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Everything posted by dimitrig

  1. Or even a female black-headed grosbeak. Spotted towhee is a good guess, too, but the head would be black. So where is the head? LOL!
  2. Maybe you can circle the head of the bird. I can't even tell what I'm looking at or what way it is facing.. The part I circled looks like a head, but it could also be wings. If the circled part is the head and it has those white stripes on it then maybe a red-breasted nuthatch.
  3. Some people don’t like it. I feed birds and I know my neighbor has complained about it because she thinks it is attracting rats into her attic. If this person feeds birds that may be a reaction to that.
  4. I think we all have certain expectations about what a bird is "supposed" to do. Twice now I have seen large Cooper's Hawks (almost certainly females) prey on adult rats in my yard. But wait, isn't that an accipiter? I have also seen Scrub Jays (aka Jay The Ripper) attack and kill smaller ADULT birds (not just nestlings). It was pretty horrifying the first time I saw it, because they generally tolerate each other. That said, I think behavior is important as long as we acknowledge that Buteos do hunt birds and Accipiters do go after other prey occasionally.
  5. If I saw this bird in the field I'd immediately lean Cooper's Hawk based on behavior. However, I've seen Red-Tailed Hawks hanging out at feeders trying to catch doves so behavior isn't the end-all. It is too large to be a Sharpie and I'd rule that out right away. The fence gives a good frame of reference. Again, that says Cooper's. Eye color could be a differentiator. Adult Cooper's have red eyes. Adult Red-Shouldered have brown eyes. Can't tell from this photo and immatures might have the same color eyes anyway, but if it had red eyes that would rule out Red-Shouldered. I wouldn't rely on tail bands. I have seen Cooper's Hawks with white tail bands and in different lighting conditions it is hard to tell white from gray anyway. Below is a Cooper's Hawk. What color are the tail bands? What makes me think it is not a Cooper's is the relatively stout build of a Buteo. The tail just isn't QUITE long enough relative to the body. It is more barrel-chested. It should be pretty obvious from the tail if it is a Buteo if you saw it in flight. Not sure you got that chance. Checkered-wings are probably what puts it over the top for Red-Shouldered. Around here (California) any hawk that looks like a Buteo but is smaller than a Red-Tailed immediately makes it a Red-Shouldered candidate. Checkered-wings checks off the box for me. Not sure about Virginia.
  6. Agree. Seems like a late spring. Not just in terms of bird migration but also plant life. I am fine with that after the scorching hot summers filled with fire the last few years here in California.
  7. Not true. Females also have a black cap, but it may be less pronounced. Young females may not have it at all, but mature females do. https://www.natureinstruct.org/piranga/view.php/USA/1F09CCCCBD97B861 This is a ASY female:
  8. We get a lot of both species and the males are easy to tell apart. The females/immatures are pretty difficult. The dark-colored head of this bird really throws me off.
  9. Adult Wilson's (both sexes) also has a black cap which this bird lacks.
  10. Seen today in Los Angeles County, CA. Not sure what species this is, but white tips on tail suggest broad-tailed. Do any other local species have this trait?
  11. That second photo nails it, but what if you just had the first one to work with? Just curious.
  12. For comparison this is a Bewick's Wren, which is also found in the Mojave. In particular note the longer tail relative to the body size (almost always held upright to some extent), white stripe over the eye, and slightly curved bill. They also have a somewhat "nervous" habit about them.
  13. A mourning dove flushed out when I walked by so I decided to see if she was on a nest. She was!
  14. Thanks. If I assume that's true then this one has a diet different from the rest. That could just be personal preference, but it could also hint that he's not a local. I was in the same location today and I didn't see any yellow specimens, but I did see a very orange one compared to his red companions, which was also unusual. No pictures this time, though.
  15. I'm not really getting a feel for the bird from your description. Green Kingfisher? https://identify.whatbird.com/obj/936/_/green_kingfisher.aspx Eared Quetzal? https://identify.whatbird.com/obj/1086/_/eared_quetzal.aspx
  16. I am from California and I never get sick of them! They are perhaps my favorite bird with their beautiful song. I miss them when they leave in April and I welcome them back in the fall! They say absence makes the heart grow fonder!
  17. I was going to upload a photo, but the site wouldn't let me edit anymore. It's from my phone so it is not that great, but it is the HOFI in the top part of the photo above the LABU.
  18. I was in the Mojave Desert near Joshua Tree more intent on observing a Lazuli Bunting that was "slumming it" with some HOFI when I noticed a male HOFI with yellow coloration. I have never observed one that like before. A Google search shows these are not THAT unusual in the American SW and Hawaii: https://feederwatch.org/color_variant/yellow-house-finches/ However, I have never seen any HOFI in this location other than BRIGHT RED specimens. Therefore, it's probably not a resident bird or I would have seen it before. I visit this location every two weeks or so and have done so for years. I did read that HOFI do migrate short distances, especially to change elevation, so it's probably a migrant. I am interested in learning more about how common yellow HOFI are in Southern California (especially in the desert) and where they might be migrating to/from.
  19. Thank you! When you say "contrasty" do you mean between the tail and the body or... what parts of the bird are "too contrasty?"
  20. Note the complete absence of any streaking or mottling on the breast compared to what a typical HOFI looks like here. Not saying it's not a HOFI, but if it is then it is definitely unusual enough for me to notice the differences. Compare:
  21. One thing that should immediately make you think verdin (other than the yellow head) is that it is visiting a hummingbird feeder.
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