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Everything posted by aveschapinas

  1. But that's the fun of birding! If all the birds flew up to you, posed nicely in perfect light for several minutes until you had taken all the photos you want, and then tweeted their ID to your phone, would you honestly bother? LOL! The fun is in the search and the mental exercise of IDing the hard ones! (When I finally got to see some Ocellated Quail after several failed attempts, I just got to see them jumping up and flying away, but it was still a thrill to see them!)
  2. We have Great-Tailed Grackles here, so they have a longer, straighter bill and yellow eye, but otherwise this looks good for a No-Tailed (September) Grackle.
  3. I agree with Yellow Warbler. Another thing to look for is the yellow on the underside of the tail that goes all the way to the tip. (To clarify: the very tip is dark, but the rest of the underside of the tail is yellow.)
  4. I might be able to arrange a "Gag YOU" reaction...🤣🤣🤣
  5. Welcome to WhatBird! My first thought reading this is that, at least around here (Guatemala), the Great-Tailed Grackles all shed their tails in September and run around looking like scrawny little chickens. Behavior sounds similar too. Could it be some kind of grackle local there?
  6. I have the Sibley's east + west, the hands-down choice here for migrants until the new Peterson came out which includes migrants, and now Merlin has largely replaced the need for field guides. It's not very compact but it's good! But you could also check Merlin for other regions.
  7. Finches eat seeds and plant materials, so they should have no problem finding food without the feeders; they are an extra source of food. (Kind of like if the restaurants close you cook at home, you don't starve.) I'd definitely recommend following the instructions, and disinfecting the feeders while you're at it.
  8. Not all here do; but for example it's a different shape from Rivoli's, White-Eared don't have it (but they have the white "ear"). Most of the sabrewings don't have it, and a lot of the small hummers that can be confused with Rubies don't have it either.
  9. Small white triangle behind the eye (opposite the beak). I see that on Ruby-Throated female and immatures.
  10. I'll just add that I have no experience with Calliope or Rufous, but this looks fine for a Ruby-Throated. I definitely see them with that amount of peach/buff on the flanks; I've seen some females with even more color and more warm peach than this bird shows. Tail spots, bill size and shape, and postocular spot all look good to me.
  11. I just pretended to start a checklist so I could read the guidelines; it says if you move less than 30 meters (which is almost 33 yards) it counts as stationary; so I guess for that park it would be traveling, but some others where I go sometimes are much smaller.
  12. Doesn't that depend on the size of the yard? I don't recall exactly what the measure is but you can move around in a certain area and it's still considered stationary. I just have doors, windows, and a small rooftop terrace, so my counts at home are always stationary. When I bird in a small one-block city park I count it as stationary, even though I walk around.
  13. Yeah, I do that once in a while, and count it as a full list. Otherwise I'll call it incidental.
  14. That's pretty much the way I feel about it. I occasionally do a full list from home (much more often when we were in quarantine, of course) and I will do an incidental for anything unusual; but I enjoy looking at birds far more than making eBird checklists.
  15. You could take a period of time each day (or as often as you want to) and do a complete count for that period. I think that would be better information for researchers than an incidental list at the end of the day.
  16. OK I was just going to say it's working for me. Let us know if it keeps happening.
  17. And I'm still not a programmer, nor did I design the software used to host this site 😄
  18. Tell them the bar is open at my house!
  19. I've seen hummingbirds "shower" in wet foliage, but they tend to move around a lot to shake the drops of water off the plants. I also once saw two Rufous Sabrewings on the ground once; I thought they were mating at first but it became clear they were fighting - maybe over another good-looking Sabrewing?
  20. This forum is a (generally) very helpful and supportive place! Can I make a suggestion? In addition to the feature to identify birds from your photos or the clues you type in, Merlin can also serve as a field guide. So if you take your Merlin ID and type it into a search in "explore birds", you can find a lot of help to confirm or correct your ID. It's also very useful to look through the descriptions and pictures when you have some free time to become familiar with the different species and how to identify them. If you have a good field guide (which I also recommend) you can do the same, read through it frequently for the same reason. If you have the opportunity to bird with experienced birders, pick their brains - ask them what field marks they are looking at, why that's not an X but instead a Y, etc. Most are more than willing to help you. You're more than welcome to post ID requests as often as you like, including every day or multiple times a day. Lots of people are just waiting for the chance to help you with your IDs; it makes us feel all smart and useful LOL! (And people who don't enjoy IDing "easy" - for them - birds just ignore the posts that don't interest them.) You can also work on your own ID and then ask here for people to confirm or correct it. One really nice thing about WhatBird is that you can post anything and you'll get a supportive response; people patiently helped me to ID my first House Sparrows (considered a "trash bird" by many because they are so common and are a harmful invasive species) when I was a new birder about 12 years ago. We were all beginners, and some of us recently enough to remember well what it was like! But, most importantly, keep enjoying the birdies 😄
  21. It happens sometimes. If you like Kevin or I can hide one of the posts, but I wouldn't worry too much about it!
  22. What great, supportive, helpful messages you got! There will sometimes be difficult IDs and/or mistakes that get worked out through the discussion. Reading along carefully will teach you A LOT about identifying birds in general and the specific species in question. And yes, as has been mentioned, we won't always be able to identify every bird, and not all posters will necessarily agree. I don't think anyone would recommend just going by the number of responses for a particular species. The more you hang around here the more you'll learn who the experts are (often depdening on the specific species or areas). Some good things to look for are a certain amount of openness and humility (changing one's mind when given other points of view can be a very good sign); ability to cite specific field marks, especially when the ID is tricky or contested; and admitting when they aren't sure or don't have experience with the particular species. So after a while some opinions will weigh more than others in your mind. In the end of course it's up to you to decide what species to name or to leave it as not identified, and I personally am far more interested in a debate about a tricky ID than simply a series of people naming the species. Also, I'm pretty comfortable speaking for the community saying not to trust Merlin as the definitive ID. It's good for giving you some options to look into, but Merlin is often wrong. Again, checking and verifying or correcting the Merlin ID will also help you hone your own skills.
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