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Everything posted by millipede

  1. Sometimes I think this forum needs free popcorn. My daughter came to look at this and had to go sit down. Said it hurt her brain. HA... I'm having a hard time seeing a song sparrow. The markings look really weird, the overall shape, length of tail, wings, just seem too weird/off for song sparrow. But I honestly don't know what to make of it... so I'll sit back and see what else people have to say about it. 🙂
  2. Agreed. Always a cool bird to see no matter how many times you have. They can be scavengers and eat dead animals, including deer, which can make them susceptible to lead poisoning when game is shot with lead shot and they get away and die somewhere. It's awfully sad. 😞 If it's by the road I would assume roadkill but, that's also no good as it will bring the bird in to the road to feed. Would be great if someone could remove, or simply move the deer from the road. Although, it doesn't look like an extremely busy road.
  3. interesting bird. I had to look at the field guide. Size is off for neotropic and, the lores should be yellow on the double crested like you see on this bird. As I scanned through the page on the double-crested in Sibley's it shows that the younger ones have a pale rounded border of bare skin there. I'm guessing this one is coming into its adult plumage and this is just that bare skin. That's about all I can say. It's definitely not a neotropic based on size and other features. Not bad shots to help. We have a local hotspot that gets a solitary neotropic almost every summer but it's usually a good ways out and it's often tough to pick up on depending on how far out and who is nearby for comparison.
  4. My daughter, on the other side of the room, said "hey, that has wing bars... that makes it a.... uh.... " she had to go get her sibley's guide because she couldn't think of it. Looking at her book I'd agree this is something to look at. Your description plus the photos has me thinking it is indeed a white-winged and not slate. The picture with the tail feathers is a great one to have. I'd wait til someone else chimes in on this for confirmation but if you use eBird, I'd submit it as white-winged and it will get flagged and reviewed by your local reviewer. They'd be interested in this bird, I imagine, if it is what I think it is. Location is interesting with these birds sometimes. This winter as well as last winter, a local state park(deep in a forest, but at the feeders) they have a gray-headed junco there... this is here in NW Arkansas. People drive from around the area to try and go see it. The different variations of juncos(and other birds) can frustrate me at times but they sure make things interesting. 🙂
  5. hmmm... I just went and looked at side by side photos of each and, you can't always see a difference. AND... if I can be told that I can't judge the shape and length of the bill in pic 1, how can you say what it actually looks like? Angles alter a lot of things sometimes. I'm not trying to be difficult here. I hope that much is understood. I can't see what you guys see... and that is in part due to me simply not having as much experience as you all with some of these birds. So I can easily concede that I don't know here. But, I keep pushing my thoughts on what I see because I simply want to understand better. Think of a child not understanding a math lesson. It's not enough for me to have someone tell me the answer. I can't trust that. I can't trust anyone as even the BEST birders in the whole world make mistakes... indeed. In the end you all might not be able to explain it well enough to me. Whether it's the angle, the lack of other features, or just the bird itself, you might not be able to convince me it's a purple finch. I don't doubt your abilities, I just need to be able to figure it out myself and I just can't here. Sorry if I've frustrated anyone with that. If I can't(even with a photo) come to a conclusion on my own after having it explained, I just can't accept it I guess. Time to move on and forget it. Thankfully it's not my photo that I'm trying to ID for ME or else I might go mad. HA 😛 A couple years back I was on a field trip with a local audubon chapter. The guy that leads the trips has been birding for many, many years and knows his stuff, is a retired biology professor, was a big part of the restoration of red-cockaded woodpeckers here in AR, etc... He can ID a LOT of birds by sound that I'd struggle with... yet on this field trip he pointed out a sound from deep in the forest that he said was a woodchuck. I've never, ever found a woodchuck living deep inside a forest with no nearby fields or lawns... and honestly, it sounded to me more like a thrush call of some sort. I didn't argue as he told the group but, I'm certain he in all his experience was wrong. I'm stubborn this way. I'm giving up on this topic to stop wasting anyone's time. But in the future if I start asking questions like this again, I'm just trying to get to the bottom of things and FULLY understand them myself. I have a lot to learn and I need to actually learn it. A simple "this is a _____" rarely satisfies me. I hope people don't mind the challenges too much. Carry on...
  6. if they have that and don't have noticeable white on their face, what do you use then to distinguish them from house finches?
  7. final thoughts, for now... I may not ever agree on this but, that's okay. Most of you know more than I do on this... I just don't see it. The bill looks far too cone-like, meeting closer together and not having much of an overlap... could be angle but, I might not be able to see past that. I'll drop out of the discussion as far as adding anymore buts... I'm not quite satisfied with the ID(mostly pic 1) but that's okay.... I wouldn't mind some thoughts on the birds that the bird nuts just shared links to. Some of them, especially 2 and 4, have streaked undertails. Shouldn't that be white there? I honestly don't know anything about the western birds but that undertail, I always assumed, had to be white on a purple finch. Are ALL the photos submitted to the macaulay library checked before being added? I know when you add stuff to eBird these days, it goes right into that library... and it does make me wonder if things are confirmed before just being accepted to the library. Is it possible these examples of purple finches aren't purple finches? hmmm Perhaps if there were other angles of the original bird my brain wouldn't have wrestled with it so much. and perhaps I'll learn enough to some day feel more confident about the tougher IDs... perhaps...
  8. after I wake up and have breakfast I'll dig through some guides to try and satisfy my dissatisfaction here. HA. These are not all the same species, especially pic 1. The angle at which the head is turned is not enough to make the bill look THAT short compared to the purple finch below it. AND, there's NO strong white markings to indicate a purple finch. Just saw the last reply... who was the local expert? And, personally, I need someone to explain to me exactly why it's a purple finch... how am I not seeing the marks on the face at all? eh, have to have breakfast and wake up but... I'll be back. 🙂
  9. I'm hoping to see more thoughts on these. I've held back my opinions because of how confused I feel... Picture one... I don't know if it's the angle but that doesn't even look like a red(purple/house) finch's bill. Looks short... and I don't see enough white on the face to call it a purple, that's for sure. Picture two... something about the wing, I just don't know but, I could see this one being a purple finch. Picture three... looks all wrong for a finch to me. The bill looks all wrong. Does look more like a grosbeak but I just don't know. These three birds were all in the same tree which COULD lead us to believe they're the same species. I'm putting out the notion that, perhaps they're not??? 🙂 Again, I hope to see more thoughts on these birds. There'd be a lot of birds in California that I would not be familiar with...
  10. interesting color... I'm not good with their songs but know that they can vary a bit. Staring at this, though, I can't see anything besides a house finch.
  11. same here. I could look at a field guide to compare on the ducks but I'd dare to say they're not mallards or most of the other common ones. Bill color looks like female on left, male on right.
  12. yeah, while I was searching I was astounded by the number of species that look similar... many of them further south though. And most of them having smaller bills than either the great kiskadee or the boat-billed flycatcher. My daughter saw what I was looking at and she was frustrated too. She said one of the reasons she like the kiskadee so much was because how unique it is. Well, I guess not. HA. For Mexico, here are the three that are likely to be found... In my opinion, only the great kiskadee's bill matches, at least in terms of size. But, do wait for more experienced birders to weigh in... I'f simply found no photos of any of the likely (or unlikely) species that quite match this bird. Great kiskadee Boat-billed flycatcher Social flycatcher when you look down further to South America there are more options but none of them looked quite right to me either.
  13. This is intriguing. I think I "need" to buy some field guides for other countries one of these days. I just did a little searching on either as my daughter saw the picture and was confused. The markings on the head don't look right for great kiskadee... Never heard of the boat-billed flycatcher so I looked it up. Their bill is much larger than what I'm seeing in this picture. I looked at all about birds as well as the macaulay library to see pictures of the great kiskadee to see if maybe their young might look different or something. Found no information on it so far and no pictures to support that idea, so far. I'm going to keep searching, starting with wikipedia's list of birds of mexico... ha. I'm not sure the rufous edging would mean a lot. (hmmm, why does firefox think rufous is spelled wrong?) The pattern on the boat-billed is similar, but again, their bill should be bigger from what I looked at. Love mysteries
  14. Just an update. I had contacted a few people about this owl to see if anyone was interested in it. A PHD student at the university of Arkansas went and collected it today for use in their lab. I'm not quite sure what that means but this guy headed up some productive surveys and research on northern saw-whet owls in Arkansas over the last few years, learning that there are more throughout this area during migration than people realized. I hope some good comes of this poor bird's demise. He too doubted that the bird had been hanging there since late summer, he thought it seemed fresher. I hope either he's wrong or the guy that said it had been there for so long was wrong about how long... or, it actually kept for that long. Would be pretty sad if it was a second one. Just the other year there was a nest with two young just on the other side of this hotspot. You needed a scope to really see them in the nest but it was my first time seeing one. It was actually a red-tailed hawk's nest that the owls took over at some point.
  15. any other pictures? I hope I'm not a pain, I just don't see what I need to see to agree... that's not to say I disagree. I trust these guys more than myself with most birds for sure... I have a lot to learn. I just have to figure out how I can look at this bird and say "yep, that's a pint warbler" and not feel so uncertain. Those birds can look so alike and the quality is low. Just looked in the guide and thought, why not throw out a 1st winter bay-breasted just for fun? HA. The face wouldn't quite match there but the wing bars would look good. I'm not trying to be difficult in any of this, just trying to learn. Better pictures would probably cause me less frustration... but that's how that goes.
  16. I'm not good with anything but American myself as that's all I've seen in person(that I know of) but I've spent some time TRYING to compare some of them. I often forget these little details. I've stared at some in the yard that look odd to me... and a few undertails have thrown me as the american can have a little color under there but, it's more of a brownish than yellow. With those things in mind, that bird has a pretty good yellowish wash to it underneath considering... You can look at pictures HERE of the lesser and scroll through them. You'll find an immature that is pretty close to your bird.
  17. nah, you worded it fine. When I said I wasn't going to argue it's simply because I'm throwing out my guess based on what I think I see... and, I'm conceding that you may be right and I may be completely wrong here. Eh, you know the thoughts in my head make perfect sense to me but expressing them how I want is often difficult... for me and for others. :( Basically, I'm NOT confident and that's why I'm not going to "argue." I'm just going to blame the image quality and angle(Totally not my lack of skill... cough cough) for the struggle here. Normally it'd be a female pine that might give me trouble. Look alike birds frustrate me... and don't get me started on sound alike birds either. ha All that rambling aside, I'd love to hear some points on this bird from other people. Even if it makes me look bad. :)
  18. pictures and posture, torture me sometimes. I will study a field guide a little more on this one later. I compared birds on all about birds for a minute... had the same problem with the bill. Looks small to me but, it's not a good photo AND bills look different from different angles. And it's interesting you mention the head pattern as, looking at pictures on that site, it seemed that the vireo would be more likely to have what looks like a cap here than the pine warbler would... again, just with the pictures I looked at. I struggled with the wing-bars as well... didn't look right for either to me. Not going to argue at this point as this is more of "that's just what I see." If I saw this bird in person I'd hope that it vocalized for me as that would help some. The vireos hide a lot and those pine warblers, their colors vary so much I sometimes feel like I'm looking at something else. It's fun, and educational for me to try and solve these. And it helps me a lot when people talk out the reasoning rather than just say "it's a ______." :) These discussions will help me improve :)
  19. looking like a yellow-throated vireo to me. Cool little birds and sometimes hard to actually see rather than hear.
  20. Just dug some up from 2016... even then it was VERY iBird heavy... too heavy(in my opinion) And, I personally wouldn't have it the same exact way as it was before but you can see the old categories and get an idea of how popular different sections were.
  21. mixed thoughts on the issue. I miss the old one... I miss being able to post a picture of a bug and having someone here ID it. There were more people here that were quite knowledgeable in a lot of areas... BUT... You know I kind of feel like there's nobody here running things on a day to day basis. The people that are responsible for it basically want a forum for ID where people can discuss IDs and they don't really care about much else. Them wanting to make sure it's here, up and running is better than them not caring but I still feel like there's little actual care and thought put into it these days. But, I can go either way in considering whether or not other nature discussion is relevant or needed. I liked it but understand arguments against it. If that makes sense. I can say with a LOT of passion/frustration that things NEED to be tweaked here. I'll forget about the off topic stuff for now, the on topic stuff is still lacking. First thing that I'd change(if it were me) is create a section for site help/info and clear up most of the pinned topics in this ID section. They don't belong here at all. They clutter things up. Second, I don't know if it can be helped. I think there should be a small section regarding ID tools other than just iBird. I think they make money off it here and so that's all they want to discuss? I mean, is this the whatbird forum or the iBird forum? Third... off topic? I could go either way with that. I like some off topic discussions but some people end up discussing things that end up leaving people frustrated. Like, let's talk about climate change or border walls today? No thanks. I prefer to focus on what we all have in common. :) BUT... even more bird related, this is still lacking fun. If it's just come in, ask or answer a bird ID, then leave... that's just not engaging enough for some. The quizzes people used to have... We lost more than just old data when the site crashed. I'm still unsure how it crashed THAT bad... are backups not made? I run a forum(not that it's worth speaking of, get pretty much 0 visitors) and if it crashed today I wouldn't have to start over and build from the ground up. And if I had active members that were wanting things to be improved, I don't think I'd continue to lurk in the shadows being satisfied with simply having an up and running ID forum. This is NOT to pick on whomever is running things. I know things don't always work out the way people plan. Things happen. But the site was TOO slow to recover structurally and it still has not recovered largely because of just how much was left out of what it once was. Whether or not it's true, it FEELS like the whatbird owners are pretty content just having this much up. This is my attempt at constructive criticism. This site has more potential than is being used/seen. All that to say, I wouldn't want to try and dictate exactly what we "need" back but I'm definitely in support of some changes that I'd indeed call "needs." :)
  22. I think that's easy to forget and not think about for a lot of people, especially those that are newer. But definitely helpful to the people trying to help. I will say that here the date is on the photos and the location is in tags. I don't usually look at the tags myself so I end up wondering where as well with a lot of these.
  23. indeed, location and date can be HUGE in helping to ID a bird... BUT... 1. Boy are there ever exceptions to such rules. Local Audubon leader recently told me he had a black-throated blue warbler on a CBC here in NW Arkansas one year. That shouldn't be here in winter(rare any time of year actually) And we've had a vermilion flycatcher or two in the last year or so right here in NW Arkansas. 2. Some field guides are wrong or just outdated. You'll find a lot of maps in field guides that don't line up with the data on eBird. 3. Not everyone visiting here has a field guide. 4. Not everyone that has a field guide has gotten good at using them.
  24. Very informative. Thanks. I hope you can tolerate me here. I do believe I'm more likely to say male and female most of the time but, I can't make any promises OR apologies for using the wrong terms.
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