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psweet

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Everything posted by psweet

  1. The short tail appears to be a molt issue. The plumage says House Wren, and the posture fits just fine. (In general, be careful of posture in photos unless the bird's obviously at rest -- a photo grabs a moment in time, and may not be representative -- look at shots of Major League pitchers, and imagine holding your arm that way!) Pyle doesn't list any hybrids for either species, although that doesn't mean there aren't any.
  2. Gray-cheeked is our most heavily spotted Catharus -- this guy shows very little spotting.
  3. Other than adult males, aging and sexing Merlin is not easy, and basically depends upon details of the underwing and tail.
  4. Looks like a Mountain Bluebird -- whitish flanks and the bill's not that big.
  5. Orange throat pouch and supraloral skin -- Double-crested Cormorant.
  6. If you're looking for Purples, look for rocks -- they don't care for mud!
  7. Plank wings and long head also support Bald Eagle.
  8. They're Red Phalaropes -- the bill's fairly heavy, but more importantly Red-necked doesn't show the rufous on the rear flanks or rump that you see here. They're still molting, which makes what you can see of the back pattern problematic as an ID point.
  9. Well, I'd quibble about the wing bars -- I don't think we can say for sure what those two apparent spots are, given the angle. But overall, I think I agree -- Blackpoll. Thanks for actually spelling it out.
  10. Looks like a Common -- dark primaries, largely dark crown in September.
  11. This is one of the Empids -- the buff tones to the wingbars are common in youngsters.
  12. Yeah, I might have jumped the gun on #1. I could see it as a Blackpoll -- so I'll turn the question around. Why isn't it an Orange-crowned?
  13. Yellow Warbler Tennessee Warbler Blackburnian Warbler
  14. 1) Orange-crowned, I think. Prairie would show stronger face markings and better-defined streaks. Also, Prairie is quite rare in the immediate Chicago area. 2) Yes, I think you're right. 3) I think this is a Starling. With the brown wings, probably a youngster still molting in his first adult feathers.
  15. Pyle agrees with iBird -- "substantial webbing between front toes." Without knowing where you are, I can't comment on the distribution or abundance, either.
  16. This looks like a Blue-gray to me. White belly (California have gray-brown bellies, and they're found west of the Coast Ranges), long bill (Black-tailed have shorter bills). Black-capped would be a major surprise anywhere in California, I believe, and you'd need a clean shot of the underside of the tail to support that ID.
  17. Between the wing structure and the tail pattern, this is a Broad-winged. If you look closely at that first shot, you can see that all of the primaries are paler than the secondaries -- this is typical of some young Broad-wings (and all young Red-tails), whereas Red-shouldered only show part of the outer primaries as pale.
  18. Definitely Willet, but not in breeding plumage. Breeding plumage by late summer should be quite worn -- these feathers are brand new. These are still in juvenile plumage, with a few first-basic feathers on the upper wings and scaps. (Look for the clean, all-gray feathers with no scalloping or spotting.)
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