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Downy vs Hairy

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On 8/1/2021 at 5:47 PM, neilpa said:

Really helpful, thanks 

On 8/1/2021 at 6:58 PM, DLecy said:

My first glance impression for bird #1 was DOWO. But I’m not sure I would conclusively call it based on the photo. Did you hear it call? Once you learn their vocalizations, HAWO and DOWO can be told apart quite readily. They also tend to differ in their habitat preferences and tolerance of human activity.

None of them called. 

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On 8/1/2021 at 8:47 PM, neilpa said:

I couldn't resist having a very quick look to see how prevalent this marker is, so I did a brief review of the birds in the Mac. library.

I would probably describe the marker as either "a horizontal oval white patch" or "a descending black spur" from the black stripe behind the eye (which helps to create the oval white patch). Sometimes the spur is easier to spot than the oval white patch.

I would say that very approximately more than 75% of the Downies in the library show this feature enough for it to be useful.

I also took a quick look at Hairies and only found it in one or two birds but to a much lesser extent (they were definitely Hairies, not wrongly identified Downies).

Interestingly Bird No. 1 in this thread shows the marker more clearly than the other two birds.

This will probably be my only contribution to birding science and I will now retire from the field.🙂

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