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JP48

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  1. First week in May here in Northern Vermont. The current year's calendar hasn't started yet, but I use this map to watch them approach from the south. As of right now it still shows last year's sightings, but as they start to be reported this year a new map will appear. http://www.hummingbirds.net/map.html
  2. This has been a very interesting discussion. I stopped to take stock of what I already have, and how I use each. For paper I have Sibley's, Natgeo, Crossley, The Warbler Guide, Hawks in Flight, Birding by Impression, a Shorebird guide, and a few regional issues. Some of those aren't really guides,and definitely aren't meant to be used in the field. I rarely carry any of these into the field - mainly too bulky for me,personally. For electronics, I have iBird and the Warbler Guide that I use. These are on an iPad mini,which makes them a little harder to carry than a phone would be. I carry the iPad sometimes, but not always. I also carry a camera some of the time. I use the paper stuff at home, but I'm more apt to use the electronic stuff. Would I buy the minibook reference? No. Would I buy an iBird Wallet? Yes, and I would carry it all the time,even when not birding.
  3. ...according to wrens. Backstory: I watched the wrens building this late-season nest in the feeder (we don't feed birds in the summer). They had previously successfully nested elsewhere, as evidenced by the begging young hanging around. One day they disappeared. I didn't think too much about it until about 5 weeks later when I took the feeder down to clean it.
  4. JP48

    Costa Rican Birds

    If you use eBird there are some tricks you can do, or you can get another user to do it for you.
  5. JP48

    racoons

    I had the same problem. Kamikaze squirrels and raccoons bypassing the squirrel baffle. I bought what was called a 'raccoon baffle', which solved the raccoon problem. I don't remember much about it, but it looks to be about 30" long. I also started using plain suet cakes, because I read somewhere that squirrels don't care for it. I don't know what raccoons would think of the stuff.
  6. JP48

    Daily Visitors In Decline

    Interesting. I don't normally put out bird feed until sometime in late October or early November (possibility of black bears), but this year there were birds hanging around my empty feeders by mid-September (northwestern Vermont, still very much summer here). I put out some leftover seed from last winter and they went right through it. Bought some more, and it feels like I'm filling the feeders twice as often as last year. The regulars, chickadees, nuthatches, titmice, cardinals, bluejays, some House Finches, and some less normal ones like Purple Finches, Carolina Wren and Red Breasted Nuthatch. Yesterday I had my first Dark-eyed Junco of the season. I put out peanuts a couple of days ago and have been getting Downy and Hairy Woodpeckers. Haven't even started with suet yet.
  7. JP48

    Sparrows in VT

    I hear and understand all of this. To set the record straight (not that anyone cares), I'm not making identifications based on the results returned from Sleuth. In this case, I was unsure of my own ID (Song Sparrow) for these birds, and ran them through Sleuth to see what came back. I was surprised to see one of them come back as Savannah, and entered it here in an attempt to see if I'd missed something. I never recorded it as a Savannah Sparrow. When I use Sleuth I do it to give myself ideas to work with in order to do further research in the manner suggested. Rather than being detrimental, I think this makes me better at making an ID. Using this forum in this way, for me, is a way of asking others if there is a reason to believe the app over my own impression. I was in a hurry when I wrote the original post, and should have taken the time to explain the situation better. I'm new to all this, but should know better. I share any skepticism toward letting a computer making an ID, but I think (for me at least), that it has it's place. My apologies, especially for not being clear to begin with.
  8. Not necessarily the same bird, but I would have bet they were the same species. There were several birds flitting around the hay bales, at least one of which was an obvious Song Sparrow.
  9. JP48

    I am wrong?

    Given the pink legs, I'd go with Herring Gull. I think the beak of a young Herring Gull is generally all black, and the beak of a young Ring-billed would have a yellow tip. Disclaimer: I'm not much of an authority on gulls.
  10. JP48

    Flycatcher ID

    First, thanks to The Bird Nuts for the reply. I had never spotted an Olive-sided Flycatcher before, and it was unknown for this location (I think), so I was uncertain of myself. Using the suggested field marks, I went back and did more research, and was able to convince myself. As to success with other species, I had only tried the app on a test basis on some not-so-great pictures of a Bald Eagle and a Snowy Owl, so I don't have much practical experience. One of my weak spots is shorebirds, and with migration season upon us I'll try to get some pictures and try it some more. Maybe hawks in flight, too. Don't have any suggestions yet, but who knows what will occur with practice.
  11. These pictures were taken in northerly Vermont in June, about 15 miles from Lake Champlain. Olive-Sided Flycatcher is found occasionally near this spot, but somewhat higher up. No calls heard. I’m including Photo Sleuth reports for each picture, but the picture with the head turned was also called (67%) an Eastern Wood-Peewee on one check. I know size is hard to judge without some reference, but it seemed larger than a Peewee to me. Are there any other field marks I should be looking for?
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