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Posts posted by BirdManAndy

  1. 1 hour ago, PaulK said:

    Re Merlin I'm surprised it didn't get you there. When you submitted did you zoom in on the bird until it filled the box, and was white throated sparrow given as an option?

    I used the questionnaire id, not the picture id, and it did not show my bird. When the questionnaire id does not show your bird, you have to edit your choices like picking a different set of 3 color. If you thought the red on the duck was black, you might not see your bird. That said, Merlin Id works surprisingly well.

    59 minutes ago, Charlie Spencer said:

    I start with my eBird checklist for the day.  That shows me what sparrows / birds are expected in the area at that time of year.  I check those in Sibley and NatGeo to narrow the list, then use AllAboutBirds if I couldn't reach a conclusion.  I also check AAB' history for a species to see how common it is in the area.  If I'm still stuck, I come here

    I just installed eBird on my phone. Thanks for the advice. 

  2. It was spotted late this afternoon in Brooklyn. Size-wise it looks like a sparrow that is fluffed up from a bath. It stood on this 20' branch for a while, grooming itself. What I don't like about the Song Sparrow ID is the bands on the head are blueish, and the brown pattern on its back stops halfway down. 


  3. Thanks for the Id. Merlin Id did not give that choice, so I did not consider it. I mostly didn't like how the wings matched. The GCKI has a black band and yellow on its wing which match the photo. The GWW lacks the black band, and the yellow is closer to the head. Looking at allaboutbirds.org, I see what you mean about the GCLI having more green in its wing.

  4. 4 hours ago, Charlie Spencer said:

    I realize the primary goal of those shutterbugs is to produce the 'best' image possible.  I have a hard time getting some of them to accept that for bird ID purposes, a grainy, blurred shot at 300 meters can be useful, and even worth retaining if it's a lifer.

    You nailed me on that one. Back in my film days, one had to pay a great deal of attention to the technical aspects of shooting for your shots to come out. It is hard to move away from that perspective. I have learned that the pictures you shoot to put on your walls should be family shots like the dog shot. If you want to be Ansel Adams, you have to live in Yosemite for months to get the perfect shot. Your point about blurry shots for bird identification is well taken.

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  5. On 3/22/2021 at 10:54 AM, Charlie Spencer said:

    Good quality photos are more a function of the photographer than the hardware. 

    While I agree with your point, I've had a lot of trouble blowing up images to find they are blurry. What looks good 3x5 may look blurry 11x14. I've had more luck with the Nikon DX-7500 and Nikkor 18-200. I'm guessing it has better autofocus:


    As for birding, I like to take pics so I can identify them at home. When I took a birding class, I didn't get much out of it. It was over my head. So now I can study the pics, and try to get something out of it.

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