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Posts posted by pdx_bird

  1. 3 hours ago, Charlie Spencer said:

    I'm pretty sure the fluffing is for insulation only.  Many species voluntarily alter their feather arrangement to attract a mate (peacocks, etc.).  I don't think sapsuckers are among them and I don't think January is when they're lonely on BirdsOnly.com.

    Haha! Thanks! Perhaps more noticeable in sapsuckers because we’re looking for that white wing bar. Do you know if this is a first winter male? 

  2. Hi all, looking for some input on this Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, a continuing rarity (rare for the area), seen in Portland, OR Sunday. Yellow-bellied for the lack of red on the nape and more buffy-brownish tones. Some are calling it juvenile, others first-winter male. I lean towards first-winter male based on the bits of red feathering on the forehead and throat, but looking for more input from those who may be more familiar with these birds.

    Also, interestingly the majority of photos show the bird with "fluffed out" belly feathers covering the side vertical white wing patch. Does anyone know about this behavior? Is this just a way they preserve heat in colder weather? Any other reasons sapsuckers would fluff those feathers? Curious.





    Maximum fluff:



  3. Hi all, I saw this accipiter at Mary's Peak near Eugene Oregon yesterday. Everything about it makes me think Cooper's Hawk (has a neck, doesn't look bug-eyed, the tail is tattered but round-ish), however it looked so small. I know "size lies" so, I'm guessing it's just an illusion, and/or a male Cooper's Hawk (smaller than females) and not a Sharpie. Amirite?

    I've included a zoomed out photo on the fir tree, it was barely bitter than the fir cones. 🙂





  4. 1 hour ago, akandula said:

    Okay, I researched a lot, and there happens to be more than 20 subspecies of Song Sparrow! Since the subspecies are very similar and not easily differentiated, based on range, this Song Sparrow is most likely part of the heermanni group.

    Around that range, the subspecies of Fox Sparrow (which are much more easily told apart) is the Thick-billed, adding to the confusion.

    Yes! Heermanni looks correct! Thank you!

  5. 15 minutes ago, akandula said:

    Yes, this is a Song Sparrow. Note the coarse streaks, broad malar stripe, central breast spot, a long, rounded tail, and rounded head. "Thick-billed" Fox Sparrows would be larger and bulkier, have coarser streaking, have grayer upperparts and only have reddish wings and tail.

    Try not to rely on these sort of webistes/google images for reliable IDs. More accurate pictures can be found at ebird, Cornell, Audubon, WhatBird, Birds of North America, Wikipedia, etc.

    Totally! I definitely use Cornell as my main go-to bird ID site, unfortunately this stock photo is being used in a bird guide book to represent a Fox Sparrow. 😞

    Thank you all for confirming!

    • Like 2
  6. This might be the wrong place to post this...feel free to move to the right place, but I wanted to get input on this Adobe stock image of a "Thick-billed Fox Sparrow", to me it looks more like a Song Sparrow - central breast spot, streaky face, gray supercilium. Says the photo was taken at Leo Carrillo State Park near Malibu, California.

    I'm attaching a screen-shot and including the link. Thoughts? Anyone know which subspecies of Song Sparrow if so? (guessing California Coast).

    Link here: https://stock.adobe.com/search?as_channel=dpcft&as_source=ft_web&as_campaign=www_interception&as_campclass=brand&as_content=lp_search&k=thick-billed+fox+sparrow&asset_id=90777979


  7. My vote is for Barrow's as well. I saw a Goldeneye with chicks recently in a lake in the Rockies in Canada, and thought it was Common based on the dark bill, but then was corrected by the local reviewer who mentioned it's a common (hah) ID mistake because "both female Common and female Barrow's darken up in June." (to Aug?)

    So based on that steep forehead, I'd say Barrow's is correct!

  8. Stumped on this one. Unfortunately I only got photos from one angle. It's sparrow-sized. In the field I thought it had a buffy/yellow belly, but now I'm second-guessing what I saw. One possibility is drab female House Sparrow. I also considered female Lazuli Bunting but the bill color is pink, and I see no hints of blue. Any other thoughts or suggestions? Thanks.

    Seen in San Francisco, CA Aug 12





  9. Hi all, I was recently in San Francisco and learned little orange and green hummingbirds aren't a slam-dunk there. I managed to get a photo of this female (?)'s fanned tail. It's still not 100% completely clear, but I *think* I see a notched R2 feather, leaning me towards Rufous. Is it safe to call it in this case? Or should I leave it as Rufous/Allen's? Thanks for any tips!

    Seen at Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CA, Aug 9.










  10. Hey all, I took these short recordings at around 4:30am in December in Portland, Oregon, in a residential neighborhood (with a few tall trees around). I've never been able to I.D. the sound, wondering if anyone knows? Hopefully the sound links work. Thanks.




  11. 5 hours ago, Bird Brain said:

    Looks like avian conjunctivitis, a bacterial infection that affects birds, usually around their eyes. Seems to be most common in House Finches, but can be seen in most any other birds also.


    Ah, okay thanks. I've seen that in finches, but never heard much about it with sparrows. Such a bummer! 

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