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MJ and I were walking down to the river on Friday afternoon when a bird singing as it flew over head caught our attention. We're in Southern Ontario, Waterloo area with the Grand River across the road, forests, farmlands, and meadows all around us. Based strictly on the birds call, and at the same time I was saying, "I think that's an ABC",  MJ was saying, "is that an XYZ?".  We both turned to look at the bird and watched it fly up the field and land on the power line. I powered on the camera and zoomed out to 800mm and snapped this backlit, underexposed, poorly focused photo. I knew as soon as I took the shot that it was underexposed, so I adjusted the exposure, zoomed out to 2400mm and snapped a second and third photo and determined the bird's ID. Upon reviewing the first photo though, it looks like it could pass off for the wrong guess. I don't want to influence anyone, but I'd like to know what other's see in this crop of a poor photo and if there's enough detail for the right ID, or if anyone else can see it as the wrong ID.

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The ID was actually the ABC bird so those that guessed XYZ guessed wrong. :classic_laugh:  That's right, I got the bird's call right this time, MJ is usually the one to correct my hearing when it comes to bird songs. The two birds we considered at first were Eastern Bluebird and Bobolink. How does that sway the your opinion about the photo?

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1 hour ago, lonestranger said:

The ID was actually the ABC bird so those that guessed XYZ guessed wrong. :classic_laugh:  That's right, I got the bird's call right this time, MJ is usually the one to correct my hearing when it comes to bird songs. The two birds we considered at first were Eastern Bluebird and Bobolink. How does that sway the your opinion about the photo?

Wow! Can you post the other photos?

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Thanks for the feedback everyone. I thought someone might have seen a Bobolink like I did, but I guess we just proved how deceiving some photos can be. When I first viewed the photo on the back of the camera, I zoomed in as much as possible and I thought I saw just the edge of some white on the head, and what many others thought were epaulettes, I thought was the white back of the Bobolink.  At first I thought MJ had it right and we had heard a Bobolink, until I looked at the second and third photo and saw the obvious Bluebird. 

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The new photo is obviously an Eastern Bluebird, as you can see below.

image.png.c0139d2b747e435e3f2355a862d280d3.png

However, I'm not buying that the first image is of the same bird. Below I've lightened the image in the same way I did above, and as you can see it does appear to have the right coloration for Brown-headed Cowbird. Even if we assume that is an artifact, the posture looks perfect for displaying Cowbird, and I just don't really see how it could be a Bluebird, at the very least.

image.png.9d07fc6c4ad7dd3ef5ff21da958bd78b.png

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1 hour ago, Hasan said:

The new photo is obviously an Eastern Bluebird, as you can see below.

image.png.c0139d2b747e435e3f2355a862d280d3.png

However, I'm not buying that the first image is of the same bird. Below I've lightened the image in the same way I did above, and as you can see it does appear to have the right coloration for Brown-headed Cowbird. Even if we assume that is an artifact, the posture looks perfect for displaying Cowbird, and I just don't really see how it could be a Bluebird, at the very least.

image.png.9d07fc6c4ad7dd3ef5ff21da958bd78b.png

That's what I find interesting about the photos. I KNOW, without a shadow of a doubt, that both these pictures are of the same bird. I watched it land on the wire and no other birds were on or near the wire during the 9 seconds it took to get three photos. There was 5 seconds between the first and second photo, and 4 seconds between the second and third photos, I didn't post the third photo because it is nearly identical to the second photo. I can understand your suspicion of a different bird, but there was only one bird. It didn't look like a bluebird to me either and that's why I posted here, to see what other saw in what I consider a very deceptive photo. Thanks for the input.

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