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Today I saw a flock of birds fly over me in the late afternoon in the Burlington Intervale, not far from the Winooski river.  I couldn't ID them by sight, but got my telephoto on them as they flew past.  I wonder if they may have been Robins?  Any other ideas?  There were 8 total,  together loosely.  

bird unknown 2.jpg

bird unknown.jpg

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Thank you everyone!  I'm drilling down into some Eastern Bluebird vs Am. Robin flying photos in the Macaulay Library to check out what subtle differences may help.  The Bluebird suggestion was very helpful, just what I was looking for!

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8 hours ago, Jefferson Shank said:

Where do we rule out Eastern Bluebirds?

Eastern Bluebirds lack the orange axillaries and underwing coverts. These are 100% American Robins.

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54 minutes ago, akandula said:

Eastern Bluebirds lack the orange axillaries and underwing coverts. These are 100% American Robins.

Agreed.

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The posture/shape of the three birds in the 2nd pic is nearly diagnostic for American Robin (AMRO), assuming that you can rule out other Turdus. AMROs have a flight style that is similar to most other thrushes (solitaires being an exception), with flicking wing beats, a feature that, with study, can quickly result in determining an unknown bird as a thrush. In AMRO (and, I assume, other Turdus, but I've seen no others in flight overhead), the resting posture between beats often has the wing seemingly still partly open, as in Pic 2. The Catharus thrushes tend to bring their wings fully closed for resting posture. In my experience, bluebirds are somewhat intermediate (but more toward AMRO?), but I've orders of magnitude fewer flying overhead than the number of AMROs that I've seen in that situation.

Additionally, Eastern and Western bluebirds (but not Mountain), are fairly short-tailed, while AMRO has a tail that is longish. And their tails are blue, not black.

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