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cavan wood

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Posts posted by cavan wood

  1.   Millipede, I think the point is to start with the expected.  If you see something that makes you wonder, then pursue it, but don't declare zebra just because you see a horse with a funny tail.  It better have stripes as well.

    So is there anything in this immature bird, like white right to the bottom of the eye, or lack of brownish tones in the grey?   No, this bird has black all around the eye and subtle brown tones here and there.  So, it's a horse not a zebra.


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  2. 30 minutes ago, The Bird Nuts said:

    Pretty sure that's a tail and not feet sticking out, so not a grebe.  Maybe a Hooded Merganser?

    I think you're right about the tail TBN.  I was able to reveal a little more data by adjusting light levels.  The head does look reddish, crested, long-billed, and there's a hint of white in the chin throat area.

    I would agree with merganser.



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  3. The male gets that white patch from a white "hip", whereas the female's white comes from the secondaries.  Other males have white hips (wigeon), and other females have white secondaries, (gadwall), so no you can't rely soley on the white spots in the rear view to id a female pintail, especially since those secondaries are not always visible.

    Instead, look for that smooth, warm, unmarked head with a grey bill.


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  4. On 2/28/2019 at 12:50 PM, millipede said:

    Here's an image with more of the background in it. I believe the bird is larger than one of those sandpipers. I wish I had a better memory. I'm pretty certain this was at a local lake in a spot that, well I remember one time seeing a bird fly over to that location as it was getting darker... too far and too dim to see(might not be this bird, I think it was a little darker) and I was kind of thinking/hoping night heron.
    Would be nice if you could make out any details... is that dark area its head or, just a dark area? I sure can't tell.  So while I'm thinking it's bigger than a spotted or solitary sandpiper, I'm fairly certain we can't do much more than play a guessing game here... which can be fun.


    Is there anything that rules out coopers easily and points to sharp-shinned? The wings do look forward a little but I am not sure if that's quite good enough to go on or not. And the potential red-shouldered...  how confident on that one? I hope to get more and more and MORE old lists put on eBird and I want to be accurate where I can be accurate and just put hawk sp. if I'm not so sure.  I know I have a LOT of photos that are just going to be difficult to get solid IDs from but I'll enjoy the ones that can be solved...

    Besides the tiny recessed head, the tail feathers are all the same length, so that even with the tail spread it looks more squared than rounded.

    I based my RSHA id on the buteo shape and the thin white lines on the tail.


    Edit, oh wow! I.just realized I originally said cooper's.   No, I clearly wasn't seeing it right.  RSHA for me.

  5. On 2/28/2019 at 11:14 AM, The Bird Nuts said:

    Pretty sure #2 is indeed a Northern Parula (green back contrasting with bluish wings, greenish head, bluish cheeks, bright yellow throat and upper breast).  Photos of the wingbars would confirm it.

    Thanks.  Sorry I messed up on that one.


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