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What fun facts have you learned as a birder that caught you by surprise or that you think others may not realize? What tips or tricks or have you learned to help you id birds in the field? What bird behaviors have you learn about?  Post anything you have learned as a birder but you have to use photograph(s) to help explain or use as an example. For example did you know that a Crested Caracara can change the color of it's facial skin in seconds.

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Did you know that owl’s ears or not symmetrical? One is further down and and pointed down, while the other is further up and pointed up. This makes it so they can triangulate the exact position of their prey. Here is a NSWO  ear. They are really cool looking!

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Raise your hand if you had/have trouble identifying sparrows🤚 The Clay-colored Sparrow and Chipping Sparrow can be tough to tell apart especially if the Chipping Sparrow doesn't have the classic breeding plumage red head. Note both the Clay on the left and the Chipping on the right have a thin dark eye line. Also note how that line is absent between eye and beak for the Clay but does appear on the Chipping. This is true no matter the maturity or breeding status of the bird...and is one way to help tell them apart in the field. Yep you are still going to have to get a good look at the birds or get a photo to id them. I get numerous Chipping Sparrows at my feeders here in Florida in the winter but also have seen a couple of Clay-colored which are rare here in the winter. This little tip has helped me pull the Clay-colored out of the crowd of Chipping in our backyard and to id them in the field both in Colorado and here in Florida. Harder to explain but the dark patch on the cheeks of the Clay-colored is better defined than on the Chipping which also aids in iding. 

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7 hours ago, Clip said:

Raise your hand if you had/have trouble identifying sparrows🤚 The Clay-colored Sparrow and Chipping Sparrow can be tough to tell apart especially if the Chipping Sparrow doesn't have the classic breeding plumage red head. Note both the Clay on the left and the Chipping on the right have a thin dark eye line. Also note how that line is absent between eye and beak for the Clay but does appear on the Chipping. This is true no matter the maturity or breeding status of the bird...and is one way to help tell them apart in the field. Yep you are still going to have to get a good look at the birds or get a photo to id them. I get numerous Chipping Sparrows at my feeders here in Florida in the winter but also have seen a couple of Clay-colored which are rare here in the winter. This little tip has helped me pull the Clay-colored out of the crowd of Chipping in our backyard and to id them in the field both in Colorado and here in Florida. Harder to explain but the dark patch on the cheeks of the Clay-colored is better defined than on the Chipping which also aids in iding. 

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On 3/3/2021 at 7:50 PM, chipperatl said:

When you think two male Mallards are fighting over territory, it may be something else they are fighting over.  You just couldn’t see her at first.

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Awesome photo! Geez they are going to drowned the poor girl!

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This Swainson's Hawk like the Crested Caracara I started this topic with has a full crop. The crop is used by birds for food storage. While other birds also have a crop they seem to be most visible on birds of prey such as Hawks and Eagles. Birds don't always know where their next meal is coming from so they will over eat and use the crop to store the extra food for later.

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This is the 4th season I've had a Barred Owl nest box up, and I finally put a camera in it, so I would have a chance to observe the babies for the first month of life.  The female came to the box, and acted like she was preparing to nest, and then disappeared.  I was afraid the camera had scared her away, until I read that Barred Owl females take every 3rd year off, to give their body a rest.  This explained why I saw her in the box the first year, but then didn't see any more activity.  The last 2 years, she has raised 2 Hootlets each year 🥰  Here is a picture memory, of one of her 2019 Hootlets...

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The White-eyed Vireo gets it name from the color of it's iris. I had a novice birder once think that a Ruby-crowned Kinglet was a White-eyed Vireo because of it's white eye ring. So while most people on this sight likely know this not everyone will. This all said and illustrated don't forget the juvenile White-eyed Vireo doesn't have the white iris.

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14 hours ago, Clip said:

The White-eyed Vireo gets it name from the color of it's iris. I had a novice birder once think that a Ruby-crowned Kinglet was a White-eyed Vireo because of it's white eye ring. So while most people on this sight likely know this not everyone will. This all said and illustrated don't forget the juvenile White-eyed Vireo doesn't have the white iris.

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Great photo!

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A word about the word Leucistic. I often see people refer to a leucistic bird as "partially" leucistic. A bird is either leucistic or it isn't. There is no partial. There can be very leucistic or a bit leucistic. The term leucistic means partial already. If a bird or other creature was completely as opposed to partially white it would be albino. All of the birds below are leucistic though they have varying degrees of the trait.

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4 hours ago, Clip said:

A word about the word Leucistic. I often see people refer to a leucistic bird as "partially" leucistic. A bird is either leucistic or it isn't. There is no partial. There can be very leucistic or a bit leucistic. The term leucistic means partial already. If a bird or other creature was completely as opposed to partially white it would be albino. All of the birds below are leucistic though they have varying degrees of the trait.

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A good point, but you have to remember this: even if every feather on a bird is white, it’s not a true albino unless it has a red/pink eye.

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The teachable moment I was remind of today with the Northern Bobwhite is bird those fences and fence poles. They can hold birding treasurer. Just a few examples below.

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41 minutes ago, PaulK said:

Just learned yesterday about fecal sacs and lo and behold today DSCN4168.thumb.JPG.15b0105ccd07d07cba7038b8fa0572cd.JPG

We see this a lot in our backyard! I thought changing diapers was bad. Glad I never had to do this!

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This photo was taken in  Klickitat County, Washington on 30 JUL 2020, the temp that day was 100°F.

When it is extremely hot [like a 110°] some bird species do what is called gular fluttering. They open their mouth and “flutter” their neck muscles which causes heat loss thus cooling them off. It is the avian version of ''panting''.  

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Edited by lonesome55dove
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15 hours ago, lonesome55dove said:

This photo was taken in  Klickitat County, Washington on 30 JUL 2020, the temp that day was 100°F.

When it is extremely hot [like a 110°] some bird species do what is called gular fluttering. They open their mouth and “flutter” their neck muscles which causes heat loss thus cooling them off. It is the avian version of ''panting''.  

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Excellent addition to this topic. Thanks!

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