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Small bird at NJ shore

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I snapped this photo last week in Edwin B. Forsythe NWR.  I’d be grateful if anyone could help with an ID, because so far I’m drawing a blank.  Sorry the photo quality is so lousy, but they’re through the windshield of moving vehicle.  Thanks.



P1110550 - Capture 010.JPG

P1110550 - Capture 057.JPG

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4 minutes ago, Charlie Spencer said:

My knee-jerk reaction is Brown-headed Cowbird.


The beak shape did give me that same first impression, especially if we're talking about a female.  But the thin white bands across each wing don't seem to fit, IMHO.

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27 minutes ago, Birds are cool said:

Juvenile Blue Grosbeak. You can see the blue starting to come into its face.


Hmm.  I do agree you're on the right track, which would be consistent with the beak shape.  Looking at online pics, I don't see the white bands on the wings as in my photos.  Could it be a different Grosbeak, perhaps female/young Rose-breasted?  I honestly don't see the blue that you mentioned; subtle, I guess, though, since you seem rather confident about that.  Right?

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3 hours ago, pictaker said:

Cowbird, there were several hanging on the drive in the last week or so, I saw one being fed by a song sparrow, the song sparrow was like how big is this kid goin to get…lol..


Sounds like the most definitive answer yet, even though I'm reluctant to accept it.  I'll try to post the video in the coming days, from which these shots were captured.  Hopefully that will allow for a conclusive ID.

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14 minutes ago, pictaker said:

Here is one I got a few days ago, hanging right on the drive along the grass,like the pics you posted. I have seen Blue grosbeaks there but not in about three weeks...




What beautiful photo quality!  Not making excuses for my own... but I'm guessing this was NOT through the windshield of a rolling vehicle.  😉


Anyway, I've run into technical difficulties trying to upload the video clip I spoke of [awaiting Mod help], but here is another closer-up capture...

Photo quality has obviously suffered even further.  But to my eye, the pattern on my bird's back seems drastically different; and also, the bill is proportionally more massive than in your pic.


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