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What blackbird in the Mojave desert?


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Sighted today (5/29) near Joshua Tree. There were three of them together flocking with HOFI and even though they flew with the finches they tended to stick together.

From a distance I thought Brewer’s blackbird because of the size and all-black coloration. However, I managed to get closer to see that they were not all-black but actually had a lighter brownish(?) head.

Ah ha! Cow birds!

Well, no. It turns out they had a ring around their neck and a lighter-colored bib as well. I have been birding this area for a decade and these were a first for me in this location, whatever they are. 

What are they?

Second photo shows with HOFI in the shot to compare size. 

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8D3EA2BC-097B-4123-AD79-6F89E7F3DD88.jpeg

FB52F558-9453-4650-A59E-CFEEF1415F76.jpeg

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