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Jim W

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  1. Per birdsoftheworld description of Common Grackle: "Great-tailed (Q. mexicanus) and Boat-tailed (Q. major) grackles are both larger with larger tails, less metallic sheen, and different vocalizations." Having said that, the amount and color of the sheen is pretty subjective and probably is a poor field mark (especially on a single distant picture). I think I land on "Team Some Kind of Grackle".
  2. I share Bird Nut's uncertainty. The bird does seem to show a lot of color and metallic sheen which could lean towards Common Grackle. But obviously lighting and picture quality have a lot to do with the sheen. When you zoom in on the picture, it looks like its eyelid is closed. Unfortunate as eye color may have provided a clue.
  3. You should have a blast. I live in PA, but travel to Florida a couple of time each winter to escape the cold. I just got back from a 2 week trip. As many times as I've been there, I still managed to get 4 new birds this trip (Whooping Crane, Snail Kite, Crested Caracara and Piping Plover). And I only went out looking for wildlife on three days. Have fun!
  4. Took these pictures Oct 19 in my back yard near West Chester, PA. At first glance, I thought it was a Swainson's Thrush because of the obvious light spot above its lores. However, looking closer, I see a rust colored tail and I don't see any buff wash on its breast. So now I'm wondering if it is a Hermit Thrush? Thanks in advance!
  5. Check this link. If you click on the rows of the table you will get comparison photos of the features. Click on "wing coverts" and you will see an example of what @Peromyscus was referring to. chickadee link
  6. Hmmm... I'm still not sure. To me, including the brown bits makes its shape look wrong as well (too fat). I took the liberty of brightening the pic and turning up the saturation. I see a hint of sky blue on its throat and lower underparts. To my eye, the bird is slightly behind and left of the object on the tree (maybe curled bark?). This means part of the bird's body is hidden. I added a red dashed line to show where I would envision its body would extend. But, Aidan's point about timing and range is a good one. I certainly don't have a strong feeling about it. You folks might be right.
  7. I'm not sure that is an orange belly. Isn't that part of the tree?
  8. Female wigeon - "Who is this pushy guy and what is he doing? He is starting to freak me out!" Male wigeon - "I don't know! Just keep swimming and ignore him. Maybe he will get the hint and go away."
  9. I thought I might have a calling as an "owl whisperer". But apparently owls find my conversations boring: Great Horned Owl Burrowing Owl Here are some I didn't try to talk to: Burrowing Owls Barred Owl By the way, if you want to get great views of Burrowing Owls, go to Cape Coral, FL. They nest all over the place (within the city limits). Very easy to spot because the locals put up perches for them and there are signs marking the burrows (to protect them).
  10. Per BOW for Pine Siskin: "Bill of juveniles pinkish buff. In adults, upper mandible dusky, dusky or brownish- black and lower mandible whitish or bluish at base with brownish-black tip". Per BOW for Common Redpoll: "Bill of juvenile at first wholly dark, showing yellow after Aug molt." All dark bill in July seems better for young Common Redpoll.
  11. The pale ssp (extimus) is found in the lower third of FL. If the darker one you saw was further north in FL, then it would likely be ssp alleni. I believe extimus is pale year round. Here is a pic I took in the Everglades in Feb 2020. Pale, even in Feb.
  12. I have a Gray Catbird that regularly eats jelly. My wife and I call it Jellybird.
  13. I like Summer too. According to BOW, Summer Tanager "has narrow, yet usually conspicuous, yellowish edging on wing coverts". Scarlet Tanager "lacks contrasting edges on wing coverts". Pics on Macaulay show it pretty clearly. Two examples: summer scarlett
  14. My first reaction was that Connor is usually not so judgmental about birds. But then I thought... "Well, after all, he's right. It is just a Laughing Gull". 😉
  15. I would agree. From birdsoftheworld: Caspian bill - "dull orange-yellow to orange-red in juvenile stage, tip extensively shaded horn-black". Most/all pics of young Caspians on Macaulay show a more complete cap. In addition, also from BOW - "Royal Tern also has prominent, shaggy crest, while Caspian has only slight indication of crest."
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