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Posted (edited)

I'm not sure we're seeing white wingtips -- I think the white is on the tip of its tail.  But, either way, I think you have photographed a Barred Owl!  Compare to this photo BN#2 took:

owl.jpg

Edited by The Bird Nuts
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If I was rich, I'd buy you a camera. This is hurting my brain... HA   No offense by the way. Some of my pictures drive me(and others) nuts as well.

I think I can tell which end is up on your bird there but the rest looks like a picaso... 

I can say this bird looks like it's bigger... on a bigger branch in a bigger tree. Body structure is definitely different than the first bird. But I can't really say much on the ID. I'll be like an NFL ref... I don't see the same thing but I don't see enough to overturn the decision either... HA.

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Again, i’m sorry about the quality. I’m working with an iPhone camera. I appreciate the effort and it doesn’t really matter to me anymore whether or not I get a definitive answer. I love birds and I’m just eager to learn and very curious.

The white marks could just be a thing unique to a particular bird. I have a photo of a Mourning Dove with a blue tail with a white tip. Some birds are just a little different right? Maybe those aren’t wing tips. It’s just what I see when I look at the, “Picaso”. 🙂 

 

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Posted (edited)
On 3/2/2019 at 6:34 PM, Shellwake said:

I appreciate the effort and it doesn’t really matter to me anymore whether or not I get a definitive answer. I love birds and I’m just eager to learn and very curious.

The white marks could just be a thing unique to a particular bird. I have a photo of a Mourning Dove with a blue tail with a white tip. Some birds are just a little different right? Maybe those aren’t wing tips. It’s just what I see when I look at the, “Picaso”. 🙂 

3

At this point I can't tell if you're just trying to annoy all of the other people who have already identified this bird for you, or you are actually serious. If the latter, then I would give you the advice that part of being "eager to learn and very curious" about anything involves listening to the more experienced people in that field. They actually do have more experience, and are better at birding, and identifying birds. If you have trouble seeing what they're all trying to tell you, then I'm afraid that it's going to be quite hard to get better at birding, and getting better at birding is one of the most fun things about it; realizing you're wrong on something, letting others help and correct you, and in the end, learn new things so you can slowly get better at avoiding mistakes. As well, obviously if birders that were in the field with you and saw the same bird and called it a hermit thrush, you missed something they did.

As for the white spots you've pointed out, that's not part of the bird. And even if it was, you can't base an ID off of one bird, that would be like saying just because a Hermit Thrush and Barred Owl both have two white spots on them they are the same- oh wait that is what you're saying! Ok, how about a Barn Swallow and a Fork-tailed Flycatcher are the same just because they have tails that split. You have to take in the whole bird, and not just the colour, shape, patterns, giss and posture, but also range, probability, habitat, time of year, and what other people have seen! At the location you were at, people have seen Barred Owl, and they have seen Hermit Thrushes. And they are experienced birders with good reputations. 

If you'd like to send your photos to any reputable birder in your community, and I can guarantee that they will say at least that it's a cathartus thrush, and I would bet my life they wouldn't say Northern Hawk Owl. 

Sorry, computers sometimes make it hard to convey emotions through them as you said, so I'll make it clear, you make me frustrated :classic_biggrin:

 

Edited by Aveschapines
Reference to troll removed.
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Posted (edited)

Speaking from personal(as in, ME) I can say a person can sure seem like a (mod edit to remove an inflamatory term) without trying to be. I'm personally pretty stubborn and my NEED to be certain and want details, I'm afraid, could be annoying at times.

I can't picture anyone joining a bird ID site to purposely cause an issue...  birding is just tough... bad pictures are tougher.
Hopefully this is all a good learning experience.
Anyway...  eh...
I can see the frustration as it's obvious to many what one bird is... but I also know what it's like to be that person that questions it... Honestly, I think we're all good for each other...  🙂  It's good to have someone frustrate you once in a while. 😛

Edited by Aveschapines
Reference to troll removed.

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3 minutes ago, millipede said:

I can't picture anyone joining a bird ID site to purposely cause an issue...  

Trust me, it happens.  We had some real…interesting…ones back in the day, not sure how many others have been around here long enough to remember those times, but it used to be a fairly regular event.  I don't really think we're dealing with one here, but probably better for everyone if we just let this topic fade away.  We've done our job with the ID. 

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Posted (edited)

There certainly have been (mod edit to remove an imflamatory term), but let's not feed them.. If you don't have anything else useful to add to the discussion move on to the next interesting ID thread 😄

Edited by Aveschapines
Reference to troll removed.
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3 hours ago, Shellwake said:

 I appreciate the effort and it doesn’t really matter to me anymore whether or not I get a definitive answer. I love birds and I’m just eager to learn and very curious.

Some very experienced and skilled birders have done their best to help you. You may not be convinced of the ID, but they can't say they see something they don't. Being newer at birding can be frustrating sometimes, and some things that experience has taught us seem almost impossible to newbies, such as the great difficulty in determining the real size of a bird you see in the field. I think for a lot of us it takes a dramatic experience to understand these things (like the first time I saw a Blue-and-White Mockingbird and kept trying to make it into some kind of way-out-of-range Jay, until I got a second, closer look and realized it was far smaller than I had thought at first; I had my ID in less than a minute after that.) With more experience and practice, you'll realize you've made mistakes in the past, and birds that were a total puzzle will eventually become ones you can ID at a glance. A little humility and patience with yourself goes a long way! Identifying wild birds takes knowledge, practice, and skill, and that's what makes it fun! 

If you can afford even a fairly inexpensive super zoom point-and-shoot camera you'll have far less frustration with photographing birds. I use a Canon SX530. I'm not publishing photos in birding magazines or anything like that (by a long shot), but I can usually get a shot that's more than good enough for an ID, and that I can enjoy looking at and studying to hone my skills. It turns out I'm not really interested in learning photography, but cameras are getting better all the time and are a great tool for birding.

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Posted (edited)

Please calm down. Try to put yourself in my shoes for a minute. I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t have any doubt about the identification. Please take your own advice. I can not identify the bird but since I had the luxury of being there in person and not viewing it through crappy iPhone photos (Picasso’s). I can do one very basic yet very important thing. I can rule out certain things for example. There is absolutely no way that it could be a thrush if that photo is true.

 

I’m not a (mod edit to remove inflamatory term). Actually, I really wish I hadn’t posted here to be honest. I have offended people and It feels like crap to have people ticked off because I disagree based on size. I think it’s being taken the wrong way as if i’m a know it all or something but that’s not the case. I do have decent eyesight and I was with another person with decent eyesight both times that I saw the bird and if I just settle for whatever i’m told and stop questioning when it doesn’t match this is all pointless.

Can I delete this post somehow? It’s really not worth feeling like crap. I don’t want to know THAT bad:

302668FD-0A11-46B1-B8D4-B17F3EA48733.jpeg

Edited by Aveschapines
Reference to troll removed.

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Unfortunately, my significant other has been out of work for the last 6 months and things have been too difficult on me financially to indulge in my hobby and get a camera or anything. In addition the rent went up. He may have an income again in May but if so it may take a bit before I feel secure enough to indulge. 

 

Thank you for the camera recommendation. Hopefully I will remember to look that up when he gets back to work and I can spend some of the money I make on things other than necessities. The birds bring me a lot of joy during these dark winter days. I miss my Blue Jays. I miss the Mocking bird but those Blue Jays are my favorites. They are so smart, silly and loud. They seem so happy and verbally express their enthusiasm for my peanuts and life with beautiful songs and loud screams.

 

I don’t think that there is another adult on Earth that gets so excited to be woken up early in the morning by a pack of screaming blue jays. I wouldn’t have it any other way but from about Nov to April it is quiet around here 😞

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This video that a stranger uploaded to youtube brings me a lot of happiness. It makes me look forward to seeing my jays again. It may be welcome comedy relief?

 

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I'd love it if we could all have this conversation in person rather than trying to read emotions on a screen. I don't think anyone is quite as mad as you think they are. I know I'm not.
There is frustration from some and that's simply because these people all KNOW, without a doubt, the first bird was a thrush. They've explained in a LOT of detail how they know this. I fully understand not wanting to take strangers' opinions without question but I can assure you, as some have said, they have a LOT of experience with judging these birds. They can see the details there that would rule out any predatory birds. I think they've gone above and beyond trying to convince you and you still argue. I hope you can understand their frustration in that as well. I don't think anyone, us or you, mean to cause the frustration. We're just sort of at an impasse I guess?  At that point, it's good for everyone involved to just walk away from the conversation. I know it's REALLY tough when you might feel judged or embarrassed and you might want to just leave and not come back. I hope you wont do that though. We all need to extend each other a little grace sometimes. For you that might mean just taking an ID you're given at times, even if you don't see it. If you have several people commenting that all agree and can give reasons, there's little point in arguing. If you have people responding that see different things well, that's always interesting and worth more probing.

Experience is something you will gain if/as you learn more and more about these birds. Experience will eventually teach you the deception of size. It's a tricky thing, something I've even argued in here before where I demanded they all believe that I was able to judge the size of a sharp-shinned hawk. I'd still argue that one because I'm stubborn and KNOW what I saw. 🙂
BUT.....

I've got a lifetime of nature observation experience(always been a bird watcher) and about 5 years experience as a "birder." They still fool me from time to time but I'm usually able to pick up on being fooled while I'm out there because I'm getting better at picking up on field marks while I'm out there. 

And perspective... wow can it be a tricky thing. Kind of like the moon when it's rising... our brains tell us that the moon looks much bigger when it is low to the horizon... but, it doesn't actually look bigger. You can hold a dime up and compare the moon when it's low and appears huge to you to when it's higher in the sky and you'll see that it doesn't actually look any bigger. But somehow that perspective really changes how you see things.

The same thing happens with birds. I remember seeing some birds in a low creek bed one year, thinking they were the TINIEST birds I had ever seen... and I saw some yellowish on them so they HAD to be warblers. I don't remember if it was through the binoculars or looking at pictures later on but, they were goldfinches. In the field with my naked eyes I would have told you they were an inch tall... they looked SO tiny. And I wasn't more than 20 feet from them. I'd seen a million goldfinches before. Yet, here I was seeing something that wasn't there.
MY personal experience has suggested that when I see birds low, on the ground or even below my feet, they always look MUCH smaller. I've driven past killdeer at equal distance where some were low in a drained pond and other were up on a bank... even at the same distance the ones that were lower always look smaller to me.

anyway, as has been suggested, it's time to move on from that mystery bird. There's nothing more that anyone can say about the bird that will have anyone else saying anything that hasn't been said so far. So, take it or leave it, the consensus here has told you what it is... Time to either accept it or just tell yourself you're not sure but to just drop it. and time for people here to give up trying to convince.  This is not meant to sound mean or even irritated, this is just where we are right now. All done. And that's okay. It can be okay.

anyway, sorry the conversation has left you feeling this way. I can understand the frustration from both sides on this as I've experienced both. Let's just either agree or agree to disagree and leave it at that... move on to the next bird. 🙂
I hope you'll stick around and allow us to be a part of your learning experience.
Aside from a field guide and a pair of binoculars, there are other things you can do if you're interested. 
If you haven't seen it, there's a site called eBird.  I'd recommend not submitting many checklists unless you're 100% certain on ID's but, if you have a membership there they have a neat photo quiz you can take over and over and over again.

Even better, you might want to check out the Maine Audubon (this did say Maine correct? if not, there are audubon groups and events ALL over)
Here's the Maine Audubon Event page.  In general, most Audubon groups have events that even non-members are welcome to attend. At such an event you can have really experienced birders by your side, in person, pointing out birds. It can be fun and you can meet some interesting people.

I wish you the best in this and don't ever lose that passion and interest in nature. 🙂

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6 hours ago, Shellwake said:

I don’t think that there is another adult on Earth that gets so excited to be woken up early in the morning by a pack of screaming blue jays. I wouldn’t have it any other way but from about Nov to April it is quiet around here 😞

I think there may be some here on this site 😄

 

6 hours ago, Shellwake said:

Please calm down. Try to put yourself in my shoes for a minute. I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t have any doubt about the identification. Please take your own advice. I can not identify the bird but since I had the luxury of being there in person and not viewing it through crappy iPhone photos (Picasso’s). I can do one very basic yet very important thing. I can rule out certain things for example. There is absolutely no way that it could be a thrush if that photo is true.

Just as you are sure it wasn't a thrush, the experts who have commented are sure that it is. If you aren't convinced by their information there's not much more we can do to help you, unless you are able to get a better photo. If you have binoculars, you could try holding your phone up to the eyepiece to take photos; I have friends who have had good luck with that, although it has never worked for me LOL!

I can and will lock this thread if necessary but as long as people are able to be polite I don't see the need at this point.

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You can also download Merlin, a free app that helps a lot with bird IDs, and is especially useful for listening to songs and calls. 

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So back to the pics... the first one is a Hermit Thrush and the second one is a much larger bodied bird, with my best IDs based on a very poor pic(no offense intended) being Red-shouldered Hawk or Barred Owl. They are definitely not the same bird in the 2 pics.

 

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I already have Merlin. It is a great app. Can you lock the thread? I would greatly prefer it be deleted because I regret reaching out at all. In my few interactions with, “expert birders” in real life i’ve found them to be condesending and super uptight. I love birds and I want my hobby to be enjoyable and not an ongoing argument.  

I want to be allowed to disagree with people without them being condescending. If you could see what I saw in HD from close by you would be condescending as fk that this was any bird suggested. 

This was such a bad idea. Sorry to anybody that was actually decent mixed in with this conversation.

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Posted (edited)

I literally feel my heart sink when I see that I have a notification of a message from this site. It is the lowlight of my day. More of being told how superior everyone else is and how it is impossible for them the get the gender of a stick figure wrong which is about as good as the photo is. I probably shouldn’t have included it and if it can be removed I would appreciate that as well but the entire thing being deleted is definitely preferable.

Edited by Shellwake

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Posted (edited)

I don't think anyone here is trying to show how superior they are - everyone has been in that situation of identifying a bird and being so positive of the ID that they can't see it when others tell them otherwise. For what it's worth I agree with Hermit Thrush - they can be deceiving, especially since this one is fluffed out. From what I see from reading back up, you're concerned about the size of the bird? As I'm sure five billion people have said before on this website, size is very hard to tell in the field. I've sworn up and down that a particular bird is larger or smaller than a species it appears to be - but it indeed is that bird. I have seen Hermit Thrushes several times in awkward positions - they can appear tiny or larger than a Robin. The bird is hanging its wings down because it's resting. Every bird sits like that at some point.

Nobody really pointed these few specifics out: a hawk-owl would not show a prominent beak at all. In the first photo we see a thin beak extending from the head. In addition, they have prominent facial discs like all owls, which this bird certainly does not show. Also, the eyes would be large and facing directly forward with yellow irises - your bird has beady eyes facing the sides and they definitely have dark irises. Also, check out facial pattern. The two stripes coming down from the chin are a consistent feature in all of the photos. Hawk-owls do not have a distinctive chin like that with those patterns. 

I hope you realize that we're all trying to help you! I don't think you're being a (mod edit to remove imflamatory term), I think you're just concerned about the size and positioning of the bird like you saw it in the field, just like anyone else would be. So please don't be scared of this thread! I really hope this helps. Not sure if it'll convince you of the ID but perhaps you can see our reasoning better. 

Edited by Aveschapines
Reference to troll removed.

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Thanks @The Bird Nuts for the tag

@Shellwake, I apologize for tagging you; but this can be the last time. I am not going to delete the thread because it includes posts by many people, and I do not have their request or permission to delete their content. I have gone though and re-read the entire thread. I removed all references to the term that has been upsetting (including in my post and yours) as well as the entire initial comment that used it. I don't see any content that is in violation of the rules. I see that people have offered their identification opinions and you have disagreed with them; if their opinions are not helpful to you, you are free to ignore them.

I will keep an eye on this thread and take other action ifshould become necessary.

Now I want to ask you, Shellwake, to please go to the top of this thread, on the right-hand side, and click on the black bar that says "following". Change to the option "do not send me any notificaitons". You will not get any more notifications when there are posts made to this thread. 

Everyone else, PLEASE DO NOT REPLY WITH QUOTE OR TAG SHELLWAKE IN THIS THREAD. They do not wish to receive any notices from it, so let's respect that. 

 

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