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I wish I could have taken a picture but i’ve been feeding birds for decades and I saw an orange breasted bird in my NJ yard that i’ve never seen before.  It was not a robin or oriole. It was larger than a sparrow or finch but not as big as a robin. It was in my forsythia hedge by seed I have on the ground for more timid birds.  It had black wings with a stripe ?  I’m at a loss!

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there wasn’t any white on the breast.  I’m still looking with the hopes of seeing it again but so far no luck. The closest I can find now is the below picture of Baltimore Oriole but I didn’t think they are in NJ during winter.  All the Orioles I see in Summer are black and deep orange. The breast on the bird I saw was a light orange as below.  Thanks for helping!

AA398404-FA35-4FC0-A250-EC1ABC9825D7.jpeg

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If you see the bird again and can't get a photo (or even if you can...) try to get a good look at the beak; that will help a lot to narrow down the ID. Also look for other color patterns on the bird - what color and position the stripe on the wing had, any other colors on the bird's head or other parts of the body, and length and shape of the tail. These things can be a big help in figuring out which bird you are seeing. For example, between Robin, Grosbeak, Oriole, and Nuthatch, a careful look at the bill would give you your answer. Also note behavior; if it was climbing up a tree trunk Nuthatch would be more likely, for example. Study the pictures of all the possible species mentioned here in a field guide or bird app, or looking at pictures from a reliable website like the bird ID guides here at WhatBird or the Cornell site. Be careful about just googling because you'll find a lot of incorrectly identified bird photos that way. Then when you see the bird again you'll have a better idea of what you're looking for to figure out your ID. (By the way, when looking at the Rose-Breasted Grosbeak, be sure to check out photos of females and immatures as well as adult males.)

We also all need to be careful about ruling things in or just based on observed size! All of us birders have been fooled by this before; it is often very hard to accurately judge the size of a bird we see in the wild, especially when using binoculars. If a bird is considerate enough to pose a few inches from another species for comparison it helps a lot but they don't always cooperate LOL!

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16 hours ago, Lisa NJ said:

there wasn’t any white on the breast.  I’m still looking with the hopes of seeing it again but so far no luck. The closest I can find now is the below picture of Baltimore Oriole but I didn’t think they are in NJ during winter.  All the Orioles I see in Summer are black and deep orange. The breast on the bird I saw was a light orange as below.  Thanks for helping!

AA398404-FA35-4FC0-A250-EC1ABC9825D7.jpeg

@Lisa NJwelcome to the forum! If you ever have any other questions or want to list something in any of the other forums on the site, feel free to do so! It is a great site!

my thoughts on your bird is the same as @Avery, Carolina wren

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There have been several Baltimore Orioles sightings in Jersey over the winter, I can tell you of at least 5 that have been confirmed, and are still here,plus a bullocks which is a mega rarity here. Can you give a county or town for the sighting?

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Update... saw it again today on my suet cage.  I think it is a Baltimore Oriole. Still hard to believe I’m seeing one in NJ in January. The picture attached isn’t very good.   I’m in Old Bridge, NJ. 

CE68B292-9A11-4D8F-830D-BBBB4781710A.jpeg

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21 hours ago, Lisa NJ said:

Update... saw it again today on my suet cage.  I think it is a Baltimore Oriole. Still hard to believe I’m seeing one in NJ in January. The picture attached isn’t very good.   I’m in Old Bridge, NJ. 

CE68B292-9A11-4D8F-830D-BBBB4781710A.jpeg

This could be an oriole but it doesn't look like one.

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22 hours ago, Lisa NJ said:

Update... saw it again today on my suet cage.  I think it is a Baltimore Oriole. Still hard to believe I’m seeing one in NJ in January. The picture attached isn’t very good.   I’m in Old Bridge, NJ. 

CE68B292-9A11-4D8F-830D-BBBB4781710A.jpeg

Tell me if I'm wrong, but isn't this spot on for a Black-headed Grosbeak?

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On 1/10/2021 at 2:33 PM, Lisa NJ said:

 It had black wings with a stripe

 I didn't see this before, but it also supports it being Black-headed Grosbeak.

 

Edited by Aidan B
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