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blackbird in MA


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From the birding in massachusetts facebook group... They claim the line on the wing is WHITE...  The pics are not great. I'm not a good judge of this... bill looks long to me.
But tricolored would be just about impossible in MA...
Just a young red-winged?  Thoughts in general?

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=3913245902054366&set=p.3913245902054366&type=3

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2 hours ago, millipede said:

From the birding in massachusetts facebook group... They claim the line on the wing is WHITE...  The pics are not great. I'm not a good judge of this... bill looks long to me.
But tricolored would be just about impossible in MA...
Just a young red-winged?  Thoughts in general?

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=3913245902054366&set=p.3913245902054366&type=3

Definitely Red-winged. Tricolored are much whiter than the color in the one closer up photo.

Edited by Aidan B
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24 minutes ago, Charlie Spencer said:

Is marijuana legal in MA now?

Question. This sounds judgy. Are you suggesting anyone that would be uncertain about the bird must be on drugs? If so, well...  I'm having a bad moment because of another conversation somewhere else but, I'm offended.  Kind of a condescending thing to say if I'm interpreting this correctly.  😕

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22 minutes ago, millipede said:

Question. This sounds judgy. Are you suggesting anyone that would be uncertain about the bird must be on drugs? If so, well...  I'm having a bad moment because of another conversation somewhere else but, I'm offended.  Kind of a condescending thing to say if I'm interpreting this correctly.  😕

I think it was just a joke and not meant to be condescending or offensive. Tricolored Blackbird has a very restricted range and is generally not a very long distance migrant, so it would be extremely unlikely (impossible?) for one to show up in Massachusetts. I think Charlie is just joking, pointing out how unlikely a Tricolored Blackbird would be in Massachusetts.

The identification of Red-winged and Tricolored Blackbirds can be a tricky one, nobody is denying that.

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9 hours ago, millipede said:

Question. This sounds judgy. Are you suggesting anyone that would be uncertain about the bird must be on drugs? If so, well...  I'm having a bad moment because of another conversation somewhere else but, I'm offended.  Kind of a condescending thing to say if I'm interpreting this correctly.  😕

No, I was suggesting anyone in a Facebook group who thinks this is a Tricolored, in MA, based solely on that shoulder stripe, is on drugs.

And no, I'm not seriously suggesting it.  However, I am seriously taking it as an indicator to continue avoiding Facebook as an identification resource.

Edited by Charlie Spencer
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10 hours ago, millipede said:

Question. This sounds judgy. Are you suggesting anyone that would be uncertain about the bird must be on drugs? If so, well...  I'm having a bad moment because of another conversation somewhere else but, I'm offended.  Kind of a condescending thing to say if I'm interpreting this correctly.  😕

If the FB post had placed the bird in CA, I could completely understand ID issues.  

When you first saw the photo, before reading any comments, did you think it was an RWBL?  If so, was it the 'White line!' comments that caused you to doubt your diagnosis?  Respectfully, you've said yourself that you may overanalyze identifications at times.

You've also posted other questions regarding IDs on that MA page.  I'd suggest going with your experience when dealing with that group.  From my admittedly distant and unconnected vantage point, it seems you're right more often than they are.

Short version: I think you're a better birder than you give yourself credit for, and certainly better than some of the people on that FB page.

Edited by Charlie Spencer
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21 hours ago, millipede said:

Just a young red-winged?

Why would you think it is "young?" This is what first-cycle RWBLs look like now. Note the black centers/shaft streaks/spots on the median (yellow) and lesser (reddish) coverts. Adults lack those, as on the depicted bird in the post, which is an adult male Red-winged Blackbird. That is proven by the yellowish bases to the median coverts. This is not a particularly rare look for RWBL.

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