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Suburb south of Minneapolis/St. Paul, about 200 yards or so up the bluffs from the Mississippi River, deciduous woods.  January 3, 2019.  Late morning.

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Not helpful.

Yes, it's a common bird and should be a relatively easy sparrow for beginners to ID.  But if you're going to point people to books, why respond?  I'm pretty sure people know field guides exist.  There are plenty of one-time posters here who are interested in having single bird ID'ed but not in starting a new hobby.  This strikes me as similar to 'Read the darn manual' responses that often show up on computer forums.

If you must, at least link to a free resource.

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1 minute ago, Charlie Spencer said:

Not helpful.

Yes, it's a common bird and should be a relatively easy sparrow for beginners to ID.  But if you're going to point people to books, why respond?  I'm pretty sure people know field guides exist.  There are plenty of one-time posters here who are interested in having single bird ID'ed but not in starting a new hobby.  This strikes me as similar to 'Read the darn manual' responses that often show up on computer forums.

If you must, at least link to a free resource.

I agree that Tony's comment wasn't too helpful, but he does have a point that learning common birds is better done with a field guide than getting single IDs such as here. It's better for learning. 

Also, note who you're calling out on this 🙂

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11 minutes ago, akiley said:

I agree that Tony's comment wasn't too helpful, but he does have a point that learning common birds is better done with a field guide than getting single IDs such as here. It's better for learning. 

Also, note who you're calling out on this 🙂

I'll never be one-hundredth the birder he is, but an unadorned link to a retailer isn't an encouraging response.  His responses often strike me as curt but he's normally informative.  After all, this is a forum for people to ask for IDs.  If all we do is refer people to Amazon, why have the forum at all?

Edited by Charlie Spencer
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I wasn't upset by Tony's comment.

I was using the field guide Tony recommended, as well as the Golden guide to birds of North America but have been overwhelmed by finches at my neighbor's feeder and couldn't get them out of my mind to look at another family.

 

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6 minutes ago, raho said:

I wasn't upset by Tony's comment.

I was using the field guide Tony recommended, as well as the Golden guide to birds of North America but have been overwhelmed by finches at my neighbor's feeder and couldn't get them out of my mind to look at another family.

 

Glad to here it but he pasted similar links in response to other questions this afternoon.  

Note that I am not questioning his knowledge, only the value of this type of response.  Yours just happened to be the first time I saw it.

Edited by Charlie Spencer

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