Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Identify These Mystery Birds!

I stink at bird identification!  Won't you please help me with these UFO's!  Most of these birds are the victims of 1) bad lighting 2) blurry photo 3) strange position that obscures distinguishing features otherwise known as "Branch in the Face" or "Bird Butt" 4) it looks like something common but something is off like coloring or size and I desperately want it to be something else! 5) it's a sparrow and I just can't figure out which kind.

P.S.  If you help me, I will give you a shout out on the next installment of this blog and tell all my friends on Facebook to follow your blog.  Thank you!

Here follow my Mystery Birds otherwise known as the Top 40 Most Annoying Birds Ever:
#1  Pine Warbler or Yellow throated Vireo?

#2 Another Piney?
#3 Whoa, super morph

#4 Sparrow--please don't say chipping.

#5 Nice eye ring, is it a ruby crowned kinglet? It's a wonderful picture of that pine needle.

#6 Someone told me this was a female goldfinch.

#7 This was in a tree with a bunch of robins and cedar wax wings.  The scale is all weird.
 I can't tell if it's a hawk, an owl or a blue jay.

#8 Probably a junco, but I want it to be a black headed blue warbler.

#9 Not a clue.

#10 Someone also told me this was a goldfinch.  Nooooooooo!

#11 Ooh, silhouette!  Could it please be a catbird?

#12 Argggh!

#13 Probably yellow rumped, but could it possibly be something else?

#14 Phoebe?

#15 In Virginia in Summer.  How could you EVER tell what it is from this angle?

#16 Darn sparrows.

#17 Fox sparrow?

#18  I thought maybe it was a baby robin, but it's so big for a baby.

#19 At the time I thought this was a female shiny cowbird.

#20 Good luck with this one!

#21 Weird crouching position.



#24 This may be an alternate view of #23 above.

#25 This is in Florida.  There were lots of positively identified Palm Warblers and Swamp Sparrows nearby.

#27 Warbler, please, warbler.

#28 May be the same as crouching bird above #21.

#29 May be the same as above.

#30 May be the same as above.

#32 Oh, Foxy, why do I even ask?

#33 Short Willet in deep sand?

#34 Fox again? These sparrows get on my nerves!

#35 I tell everyone this is a Red Cockaded Woodpecker.  Whadyathink?

#36 I think it's a Myrtle Yellow Rumped Warbler. Blah.

#37 Prothonotary Warbler or Yellow Warbler?

#40 Three views of what I think is a Winter Wren.

#41 Female Yellow Rump?  In Florida you'd think it would be something more exotic.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

My Yard-- A Haven for Common Birds

So the last couple of birding trips have left me pretty depressed with all the talk of Warbling Vireos and other exotic species that locals have spotted and I have not.  Somehow I can visit the same places as some of the "professional" birders, go with a guide who shows me the exact spot of the nest, and STILL not see one sign of a nest, bird or hear even one single tweet.  If there weren't actual pictures of these birds, I'd think they were EXAGGERATING, if you know what I mean.  (Is there a word for that in birding like when fishermen exaggerate the size of their catch, ie a "fish story"?)
Well, I will try to get over myself.  I have a family and a job and I can't go birding every day of the week.  I am a musician by trade and temperament, so getting up early is not my nature, and I live way out in Louisburg at least 45 minutes to an hour from most of the primo birding sites.  But in stepping up to my kitchen window every morning,  I am treated to great views of just about every common bird in North Carolina.  I literally see dozens of different birds in my yard in the course of a day.  Their names may not impress you like a Warbling Vireo (I actually saw two of them in my yard last fall very early in the migration.  One landed two feet in front of me right on the deck railing. Of course, I didn't have my camera) or a Cerulean Warbler or Yellow Crowned Night Heron, but these babies are all mine and I didn't have to put pants on to see them.
Here are the birds I spotted at my backyard feeders just this morning:

Carolina Wren
Carolina Chickadee
House Finch
Chipping Sparrow
White Breasted Nuthatch
Brown Creeper
Mourning Dove
Tufted Titmouse
Ruby Throated Hummingbird

I have also seen Pileated, Downy, Red Bellied, Red Cockaded Woodpecker, and Yellow Bellied Sapsucker, Yellow Rumped Warbler, Juncos, Cardinals, Crows, Brown Headed Nuthatch, Phoebe, Acadian Flycatcher, Great Crested Flycatcher, Brown Headed Cowbird, Whipporwill, Purple Finch, Fox Sparrow, Scarlet Tanager, Summer Tanager, PeeWee, Brown Thrasher, Prothonotary Warbler, Red Shouldered Hawk, Black Vulture, Barred Owl, and Great Horned Owl, Mockingbird, and Blue Jay all without ever leaving Home Sweet Home.