Edited to add: Have you all tried the new "tag" option Dave added? When I bookmarked the photo, I tagged it and found a lot of other photos tagged, too. Very cool. I knew he was working on it, but didn't expect it so soon.
Yeah, I bookmarked it with other DG - Bird IDs in my favorites folder (Foxfire). (Great minds think alike, eh?) The photos are so much better than the guides. I haven't checked on the "tag" option. Will have to see what you're referring too.
Okay, here's one of the new birds I saw at Brushy Creek Lake Park the other day. My best guess is a Swainson's Thrush. I saw it high in the trees in the late afternoon, hawking tiny flying insects. It would fly off the branch where it sat and not exactly hover, but perform impressive acrobatics in the air to catch the bugs.
The reason I suspect Swainson's Thrush is partly because of what my book said:
"Most thrushes feed on the ground, but the Swainson's Thrush is also adept at gleaning the airy heights of trees for food, sometimes breifly hover-gleaning like warbler of vireo. Search for this thrush in large, mixed species flocks that gather where berries are numerous (there were lots of Yaupon hollies in this area) but be aware that this wary thrush does not allow many viewing opportunities and often gives a sharp warning call from some distance." (now that last part doesn't match with my experience because I was watching from an open place and there were many other people around, jogging, etc.. The birds were well aware of our presence and didn't seem to mind.)
They're both Yellow-rumped Warblers; first & third pic, and right-hand bird in the second pic, is an adult (probably female), the left-hand bird in the second pic is an immature with less streaked underparts.
The yellow patch on the flanks (mentioned by all the books) is very variable in how conspicuous it is, sometimes it shows well, other times, it hardly shows at all, depending I suspect on what the bird is doing, how it is holding its wings, and whether it has its feathers fluffed up or sleeked down.
Yeah, just like me to get mixed up with threads. Good thing you guys are there, to get me back on track. :))
Thanks for ID Gary . When I posted the picture, I thought at first, it was a Redpoll, because that's about all I get here. I got confuse when someone said warbler, and I was hoping for something different.
THANKS!! Looks like a Finch beak to me. I believe I got one right for a change! Gosh, but there is a lot to learn. However, I now will look at their beaks rather than just their coloration! Whoopie, learned something new again today.
Okay, I have another cute little bird I saw that same day, but in a different area of the park. This was in denser brush, but still high in the tree. I'm thinking maybe another warbler (now I see why Pelle has so much trouble with them! There are so many!) but this one doesn't have the streaky colors on the breast like the last one did. Calling it a Mockingbird crossed my mind, but that doesn't seem quite right because it looks plumper and less gray. In the first pic, it even looks a little dove-like but I'm pretty sure that's not the case.
I just noticed that in the second two pics, you can see a streak going across his eye, but in the first one, it doesn't look like he has one. It must have been the lighting because I'm 99% sure I was only photographing one bird, but I have to leave that 1% room for error since my kids were talking to me, wanting to move on but I wasn't done with this guy (or gal).
As long as I'm posting again, I'll attach one more pic of the same bird. This isn't as good of a shot, not really in focus. But maybe it will contain a hint that will clinch it since its taken more directly below the bird.
Really? Well bummer. I usually know Mockingbirds when I see them. I guess it threw me because I usually notice them when they're flying and the white on the flight feathers gives them away. I was hoping it was a new bird for me, but Mockingbirds are a dime a dozen around here.
I guess I shouldn't "dis" the Mockers. They are, after all our state bird.
Are the birds in this picture grackles? A big flock suddenly came to the bird feeders on Sunday, throwing out any other birds. It almost look like a Hitchcock scene back there for awhile. Are these birds migratory? A friend of mine said they were but he wasn't sure.
Cowbirds are "nest parasites" -- they don't nest. All they do is lay their eggs in another bird's nest and let the foster parents do all the work (often at the expense of their own young). Sad in a way, but an incredible adaptation.
Right Jo! :-) CB are definitely parrasite birds!
Should have kept it at "Not so much...", with no elaboration at all. Didn't mean to suggest that CBs nest at all! Yikes! Thx for catching that, LOL!
I was thinking about the Grackles and Cowbirds staying in Texas all year, and not migrating. I don't see a lot of CB fledging or babies around here, usually all Grackles doing the nests.
Glad to say I haven't found any mom Grackles feeding baby CBs, nor any broken eggs on the ground under the nests. They do show up a few at a time at my feeders in spring, and it's usually adult CBs only.
debnes - now that you mention it, I'm not sure I've ever noticed a young cowbird at our feeders. But perhaps we just didn't know they weren't adults passing by. Do the young look different? (I'll have to go check Peterson's and find out!) Maybe they're really not doing quite as "well" as I had feared - especially regarding our dwindling Wood Thrush population.
But the decrease in thrushes is probably more the result of the rampant development we've had over the past decade or so.. not really the CB's fault. That Audobon society page I posted above was interesting; I had just googled "cowbird" and I hadn't really read that article before. Good to read that the host populations are usually not seriously affected. At least not until the deeper woods disapper and the thrushes are forced to the edges. I so dearly love our Wood Thrushes and their song but do have to admit to liking that watery cowbird sound as well. Nature is glorious - (except for when humans and money are involved):)
Sorry to hear about the Wood Thrushes there in your area of GA. Yes development does play a huge part in the decline. Particularly in the more sensitive/smaller species of winged wildlife. The maker did think of this, and gave them wings to move elsewhere. Surely you will be an asset to what is left there, and I hope they come back after the dust settles.
Now back to our regularly scheduled "identify this bird please" thread, lol.
Have to admit I'm not convinced on the #4 pic as a Kinglet, the white wingbars are too broad, and the wing feathers do not have the green-gold fringe that Kinglets do. Also the bill is too stout for a Kinglet. I'm fairly certain it's another warbler, probably another Pine Warbler despite the bland face compared with the other pics (##2,3,5).
Main things about kinglets is (1) they're unobtrusive, and (2) they rarely visit feeders. Look for them searching for small insects (aphids, etc) high up in conifers, and listen for soft, high-pitched calls.
I'm not sure if the Redpoll in the back, on the branch would be an arctic one. He was bigger then the other ones and paler also. He has a few marking on the side, but not as pronounce. What do you think?
Indiana Lily..That looks like a little bird that I thought was a Song Sparrow. The reason I noticed it was because it was flicking it's tail. At first I thought it was a White Throated Sparrow but it just looked and acted so differently. I hope I can get a positive ID...it was a sweet little bird.
Oh! Now I see which bird, and definitely not a house finch! It's also definitely not a cowbird - we have those here and they are dark brown heads with black bodies. Looks larger than an average sparrow. We don't see those mixing with the finches here, but I will be interested to see what it is when somebody identifies it.
I think that Debnes has it! Matches some pictures on the web. I only get RWBBs in the summer, and then only the male, but maybe I haven't noticed the females because of their different coloring. Now I will watch for them!
Quoting:So, who would this guy be? A song sparrow maybe?
Yep, Song Sparrow
Quoting:a little bird that I thought was a Song Sparrow. The reason I noticed it was because it was flicking it's tail. At first I thought it was a White Throated Sparrow but it just looked and acted so differently. I hope I can get a positive ID...it was a sweet little bird
Not so easy with the pic a bit blurred and burnt out; this one could also be Song Sparrow, but it might be Lincoln's Sparrow. Can't be certain which.
I think so too Indiana! I've only seen it twice and it is a new bird for me. I saw it at the brush pile where I throw out cracked corn hoping to attract some Bobwhite Quail...no quail yet but it is a wonderful spot to watch for new birds.