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Rusty Blackbird?


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Yes, Rusty Blackbird! Note the yellow eye and, well, rusty coloration. And the short tail separating it from a grackle. Also, there would not be any juveniles this time of year.

Edited by Birding Boy
Rustly blackbird sounds cool but is an autocorrect induced species...
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100% a Rusty Blackbird. An immature Common Grackle would have much larger heavier bill, and less bright rusty tones to the plumage among other things. 

And I believe all HY birds resemble adults in plumage by this time of year, as there is no Basic I Plumage for Common Grackles. I could only find very few images on eBIrd of presumed HY birds who had delayed molt strategies, the latest of which went into December/Jan.

 

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2 hours ago, John Carroll said:

Charlie that's the exact scenario that my buddy described when he saw the Rusty. I sometimes have to force myself to look more closely at the brown birds because you never know what you might find in there. Its tough to do most time though.

I feel better knowing 90% of yesterday's birds were well over 100 feet away, and I had to pay as much attention to the vehicular traffic as I did the birds.

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19 minutes ago, Mindy Smith said:

Just wanted to add - lovely photos of the Rusty. I am still looking for one. Also, birding while kayaking is almost as bad as driving - I keep drifting off when trying to take photos.

I selected a kayak as an anniversary bonus at work.  My intent was to use it on flat water to get access to areas not easily reachable from land.  I found it to be an unstable platform for photography, and being down so low meant birds on the water's surface were obscured by even the smallest swells.  I also had to pay too much attention to the conditions (and BUI'ers!) to get much birding done.

In retrospect, I should have chosen the bicycle.  At least the lesson didn't cost me anything but time.  If you're interested in trying it, definitely rent one or go with a service before you buy one yourself.

Edited by Charlie Spencer
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On 2/4/2021 at 8:12 PM, DLecy said:

I believe all HY birds resemble adults in plumage by this time of year, as there is no Basic I Plumage for Common Grackles

The black blackbirds achieve an adult-LIKE plumage in the first fall, so, yes, there are no juveniles of Common Grackle (or other grackles or Red-wingeds or cowbirds or Yellow-headeds) in February. However, Common Grackle (and ALL other bird species) have a first basic plumage -- it is simply another name for juvenile plumage.

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