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Posts posted by millipede

  1. 2 hours ago, Charlie Spencer said:

    What a great first post.  I think we have a winner.

    Now wait a minute mr sox fox...

    No... cayuga are larger ducks and the color of the body and bill aren't quite right. 
    I wish I knew how to contact a guy I knew from an old poutry forum years back... he created his own duck breed and was REALLY good at duck genetics and could give some really educated thoughts on this bird.
    The color... it is dark here... I'm telling you, in the field that day it was good for cinnamon teal color on the body... it was a striking bird. 
    Not saying it HAS to be CITE at all... just, that the color doesn't represent what was seen.

    And Benjamin... yeah, it's been a LONG year... August was the worst having a false order of protection filed, ending up without a home or car, having my 19 year old kicked out a week later then having to stay with me at a hotel, a birthday(I don't like aging), then our 20th anniversary, then court...  The worst is behind... the present is so so... but it's better and could be worse. I've had support from family and friends... got a dirt cheap($700) car 2nd day out of the house, I'm back in the house, and on and on. Depending on which side of the coin I choose to look at today, life is good. And there's always birding...  First mississippi kite I saw all year was when I was walking because I had no car... I wouldn't have seen it otherwise. ha.  
    I'm not entirely sure my current vehicle will make it the 5 or so hours to chase a fork-tailed flycatcher but I'm working on another vehicle... we'll see.
    And I'm rambling...  I do that. Perhaps 20 years is a long time to live with me. HA.  
    Anyway... thanks for the thoughts on the bird so far. I wish I had a better camera back then and had better pictures. It really was a striking bird, no matter what it is.

    Oh... so, the bird is small... teal sized...  it was significantly smaller than the mallards... so, either it has some form of teal lineage or, call duck(domestic).  I'm not convinced of that but, I really can't say at this point. 
    It's interesting to see someone say that a 2nd generation hybrid isn't likely...  but would like to add to that, anything is possible. 
    HOPEFULLY the next time I have confusing birds to get IDs for I'll have better photos... I'm getting a new camera soon... canon rebel t7 and hopefully I can use it well enough to get better pictures than the point and shoots I'm used to. We'll see.

  2. I've been bothered by that white patch a little... has me almost wondering about a bwte x cite x mall...  as in one hybrid hybridizing with another bird. It's curious for sure.
    The color seemed wrong to just be bwte though. Even in these pictures it's dark but, I really remember that day watching the bird, it was definitely cinnamon teal colored.
    I REALLY wish I had a better camera back then. I'm getting a new camera soon, I think.. can't wait.

  3. These pictures are lousy and wont do this bird justice. This is from January 2018 here in Arkansas... not that the location matters for this particular bird. 🙂  
    I wish I had a better camera at the time as this really was a magnificent bird. You might be able to tell in one picture, where it's swimming with mallards, that it is teal sized. The color of the bird sure looked perfect for cinnamon teal in the field. In the lousy pictures... my daughter thinks it's too dark for cinnamon teal but that doesn't give us any other possibilities. It looks like I see some white hear the bill which would steer away from cinnamon but...  it's really too dark to be blue-winged.
    And it had a nice bright green mallard head...  The bill is half mallard colored half teal color...  (I keep thinking about domestics but can't think of any that it really would look like as far as size and form)
    I'm still leaning towards cinnamon teal x mallard but I'm not sure it's perfect for it. Again, the pictures do not do the bird justice. Let me know what you think...  
    I was excited because I tried looking up such a hybrid online to show my kids but, I didn't find a single one. 
    I want to show this to my state reviewer but he doesn't take me very seriously as a birder so I haven't been reaching out to him as often lately... 😞



    Side question... how active is the forum compared to the FB page? I see people post on FB a LOT but, I also see a lot of ID's given by people that don't know their birds. 

    In case anyone asks... (i'm somewhat of an open book... too much so sometimes) where I've been???
    It's a LONG story but I spent almost a month living in a hotel, going through a separation(or divorce, I'm not even sure) and custody etc... I am in my house and have primary custody of the kids which is awesome... but it still limits the time I have with them so I don't get out birding as much and my time on the internet... well, I'm still on a lot but my computer is "missing" so I'm on a chromebook that I don't like...  and I end up having a LOT of other stuff to do so I have forgotten about this place for a while.
    Another side note...  anyone with reliable transportation want to drive me to the other side of Arkansas to chase the fork-tailed flycatcher that's been there a while now? I have a feeling if I ever drive that far the bird will be gone... it's about 5 or so hours from here.
    phew... long enough for now.
    Let me know what you think about this duck.

    • Like 1
  4. The idea, I've been told, is that owls, some other raptors, cranes, and a few others are "sensitive" and if bothered too much, are "known" to abandon their nests. Some groups wont let you share any photos or locations of such birds to protect them.
    I'm not sure how true any of that is which is part of why I'm trying to get other opinions.
    I don't want to go too far to one extreme, or the other. I don't want to allow EVERYTHING but at the same time, some groups make such drastic rules just to prevent the encouragement of those unethical photographers that will do anything for that perfect shot.
    This is similar to why the migratory bird treaty is as strict as it is. It's "technically" illegal for you to pick up a bird feather and bring it home... Because killing birds to get feathers is illegal but if it wasn't worded so strictly, people could easily say they found it and be lying. People lie.  😞 

  5. facebook is just a site I have open on my computer almost all the time. You guys wouldn't want me here EVERY day anyway. ha. 

    So no thoughts on owl pictures??? or, not enough people see this section of the forum?

  6. I'm sorry I don't get on here as often as I'd like. I get distracted with other things...  I still wish there were more sections/options to this board... this topic for instance doesn't have an adequate forum to be posted in. 😞 

    Anyway... I run some facebook groups... the birding in Massachusetts group I'm running has blown up.  Back in November(ish) I had posted hoping to get to 100 users. The group had been there a while and I was just a member but then I noticed, there was no administrator... A click or two and, I took over. I changed the title, the images, gave it a description, etc... there's almost 2700 members now. 
    Now if I can just do that with my Birding Arkansas group... 

    anyway... when I started discussing rules and such for the group, someone made the suggestion(among other things) to say NO owl pictures... I discussed it with them, and their reasoning. They said a lot of groups have that rule...   It made some sense. Owls are a sensitive species...  though, I've never seen any act so sensitive as to abandon a nest because someone's taking a picture, as has been implied. But there are bad photographers out there that I know will do anything for a good shot... Then again, any photographers with a decent camera don't need to get THAT close in the first place.

    So, I sort of made that a rule...  but then people started posting owl pictures and I kind of let it slide. I LOVE seeing owls...  and part of me wants to say... if it doesn't look like the birds are being disturbed, why not allow them. But, it's not like I can guarantee that by the looks of a photo right?  I wish I could force all the photographers to go through a birding ethics course before they're allowed to post pictures of certain species.
    Someone reported an owl picture the other day and then messaged me asking if I was allowing them. And I'm just stuck on the fence... I have trouble making decisions... and I need input from others.
    One of my thoughts was... perhaps I could make it a rule IF IF IF I allow owl pictures, people HAVE to describe the camera and lens they used, what kind of distance they were at, etc... 

    What do you all think???  Can I allow people to post owl pictures and keep the owls safe and unbothered? Or is it just better to not allow those pictures AT ALL to avoid the possibility of encouraging others to go grab those shots at any expense???

  7. 1 hour ago, Connor Cochrane said:

    Least have a much stronger eyeing. Look how this is incomplete. Traill's always has a distinct white throat, which contrasts with the rest of its body.

    I knew that about the least... Based on pictures I've seen, I wasn't sure that it was ALWAYS so bold, but knew that trait. Didn't know about the throat... I'll TRY to pay more attention to that sort of thing. Thanks

  8. other than a slight yellow(which, I can never tell if it's just the picture or not) what specifically makes this a yellow-bellied? That one is on the bar charts for that area, but a lot less common than least and alder...  when I hear them, I can either know it right away or use a brief playback to confirm my suspicion...  but, I want to get better at just looking at them and knowing and, they're just SO difficult... so, any help on the ID of this bird, how people come to it, I'd appreciate it. MAYBE... just maybe I'll remember what you say. 🙂

  9. 4 hours ago, Kevin said:


    not sure what that means...

    4 hours ago, HamRHead said:

    Hopefully, the chaos will subside and you can fit in a little birding.

    sometimes, the end to the chaos seems like it would take a miracle. 😞  But, birding still happens some. So as to not drive the wife batty, I try not to go out often... But when a tricolored heron shows up 90 minutes away... in Arkansas... you can't stay home. Only saw it a couple minutes but was well worth the drive. That was my most recent life bird, just within the last week I think.  And, I go outside to do yard work and(mostly unfortunately) I often do more birding than working. Can't help it sometimes. HA.

    • Like 2
  10. 1 hour ago, gpoole said:

    Am I close?

    I can say YES to that part...  outside of that... hmmm...
    I'm not great with the empids...  the eye-ring doesn't impress me here... not enough to say it's a least(though it could be).  I don't know how to rule out alder... looking at bar charts for nova scotia this time of year... lease is most common right now, followed by alder(only reason I mentioned it.)

    What was the habitat like? I've found least flycatchers, here in Arkansas, just about anywhere but, typically, have only found alder flycatchers near water. And IF they vocalize, sometimes that's the only thing that helps me. When they're quiet, I get frustrated... those empids are tricky birds.

  11. 4 minutes ago, akandula said:

    The bill looks large due to the absence of feathers at the base of the bill.

    Thanks... and that makes a lot of sense. I thought it looked odd there but, didn't examine it carefully enough to consider that.

    4 minutes ago, Kevin said:

    nice to see you back @millipede! I haven't seen you post in a while.

    Thanks... yeah... my life is... well... hectic to say the least. I get sucked into too many parts of the internet and forget some... and, actual real life has been chaotic since at least Christmas, to say the least. 😞 

    • Like 2
  12. On the Birding in Massachusetts group on facebook... someone posted a couple pictures of a woodpecker... it has the marks on the tail of a downy...  but that bill...  seems a bit BIG for a downy... but perhaps a LITTLE small for a hairy?  Any chance it's a hybrid? Thoughts on the bird??? I'm confused... ha.

    Back side/tail feathers


    and the bill...


  13. 1. Thanks.
    2. How many of those places do you think are open right now? Parker River NWR is only open to foot and bicycle traffic which will make it all but impossible for anyone not living on the island to get to.
    3. For the person asking about safety, it isn't about sketchy areas alone but also worrying about areas that are toooo secluded. They're in the Haverhill area. Doesn't have to be car birding for this person just not a place she'll feel paranoid. Any top picks for her?
    4. For my mom in Billerica that is currently in a wheelchair, I'll have to look to see if Cranes is open. That's one of her favorite beaches I think. Anywhere she could stay in the car and see some good birds would be great so I can convince her to get out of the house for a day. 🙂
    Thanks again.

  14. Actually, two questions here really.
    So on the FB group for birding in Massachusetts, a woman was asking for suggestions for places to go... but, she wants to find a place that's open right now AND not terribly secluded as she doesn't want to feel unsafe. Anyone ever birding alone and feel a bit uncomfortable? I'm a man and I have at times... so I get it.
    Anyway... They live in Essex county, I think Haverhill, MA... doesn't have to be right there I'm sure but, any locations in that general area that would be good, open, and safe. Please let me know.

    I'm also wondering if there's any good places in the Middlesex/Essex county area where a person can bird from their car...  My mom has a broken foot or something and has been using a wheelchair a lot. I'm not sure how much she wants to get out(though she is going stir crazy at home) but if there's anything like that, she MIGHT be interested. I'm just not familiar enough with many hotpots there.
    Here in NW Arkansas we have a fish hatchery where we can sit in the vehicle and drive around looking... that's pretty nice 🙂

    Side note... This was the best section I could think to put this question in. I'm a little disappointed that after all that talk, nobody really tried changing any of the forums. We still could use some new sections and, this(sometimes) still makes me want to start my own message board for this purpose... ha... 

    anyway... I'm not sitting at my computer very often these days so I haven't been keeping up as much as I'd like. Happy birding..

  15. Thanks for the confirmation...

    @The Bird Nuts  You two need to get out more. I often feel like you know more about birds than I but, my life list is longer.  You're beating me on the yard list though... I think mine is in the 140's somewhere.

    @gstacks  I hope most people outgrow that... as they learn. Early on(been birding about 6 years now I think) I made some mistakes that I was pretty confident I was right about... These days I question a LOT of things. If I'm unsure, I'll admit it. 🙂

    • Like 2
  16. So, a group on FB I run for birding in Massachusetts(link in signature), like a lot of facebook groups there's a good mix of inexperienced birders (or, non-birders entirely) that like to throw out IDs and feel very sure about them. It's always interesting...(reminds me of another group where someone once saw a 3 foot plus woodpecker... said it was bigger than an eagle... ha)

    Anyway... someone posted a picture of a raven... I'm not an expert on ravens AT ALL... but, it looked okay to me. I saw nothing to make me doubt. It's a good picture. Then someone called it an osprey... I think they're looking at a tiny image on their phone. Later someone said it was a raptor because of the bill... the angle makes that very difficult to judge... but, I sure don't see ANY kind of raptor in the picture.
    The only real question, in my mind, is whether it's for sure a raven or just a crow. I'm leaning raven but want some more informed opinions. Thanks


  17. 20 minutes ago, akandula said:

    Definitely Canada. The bird is too bulky and the bill is way too long for a Cackling.

    The goose is contracting its neck, so the short-necked appearance is just an illusion.

    I was thinking that... It's always kind of funny to me when I see someone offering an ID that's actually opposite of what they're describing. Someone said the bill on that bird was too short of canada... They must not have a lot of experience with cackling to be good with that judgement. I wouldn't have considered the overall bulk of the bird but that bill sure looked too long for cackling... except for on all about birds there's a picture of a taverners cackling where the bill looks a little longer. That's the only reason I didn't want to just come out and say it had to be canada...

  18. I was looking at a picture on facebook of a goose that was first ID'd as canada and then someone commented that the bill was too short and was probably canada. To me, the bill is too long for canada BUT the body sure is small and compact complicating things for me personally. It does not help that there are canadas that can look more cackling and the other way around. I like birds that have definitive features to differentiate.
    Anyway... thoughts???

    odd looking link, let me know if that doesn't work and I'll find another way to post it.

  19. Well so far, I still think Reeves's pheasant is the best match. My mom sent me some more photos but it looks like most of them were just different croppings of the same photo... then there's one other one.
    The pattern on the body, tail, face... the color... so much about it just says Reeves's to me.  But here's the other picture that shows a different angle.



  20. 37 minutes ago, Charlie Spencer said:

    What are laser arcs?  I've never heard this term in conjunction with birding.

    it's a very rare phenomena that few have captured on film... certain bird species produce an excess of electricity(kind of like when we shock each other with static electricity) and the result is a brief laser show out the birds back end. Usually only happens under dry conditions. It's been known to start a forest fire or two.

    • Haha 3
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