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Everything posted by kjsmith

  1. Thank you all for your replies and discussion. Recall that the original discussion centered around a Rufous ID. Recall also that in my reply to DLecy I noted that the Allen's were confirmed ID's. I posted the photo in order to contrast it with the first bird. Hasan, you are exactly correct that the photo I posted is not diagnostic. That is rather the whole point! Rufous and Allen's sitting at a feeder should look essentially similar / same, but the Rufous in question looked (to me) quite different from the (confirmed) Allen's. That is what was bothering me and that is why I chose the photo I did. That the Allen's was a confirmed ID I thought had been established. Clearly it had not, so my apologies for confusing you.
  2. Hasan, Now I must ask you to cut me a bit of slack. The photo is of a bird that has been visiting the garden since Dec 18. I see it and photograph it daily. Its gorget pattern is its fingerprint, very easily recognizable. On 20 Dec I captured a photo of it with a good tail spread and that, along with several other photos were forwarded to Sheri Williamson, Director/Naturalist at the Southeastern Arizona Bird Observatory, and author of the Petersen Field Guide to hummingbirds of North America. She confirmed it to be an Allen's. I must say, I trust her opinion much more than yours! So, the photo IS of an Allen's.
  3. All, I would call to your attention also the observation that this bird is primarily covered with green body feathers down the back to the rump and tail coverts. I have never seen an immature Allen's described with green rump and coverts.. Its face is also mostly green with slight rufous. I attach a photo of one of my confirmed Allen's, also from yesterday. Its coloration is completely different than this "Rufous".
  4. Hasan, Thank you for your reply. For me, the R5 is just waay too wide, even in the fuzzy photo. An adult female Rufous does not have a notched R2 so for me that does not pose a problem. Finally, As I mentioned to DLecy, there are already TWO confirmed Allen's in the garden these last two weeks. (Confirmed by Sheri Willianson author of the Peterson field guide "Hummingbirds of North America). This is already causing eBird to flag my submissions as "unconfirmed" because the reviewer appears to be on vacation. Imagine were I to count THREE??
  5. DLecy, Thank you very much for your good reply, especially your explanation on the "typical" overwinter molt. Here in Houston (Gulf coast) I have often noted Rufous molt occurring by late November and continuing through March. (see eBird S98016426 of 24 Nov). I have scoured the web seeking information concerning Rufous molt sequence and find next to nothing. Do you have a source or reference that may help me learn more about these birds? PS: Just for fun, these last two weeks I have had TWO confirmed Allen's hummingbirds in the garden, very cool..
  6. All, My west Houston TX garden was visited this morning by a hummingbird which I figured was a cut-and-dry Rufous. As I look more closely, I am unsure. The only other possibility I can think of is a Broad-tailed. The bird is either adult female of immature male. The rufous wash on its flanks appears much too intense for a Broad-tailed however. In the photos one can rule out Allen's easily by the broad retrices. Also, on this bird the green on its back extends all the way to its tail coverts. One photo appears to show its outer primary P10 to be very sharp and pointy, but I account this to the angle as this is not a mature male. Also of interest and still bothering me, this bird has all of its primary feathers intact with no evidence of molt. By contrast the Rufous I typically get in Houston at this time of year have started their primary molt and P1 to P4 to 6 are usually short and still growing in. Not the case here. Anybody have some insights here? Otherwise I just stay with Rufous.. Kevin
  7. All, West of Houston in wetlands along the Brazos river. Embaressing but I am stumped by the duck in the photo.. It has been too long! Any help with the ID will be most appreciated! Kevin
  8. Wow, There were two of them working the branches. I do not know if the photos reflect this or not, I was just blazing away at the shutter trying to get a few good shots. Tropical would indeed be a lifer for me so I need extra care with that call! Thanks so much everyone..
  9. All, This morning in west Houston / Katy area I had a couple warblers show up in the live oak. I am pretty sure they are Northern Parula but eBird does not list them suggesting they are rare for this time. Am I wrong here? Can anyone confirm of correct my ID. 10,000 thanks in advance. Kevin
  10. All, I observed a juvenile hawk flying overhead this morning and am having trouble with the ID. We have in the west Houston area quite a few Red-Tail and RedShoulder hawks and I strongly it may be one of the two. I lean towards a Red-Tail but the wingtips appear overly dark. Can anybodh confirm or correct this? 10,000 thanks in advance. Kevin
  11. All, This morning in west Houston TX I recorded an interesting bird call originating, I presume, from the shrubbery or from within a live oak. It is quite distinctive and I am wondering if any sharp-eared birders "out there" can help me with the ID. I suspect it may be a usual suspect from the garden, but am unsure. BirdNET assures me 100% that this is a Red-tail hawk. I really find that hard to accept! Can anyone help? 10,000 thanks in advance, Kevin ID01_10dec2021.wav
  12. All, This morning in west Houston TX I photographed a hawk flying overhead and now as I study it, I cannot come to a conclusion for an ID. I was leaning to Red-shouldered but with these I expect to see translucent wing "windows" near the outer tips, and I do not see that here. Any experienced birders out there can give me a hand with this? 10,000 thanks in advance. Kevin
  13. All, This morning in west Houston I spotted a small flock of cormorants flying over. I got a photo as they passed over but they are facing away and I cannot see the faces. I struggling between Neotropic versus Double-crested. In the view I upload you see that their upper breast is distinctly lighter which leads me to consider these as female Double-crested. I cannot form an opinion on tail length. Can anyone confirm? 10,000 thanks in advance! Kevin
  14. All, I was walking the west Galveston island beach this morning with my wife and caught this sandpiper. I am/was thinking a Least sandpiper because of its small size (about 6 inches beak tip to tail sort of, taken from the camera EXIF and geometric calculation). It is the long bill that has me wondering, it appears much too long for a least. Anybody who can help her will be most appreciated! Kevin
  15. All, I was in a north Auston TX neighborhood on Tuesday and I spotted a heavy-billed sparrow up in a tree. I managed to get a few shots nor too heavily silhouetted. I am stumped on the ID, can anyone give me some help with this bird? 10,000 thanks in advance. Kevin
  16. All, This morning in west Houston TX chilly with great blue sky. I saw an interesting hawk fly over which I am having trouble to ID. It is overall rufous on its belly, longish tail and large dark head. Maybe a juvenile Harrier? Any help with this will be MOST appreciated! 10,000 thanks in advance. Kevin
  17. All, I am writing from Katy, TX about 2 mi south of Interstate-10. I have a question concerning a curious NOAA radar observation I saw this morning. Between about 6:48 (the earliest time shown) and about 7:28 there were radar bright concentrations on Houston's west side along the major autoroutes I-290, I-10, I-69, and Hwy-99. These are obviously not rain, maybe not insects so I am wondering if birds are gathering along the highways early? At 6:48 it is still rather dark outside so perhaps the lights along the routs are attracting birds. (I do not know how far the routes are lighted). Has anyone ever noted this before? Can anyone provide a good explanation for this? Your help would be most appreciated! Kevin Smith Katy, TX
  18. Meghann, birding boy, Thanks very much, I should have spent more time with the images in photoshop! Looks like Killdeer is indeed a good call. K
  19. Trevor, Thanks much. I was wondering about a killdeer but thought I should see the double breast bands.. Not sure if the photos are sufficient for a positive ID. Oh well..
  20. All, Birding this morning in my west Houston yard I photographed a mystery (to me) bird flying overhead. I got a few photos but I am stumped as to its ID. Any sharp-eyed people out there who can halp here? 10,000 thanks in advance. Kevin
  21. All, This morning I saw, and photographed a hawk flying over my yard in west Houston, TX. It is carrying what I suspect is a big june-bug and judging from its strongly patterned wings I suspect I have a Cooper's hawk but remain unsure. can anyone confirm of correct this ID? 10,000 thanks in advance. Kevin
  22. Trevor, Many thanks, Probable juv with a dark bill.
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