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Brilliant red-bellied bird Central Texas 78070


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I would swear I have never seen this bird before.  I have seen plenty of cardinals, house finches, robins and such.  This bird was feeding at a feeder stocked with "trail mix" which is a combination of BOSS, nuts, and dried fruit.  I ran for the camera.  When I got back to my observation post the bird was gone.  The bird was sparrow size.  The tail was medium length.  The overall shape (including beak) was consistent with a sparrow or finch or other seed eater.  The belly was an incredibly brilliant crimson.  The head and back were a grayish brown which I would describe as medium dark.  The location is my backyard in Comal County.

Do you have any suggestions for identification.  I looked up Scarlet Tanager but that bird has a red head.   

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I think the cardinal has a longer tail.  I looked up Orchard Oriole.  That is possibly what I saw.  The local habitat is similar to what was described.  The lighting was shaded by three live oak trees.

 

Edited by TexasCobra
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21 minutes ago, DLecy said:

An Orchard Oriole wouldn’t necessarily have a seed eating beak though. They most feed on nectar, fruit and insects.

I would not say that I got a good look at the beak.  It was short enough to be consistent with that of a sparrow.  I was on my second floor deck and looking down on the bird feeder.  I had a good view of the back and belly and side of the bird but it was a view of about thirty seconds because I ran for the camera.

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4 hours ago, TexasCobra said:

I would not say that I got a good look at the beak.  It was short enough to be consistent with that of a sparrow.  I was on my second floor deck and looking down on the bird feeder.  I had a good view of the back and belly and side of the bird but it was a view of about thirty seconds because I ran for the camera.

Orchard Orioles are small for orioles; I have confused them for sparrow or warbler type birds more than once. Also lighting can really affect the way colors look. And neither orioles nor tanagers should be eating from a seed feeder; I don't know if they eat dried fruit.

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