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Jim W

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Everything posted by Jim W

  1. This thread strikes me as a great example of how "observer bias" can ultimately effect research data.
  2. 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".
  3. 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.
  4. 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!
  5. 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!
  6. 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
  7. 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.
  8. I'm not sure that is an orange belly. Isn't that part of the tree?
  9. 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."
  10. 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).
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. I have a Gray Catbird that regularly eats jelly. My wife and I call it Jellybird.
  14. 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
  15. 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". 😉
  16. 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."
  17. And dried mealworms. However, since virtually all of the other birds that some to my mealworms are bigger, the wrens need to go ninja to get their share.
  18. That's interesting. Carolina Wrens are among my favorite back yard regulars, so I thought I'd do come reading... From birdsoftheworld: "Northward movement has been attributed to several factors. Although the decimation of populations by severe winter conditions is well known (Bystrak 1979, Dinsmore et al. 1984, Robbins et al. 1986a, Veit and Petersen 1993, Smith 2008; see Demography and Populations: population regulation), severe winters have apparently been infrequent enough during the 20th century to allow populations to expand and move northward (Andrle and Carroll 1998). In addition, reforestation of eastern forests may have provided more suitable habitat (Greenberg and Reaser 1995). Further, individuals frequently inhabit urban areas where feeding stations have become common, supplementing natural foods, especially in winter (Andrle and Carroll 1998, Bohlen 1989, Job and Bednekoff 2011)."
  19. Charlie, did you account for the tail extending below the feet (behind the fence)? Guesstimating how far down the tail extends, I'm measuring 14-15" (much better for Cooper's).
  20. Darn good question. I don't see any hint of a white stripe on its side. I don't see a stripe on the adult either, although it could be hidden. /Edit: Gray color looks better for Common, but since the pic is so dark, I'm not sure.
  21. According to birdsoftheworld Forster's "molt occurs Jan–Apr but mainly Feb–Mar". I would think by Apr 24 it would be in breeding plumage so the dark cap makes sense. Bill's are "orange to orange-red at base with black tip". But in Macaulay's the base on some can be pretty dark. One example: link to Macaulay pic I'm wondering if your bird is simply too far away to see the orange in its bill?
  22. My regular pair seems to be stuck on 5. Last year, they had two sets of 5 eggs. One egg did not hatch, but they fledged and raised 9 youngsters. This year, they got started about two weeks earlier (I am 95% sure it is the same breeding pair). Their first brood for this year was... you guessed it... 5! They fledged on May 2. All 5 are doing well. Here they are on May 10. Mom is already taking nesting material to the box. Funny you should mention that. Mine do the exact same thing.
  23. Might be a bit out of range for a Swallow-tailed Kite, but I was wondering about a Mississippi Kite. According to birdsoftheworld, they can be almost black on their backs. I believe they are also known to be pretty brave about defending their nests.
  24. For some reason, this Carolina Wren reminds me of someone trying to teach a puppy to sit...
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