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Bee_ keeper

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Everything posted by Bee_ keeper

  1. There's a lot of black under that bill. Compare to TBN'S cardinal up above, which shows a more female-looking throat. I would call millipede's bird a male.
  2. I basically agree with everything you've said here. And ha! yes, I was checking it out last weekend too, to ease withdrawal symptoms.. The activity feed (and entire layout here) is so user-friendly; you can catch every post and still screen for your own relevance. Every post/photo here is a learning tool.
  3. This'll be interesting. Kudos to those who consider this an easy call. Jumping in here, for better or worse, based on this one photo I would say Herring. The bird and bill look stocky to me, even though without a size reference to gauge that's not that convincing. Bill size and shape can also play tricks due to photo angles. One thing we can say for sure, this must be a first-winter gull. And at this time of year, late winter, I would expect a Ring-billed to show a little more white in the underparts plumage and less of that murky, brown-gray checked look. That clinches Herring for me here.
  4. Interesting observations. This year I've also noticed that peanuts are a hot item. Even the cardinals are going for them over sunflower seeds. And I've never seen woodpeckers thumb their noses at C&S suet before, but this year they're favoring the seed tray for shelled peanuts instead. Wonder what the significance of that all is. Incidentally, I called the C&S customer service number; they were very nice and insisted nothing's changed regarding their suet ingredients. The rep welcomed the feedback and made it clear that they are very dedicated to maintaining the quality of their product. I'm going to try one from a different lot number and see what happens.
  5. Wow, same here. I literally just returned a whole carton of the stuff. It was the best suet, too. The birds used to fight over it. Now they only poke at it if the seed tray is empty. When it's 10 degrees F and nobody's touching the suet you know something's wrong.
  6. This is one that I've come across. Looks pretty interesting and comprehensive: https://www.birdforum.net
  7. Agree but just for argument's sake (and learning purposes), if the picture had been taken in the fall, are there any specific field marks there that would rule out young Broad-winged Hawk?
  8. Floraphile, my apologies if I'm assuming too much, but perhaps you've suspected it to be female because it doesn't have the sharp colors of a male Yellow-rumped in breeding plumage. This will come as the spring approaches (if it's indeed a male). During winter they are more nondescript.
  9. It really does! Long shot anyway, but if that fence is standard 2 inch chain link, would make the bird smaller than it appears.
  10. Those additional photos are helpful. The forehead shows no variation from the crest. Perhaps a juvenile Tufted?
  11. Like millipede said, interesting bird! I too have been searching for some more detailed info on juvenile Pintails, and finding little. But what is really confusing me is the chestnut speculum. All the info I find suggests that only the females have that color. Males, even immature, have greenish speculums. But the rest of this bird suggests male, no?
  12. Assuming it's not a lighting or photo issue, those significant white armpits (or wingpits, I guess ) would indicate young Bald Eagle. Young Goldens would have the white patches only at the base of the primaries; adults none at all.
  13. For what it's worth, I agree with your age assessment, at the same time acknowledging there is a lot of potential for variability as pictaker explained. You also bring up another interesting point and that is the timing of the annual molt itself. I've read conflicting things about this as well, but from what I understand so far, the molt occurs gradually over the course of the year, roughly from late spring through fall. If that's the case, this bird could (and should) look quite different by next fall.
  14. Thank you, TBN, and thank you meghann, for that very helpful clarification! I can see exactly what you mean.
  15. oh no, third day, third accipiter... unprecedented for my yard! It's like a tag team. Must be their year. They are magnificent but. . . my poor feeder birds! I've never even id'd a mature one. Somebody on this board recently posted 'capped - cooper's, same - sharpie'.... big eyes, short neck. . . so I am guessing this could be a Sharp-shinned? What do you say? (location is Lawn Gyland, NY)
  16. Thank you, Melierax, and thank you, The Bird Nuts, for this additional id tip! It definitely can be applied to this bird.
  17. For weeks my yard’s been having constant visits from a large young Cooper’s Hawk (picture 1), who seems to have a taste for pigeons. But we’ve also seen glimpses of what we think is a smaller accipiter, also a young bird. Today we were able to get some shots of what looks like the smaller bird. Looking at the head, eyes, and beak make me think this one might be a Sharp-shinned, but I still wouldn’t be surprised if I’m wrong. Thanks for your input. 1. This is the big Coop: 2,3. These are 'junior':
  18. This is fun. Aging Bald Eagles has become my new passion. ? I’m learning as I go, but for this one I agree with second year bird, about to turn two, on the cusp of entering its third year, if that’s what pictaker meant. Based on what I’ve read, the third year molt is when the white chest gives way to predominantly brown. It’s never ‘easy’ to age them but if there was a time of year that should be the easiest it would be now, since we know that the eagle’s birthday is going to be right about now through late winter/early spring, and molts generally occur gradually over spring through fall. I welcome anyone’s corrections or suggestions.
  19. This is bugging me. I agree with TBN, this eagle looks very light overall to still be a first year bird. That white chest and shaded cap look like completion of the second year molt. The annual molts finalize by summer/early fall so I would guess this bird is at least in its second year, about to turn two.
  20. Thank you akiley. Unfortunately pix are as lightened as I could get them. It was very late in the day and the original photos were very dark. But, I'm excited - Rusties not the easiest bird to stumble upon around here! I will definitely be on the lookout for them next time.
  21. I"m no expert either but I think you're both on the right track regarding age of this eagle. First year birds show significantly white armpits and darker heads; this bird shows the strong whitish chest and lighter head of a second year bird. Assuming it's a Texas eagle, or fairly southern in origin, it could have hatched as early as January, which means it could be just entering or about to enter its second year.
  22. Thank you, Scott, and I know what you mean regarding the rusty. Disappointed I didn't get better looks (and pix) of it! Will have to look for them again next time.
  23. Looking to confirm lifer American Black Ducks? in picture 1. And... am I ridiculous to think pictures 2 and 3 might be a Rusty Blackbird and not a Grackle? It was in a swampy area that RB's are known to frequent and its tinny calls didn't strike me as typical Grackle calls. Same bird, alone, in both pictures, heavily cropped and lightened for detail. Thanks. New York state, LI, today
  24. Showing up 20 to 30 strong at the feeder in winter and/or summer definitely sounds like house finch behavior.
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