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Everything posted by millipede

  1. messed with brightness and contrast this morning... No worries. I wasn't bothered(I don't know how I sounded) I'll ask for that if I personally need the explanation. A lot of FB groups and such, people just spit out IDs and people just accept them most of the time. Even when the IDs are wrong, some people are content to just accept whatever is given. Most of the time, I want to know WHY to help me figure it out on my own better. 🙂
  2. This is where field guides fail... and where gulls drive me CRAZY... ack... If you're going to give such a drastically different ID, please please explain why. This bird appears to have an all dark bill except for a yellow tip. With younger ring-billed, on birds I haven't seen a clear ring, I"ve seen a yellow bill with a dark tip. The opposite of this. And the feet, assuming that's what I'm seeing, are pretty dark. I initially went to the bonatparte's/franklin's thoughts because of how these birds flew in. There were 4 of them, which isn't a big crowd for either of those species, but their flight was swift and erratic, more of what I'd see from franklin's. Then the head markings, I've never seen that on a ring-billed, especially with the rest of the bird being so white. These were here and gone so quickly, which is another thing that frustrates me about gulls, that I only got a picture of the one. They were just too quick. 😞 The only thing that's helping me say it probably isn't Franklin's is the placement of the white spots on the wing compared to the field guide... franklin's wouldn't have white spots on the leading edge of the wing, correct? man I hate gulls sometimes... worse than peeps. While I haven't gotten great at ID'ing peeps(outside of least) in the field, I have an easier time comparing their photos(provided they're good enough) to field guides to do fairly well. Gulls are so variable, I fear I'll never get a handle on them, outside of the more obvious looking ones. Ack...
  3. Benton County, Arkansas today, 12/17/2022 These are the birds I just want confirmations on. In the field 4 gulls flew over one location and they were so fast, I was thinking they would be Franklin's or Bonaparte's. The dark on the head sure seemed to make this Fanklin's... I don't know if I"ve ever gotten a picture of one with this detail(I have a new Sigma 100-600mm lens 🙂 ) It would seem the bill color is pretty distinct for a Franklin's as well. And I'm guessing this snow goose is an immature based on the overall color as well as the bill being a bit darker... This bird was very cooperative. And this peep, I'm guessing least. Sometimes in pictures(even) it's hard to tell if the legs are a yellowish or if it's just mud not sure if this is the same bird Northern shovelor? Ross's goose
  4. I'd like to see pictures of people's feeder stations and/or descriptions of things they've done to improve them. Years ago I had a single green feeder pole that has a cedar feeder on the top... two sides were plexiglass and birds fed on those sides. The ends had suet cages. This was my favorite feeder for quite a long time. I used the back (away from view) suet cage, sometimes for suet, other times I'd put the ends of sumac branches with their seeds on there. LOTS of birds like those sumac seeds. The pole had two short curved arms that stuck out where we'd place hanging feeders... sometimes for mixed seed, other times for thistle(niger). The setup had a typical squirrel baffle on it at one point as those squirrels got to be a problem. I don't remember why but eventually I switched to a galvanized pole. I'm guessing 1" in diameter but I will have to check it before I go making adjustments(hopefully in the near future.) I have the very top section from the old green pole strapped down to the top of the galvanized pole. It is very functional but, I don't love the looks. It's been this way for years. The raccoons eventually destroyed the squirrel baffle so I built(stove pipe) a raccoon baffle and have not had those back since. Our squirrels figured out how to get onto the top of my house and then they leap to the feeder. I also now have something of a small deck and the railing to the stairs is now close enough they can jump over. So, I've switched feeders a couple times and our current one(that doesn't sit right) is one of those squirrel proof feeders. It's worked well. They tried and tried and tried for a while but they don't really try anymore. But the tube feeders, they'd still get into if I had anything in them. So.... I am planning on getting some squirrel proof tube feeders so I have more space for birds as the current squirrel proof feeder at the top only has so much space to feed from and the birds do not love taking turns. But, I want to put new "arms" on the pole that stick out further than the current ones do. This way I may also be able to make it all look a lilttle better. If I put on squirrel proof tube feeders on the current arms, I'm afraid the squirrels could just sit on top of the baffle and snack with little effort. So my question: Has anyone added "arms" onto an existing pole? What did you use? How did it look? I'm thinking of just going to Lowe's to see what they have there that I could purchase cheap rather than ordering some fancy thing specifically for bird feeders that costs more than it's actually worth. What's your setup like?
  5. that news isn't hurtful or anything. A sora would be more interesting around here this time of year... or anything else... but I've never heard a female great horned that I know of so that's still interesting. Merlin and all about birds seemed to have the same, just one, sound file for a female call and the pitch was just a lot lower than my recording. That's not an argument for or against anything, just my observation. 🙂
  6. sounds similar to a sora... not sure it's quite right. The pitch/sound of it is pretty good but not sure the pattern or whatever is quite right. I found a sound file for a female great horned owl and the pattern is a little closer but then the pitch is way off. So, I'm looking for opinions.
  7. Short story, I'd like some help with the ID for this sound file. This was at a lake in NW Arkansas after it was getting way too dark to go investigating. Feels kind of rail-ish to me. The bird was either moving around a LOT(swimming or flying) or it was more a matter of which way it was turned as the sound was louder and quieter and sounded to be in different spots. I tried using Merlin... I'll attach a photo... more than one try, it was saying Great Horned owl. Yeah, I don't really think so. It wasn't the Canada geese that I know are there. I know there are usually pied-billed grebes as well but that doesn't sound right to me. I didn't look to see if any of the ducks were still there but we recently had common mergansers there... this didn't sound right for any ducks I know. It's supposed to be raining in the morning but, if this is an interesting enough bird, I may still go and look... although, if it is a rail, I don't know that I'd find it. Hopefully the sound file isn't too loud. I had to amplify it as I was probably a football field's length away from the bird... was pretty clear though. 2022-12-09 unknown bird.mp3
  8. Yep... That pause after "you need to ask" sounded like a question. I'm looking at it more carefully now. It was, well, like I post....... a pause. A hesitation for a thought... But I took it as a question. Sorry @Kevin It doesn't help that I'm probably online too often and I've been seeing a lot of ANGRY people on facebook, criticizing people for how and what they post in groups. And I've seen people in message boards give people a hard time for not using the search feature before posting a question. Add me misreading the sentence to then linking me to another discussion, and that's where I found myself feeling I was being given a hard time for not looking it up first. phew... I type too much. I promise my brain isn't completely broken. It makes sense sometimes.
  9. I feel like I'm being made fun of for not searching. 😕 It's interesting that we're getting an answer from someone that sells such a product. I'm not going to get an unbiased opinion from that. Was a simple question. Was curious if other people have cameras that take pics of birds at their feeders. Figured this was a good place to ask and that people might have suggestions. Perhaps I was wrong. Also... I'm not asking about live streaming. Just something that will take pictures. So, my question is not the same as that one. I'll read through it anyway.
  10. we've debated on getting my mother one of those cameras for your bird feeders. A few questions... 1. I did a QUICK amazon search and, most of the results were feeders with cameras. She already has feeders. I'm thinking more about a camera to mount separately. Do they have many that are decent and affordable? 2. Are those sorts of things difficult to set up and manage? Like, you decide when it takes pictures as opposed to just having a thousand pics dumped on you each day or something? Any thoughts are welcome. Thanks.
  11. I think the "are you looking at me" look it's giving... and, the tail doesn't look as long because it's all puffed up?
  12. Yay, more hawk photos. 🙂 These should be easier. I went looking for the bird I saw Sunday. NO luck. I started where I had seen it and, ended there as well... drove backroads to a big prairie and walked there for a while. 1. I'm assuming Western RTHA? Completely dark bird with a nice red tail. 2. American Oystercatcher? Just kidding. I'm thinking a yellowlegs perhaps? Seemed one of the legs was drooping a bit. This bird was way across the field and I was not going to ID it from where I was at the time. The second picture there, I am thinking greater yellowlegs.(same bird) 3. I want to call this a young RTHA but it doesn't look like it has a belly band. The markings on the back and overall look don't really say RSHA to me. 4. Probably unidentifiable but just wanted an opinion on hawk vs, well I don't know... falcon? I'm leaning towards hawk for sure but something about the shape. 5. Last but NOT least... another odd RTHA? I wanted to call this one rough-legged at one point in the field... gave such a weird look, the overall color/tones sort of reminded me of an osprey. Those DARK squares you're supposed to see on a rough-legged were not present so I guess that rules that out? I have several photos, some are blurry but posted to show different angles. One of the things that stuck out was the BIG light(sort of translucent like the commas on a RSHA) patches on the wings... these light colored feathers you will see are present above and below. Darkish patagial area and belly band suggest RTHA but the belly band extends fairly low. NO red on the tail so if RTHA, what type?
  13. Thank you crusher of dreams... HA... I've been thinking since I read their comment. I feel I see RTHA sit on poles, posts, and often IN trees. Up on the top of thinner branches like that, not so much that I can recall. I feel like the markings don't fit anything even close to perfectly... I see a marking or color or lack thereof ruling certain things out but, can they really rule them out? wrong color for this, wrong color for that... Just looking at pictures of the Harlan's light colored, I feel this bird was too light and and way less color/markings than the "typical" light harlan's. Maybe this bird is not identifiable? eh... lots of thoughts... all leading to frustration. HA
  14. I find it interesting how people that still need a lot of work on their ID skills like to offer their suggestions. To be fair, I struggled with that for a short while early on. A little knowledge has you thinking you're good at this all of the sudden. Eventually, I learned I have limitations. LOTS I still need to learn, etc... even where I know a good deal, I know when I'm confident on something and how that's different from a "I think it's a ____" So far, one person suggested snowy owl. In the field with NO glass on the bird, I had a few kids in the van thinking that same thing. But, it's a hawk. I don't think anything will ever beat the conversation with the person that saw a 3 foot tall woodpecker... HA Anyway A couple other people suggested light red-tailed hawk. That's when I want to ask if they actually read the comments with my pictures. I'll be patient though as I'm sure the actual experts will chime in with their morph ideas. I also send photos to a guy I know who is REALLY good with birds... was in this part of the state but is now a professor(I believe) in somewhere like Ohio. For my own list, this is "just" a red-tailed so narrowing down the exact type isn't a huge deal at this point. but... if it's an interesting enough bird, I will want to put it on eBird.
  15. I just went and posted in the raptor ID group. Wanted to add in case I didn't say it earlier that the face and forehead where all white. The color started on the top of the head and went down the back. I REALLY wish I had better pictures.
  16. I'll wait for some seconds and thirds. 🙂 I kind of wondered... If I hadn't had any thoughts of it being something else in the first place, this wouldn't have any disappointment factor. This is indeed a cool find in general... but, I had my hopes up for a "life" bird. SO much white, and it looked SO big given how far it was from the road. It just HAD to be something other than red-tailed. Any thoughts on the first bird? Every time I look at it, I want to make it something else. Some parts give a good RTHA feel to me... then, something about the bill looks too "cute" or small. I don't know. Why can't they all wear name tags? Or be as different as bluejays and cardinals? HA
  17. This first one is not mine but is on the birding in Massachusetts FB group and there's a lot of guesses with "I think" and nobody, so far, wanting to jump in with a positive ID. It's an interesting looking bird and appears to not have a tail. Can't tell if that's the angle or what. Facial markings are interesting. I have a rule that if I don't know what it is, it's probably just a red-tailed. HA. I just looked at my guide to ID a feature. Am I right saying it's the primary coverts? There's a distinct line on the wing that, I wonder if that helps ID the bird at all. This was in Massachusetts recently according to the FB post. And then, hopefully an exciting one for me. This is NW Arkansas just yesterday. Driving to church, already running late, I HAD to stop and try. Wish I had my actual camera with me. We were driving down a road in some open country when I saw this BIG white blob in a tree. By big I mean, this thing REALLY stuck out. I pulled to the side and tried to look through the scope(hopefully will buy a new one soon...) My son was in the back and could see this massive white thing and asked if it was a snowy owl. Before I got to where I was pulled over, this was SO big and obvious and white, my first thought was a bit of surprise I'd see a great egret sitting in a tree in a field. Odd. But, it was a hawk. I've personally never seen so much white on a hawk before. It seemed to have an interesting pattern on the back. In the field, my mind went to rough-legged... not that I would have been able to ID that in the field, while perched. In flight maybe. But, people have been seeing one(or more than one) in the county right below us so, that's where my mind was. Later at home I was looking through images and I FEEL like it could be one of two options. Ferriginous, which is what I'm hoping for, or Krider's RTHA. On the one hand, Krider's would still be exciting because, I've never seen a bird like this. On the other hand, it's "just" a red-tailed and not a life bird in that sense. This bird looked massive, which has me really wanting to push to the Ferriginous or rough-legged side. The sun was bright(ish, how bright can it be at 11:05 AM) so maybe I was not seeing it clearly but, it was VERY white on the front. I saw no markings on the face and only some color on the top of the head. Was a really cool bird to look at. I decided that looking through the scope from the van window was not enough so I set up the tripod and TRIED to use my cell phone. Took a bunch of picture just hoping one would come out. This was holding the phone in my hand and TRYING to hold it in the right place, which proved almost impossible. Only one single picture turned out worth looking at and, I think it is usable for ID. Was surprised... So... LONG story... I know. What do you think? Same image, cropped. The legs LOOK feathered, to me... doesn't look RTHA to me. I am bummed the head was turned as it is here. I have other pictures but they're all blurry.
  18. I will concede that it's probably impossible to tell for certain what's what in the pic but, I do think it is the bill, or the face at least. Same lake, another day... Got several pictures of some cormorants and one in particular was very orangey on the face... I can see that some have some pale at the base... I'm thinking I want to look for more of a V and not just a line going up part way. Not concerned about trying to find a neotropic in any of my pictures... Just want to add this one because I think it's interesting. And then this, a different bird, I liked the feathers how they go back and forth from milk chocolate to dark chocolate in color... is that normal? I've never really studied on that or noticed any like this.
  19. That's what I suspected... What about that first pic, the bird upper right? Here it is zoomed in more(so, blurrier...) You can see a merganser type head, color and look, and a different colored bill than the teal. To me it looks like a hooded merganser anyway.
  20. So, it was getting darker and lighting was poor. This was an ODD experience though. There were at least 50(looking at pics, well over 50) ducks at the local lake here in NW Arkansas. We couldn't get good enough looks from where we were, mostly because of the poor lighting, so we went closer. Over 100 other ducks flew in but, turned around and took off. I ruled those as mostly BWTE just because of the size, overall color, behavior, and BIG BLUE wing patches. I assumed the others on the lake were also mostly BWTE. There were some fairly obvious female shovelors in the mix, just a few. Larger birds, larger bills... The problem with the blue-winged teal ID??? I took video, sound recording(which did NOT come out), and pics. Everything is blurry. Watch and listen to the video... There were some obvious LOUD quacks that sound like, well, like duck quacks... but, lots of chuckling chatter that isn't the same. BWTE, I'm used to squeaky toy sounds, similar to a STFL as far as pitch and stuff goes. I did NOT hear this at all the whole time I was there. Another problem for me was, we didn't flush them. We were a little ways off but, a lot closer than MOST ducks would normally let us get at this location. Maybe it was the lighting and they weren't bothered because they liked it there? There were also people fishing, I'd have to guess just 50 feet past them. This was unusual behavior for me to see... These are all teal sized primarily... but, mostly lighter birds. If you watch the video, it's easier for me to see on my laptop with the original file but, there's one bird that passes the front of the group somewhere near the middle of the video, swimming left to right... that is the right color(darker brown, black back end) for a male BWTE... But almost all of the birds are lighter. Between the video and pics, and the sound from the video, can anyone ID these other than the few I'm aware of? Here are a few pics...They're horrible. Top left, I think I see green... Top right, I get a good hooded merganser feel... The next pic is a LITTLE better quality... I will post the zoomed out version and then zoom in and do the left side and the right side separately.... Left side: One looks like a mini CANG but, I think there's a blade of grass in front of it, or something? Could be wrong. And the right side: I'd like to think you all can do something with these last few pics. They seem like mostly BWTE to me but so hard to tell, and, very few dark enough to look like typical male BWTE. THE most annoying part of all of this......... This was the evening before the October Big Day. Easily 150 to 200+ ducks... I got to that lake by 8:31 the next morning for the big day. Not a single duck. And with over 12 hours, about 13 locations, and at least 82 species of birds the big day... I think maybe 10 ducks total... not species... just 10 ducks total, I think. What happened? I had such high hopes... I went to places that are awesome for ducks... one such place is a pond by an apartment complex that usually has a LOT of ducks this time of year... not one. Was so weird after what I saw the evening before. hmmm... Oh well.
  21. I agree. When Kevin gave the ID's, I had wondered if he mixed them up at the time. I had a ton of photos in the other post. ? But, that bill had me leaning BWTE. The sandpiper, The original cropped image, I kind of think, perhaps, the reflection made it look taller than it actually is and, the explanation at that time for the bill was that the head could have been turned. But I added the second image because I felt it showed a LOT better that the bird isn't big enough for stilt. Most that I could ID in the field or in pics were least sandpipers. In the field I felt there were at least two birds that were not but I'm not sure if I got good enough photos to figure that out... so any ID besides least would be a bonus at this point. ? I think that's something you have to get used to on this forum... isn't it? ? The original isn't THAT blurry... I just zoomed infor the "detail." HA 1. Northwest Arkansas... and, that's an interesting story. We get at least one in this county every year. There are two lakes near each other and they've been found at both locations... What's more interesting(to me) is that the next county south of us, well, the lake there is SE of us, it's a MUCH larger lake that gets far more ducks and other birds but, sometime in the last year or so, they had their first ever neotropic... the person that shared it was saying it was about time given how they've occurred over here. ha... And, I did not know that some younger DCCO can show a border. Unless someone comes along and confidently ID's it at neotropic, I will leave my list how I have/had it with just DCCO there. Being the Big Day and all, the more species I can get ID'd the better ? and I want it to be accurate. makes perfect sense... and is valuable. So thanks.
  22. So, my last thread had tooooooo many birds in it. Many of the ID's were easy but I wanted second opinions on the following... The teal: Well, only one person attempted to ID these ducks... this was ID'd as GWTE by @Kevin. I'd like a why to it. and/or a 2nd opinion or confirmation @KevinID'd these two as BWTE. Again, I'd like a why if possible. I feel like the second bird(there are two there)like the back end is a lighter color. First the original I posted, the only shot that had one of their heads out of the water here are the two birds separate, but both still dabbling. Then this sandpiper... @Tanager 101suggested the facial pattern looked a bit like a stilt sandpiper. But I added parts of the original image where you can see another killdeer at a similar distance showing this bird is probably too small for that(I'm thinking) but I'm a little curious about the sandpiper on the far left. Seems there's an interesting back pattern... or, not? (I moved chunks of the image around but it's from the same image and all at the same scale so you can get a good idea of size relative to position and other birds. The cormorant. Nobody wanted to ID it. I feel this image shows the bill going from yellow to an orangish and, to me, it looks like a pale border at the bottom. This image here might not even contain the same bird but, four were flying across the sky and one stuck out as looking quite a bit smaller... so I threw that picture in anyway... Guess I wouldn't mind a second opinion on the domestic ducks. I figured the two on the left for sure were(the swedish is easy) Some other reports that day reported all of those as wild, some reported some wild, some domestic. If ALL 5 of these are ruled domestic, I may still rule the one that swam away as wild as it looked and acted more wild than these 5. I am assuming that mallards should have been finished with their molts by now... which would make the ones here that look like mallards either just domestic or wild x domestic.
  23. Looking at how I want to get a few of the species discussed further and I'm not getting much direct responses to that, I think I can agree(and again, will try) that this was too much for one discussion. If they were all easy ID's, it probably wouldn't have been too bad. A. On the teal, is it possible you have it backwards... the gwte vs bwte? Or, could you explain WHY each is given their ID? B. Are you sure all the mallards look domestic? I believe there was one that sure looked more wild but she swam off when I walked by, where these didn't. Which COULD support her being wild and they domestic. I've never seen more than a single domestic duck at this location before but anything is possible with escaped birds. I don't know that I got a picture of the single bird though. ? C. That one sandpiper someone suggested could be stilt... now that I shared a cropped/edited but larger pic, I think the size would suggest it isn't stilt... I'd love it to be a stilt... but... Thoughts on that bird, or the one on the far left? D. Any other thoughts on the cormorant? Really looks to me like the bill goes from yellow to orange and then a pale border... Would it be better if I start a new post with just the few left that I have questions about?
  24. I'll post a few more sandpiper photos and see if anything else sticks out. Here are two in flight, that I believe are just the least... This picture here, I copied/pasted in a way so that everything is to scale and lined up about how it was in the original, to get a better feel for size. I think this will show that the potential stilt is smaller than it looked in the pic. But, how about the bird on the far left? Interesting back pattern? Do pied-billed grebes come in different sizes? I feel like SO often I'm seeing different sizes and appearances. I would assume the one in the front is just a young bird but, the one in the back looks the biggest and biggest bill. Shouldn't the bird closest the camera look the biggest?
  25. Not bad. I missed a few species I was hoping for. One place I hoped to stop at closed at 5 and I wasn't going to make it there. I know I would have gotten a pine warbler there and maybe a dark-eyed junco. And the ducks... I saw 150 to 200 ducks the day before, at one location(I'll be asking ID stuff on those, eventually) so I expected much. Went to that location a little after 8 in the morning and nothing... not a single duck. I was at 81 species for the day so far. If I can get a confirmation on the blue-winged teal that'd be 82. Side note, I can see bwte just with the bill, but, I'm not 100% on that... The only thing I would have even half seriously questioned for black or mottled would be the likely domestic on the left. And man, I get a good neotropic feel from the cormorant but, ugh... I NEED a better scope, and to use it more often. So many birds just refuse to listen when I ask them to come closer or sit still. Why is that? HA I'd love for second opinions on that one. People have seen one there lately. Again, this is where I needed to drag a scope around all day. (one of these days I'm going to make a backpack specifically for my tripod, and a scope...) Or, man I wish I felt comfortable "investing" in a bigger lens. The one I use 99% of the time is 75-300mm... That location has good birds but, often times they just sit a little too far away to ID with ease. ? I'll go poke around the photos again but I don't think I have a better one of that bird. Will post if I do. Oh you're killing me here... HA I can TRY. Can't promise. This was all from one day so I figured this would make it easier, at least for me. ? Actually, the effort to take snips and post at all is not enjoyable for me most of the time so, one post was easier. But I will try to keep this in mind.
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