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23 Feb 2021 Baldwin co. AL;  delta/bay/river & mixed piney/cypress/hardwoods; public access walking paths, interpretive center & other habited buildings

1.  ?Red-tailed Hawk

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2.  ?Swamp Sparrow--deep in shade, hard for me to appreciate color

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3.  ?Savannah Sparrow--apologies for the blurred image

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4.  ?Song Sparrow

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5.  ?Lincoln's Sparrow

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6.  I could ID the Killdeer (bird in center of lower image) in the field.  Can the smaller shorebirds be identified any further than "peep sp."? 

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9 minutes ago, floraphile said:

Do Song Sparrows always have an eye ring?

I believe you are seeing the orbital ring, which is a ring of bare skin around the eyes of all birds.

I'm not certain about #3.  It doesn't really look like a White-throated to me. I think the yellow spot over its eye is not actually on the bird.

Edited by The Bird Nuts
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8 minutes ago, floraphile said:

Do Song Sparrows always have an eye ring?

I guess they can, but I don't think all of them do, at least not an obvious one. Eye ring is not a feature I pay much attention to when identifying melospiza sparrows.

For Song vs Lincoln's Sparrow, a good mark is that Song Sparrows have a strong, broad, dark malar stripe (or lateral throat stripe, not sure what the correct technical term is).

sosp.PNG.e581e048ccde292a01db7b97db386b47.PNG

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5 minutes ago, AlexHenry said:

I guess they can, but I don't think all of them do, at least not an obvious one. Eye ring is not a feature I pay much attention to when identifying melospiza sparrows.

For Song vs Lincoln's Sparrow, a good mark is that Song Sparrows have a strong, broad, dark malar stripe (or lateral throat stripe, not sure what the correct technical term is).

sosp.PNG.e581e048ccde292a01db7b97db386b47.PNG

Thanks, @AlexHenry--that is incredibly helpful!

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Okay, I'm good with White-throated.  I guess the markings don't match anything else.  And after looking at photos of Song Sparrows, I guess they do have thin white eyerings/eye arcs.  In other words....forget everything I just said!

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Do y'all agree with Red-tailed Hawk?  The bird in question was hanging out near an Osprey platform and a pair of Osprey were circling and fussing the entire time I was there, which was about 2 hours.  I thought it was another Osprey until I got home and looked at my pics.

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For the shorebirds, the lower center one looks more like a Semipalm. Killdeer will have another breast band. The others could be least or semipalm, and the top right is either a pec or a yellowlegs, can’t tell the beak length. 

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3 minutes ago, Avery said:

For the shorebirds, the lower center one looks more like a Semipalm. Killdeer will have another breast band. The others could be least or semipalm, and the top right is either a pec or a yellowlegs, can’t tell the beak length. 

In the original image, there are 2 definite breast bands on the center bird, but they are not discernable in this posted image.  I'm not sure how to avoid losing so much resolution when I crop & post?  I will just call them "peep sp."  

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Just now, floraphile said:

In the original image, there are 2 definite breast bands on the center bird, but they are not discernable in this posted image.  I'm not sure how to avoid losing so much resolution when I crop & post?  I will just call them "peep sp."  

Well, if there were two, then it’s a killdeer!

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Okay “peep sp” refers specifically to a group of small calidris sandpipers, 5 species in North America - Least, Semipalmated, Western, Baird’s, and White-rumped Sandpipers.

Don’t just call any unidentified small shorebird “peep sp” - unless you are certain it is one of those 5 species!

A Killdeer or Semipalmated Plover is most certainly not a peep!

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1 minute ago, AlexHenry said:

Okay “peep sp” refers specifically to a group of small calidris sandpipers, 5 species in North America - Least, Semipalmated, Western, Baird’s, and White-rumped Sandpipers.

Don’t just call any unidentified small shorebird “peep sp” - unless you are certain it is one of those 5 species!

A Killdeer or Semipalmated Plover is most certainly not a peep!

Good to know.  The shorebirds in question were not Killdeer.  I had 5 definite Killdeer on the mudflat for comparison.  The unknowns were pretty tiny, so I thought probably Least, but, looking at my pictures, I think they weren't as small as I thought they were when viewed in the field.  And their shapes--allbeit to this novice birder--didn't look quite like Leasts.

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The shorebird photos are just too distant for me. Maybe if I squinted and zoomed in I could give a better answer, but it would still just be mostly speculative.

If you got better looks in the field, perhaps you can identify them. You probably know better than us what they were.

1 minute ago, floraphile said:

I'll just call them "shorebird sp."

You can always just leave them off the checklist too.

But if you think they were Western/Leasts, call them “peep sp”. Just do what you think they were...

But I don’t think we can help you on this one

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Well keep in mind that Dunlins aren’t peeps!

That being said, I think you all are trying too hard! The shorbs in the photos are really far away, I would suggesting just writing them off as too far to ID, rather than speculating as to what they might be...

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38 minutes ago, AlexHenry said:

Well keep in mind that Dunlins aren’t peeps!

That being said, I think you all are trying too hard! The shorbs in the photos are really far away, I would suggesting just writing them off as too far to ID, rather than speculating as to what they might be...

I will do that.  Better no data than erroneous data.

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3 hours ago, floraphile said:

I will just call them "peep sp."

Please don't. The term "peep" is restricted to just the smallest sandpipers in the world, to wit: Least, Baird's, White-rumped, Semipalmated, Western, and Spoon-billed sandpipers, and Little, Red-necked, Temminck's, and Long-toed Stints. Sanderlings are NOT peep. Dunlin are NOT peep. Semipalmated Plovers are NOT peep. Nothing that is NOT a sandpiper (family Scolopacidae) and IS larger than Baird's or White-rumped is NOT a peep. Please use "shorebird sp."

The plover is certainly a Killdeer, as it's far too large relative to the other shorebirds to be any other banded plover.

Edited by Tony Leukering
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16 minutes ago, Tony Leukering said:

Please don't. The term "peep" is restricted to just the smallest sandpipers in the world, to wit: Least, Baird's, White-rumped, Semipalmated, Western, and Spoon-billed sandpipers, and Little, Red-necked, Temminck's, and Long-toed Stints. Sanderlings are NOT peep. Dunlin are NOT peep. Semipalmated Plovers are NOT peep. Nothing that is NOT a sandpiper (family Scolopacidae) and IS larger than Baird's or White-rumped is NOT a peep. Please use "shorebird sp."

The plover is certainly a Killdeer, as it's far too large relative to the other shorebirds to be any other banded plover.

Yes--we discussed that in the thread.  And I know plovers are not sandpipers. And I ID'd the Killdeer in the field.  They weren't the problem.

Edited by floraphile
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