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Hello,

can you help me ID a bird?  I live in Baltimore County, MD.  this morning I saw a fairly large (at least Robin-sized but I think larger) bird who was singing high up in a tree in my yard.  It was light grey on it's underside and I believe mostly grey on top but I had limited view from my perspective.  I have binoculars and the bird turned its head down several times and there was a distinct narrow black tapering triangular patch on the top of it's head tapering to it's beak.  There were no other black markings on its face or head or throat that I recall, only the single triangular stripe.  I couldn't record it's song in time but I can whistle it.    I cannot find such a bird on any ID site or app.  Of course, it didn't help that I couldn't see the plumage better.  Some pictures of nuthatches look a little similar but the stripe on this bird is narrower and more pointed and the bird sounded nothing like a nuthatch from the recordings I listened to.  This song was very clear, pretty, flute-like.   Loooww-Highhh-1-2-3

Janine

Catonsville

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Welcome to Whatbird! Gray Catbird sounds like it fits your description, but it usually doesn't make flutelike calls. The low-high-1-2-3 sounds more like a Mourning Dove, but they should not have any black on their crown. Could the black have been shadow? I hope this helps!

-DG

 

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Any chance it could have been a Northern Mockingbird? And yes, it's good to consider whether the black on the head could have been a shadow, given the conditions you describe.

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You know, I realized my description was of a mourning dove song and I can't rely on my memory of the song any longer.  But it wasn't cooing at all.  I am a newbie, but this definitely wasn't a mourning dove.  I do know them and their sounds (one of the few songs I can ID!).  Looking at pictures of Northern Mockingbirds, yes I would say it's possible.  The black on the head seemed so sharp and defined.  I thought I had a good look at that part in sharp focus.  But I don't know.  The size, color and shape of the mockingbird is right.  I'll watch out for him.  thanks for your help!  thank you for this forum!

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I also like Northern Mockingbird but @Janine D's description of the bird's song puzzles me.  Mocks are noted for changing their tunes very frequently, imitating one call for a few seconds, switching to the next, switching through dozens before repeating one.  If the bird gave one call repeatedly, often enough to easily remember and whistle it, that doesn't sound like Mock's song to me.

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On 6/10/2020 at 5:30 AM, Janine D said:

Oh yes, I thought catbird was possible too.  But the sounds were wrong.

Gray Catbird is a member of the Mimidae -- it is a mimic, and the most prolific in the ABA Area. It's song can be almost anything.

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