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Everything posted by millipede

  1. I can see this being a black-capped chickadee as well. When and where was this one taken?
  2. Thanks. I was hoping I had something different. What on earth was I hearing out there??? :( Hopefully there wasn't a bird I never saw before with them and that's what I heard but didn't get a picture of. Better stop thinking about it. HA I REALLY need to buy a solid tripod. I have a CHEAP scope that's really only any good on the 20x setting but the tripod I have now wobbles a lot... a gentle breeze shakes it. But a scope would have been handy in that field yesterday. Maybe when I win publisher's clearinghouse some day. HA
  3. That's what it looks like to me. Pretty bird.
  4. my first impression is a yellow-rumped warbler... but, fall warblers can always add some frustrating possibilities and I wish I had another angle/shot of this one. There will be thoughts from others any moment now...
  5. Agreed, and welcome. You have enough confirmation here so I don't need to second(or fourth) this. But, sometimes I don't know if I'm bored or what it is... Hopefully this >>LINK<< should work and show you a map of that area and all the red marks are from the last month where a little blue heron has been seen. Seems there's a LOT of good places to find them, in case you're interested. :)
  6. hmm... kind of feel like an idiot now. HA. I'm usually good at picking up a swamp sparrow. In the field it was a little higher than me in some brush hanging out with a group of white-crowned. Something about it looked odd, I don't remember what I saw through the binoculars that made me think I NEEDED a picture. But looking at the pictures, I think once I saw yellow on there I didn't even think to look at anything else... OR I had assumed the lighting was hiding the streaks... Either way, I should have studied it more. Oh well. Going through trying to confirm a few things for the GBBC but over time I'll be going over lists from the past few years so I'll be giving you all some more work. :)
  7. Got a BUNCH of photos here because they're all lousy and I want to cover as many angles as possible. These were in an open and recently burnt field just yesterday here in NW Arkansas... When I looked at pictures last night and showed my daughter she said they looked like pipits. I can kind of see that as a possibility. I didn't want to put that in the title as I didn't want that on your brains when you entered the topic. 🙂 My hesitation here was the sounds they were making. I see American pipits every winter here and there's pretty much always a call they make when they fly that has two to three notes. I cannot even explain the calls I was hearing as these would move a little further away from me down the field. I also have a bad memory but they did NOT sound like what I'd normally hear from pipits... not even close. anyway... here's a bunch of lousy photos for you. 🙂
  8. I am assuming this is a song sparrow based on the color of the bill and all. The only reason I was hesitant with this one was because it was in some brush in an open field with near 10 friends and I'd normally see savannah sparrows acting like this. AND, somehow, I sometimes still get the two confused if the lighting isn't perfect or the bird is posed wrong or... etc... sometimes I'm certain a bird is a song and turns out to be savannah... I don't think I've ever made the mistake the other way around though. Anyway, just want to double check... The second and third pictures I'm sure are savannah with the yellow being picked up but in one picture the pattern on the face seems wrong. I'm guessing it's the angle and lighting but it sure looked weird. Just wanted to confirm it as well.
  9. you and me both. I've been waiting for someone else to reply, for that reason. I knew it wasn't a house sparrow and I was leaning towards song as well but wasn't ready to commit to that based on those pictures. Song is my guess but I would rather have better photos or be there and see AND hear it. (so glad their call is so different from the local sparrows we have here)
  10. Aside from being very curious about this bird's behavior, I put this out there hoping to get an explanation like that. Someone else mentioned that sort of V you can look for on the back but the mottling on this bird kind of made it difficult for me to say there was one there. I NORMALLY see mottling on the back like that on a red-shouldered. (I looked at Sibley's the other night and saw that an adult light morph will look like this.) Perspective and size threw me as well... with the bird as close as it was, it looked smaller than I'd expect a RTHA to be. I think when you see birds from further away most of the time, up close they suddenly appear different. So all those points you mentioned, are they pretty good for separating this from a RSHA? I'm a slow learner with subtle differences and I want to be able to look at a bird and not get confused. HA. To me, the bird HAD to be a red-tailed but not because I was able to tell from any of those marks. The very upper breast was more white than anything but there was still enough markings on the front to make it not such a noticeable belly band to me. Perhaps in flight it would have appeared more like a belly band to me... Thankfully this bird wasn't too young or else it may have had a browner tail and might have confused me more... but I'm not sure I've ever seen a redder tail before so it was kind of a no-brainer at that point. But I WANT to be able to pick up on a RTHA without being able to see the red tail, dark patagials, or belly band. Maybe Ill get the hang of them one of these days.
  11. unless you're not looking at the book in full light. Last night all I saw was what LOOKED black(same book) but today I turned and held it into the sunlight and, I can see it now... at least on the "fresh adult." I will repeat that this is something that should have been described in the book. or even on All About Birds Hmmm.... even though you can see that in ONE of the images in Sibley... is it in fact an ID mark? grr, it really should be mentioned as one even if it's something you only see sometimes. THIS website... Whatbird... actually describes the throat as BLACK... " Cap and throat are black; cheek patch is white " Seems to me there's a bit of a failing among the sources we're supposed to trust on this ID mark. hmmm :(
  12. I am curious, IF all you had were these photos, what are you looking for to ID this bird??? Another question about this particular bird... (This is where a different section of the forum could be handy, perhaps...) I was walking down a trail with my son and we stopped to watch an eastern phoebe about 25 feet in front of us, and lower than us, it was near the water. As we watched the bird I asked my son if he could see the behavior(bobbing its tail) as I'm trying to make him work for this lists... 🙂 From 50 or more feet away, this hawk SLOWLY flew in towards the phoebe. My first thought was it was after it. I don't think it was even though it flew straight past it and, right up to us. I mean 10 to 15 feet away in some young trees by the water's edge. I couldn't decide if there was something wrong with it. It just sat there. Got a bunch of photos. If I moved too much it got a LITTLE nervous, sometimes hopping just another foot or two over but still SO close to us. We ended up walking down the trail a little further before turning around and stopping to stare at the hawk a while longer. It, again, got a little nervous before it eventually flew to the other side of the pond and landed on the ground. Didn't look to be hunting... just landed on the ground. We had to get moving otherwise we would have watched it longer. I feel like maybe something was wrong and felt bad but at the same time, it's certainly not every day one of these sits still RIGHT in front of you. So we enjoyed that.
  13. Agreed... if this bird would stretch its neck out you might see an actual ring... as it is, I kind of wish this was called the ring-billed duck. HA.
  14. I just looked at Sibley's 2nd edition... doesn't say anything about the bib but the picture sure ALL look black. hmm... Sibley doesn't show that at all... nor describe it unfortunately. All About birds shows that the cap is dark DARK brown but often appears black. Says nothing of the bib... and says that the face is black and white. I don't really know anything about this species but none of the pictures I've looked at (just now) look anything like theirs. Maybe it's a lighting thing? Like the sheen on a duck, some blackbirds, hummingbirds, doves, etc? All the pictures in the guides it looks black there. Maybe this is one of those things that simply isn't described as well as it could be....?
  15. Testing because you already knew or, just testing in general? Either way, no worries. I think it's good to test things. And it never hurts to check more than one source and ask around. :)
  16. agreed... and the dark patagials... that dark area on the leading edge of the wings, closer to the body...
  17. Agreed... and cool bird. So far I've only seen pictures of such varying colors. I've seen waxwings with different colors on the tips of their tails but not one of these yet. I always enjoy seeing things that are different so thanks for sharing. :)
  18. I get that. It somehow still is just something I'm not used to, or am uncomfortable with. It would be like calling a german shepherd or a boston terrier a domestic wolf. We don't do that... even though it could be argued that it's true. I guess there probably aren't mammalers(people that count and ID mammals rather than birds? ha) out there to get into a discussion about some dog they found in the woods... Was it a coyote or a fox or a wolf? Oh, domestic wolf... I'm being silly. I'm just having a hard time with this because I basically look at it like a person would dogs in the example I gave. We'd say "that's just a dog" and maybe or maybe not know the breed. Ugh, sorry for the rambling. My brain just doesn't stop.................................
  19. Agreed... although I don't like to put it that way. Is that just the birder's term for all domestic ducks that aren't muscovies? It's a domestic breed of duck and, except for muscovies, all domestic ducks are "mallard derived." This one looks like a bit of a mutt no matter which way you look at it. The neck and up looks swedish but some of the pattern on the breast looks more mallard or something. Could be a mutt farm breed or it could also be a domestic x wild duck. I can't say. I'm rambling and likely being picky to some. Right or wrong I think it just hurts my brain to see something so not mallard being called mallard, even if the word domestic is there. I'll have to try and get used to it I guess. I raised ducks some for a while, before I officially became a birder. I THINK that, perhaps, calling all domestics a "domestic mallard" would be like calling a finch a finch or a redpoll a redpoll or a junco a junco and not caring more about subspecies and morphs and all. Sorry, I'm still rambling. Been holding that in. This is one of the reasons why I think we need broader forum topics for more open discussion.
  20. seconded. Not a lot of black on the face... they sure are interesting to see when you get used to a bunch of other sparrows. Looks like there may be at least one other there? Were there many? We get one in our yard each winter... and most of the people I've talked to, it's usually just one with a group of white-crowned sparrow... I've only seen a group of these together one time so far.
  21. to me it looks like the neck and head feathers are all puffed up as well so MAYBE this accounts for that as well. These are just my speculations/observations on the bird. I'm not offering ID help... There are times we'll watch feeder birds and be like "Wow, that one is so much bigger than the others" and it's just the bird being all puffed up. The carolina wren shows more pattern on it when it's all puffed up. Most of these guys and gals are pretty reliable with the ID's. Wait for a few more just in case... Now, time to go do a little more Great Backyard Bird Count-ing and maybe pick up some half off valentine's candy. :)
  22. according to eBird there shouldn't be anything but marbled there, especially this time of year. The picture is throwing me a LOT. Almost looks like someone created a bird using different birds. Definitely wait for the "experts" to weigh in... but I am wondering if it's possible that in the first photo the bird was simply REALLY puffed up at the time. You can see the bottom of the bird looks all fluffy compared to any of the birds around it. If its whole body was puffed up it would significantly change how we saw it. I'm not saying that's what's going on here but that's the only explanation I have at the moment. The bar-tailed, according to eBird, is the only other one that's been reported in San Diego county... That shouldn't appear bigger than a marbled I think but the plumage would be different. Can't tell if the feathers look different here because they are different or just look different IF the bird is indeed puffed up. I'm very interested in what others will say.
  23. I think these are both least. July 2015 here in NW Arkansas... I put down at least 6 or 7 peeps(have to check the list again) and I know at least a few of them are least sandpipers. You can see the yellow on the legs on a few. I think I can see yellowish on one of these two but the other, the lighting makes it hard for me to see... but otherwise the bird looks about the same. And then a hawk from today. I think it was a red-tailed... I THINK I see something close to a belly band... can't make out the dark patagials... but the dark comma like markings further down the wings is a good mark as well, correct?
  24. yeah, I was going to say... shouldn't he be over here responding?
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