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Everything posted by tedsandyman

  1. Also, apologies for flooding the forum with probably over-analysis, but I wanted to mention Eastern / Western Purple Finches are a bit different. Checked Sibley and it says "Pacific birds average slightly rounder-winged with shorter primary projection and are longer-tailed with more curved culmen than Eastern (tending toward House Finch in shape)." Not sure if Western / Pacific birds ever make it out East, but Eastern ones certainly do make it out west (females are especially hard to tell apart from Cassin's Finch).
  2. I would say the wingbars in those photos are slightly tinted buff or orange, not really red, but we have different monitors so it's hard to have an objective baseline. I agree that the grayish tones in the wings in the OP bird are unusual for a male PUFI. However, I don't know if it can categorically be said that a young male bird getting its red (could well be the case for a bird in May) couldn't have off-white wingbars. Younger female-looking males can (example of something approaching that https://macaulaylibrary.org/asset/58270651). Looking at it again, I agree the "tricky" Macaulay b
  3. Looks like I've been out voted! Certainly a tricky bird, though I still would still call it a Purple Finch (could be wrong). However, follow the lead of science and go with the majority opinion if the single dissenting opinion isn't convincing. 🙂 About the back not having enough red, I agree it's on the low side. However, as you can see in these pictures (https://macaulaylibrary.org/asset/78551561, https://macaulaylibrary.org/asset/119954111), some birds can have very little to no clear red on the back or wingbars. In response to Charlie Spencer, my thoughts on the back (versus a Ho
  4. (Correction: "lack of gray in the cheeks" should have been "limited gray in the cheeks", as it clearly does have some gray)
  5. Though it doesn't look that much like a classic Purple Finch, something about it doesn't seem like a House Finch and I'm trying to figure out why. I think it's the lack of gray in the cheeks, the darker red cap, "expression" of the face (white curve under the eye (noted in Sibley), proportions of the face (large eye, large bill), dark rim around the eye giving a bit of a beady-eyed look) and that bright red on the back of the head and strong reddish streaking continuing in the back (which I can't recall seeing much in House Finch). I think the culmen might be exaggerated due to the angle. I pe
  6. Definitely a Rock Wren (a great bird too). Canyon Wrens have nice rufous underparts from the chest to the tail with a contrasting white throat, and they tend to have less of a white eyebrow. They also have a bit more compact shape like a nuthatch (particularly Pygmy or Brown-headed). The best thing that I've learned for finding them (aside from looking around rocky precipices and, in winter, lower slopes with wood piles) is to listen for their call note (https://macaulaylibrary.org/asset/117326001) as they seem to make it incessantly when they're foraging for bugs / spiders. I think of it as a
  7. To clarify, Slate-colored / cismontanus actually isn't the best option for the first bird I linked above since it's definitely not a Slate-colored (too much contrast between sides / hood), though the comments were interesting. However, it's good for your bird (and, as another example, this bird https://macaulaylibrary.org/asset/77573101). Sorry if this is confusing (better stop before I confuse myself...)
  8. Well, it definitely doesn't look like an Oregon because of the grey sides. Slate-colored's (immature males or females) can be similar to that, but note Cassiar (cismontanus subspeces) or Slate-colored x Oregon are very similar. I personally think it could have some Oregon parents somewhere along the line (in addition to Slate-colored and / or Cassiar) due to the fact the head looks slightly darker than the sides in the first picture. If you're someone who does eBird, there is an option for birds like this (Dark-eyed Junco (Slate-colored / cismontanus)). Not as satisfying as calling it Slate-co
  9. I'm relatively certain they're the same bird--it stuck out as a bit unusual (from afar I actually thought it might be a very rare Philadelphia Vireo with that capped look and yellow throat) so I spent 30 minutes trying to get decent photos (those were the best, so, as you can imagine, the rest aren't too great.) It's possible I got bamboozled and there were actually 2 or more warblers (this was during fall migration and the foliage was pretty thick). Here's another shot of what I believed was the same bird, showing heavy streaking and quite yellow undertail coverts (so presumably an OCWA).
  10. I agree it probably looks good for a Tennessee (admittedly I don't know everything about this id challenge). For what it's worth, I have spotted quite a few lutescens (west coast) Orange-crowned's (or birds that I id'd as OCWA, maybe incorrectly, though they did have other OCWA traits) with supercilia approaching that (but maybe not quite as bold). Here's some photos of one of those birds (hopefully OP won't mind me posting my own photos here...) )
  11. Nice (and interesting) bird. Face looks pretty Tennessee Warbler-like, but the undertail covert looks yellowish in the second photo and the tail a little longer than most Tennesee's (suggestive of an Orange-crowned Warbler).
  12. If it makes you feel any better, these two species could very well one day be combined as one species since they are identical in almost every way except: very subtle differences in the tail feathers, green back on adult male Allen's / red on Rufous (though some Rufous can have green backs), and a barely perceptible difference in the sound of their breeding display. Where they overlap (a small area in Oregon) they likely hybridize a lot (suggesting the birds themselves don't feel they're 'different species'). From Birds of North America: Either way, whatever name you put to it, a very
  13. Thanks everyone. It did look like a Cooper's in many ways, but I thought I had seen tawny wingbars. Not sure what I might have actually been seeing. The streaking did look pretty fine, but, on the other hand, I have seen some photos that don't seem to have a lot, such as Fig 1 in this https://www.swarovskioptik.com/birding/blog/The_three_plumages_of_the_Northern_Goshawk_by_Dick_Forsman. Nice about the pointed retrices. That's an interesting field mark I didn't know about. It can be variable / subtle though, if this bird reported is accurate https://macaulaylibrary.org/asset/107195571 Base
  14. Hi, wondering if anyone has any thoughts on this bird. It seemed to be about the size of a Red-shouldered, and I think I'd normally just call it a large Cooper's, but when it banked I looked for and thought I saw the lighter yellow / brown bars on the greater coverts (not sure what else could have tricked me into thinking I saw that). . My thoughts on the arguments for Goshawk / Cooper's, respectively (feel free to skip this and just post your own impressions). Goshawk Moderately for - Fairly large, small-headed, broad-shouldered. If I saw it accurately, the
  15. A final note I should have mentioned is species vs. subspecies are also separated based on how readily the hybrid birds are successful in breeding with one of their parents' species / subspecies (backcrossing). Not sure what the taxonomists do if birds don't interbreed very frequently where they overlap, but the hybrids still successfully backcross...
  16. Thinking about it more, this bird could possibly be an Oregon (OR) with some Pink-sided (PS) parentage, as the sides look quite extensive for an OR (compare with this eBird report https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S33547687). At risk of laboring a topic that may not be entirely relevant to this site, I'd also like to clarify that I use the term hybrid in the last post in a loose sense (covering crosses of species and subspecies), since that seems to weather changes of taxonomic status better than 'intergrade', though at this time that may be more accurate to describe them. The exact line s
  17. Yeah, that's about it.. The other factor is that it's supposed (on what basis, I'm not sure, though we do have 100 or so years of evidence now) that Cassiar juncos have bred in that area for a long period, so you have many generations of hybrid birds breeding (with presumably some full Oregon or Slate-colored's breeding there), which makes the characteristics of the birds more predictable. In comparison, many "first generation" hybrid birds (for example, ducks or geese) can look wildly different than other birds with the same parentage. From personal observation, I have seen some juncos
  18. Found another photo. Not sure if it's the same bird. One interesting quote from the article above pertaining to the photo:
  19. I made that distinction because from what I've read, Cassiar juncos seem most often to be considered birds from an area ("central Yukon south through northern BC and into central Alberta", according to this article) where Slate-colored x Oregon's have hybridized for a long period of time, creating a more distinct stable subspecies; whereas a Slate-colored x Oregon would be a full Oregon hybridizing with a full Slate-colored (which may or may not look the same as a Cassiar). I believe this theory originated with Harry Swarth way back in 1920, when he said they were, Later, notable junco
  20. A tricky bird, as the back streaking is quite strong and would seem to be lean towards a Sagebrush Sparrow; on the other hand the malar thickness and darkness seem to indicate a canescens Bell's Sparrow. I honestly think I would lean more towards a canescens Bell's since the back streaking appears to be a dark brown, even with a somewhat high contrast photo, rather than black, and the malar is really quite solid / thick for a Sagebrush. I would definitely look for more opinions (and, ideally, an expert) if you're wanting to know for sure, though!
  21. akiley, I'm not able to get that link to work (I appreciate the thought though). I was able to find another article on separating them http://www.azfo.org/gallery/EUWI_article_ BirdingVol37No2.pdf One interesting quote from it: That fits my impression--I initially didn't think it was a wigeon at all since male and female American Wigeons I've seen usually have had a unique big / puffy-headed look to them.
  22. With that big ol' bill and lack of a lighter crescent near the base of it, I'd call that a Cinnamon Teal.
  23. Definitely appears to be an Oregon. Male Cassiar's typically have grey sides similar to a Slate-colored, but with a clear darker hood. I believe female Cassiar's have marginal dark brown sides (versus extensive, somewhat orange-pink sides like this), and are probably usually best left as "female Slate-colored / Cassiar" since they're pretty hard to distinguish from regular Slate-colored (or, confusingly, Slate-colored x Oregon). Here's a decent write-up on Cassiar juncos: https://ebird.org/pnw/news/dark-eyed-junco-races-oregon-slate-colored-and-cassiar/
  24. I see what you mean where the back of the head / neck does look a little lighter than the breast in the first photo, though I suspect that's partly due to the back of the neck receiving the most direct sunlight. I found another bird on eBird (https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S15549541) that seems to be somewhat similar, with a warmer-colored head than most American Wigeons, but not clearly a Eurasian Wigeon.
  25. With those yellowish stripes on the back and head my first impression is Wilson's Snipe. Never spotted them sleeping before
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