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Posts posted by dimitrig

  1. Sighted today (5/29) near Joshua Tree. There were three of them together flocking with HOFI and even though they flew with the finches they tended to stick together.

    From a distance I thought Brewer’s blackbird because of the size and all-black coloration. However, I managed to get closer to see that they were not all-black but actually had a lighter brownish(?) head.

    Ah ha! Cow birds!

    Well, no. It turns out they had a ring around their neck and a lighter-colored bib as well. I have been birding this area for a decade and these were a first for me in this location, whatever they are. 

    What are they?

    Second photo shows with HOFI in the shot to compare size. 




  2. I have had very good luck with the BirdNET App when it comes to IDing song and sounds.

    I tried SongSleuth and it was wrong more than it was right - often REALLY wrong.

    However, BirdNET is really great! It has even picked out two birds calling at the same time. I have been able to ID a lot more birds since I started using it, since I often hear birds before I see them and BirdNET gives me a good idea of what I might be looking for. It's not always able to make an ID and it is not 100% correct, but it's been a great tool to have in the arsenal for people like me who can't yet identify every call made by every bird.


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  3. I also have a house near Yucca Valley (Flamingo Heights) and I saw a Scott's this spring, too. Hooded is more common. Actually, in that area you can also see Bullock's as well for the trifecta! I have seen all three at my property over the years. I saw a Hooded just today.

    What makes it distinct isn't the yellow belly as much as the black head. If it's a yellow bird that is not a black-headed grosbeak but has a black head then it's a probably a Scott's oriole.





  4. Taken April 13 at Huntington Library and Botanical Garden in San Marino, CA.

    Forwarded from a friend who actually took them and was present. She had no idea.

    It was drinking water or nectar from a Puya flower. House finches were doing the same.

    Doesn't seem like typical behavior, but I am going with a northern mockingbird that has gotten pollen all over its face.

    The second photo seals it for me. The first one is just VERY ODD.

    I can't imagine what else it could be? Orioles are common there, too, but coloration seems wrong for a female oriole.




  5. Wrentits are larger than Bushtits. Also, Bushtits often call to each other while foraging (called "contact calls") while Wrentits generally don't. Bushtits also tend to flock in large numbers, although sometimes there are just one or two. Wrentits are almost always solitary or else a pair. There is almost no mistaking these two species for each other in the field because their size, behavior, and calls are so different from each other.


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  6. 4 hours ago, Seanbirds said:

    Oh, OK. Wait- how is feeding birds in your yard supposed to attract rats into her attic?? That just doesn’t make sense.

    Rats come to eat fallen seed and then I guess they need to nest SOMEWHERE.

    I mean, there is some truth to it, but it isn't my fault her attic isn't properly sealed and it's not like we're suddenly not going to have rats if I stop feeding the birds because of how many people have fruit trees around here.

    My dad used to sit in his backyard and shoot the squirrels because they ate all his fruit even as the neighbor was feeding them.

    Anyway, perhaps there is something like that going on here. That's why I asked.

    If this person ISN'T feeding the birds then to me it's a little more scary. A skull in the mailbox? If it's a kid doing it that kid needs to be identified, because it seems like a very disturbed person. Many serial killers start out with animal cruelty.


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