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Posts posted by millipede

  1. an eBird report recently talked about a prairie falcon. The comments they added said the facial pattern was obvious, but not like a kestrel...  To me, this facial pattern looks pretty good for kestrel... better for that than prairie falcon. To me, it's an oddly colored kestrel.
    What am I missing?
    I emailed the reviewer about it but it still shows the same thing and I didn't get a response... so maybe I'm wrong?

    And the
    goldfinches...  was waiting for a lesser goldfinch(which I got) at a house 30 minutes from here. (I chased a bird AND got it... YES)
    There was an odd colored finch or two. I'm 90 something percent certain they're just american goldfinches... This one dingy looking one, there was another birder there, through binoculars, was trying to make it a female lesser... he said IF there were no wingbars... you can see, this bird has a wingbar.
    It's awfully dingy looking... looks off for female to me, yet, most males are very much in breeding plumage right now. So, I was curious if anyone had any thoughts...
    Wish I had better pics


    I also kept watching this male american goldfinch that had a darker area on the neck. Is this bird just a little younger than the other males I saw?

  2. another fun update... ha... 
    I can't be sure about the sounds I heard the third night, or the last two mornings. Why?
    I was figuring there was a barn owl now living in the neighborhood...  So, I walked it near to dusk... Talked to a neighbor, walked up the field past his property up to the top of that hill, then down the power lines back to my house... on the way back, I was hearing sounds... familiar sounds. From, the highway. I THINK the sounds I was hearing in the morning were the highway.
    This evening I went out and heard it, sometimes VERY convincing, different volumes and such... Drove down to the highway and confirmed my suspicions. There's a bridge down there, different pavement than what's on either side. When cars drive over it, it has a screechy sound VERY much like the barn owl. From further away, it's pretty convincing.

    One difference is length, with the hwy sound being longer than what I recorded.
    Discussed it all with my son and we're certain we heard an actual owl the first two nights that we heard sounds. Aside from some other differences, some of the calls we heard the first night were from a direction opposite the highway and with no traffic whatsoever. That bird was moving.
    Anyway... I removed the checklists that I was less than certain on and left up just the first two nights of sounds.

    Frustrating sounds...  Not as funny as the time I thought I heard a bittern and it turned out to be a distant pickle ball court... ha (seriously, it was convincing)

    • Like 1
  3. Heard the bird 3 nights in a row and also heard it around 7 AM both yesterday and today. The first night I heard it, the bird was definitely flying throughout the whole neighborhood. The last few times it sounded ore like towards my neighbor's place. (Almost every yard in the neighborhood has 5 acres) and there's an open field on the other side of his property. I am thinking that the first night the bird was scoping out the neighborhood and then the following nights it had found its preferred hunting ground. Just guessing.
    Last night was our last night sleeping in the yard so I don't know if I'll be tracking the bird anymore... sure would be nice to figure out if it found a good tree over that way though.
    I figure if I could hear it calling at 7 AM, maybe it would be possible for me to get a picture of a barn owl in daylight. I've only ever seen them at night when getting a photo wasn't such an easy thing.

  4. Been camping in the backyard with my son... started hearing the screeching two nights ago. Heard again last night, and again this morning.
    The first night, this was calling from different places which would suggest a bird flying around the neighborhood. Quieter, louder, this way, that way.
    When it wasn't flying around(that I could tell) a lot of the calls were coming from a neighbor's yard. I'm now wondering if there might be a resident bird nearby. I will have to try and investigate this further.
    I know young owls of other species(barred I think) can make a screeching sound as well. The fact that we first heard it flying around, to me, suggests an adult bird... which would leave me with barn owl. I recorded several files with Merlin but it did not ID the bird at any point so far. So, I just want to double check before I post to eBird.
    I can go through the files to see if I have a better one. I just picked one from two nights ago and edited it a bit to amplify it. I wish I had a program that would show individual sounds so I could edit others out to focus on one... 

  5. Birding Arkansas facebook group... Got this photo. I suggested sharp-shinned or cooper's, and I'm leaning towards sharp-shinned. Had someone commenting maybe it was a kestrel.
    Someone asked the person who posted it how big it was. They said big. At least RTHA size. They also said, in response to another comment, they're tool old to be told what they do and don't know, or something.
    I wish there was a better angle, I'd be more confident one way or the other. I see paler on the side of the head/neck, but you can't see the back of the neck well, if at all. I THINK I can see it dark back there, but, that's hard to judge for me. Just the size of the head related to the body combined with the shape of the head, loos SSHA to me.
    But, I wouldn't mind other thoughts.


  6. This is one of the birds where I wonder if they do DNA testing and such to show enough distinction for them to be two completely separate species.   🤔

    It's bad enough when I could go either way because photos aren't good... but when photos are good and you can still go either way?
    I have a few other photos of both birds. These were just good enough, or I thought good enough to get answers with. ha. 
    I have about a dozen photos of that male with at least some obvious green sheen to it.
    And the female, I'll have to study some more, and maybe I'm mistaken about what is considered the nail, or how to judge it. The black on the tip of the female's bill seems to be as wide as the bill itself, but, that might not all be the "nail" but, just black? Does that make sense.

    Unless I see a convincing argument, I likely will put them both in as a /

  7. I thought I just had a group of ring-necked ducks but as I got closer... scaup... At first I thought lesser, but I didn't focus while in the field as I was on something of a field trip and, well I was WAY behind everyone. HA.

    The head appears greenish in every pic I have, which would lean greater. I feel the head shape, and bill width could support greater. And the female that is in some photos, the nail on the bill is WIDE... suggesting greater. But, this male...  that nail is pretty narrow. I'm still leaning greater though for the other reasons but would love some feedback.




  8. Here's more photos, after I lightened them. In MOST of the photos, it's mostly dark but if I zoom in enough, it looks like a light tail band before a dark end to it. (I hadn't known this was a rough-legged trait, and wasn't looking for it.)
    In one or two photos, the whole underside is just DARK... until I brighten it... then that tail band shows up. It shows up(to my eyes) in every photo. The one angle of the bird flying away, it only shows up on one side of the tail, poor angle and light... but, it seems to be showing up in the same place in each photo.
    Man I wish I had better photos...


    I marked next to the tail where I believe I see the band on this photo... same place in every photo... Only marked this one though.



    Even in this one, the worst quality photo of them all... as I lightened it, looks like a light band to me. Ugh I wish I had better photos...


  9. 3 hours ago, The Bird Nuts said:

    Why Rough-legged and not Red-tailed?  I don't see a broad terminal tail band.

    To me, the tail goes dark, light, dark... but... poor photos. I have others, all poor. But, I'll go look at them just for fun.

    My general rule is if it looks like a buteo and I'm not sure, it's red-tailed. HA


    • Like 1
  10. 50 minutes ago, Avery said:

    I agree with your assessment, all Ringers and the Franklin’s 

    Thanks. It's normal for RBGU to not have spots on the ends of the black part of the wings? I thought those spots were a field mark for them.
    Never mind. I just opened Sibley's East to look. Some of these might be first winter birds then?
    Why can't they just wear name tags for me?  HA

    Honestly, my assessment is easy for the ones where you can see a ring on the bill developing. The others, it's based more on knowing what should be here right now.
    Thought I'd share photos just in case something interesting slipped in under my radar.


    • Like 2
  11. NW Arkansas. I have other birds from the same trip but, so it's not too jumbled, this one is just gulls. It is most likely all ring-billed with one franklin's. Some of the ring-billed are odd looking. I like it when they're in adult plumage and even the ring is obvious. So, some of these are young, no complete ring... one doesn't have white spotting on the ends of the wings, etc... different looking birds. I love and hate that they're different. HA...



    This one... ringed bill seems fairly clear... no spots at the end of the wings...

    Same bird I believe... better photo, different wing position.


    Maybe same bird? Interesting spots on tail

    Wish I had other angles of this one...

    Just for fun... the franklin's...  Typically I see these in flocks so it's always kind of interesting to me when I see just one or a couple, with or without another flock. Just one single bird here...


    I have some other photos of the gulls but these are the best as far as trying to see IDable features...

  12. 8 hours ago, RobinHood said:

    Agree with Lesser Scaup.

    I don't think the gull is identifiable.

    That's what I was thinking.
    Gulls are so frustrating, especially if they're not in breeding plumage and don't have ID marks that I've learned, so far.
    I'll leave my list reflecting the 10 RBGU I know were there and nothing more...

    I'll have more gull photos from the day before that on here, hopefully today.
    I still struggle with not posting tooooooo many photos in one post. I mean, if I have a lot of photos from one trip and I think those photos help in IDing the birds...  It's hard to limit myself.
    I'll try though. 🙂
    I'll have some gulls and some shorebirds I want to double check.

    • Like 1
  13. Pretty sure this pair are lesser scaups... I have photos of them in the water. At least one photo, the peak on the male's head is looking like it's at the back but, they were clear on the other side of the lake and the pics are horrible. Thankfully they came closer when flying.



    And then this gull. Is it IDable? There were at least 10 RBGU at the lake but once in a while you'd see one flying up high, like this one, and I don't know if it had been part of the group or not. Can't see much here that helps me ID it.


  14. On 9/30/2023 at 5:53 AM, AlexHenry said:

    More important than editing audio, is obtaining decent quality audio in the first place.

    This is all good info if collecting audio is your primary goal. But when you're out in the field focused on birding, maybe photos, and you just happen to hear a bird you're unsure of, well, sometimes there's nothing you can do.
    Where I was, the insect noise was making it so you could barely hear the bird in that recording. There's really nothing I could have done about that with what I had to work with at the time. I couldn't have gone closer without trampling habitat. Just had the cell phone. By the time the people near my walked away, the bird was quiet.

  15. any other thoughts on the waterthrush, by sight or sound? In the field, the chipping seemed to match the LOWA pretty well, and it was responding the couple times I played it. (though I was just playing calls, not songs)

    Merlin called it LOWA by sight and sound BUT...  I do believe that Merlin will spit out different answers based on what they expect in a given area.

  16. 20 minutes ago, DLecy said:

    The Buteo is a Red-tailed Hawk.

    Outside of that dark band, that's definitely the feel I had for that bird once I was looking at the photos(I don't remember which birds I took photos of)
    I've been confused by Merlin calling it a broad-winged... and also confused by the dark band on the tail. Not something I'm used to. It's very clear, and pretty thick, in all of the other photos of it.
    Any particular form/morph here? Younger bird?

  17. Merlin is calling this one a broad-winged. It has just one dark band... kind of plain tail other than that. Some of the markings make me feel like it's a BWHA... but, that one dark band on the tail. I have a bunch of other photos of this bird but this is one of the better ones I think.

    And then, here's the checklist there... with a waterthrush I called a louisiana. By sound, response to playback, Merlin saying so(ha)
    Seems a bit streaky... and, maybe the throat isn't streaky like it looks in the photo, and sadly, that's the best photo. The eBird checklist has the photo and the audio file. It was 8MB and I didn't want to upload it a second time. (my DSL is under 5Mbps download speed... upload is SLOW.)(although, I still remember dialup...)


  18. 1 hour ago, Avery said:

    I've been trying to doctor the audio as much as I can, but the call is so soft I'm having a hard time making it stand out. As for the ID, I could see it as a Least/Willow, but I'm also having a tough time ruling out one of those weird Northern Cardinal calls.

    I was hoping for an ID... ha... oh well. I may put down empid sp. Based on where this bird was hanging out and the sounds I was hearing, I'd bet money it wasn't a cardinal. Maybe not a lot of money though. HA.  Was a willow tree but I watched for a while, even after the bird went silent. I'm 99% sure I would have seen a cardinal in there at some point.

    Thanks for the help.

    • Like 1
  19. NW Arkansas today.

    A willow flycatcher would be flagged here right now, mostly because those empids get overlooked in the fall around here. There's been a lot of talk on least flycatchers being overlooked in this area this time of year, and they're also flagged on eBird. I had a singing least the day before at a different location and I reported a willow after seeing an empid with no eye ring making the same sort of wit calls.

    I have software where I can raise and lower the volume of different areas but I'm not able to separate different sounds from each other. Would be cool if I had something like that to take out camera noise, my walking, the wind, etc.  ha

  20. I wish I knew how to use my camera better...(also wish I had a better camera)
    Someone else got photos where you could very clearly see what it was. Kestrel absolutely confirmed.
    Interesting ID mark to look for, that string of pearls... I wondered if what I was seeing would be a valuable ID point.

  21. This file is like 10MB so I uploaded it to drop box...  I was hearing a fairly stead wit, wit, wit call from a willow tree. Anyone good enough to even pick up the calls and then ID? The bird never showed itself to me even though it couldn't have been more than 40 feet or so away. Eventually it went quiet.
    Warning... I played this to listen to it like 5 or 10 minutes ago and I can STILL hear the insects buzzing in my year. You have to turn it way up but the bugs are loud.
    Even though I know the bird was calling throughout, I could hear the calls better starting somewhere around halfway through.


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