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CathyW

Brown 9" birds, black underside w/white spots-Sierra Foothills

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End of August, 2020, I saw five (5) birds eating the dried up blackberries on our Sierra Foothills property.  They were close to 9" from tip of beak to tip of tail.  Solid brown on the head and back of body.  Black underside with white spots.  Black leading edge of wings with white spots.  We've searched the North American Field Guides backwards and forwards - No match! Help!  This is driving us crazy!  No photo unfortunately...

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Not Starlings - the top and head of the birds were solid brown - no flecks.  And the birds were silent.  No vocalizations such as Starlings make...  Could they be escaped exotic pets?  We have so many fires around us.

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Posted (edited)
11 minutes ago, hbvol50 said:

Starlings

Specifically, immature European Starlings molting into adult plumage.  Juveniles are brown and adults in the winter are spotted.  Immatures are a mix of both.

Edited by The Bird Nuts

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Based on the photo that Colton V sent -- this is how our birds differ:

Longer beak (black), kind of like a flicker beak

Glossy solid dark honey brown on entire head, top of back and wings, and tail. 

Longer tail

However -- the band of black with white spots under the wing is exact, only it goes all the way across the chest. 

??  Thank so much for  your help!

 

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Posted (edited)
23 minutes ago, CathyW said:

band of black with white spots under the wing is exact, only it goes all the way across the chest. 

Starlings are the only birds in your area that have black with white feathers like that.

If you will look through some of these photos, I am pretty sure you will find one that looks like the ones you are seeing.https://ebird.org/media/catalog?taxonCode=eursta&q=European Starling - Sturnus vulgaris&age=i

Edited by Kevin

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