Those Birds That Keep Us Guessing

Agh!  And just like that, my post was gone (user error)!  Ok, so let’s try this again…

DaLo, I seem to recall us batting ideas on an ID back and forth for a photo that looked similar some time ago on WLB.  However, I do not recall our conclusion, so no preconceived ideas on this one.  My gut said Cooper’s because of the appearance of a hood.  I went through the Crossley ID Guide for this one because he presents photos from up close and far off and in multiple plumage phases.  Your bird here looks a bit round for Cooper’s though.  (S)he could just be “poofy” or preening, I suppose.  The Short-tailed Hawk, light phase was really the only other one that I saw that caught my eye with that apparent head shading.  You don’t happen to have any less pixel-y photos, I suppose?  I am eager to find out what you are thinking it may be.  I will check my other guides and see if some other inspiration comes to mind…  Any size estimate?

I love the Grey Catbird photo!  (S)he looks so cheerful (somewhat in contrast to those calls they make)!  (S)he is also so perfectly posed in such a beautiful setting; “textbook” and well-captured!


Jo, that sounds like a plan!  I was at Turkey Creek today, but this trip was slow, presumably because the wind is still pretty ferocious (although not nearly as bad as yesterday) and I didn’t really hit the area at an ideal time.  I only managed about ten species and only one was migratory.  I could hear them in the brush, but I did not really have a chance to wait them out like I might on a weekday trip.

I love sparrows because they present a special challenge.  Like warblers, I am finding that they all have that one defining feature that will set them apart from the others and, unlike empids, it is actually possible to cement an ID.  Having said that, I plan to acquire a copy of the Kaufman Field Guide to Advanced Birding before 2012 is out so that I can study up on those subtleties.

Now that I know what Brdbrain is, I will look into that, I suppose.  I looked on eBird, but found no recent sightings of Lark Sparrows and, in fact, I think the only 2012 records are from Fort DeSoto (although I can’t swear by that).  This guy was near the entrance to the Viera Wetlands, right in front of the water treatment plant.

Your Sharpie photo is beautiful!  I have a fondness for those yellow-eyed birds 😉 (like Sindel).  I also have a special fondness for jays; something of a conundrum, I suppose 😕  When it all shakes down, I appreciate them all on their own merit though.

That digital revolution has been especially helpful!  I remember fighting it tooth-and-nail in the beginning though.  Funny thing is that I resisted the change from portable CD player to mp3 also.  And while I love the sound of a record and the look of a classic tintype, my mp3 and my digital camera are two of my most personally valued possessions.


SLB, the camera I am using now is a Canon SX40 HS.  My previous one was a Canon A710 IS, convenient for taking everywhere and, while it should have had a longer life, I was kind of rough on it.  The SX40 definitely serves my birding purposes well because I have a little more zoom power, helpful for catching the smaller birds from a greater distance.  And, while I use Canon, I hear Nikon has a really good equivalent.

Your small bird looks like a Blue-grey Gnatcatcher to me.  Was it making any noise as it hopped through the branches?

Your shore bird is tougher for me.  Is it perhaps a dowitcher?  I am going to go out on a limb and suggest Short-billed, but I am way, way unsure, so I am anxious to see what the others say.  You got spectacular photos of them!

Now, I am wondering about the ID of one of the birds in the background of your series… the one with the beautiful reddish striped feathers… what might that bird be?  I think the bird in the upper right corner in the last photo and the upper left in the one before it are the same type that I am curious about.  If they aren’t, then I am curious about both.  I am certain I have never seen a shore bird with that type of colouring, so I am eager to add it to my list of “to find” (hopefully this season). 🙂


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