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Everything posted by dimitrig

  1. The size should make it pretty easy to distinguish, although a female SSHA and a male COHA might be somewhat similar in size. That and the legs are the first things I look for. We can't see the legs and we don't know how big this bird is so the neck-projection would be another thing to look at. In general, a COHA's head will project out farther than the wings. In this photos of this bird it is hard to tell because of the angle. What I'd want to know is: How big was it? That and the spindly legs of a SSHA should almost always be a dead giveaway.
  2. Thanks for all the replies. I have seen thousands and thousands of HOFI and this one still stands out to me as something else mainly because there is no streaking on the breast at all. This is what HOFI look like around here which is Altadena, CA: To me that looks pretty different from my bird and I noticed it right away despite seeing HOFI all day every day!
  3. I saw this bird today in my yard in Altadena, California. It hung out almost all day. I saw it several times. When I first I saw I immediately thought Hermit Thrush. Pink legs. White eyering. They are pretty common here. However, every photo I submit to Merlin for ID says Swainson's Thrush or Swainson's/Hermit. Other than the eyering (whiter in a Hermit's) the biggest differentiator seems to be the tail (redder in a Hermit Thrush). I am still pretty sure this is a Hermit Thrush regardless of what Merlin says, but I'd appreciate learning about the differences from people more experienced than I am. Thank you!
  4. I have lots and lots of House Finches here. When I saw this guy he immediately stood out, mainly because he doesn't have any streaking on his breast like most House Finches. So my immediate thought was Purple Finch. However, he's doesn't have as much coloration as what I would expect a Purple Finch to have. This ID has been bugging me and today I saw someone in my area report that there are more Cassin's Finches at lower elevations than usual - presumably due to the wildfires in the mountains destroying habitat. There have definitely been more Mountain Chickadees here than I have seen since the LAST fire. Poring over photos, I am thinking this may be a Cassin's mainly because of the absence of any streaking on the breast. If this is a Cassin's it would be my first, but if it is just a House Finch I can live with that. I don't think so, though.
  5. I am in the Altadena/Pasadena area near the foothills. They aren't uncommon here. What confuses me is: Shouldn't a pine siskin have some yellow on it? Or is that only the male? If you are looking in Orange County then look in the hills near Lake Forest/RSM/Trabuco Canyon. Thanks for the IDs!
  6. These were taken 4/9 in Southern California. I think the first one is a Wilson's Warbler which would be a first for me. I think the black spot on the head identifies it versus yellow warbler. What is the second one? It looks like some sort of sparrow because of the beak, but is it also a warbler? I have no clue on this one. Thanks for the help!
  7. This afternoon here in Southern California I saw a small vireo- or kinglet- type bird picking through my roses eating aphids by clinging to the stems and working its way up and down each. It could be a flycatcher but the feeding style (gleaning) doesn't seem like flycatcher behavior. It was a dull gray with a white eye ring and a black bill and feet. Its underside was white or buff streaked with gray. No other (bright) colors were visible. What stood out for me what was it had two dark black marks or spots (though not perfectly round) on its breast: one of the right side and one on the left side. I have been looking at pictures of all the common local birds and I cannot find ANY that have two black spots on the chest. Any ideas?
  8. A pair of birds with black-and-white striped heads and a black throats has been visiting my feeder recently. I would say that they are mountain chickadees - which are prevalent and look very, very similar - except that these birds are more lithe in form than chickadees which look a little bit pudgy to me. These birds do not have that rounded, pudgy body shape I associate with chickadees. I would say it is a red-breasted nuthatch in form except it is clearly not a nuthatch given a grey breast and - more importantly - the presence of the black throat. As with titmice, black oil sunflower seeds are tough for it to open up and it must take them to a nearby branch to pound open with its bill. If it isn't a mountain chickadee - and it might be - what else could it be? It's not a desert (black-throated) sparrow and it is lacking the yellow spot of a black-and-white warbler (which probably would not visit a feeder anyway). Skinny chickadees?
  9. Thank you! I knew it looked familiar! I had seen it in news articles talking about it becoming more common here. First time I saw one live, though.
  10. Anyone? These pics were basically taken a foot away.
  11. I saw a group of these sparrows at Fullerton Arboretum in OC today. I assume a sparrow anyway given the thick bill and overall body shape. Black body with a white nape, white on the wings, and an orange bill. It was interested in eating grass seedheads on the lawn near the stream. For some reason it looks familiar to me but I could not find a match in the local birds guides.
  12. I have never seen an African but we get Eurasians and this doesn't quite fit. I think the dead giveaway is the white undertail coverts. Eurasian collared doves have grey ones. This site shows pictures side by side: https://www.billhubick.com/photos/birds/eurasian_collared_dove.php
  13. I think it can be a great tool because if I spend less time figuring out what I am looking at (or hearing) then I can spend more time enjoying watching it. It should also make bird counts more accurate and that can be helpful in terms of understanding bird populations, migration patterns, and so on. I have a motion-activated camera that I use to photograph wildlife including birds. It would be great if it was tied to software that told me how many birds of which species were seen at every given day/time because knowing that is something that interests me. AI could help with that.
  14. I found this dead bird inside my enclosed patio. I have NO IDEA WHY it went in but there are small gaps around so I can understand how it did. It is relatively tiny in size - smaller than a house finch. It is hard to tell from the photos but it has a white eye ring. What is it? Pacific slope flycatcher?
  15. This bird with a black ocular stripe on its head was eating sunflower seeds from my feeder this morning in the Southern California foothills. I am guessing mountain chickadee but could it be a nuthatch or even something else? Sorry for the poor quality of the video. Flickr would not let me upload it with better resolution. However, on my Mac I can zoom in to see. http://flic.kr/p/29h4YPX
  16. I saw this gull at Wall Beach near the Santa Ynez RIver mouth. I am terrible at gulls as many look mostly the same to me. Thanks for any help!
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