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Richard Larsen

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  1. Attached is a bird from the Salton Sea in southern CA, taken 24 November. Guessing female surf scoter?? Can't make anything else fit - eye color seems wrong for scaup. Hoping someone will confirm or provide correction to my guess. Thanks.
  2. The attached photos are of grebes from a recent trip to southern California. All were taken in the second half of November 2023, either on the coast at Bolsa Chica Wildlife area, or at the Salton Sea. I think I have figured out Western Grebes vs Clark's Grebes, but want to verify. Horned Grebes vs Eared Grebe non-breeding / immature have me more uncertain. I think the first photo is a Western Grebe, and the second a Clark's Grebe. I called the third a Horned Grebe, mainly because of the whitish tip of bill. I called the last one an Eared Grebe, but could go either way. Any help appreciated. Rich
  3. Attached are three pictures, same bird, taken in the morning of September 16 at the Alamosa Colorado National Wildlife Refuge. I have been dithering among Field Sparrow, American Tree Sparrow, Chipping Sparrow, and 'none of the above' - but I am now thinking Field Sparrow. Wiser opinions would be good. Thanks for any help.
  4. I was in SE Arizona in the early days of April this year and ran across these hummingbirds at Canoa Ranch (near Green Valley - the 'female Costa's) and in Patagonia at either Patons or a private residence outside of town. The 'female Costa's' is called such because someone at Canoa said such, and it did look like a good ID when I researched it later. Of the Patagonia birds (2-6), I called them either Costa's or Anna's depending on whether the gorget appeared to be red or purple. I wonder whether others agree with my calls. I am also curious as to whether the darker color on numbers 2 and 6 might just be lighting, maybe the color is just red fading to black (and looking purple) because those birds are not as obviously illuminated as numbers 3 thru 5. Any comments welcome. Thanks. Rich
  5. Trying to ID a bird seen near Puget Sound in Tacoma Washington earlier this month. Seems as if it should be easy, but I am drawing a blank, and don't like answers from various computer bird ID programs. (Maybe it is a juvenile Starling.) Any help appreciated. Rich
  6. Still trying to sort warblers, perhaps females, from Parker River NWR in Mass from late May. Trees were full of warblers, and I was jumping from one to another with camera, but I think the first three are the same species - some might be the same birds. Same for the last two - I am guessing female Blackpoll Warbler for them, but certainly not sure. Maybe the first three are Yellow Warblers, but to me does not seem quite right for such a call. Any help appreciated.
  7. Four more birds for which I have not been able to establish an ID. Taken at Parker River NWR this past weekend during a very good warbler migration. They hop about a lot, and the foliage is thick, so apologies that some of the pictures not great. Any help appreciated.
  8. My wife and i were lucky enough to be at Plum Island this past weekend, with a large warbler migration ongoing, but I have not sorted my warblers yet. I have attached 4 pics of 3 non-warbler birds seen, for which I am unable to provide an ID. The first is perhaps a female Orchid Oriole. The closest I can come on the second is Eastern Towhee but seems to have way too much red in the breast. The third and fourth pics were together on the rail of a fence - probably male and female - I think there is one pic of each. Any help would be appreciated. I tried to match the pics to species others reported on ebird, but was not successful.
  9. From my trip to Florida a month ago. A Great Blue Heron was poised to do some fishing. An Anhinga either surfaced in the GBH's area or swam thru it. Suddenly GBH dropped from above onto the Anhinga, with a squawk - for about three seconds there was chaos of wings and beaks as the birds battled - and then the GBH ran away across the swamp with the Anhinga in pursuit for a couple of seconds until he called off the chase. Apparently, one does not mess with an Anhinga.
  10. In Florida, in early February, I called pictures 1-4 'Dunlin', altho I still wonder if they could be Western Sandpipers. The first three pics are the same bird, I think the bill too long to be Western, and maybe back too gray. so, I went with Dunlin. Number 4 is a different bird, again I called it Dunlin. Number 5 I went back and forth Willet vs Red Knot, settled on Red Knot, but for all I know could be something different. In a different location, an area called Bayley Tract on Sanibel Island, I found the bird shown in 6 and 7. Long way away, pics may not be good enough. I ended up thinking maybe it was an Eastern Phoebe but wondering if others have better ideas. Thanks.
  11. A sparrow seen at Grissom Wetlands in Florida. All are the same sparrow. Pretty sure it is a Savannah Sparrow - trying to get my confidence up on bird IDs - and hoping I don't embarrass myself. Thanks for any verification or correction. First three pics. Then, 3 pics of a bird for which I don't have a guess, altho a little voice keeps telling me 'not another Palm Warbler'.
  12. Sorting my Florida bird pictures - after scratching my head and considering options, I keep coming back to 'Palm Warblers' for all of these. Nothing against Palm Warblers, was just hoping for more species. Are these indeed all Palm Warblers? All taken in first half of February this year. Picture 1 from Honeymoon Island SP near Clearwater. Pictures 2 and 3 from Grissom Wetlands near the east coast - they are the same bird. Picture 4 from the Circle B Bar Preserve in Polk in Central Florida.
  13. While on the west coast of Florida a few weeks back, there were a lot of winter-plumage shorebirds that drove me crazy, including some large groups of 'resting' birds in multiple places. I have 'concluded' that they must be Willets, based on the fact that I can't fit them to be anything else. Hoping for confirmation or correction. Also, I observed one plover that seems to be a Wilson's Plover - I think it is correct - but they are new-to-me, so again hoping for confirmation. Thanks. Rich
  14. Thanks, Avery. My 'Western' vs 'Semipalmated' was based strictly frequency, not any features of the birds. Ebird shows many dozens of Westerns on this beach every day, and the last Semipalmated was shown back in late October. And, the Cornell range maps show semipalmated in the US only for nesting and migration - all winter populations appear to be south of the US mainland. So, my designation is based on probability, not on any wisdom I have in identifying them. I'm not good enough to make an independent assessment. Rich
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