more common. Could not get a look at lower mandible. Any ideas on this would be appreciated. Thank you!
  24. In the first photo there appears to be a color differentiation between the head "cap" and the nape. Nape appears lighter, grayer, which would normally point to Cooper's. Breast streaking with Cooper's can be more brownish than red as with Sharp-shinned. Always tough to tell with these so I would wait for other opinions before concluding one or the other.
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