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Jim W

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  1. From my trip. Hiking in Big Bend National Park, I stumbled on a Cactus Wren nest. I never approach nests, but I noticed the parents often would stop on a particular branch to scout on their way in and out of the nest (about 50 feet from the nest). I set up on this branch and was able to get some nice close shots. I ended up seeing quite a few on my trip, but this first encounter was a lifer.
  2. Another from my trip. Yellow-eyed Junco from Madera Canyon, AZ on May 1.
  3. Thanks all. I suppose this is not an exciting bird for the three of you, but for an east coaster passing through it was a lifer.
  4. Another from my cross country drive... I travel a lot, but this was the first time I ran another whatbird member. At least I think I did. Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't this @Seanbirds? I saw him several times during my 5 days in the Rio Grande Valley. Every time I saw him, I yelled "Yo! Seanbirds!". But all he would do is squawk at me and fly away. This particular picture of Sean was taken at Estero Llano Grande State Park.
  5. Working through my trip pictures chronologically and I have reached California (half way point). Before I left, I had assumed female hummer pics would be almost impossible to identify. But I read that female Costa's underparts are cleaner white than Anna's and these look pretty clean to me. So, I'm wondering if this one can be identified? I took these pictures at Big Morongo Canyon on April 21. Common hummers here include Anna's, Costa's and Black-chinned. By the way, I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to Big Morongo Canyon. I got there early in the morning when it was almost deserted and the weather was beautiful. Great place to hike and lots of wildlife. It ended up being one of my favorite stops during the week I spent in California before starting my long drive home. Thanks in advance...
  6. With all due respect @The Bird Nuts, in your first picture, I don't think your pooch is "birding". Looks more like "grocery shopping" to me. Mmmmmmm.... turkey.... 😉 Here is mine (a rescue mutt). She is getting old and the birds don't show her much respect. When she heads out into my back yard, the birds don't even fly away from the feeders. Which is nice when I am sitting out on my patio watching for migrants. She sits with me and it doesn't bother the birds in the least.
  7. I took these pictures on April 20 at Keys View in Joshua Tree National Park. It is possible they are the same bird (timestamps are 15 minutes apart). However, they look a little different to me. To me, it looks like bird 1 has a shorter primary projection and is grayer. Bird 1's eyering has me leaning towards Pacific-slope, but pics of Pac-slope online look more olive/yellow. Bird 2 looks like it has longer wings and is a little more olive/yellow. The long primaries on bird 2 have me wondering if it might be a Hammond's. These were just opportunistic pictures when I stopped to check out the view. I do not have any notes on calls or behavior. Thanks in advance! Three pictures of Bird 1: Two pictures of Bird 2:
  8. Another favorite from my cross country drive. I saw this Elegant Trogon in Cave Creek Canyon in southeast Arizona on May 3. Some people had seen a pair near the South Fork trailhead, but I wasn't so lucky. I only got my picture after 4 miles of hiking. Then again, it was a great day for hiking, so maybe I was the lucky one!
  9. Aplomado Falcon (ABA Code 3), the #1 bird on my wish list for my cross continent trip. Not an especially great picture, but I was lucky to get it in frame at all. The bird blasted past me going from left to right with a 25-30 mph tail wind to make it even faster. I've never seen an animal moving this fast, it was breathtaking. Picture was taken at Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge near Brownsville, TX on April 9.
  10. This site has pretty good information on bluebirds. http://sialis.org/ Info on what you can do if one of the adults is killed. http://sialis.org/widows.htm I have regular bluebird nesters. I've never had a problem with competition from woodpeckers. Is your house sized for bluebirds? Maybe the box is large enough a woodpecker is interested in it?
  11. I don't use eBird to count/track birds (I do use hotspot data extensively to plan my trips). So, no eBird trip report. But once I get through the pictures, I'll post a summary in the trip report forum.
  12. Just back from a long drive (Pennsylvania to San Diego and back) with stops in some great birding areas. I am working through tons of pics. I'll post some of my favorites over the next few days. Here is one to start. I assume this is a rather colorful Anna's, maybe one of you west coast folks can correct me if I have that wrong. Picture was taken at Santa Rita Lodge in Madera Canyon, Arizona.
  13. Hi all, Just back from a 6 week drive back and forth across the southern half of the continent. Going to take me weeks to get through all the pictures and I'll probably be looking for help on a few. Here is one to start. I took this picture at Davis Mountains State Park in western Texas on April 16. It looks a lot like a Chipping Sparrow (except for all the white on its head). Chipping is the most common sparrow at this location at this time of year. Is it a leucistic chipping sparrow? Thanks in advance!
  14. This thread strikes me as a great example of how "observer bias" can ultimately effect research data.
  15. 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".
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