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syncrasy

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  1. If this were a Peregrine, wouldn't we expect to see the "sideburns" facial pattern and light eye ring (pronounced at front and rear), even at this age? And would a Peregrine chick's legs also look thicker / more robust? (This bird's legs look fairly thin.)
  2. Fledgling raptor found in e. Michigan, June 30. (I am posting for the person who found the bird on the ground next to a car and took the photo. After calling wildlife experts and verifying he/she was not injured, they released the bird in a safer nearby location and waited for the parent to came back.)
  3. Speaking of yellow... In the general photo discussion forum, I just posted my favorite example of deceptive yellow coloring in a vireo photo:
  4. I thought I'd post a reminder that photos are not always reliable for ID'ing a bird. For example, photography can distort color, size, proportion and other characteristics due to lighting, angle, perspective, focal length, etc. Or a photo can over-emphasize momentary posture changes. Here are two examples: 1) Two photos of an immature Red-eyed Vireo (the same individual), one taken without flash (left), the other with flash (right). This shows how white areas can appear "yellow" in shadow or poor light. One should always use caution when trying to discern whether a throat, chest or belly is truly yellow or just an artifact of poor lighting. 2) Two photos of a Cooper's Hawk in a relaxed state (left) and an alert state (right). In the alert state, the apparently slimmer body, larger eye, and smaller head might lead one to mistake the bird for a Sharp-Shinned Hawk if judging only from this photo (and in the absence of other documented marks/observations). Feel free to share other examples if you have them.
  5. Philly appears to be the consensus. Thanks for the discussion everyone.
  6. Just to recap... Is female Tennessee Warbler completely ruled out? (Should the inner undertail rectrices of a breeding Tennessee be partially white as implied by Bird Nuts?) Is the bill definitively a vireo's bill (even with the low angle)? If the faint yellow wash on the throat/breast is just an artifact of poor lighting ("yellow" shadow is a common illusion) but the darkness of the lores and crown are not made clear by the photo, does that mean that the "Philly vs Warbling" question must be unresolved? My impression in the field was a bird smaller/daintier than a Warbling Vireo (e.g., closer in size and behavior to Philly V or Tennessee W), but judging size is never easy. Also, I don't recall having an impression of a blank face (Warbling V); the markings above appeared to have more contrast.
  7. Thanks, all. My initial quick impressions were a warbler-sized bird, a thinner bill, a more distinct eyeline, and a slight yellow wash on the breast (i.e., female Tennessee) but the poor lighting and angle can't help confirm any of these impressions. Everything in the photo is consistent with Warbling Vireo.
  8. Often get stumped by this one, especially because of the low angle and poor lighting. I have an idea, but I want to get others' thoughts.
  9. Oct. 6, 2018, western North Carolina. Streaked olive back, faint green-yellow wash on breast, possibly a hint of buff on flanks. Bay-Breasted or Blackpoll with unusually dark legs?
  10. Okay, thanks. I agree it looks right. I wasn't sure if that honking bill was true to life, a characteristic of a juvie sparrow, or telephoto foreshortening.
  11. Wow. Another juvie that threw me off. Thanks.
  12. Thanks. I wasn't aware of the unusualness of the rounded tail, but I don't have a lot of experience with juvie Empids.
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