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Beth S

Small B/W bird- long tail - AGGRESSIVE - southern California

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Can you tell me what this bird is? Haven’t seen it fly to see if it has forked tail. There are 1/2 dozen or so- feeding in my yard. Just appeared. Very aggressive with other birds and even dive-bombed us in the backyard. Dont recognize female but male has small body and really long tail. I just feed our local birds regular wild birdseed. I don’t want these birds in my yard! They are scaring everything else!

thank you for any help.

Beth S.

 

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Black-billed Magpie?  Very aggressive and known for dive bombing people during nesting.  But it is not a small bird.

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Welcome to Whatbird, @Beth S. A photo would definitely help with an ID, but the behaviour sounds similar to that of a Northern Mockingbird. I've never seen their aggressive behaviour but I've heard it spoken about often.

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Sounds like a Pin-Tailed Whydah, in appearance and attitude.  Are you in Southern California? They are getting more numerous.  The females look somewhat like streaked Sparrows but with a reddish beak. 

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I almost replied sooner only to argue the mockingbird suggestion as I can't picture those feeding in a group of half a dozen. I bring that up now because I'm curious if the Whydah does. I don't know anything about them.

I hope Beth comes back. Please get a photo if you can. Sometimes even a cell phone photo is good enough.

 

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Apparently, they do , at times flock per reports from around southern Calif. One report even saying that they have up to 50 in their back yard at times, to their dismay, as they chase all the other birds off.. I would guess that this is in the non breeding season. The males are very competitive, most having a harem, if the females are available, of up to half dozen. Thats a lot of surrogate nests. It is believed they use the Scaly Breasted Munia as host in So Cal. 

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14 hours ago, lonestranger said:

. I've never seen their aggressive behaviour but I've heard it spoken about often.

I found a Northern Mockingbird nest a few years ago and I got dive bombed and took to my heals.

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9 minutes ago, Kevin said:

I found a Northern Mockingbird nest a few years ago and I got dive bombed and took to my heals.

They dominate my feeders when they show up, running most other species away.  However, they usually show up one at a time, not tolerating each other except during breeding season.

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