Friends of Big Bend National Park
Big Bend Conservancy

Over-estimating your experience or under-estimating the terrain in a place like Big Bend can result in serious injury or death. Use the information and advice found here wisely. Climb/Hike/Camp/Drive at your own risk.

+-Calendar for sale

 2019 BigBendChat Calendar on sale now!


Bird ID please?

  • 39 Replies
  • 2354 Views
*

Offline badknees

  • Actually, I was there once
  • Mountain Lion
  • *
  • 4305
  • I think I know that place
    • Through the Mirror
Re: Bird ID please?
« Reply #15 on: June 05, 2018, 02:32:35 PM »

The bill, above all, has been giving me pause............ I'd like to see the beginnings of a little hook at the end of the upper mandible.

Me too

Less than 3" at this stage gives me pause too. Closer to the size of an Eastern Phoebe or Wood Pewee

So does the color. Eastern Kingbirds are very dark. (black), even as feathered nestlings. This bird in not black. I believe that an Eastern Kingbird would be black at this stage. The bird is not much more than a week from fledging. The lack of any white tips on the tail kind of rule it out for me. One more thing that bugs me...the gape on David's bird does not extend back to the eye.



The attached picture of an Eastern Kingbird shows a nestling of similar age the clearly exhibits the white tipping.

.
Quote
That's all I got. Unless you see the parents still attending some surviving young at the original nest, or starting a new one, we may never really know the ID of your little bird.

Agree

I just don't think it's an Eastern Kingbird though.
Not all those who wander are lost.
J.R.R. Tolkien

Through the Mirror
http://mirrormagic.com

*

Online House Made of Dawn

  • www.youtube.com/watch?v=h2YJduDyFA4
  • Golden Eagle
  • Mountain Lion
  • *
  • 2844
  • Backpacking since '78, Big Bend since '95.
Re: Bird ID please?
« Reply #16 on: June 05, 2018, 04:18:54 PM »
First of all: you are waaaay better than I am at finding good photos of nestlings and fledglings. These are great pictures, BK.

I agree about the size. Three inches is way too big for a gnatcatcher, but not quite big enough for a kingbird. I figured the age was just a best guess, so I was willing to roll with it.  But the lack of white edging on the wings and tail retrices DID bother me. I think the tail may be the death knell for a kingbird ID. I'd taken a close look at it and noted that the tail feathers in David's bird were extremely abraded, but it's pretty hard to rationalize ALL the white edging disappearing from the tail AND the wings through heavy wear. The relative blackness of the feathers doesn't actually bother me. I've held Eastern Kingbirds in my hand and their wings and some of their tail feathers are surprisingly "fuscous" as they say. Not black, at all, but brownish/olive when viewed close up. But the absence of the previously mentioned white edging is not so easy to discount. And the coloring of David's bird almost perfectly matches what one would expect from an Eastern Phoebe.

Eastern Phoebe seems like the best guess at this point. Still a flycatcher, and well within the expected breeding range in Helotes, though I'd like David to tell us there's water nearby. The gape also matches. It's one of the reasons that, on my very first viewing, I thought the bird looked like a flycatcher, specifically an empid. But no empids would nest near David. However, look closely at the gape and note that not only does it not extend as far as expected for a kingbird, it also curves downward as in an empid AND as in a phoebe. While even a phoebe would have a tiny hook on the end of the upper mandible, as I said earlier, David's photo features a light flare that obscures the tip of the bill, so we can't know exactly what his bird's tip looks like.

The stumbling block for me, the reason I almost immediately rejected phoebes, is because of the extraordinary bright whiteness of the throat, breast, and belly of David's bird  It just does NOT say phoebe to me. I've held both adult and juvenile Eastern Phoebes in my hand and I don't remember them ever being this white. Maybe it's an artifact of David's photo? I dunno. Maybe you can find good pictures of Eastern Phoebe nestlings or fledglings that will show their undersides more clearly. Perhaps they're not as drab when juveniles, and the darker breast shading develops later. On the plus side, David's photo shows what looks like the very beginnings of a faint and very drab yellow shading on the flanks near the tarsi, which is what one would expect in a juvenile Eastern Phoebe.

So, at this point, perhaps the best, but still speculative, guess is Eastern Phoebe, the oddly intense white undersides notwithstanding.  Well done, BK.
« Last Edit: June 05, 2018, 05:22:57 PM by House Made of Dawn »
"The trick, William Potter, is not minding that it hurts."

*

Offline jasonmerlo

  • Roadrunner
  • *
  • 60
Re: Bird ID please?
« Reply #17 on: June 05, 2018, 06:08:29 PM »
Post it in the Birds of Texas group on Facebook. Someone there will know.


Sent from my iPhone using Big Bend Chat

*

Offline Casa Grande

  • Site Founder
  • Administrator
  • Mountain Lion
  • *
  • 6120
  • Bending It Since 1991
    • Virtual Big Bend
Re: Bird ID please?
« Reply #18 on: June 05, 2018, 06:13:25 PM »
Will this help any?  Sorry,  but this is the only other angle I've got.

And yes,  I'm about 2 miles from the edge of the eastern border of Government canyon,  as the, er,  Kingbird flies.

Sent from my Note 8 using Big Bend Chat mobile app


*

Online Flash

  • Mountain Lion
  • *
  • 1927
Re: Bird ID please?
« Reply #19 on: June 05, 2018, 06:15:24 PM »
Will this help any?  Sorry,  but this is the only other angle I've got.

And yes,  I'm about 2 miles from the edge of the eastern border of Government canyon,  as the, er,  Kingbird flies.

Sent from my Note 8 using Big Bend Chat mobile app
Why, of course, that is a baby bird!

*

Offline Casa Grande

  • Site Founder
  • Administrator
  • Mountain Lion
  • *
  • 6120
  • Bending It Since 1991
    • Virtual Big Bend
Re: Bird ID please?
« Reply #20 on: June 05, 2018, 06:17:04 PM »
Post it in the Birds of Texas group on Facebook. Someone there will know.


Sent from my iPhone using Big Bend Chat
And cheat on my BBC peeps?   I couldn't even entertain the idea! 

Sent from my Note 8 using Big Bend Chat mobile app


*

Online House Made of Dawn

  • www.youtube.com/watch?v=h2YJduDyFA4
  • Golden Eagle
  • Mountain Lion
  • *
  • 2844
  • Backpacking since '78, Big Bend since '95.
Re: Bird ID please?
« Reply #21 on: June 05, 2018, 06:24:21 PM »
Will this help any?  Sorry,  but this is the only other angle I've got.

And yes,  I'm about 2 miles from the edge of the eastern border of Government canyon,  as the, er,  Kingbird flies.

Haha! That does help. The buffy wash on that bird's flanks makes it look even more like a young Eastern Phoebe, though I wish it was more lemony. But I agree with Jason, post your photos on Birds of Texas and let crowdsourcing solve our problem. I can't take much more of this mystery.  :eusa_doh:
"The trick, William Potter, is not minding that it hurts."

*

Offline badknees

  • Actually, I was there once
  • Mountain Lion
  • *
  • 4305
  • I think I know that place
    • Through the Mirror
Re: Bird ID please?
« Reply #22 on: June 05, 2018, 06:43:08 PM »
Will this help any?  Sorry,  but this is the only other angle I've got.

And yes,  I'm about 2 miles from the edge of the eastern border of Government canyon,  as the, er,  Kingbird flies.

Haha! That does help. The buffy wash on that bird's flanks makes it look even more like a young Eastern Phoebe, though I wish it was more lemony. But I agree with Jason, post your photos on Birds of Texas and let crowdsourcing solve our problem. I can't take much more of this mystery.  :eusa_doh:

Yes that really helps. I would say with a high degree of confidence - Eastern Phoebe.
Not all those who wander are lost.
J.R.R. Tolkien

Through the Mirror
http://mirrormagic.com

*

Offline Imre

  • Diamondback
  • *
  • 322
Re: Bird ID please?
« Reply #23 on: June 05, 2018, 06:47:01 PM »
Is that little guy blind in the right eye or is that just an artifact of the second picture?
« Last Edit: June 07, 2018, 02:33:57 PM by Imre »
For every complex problem there is a solution that is simple, obvious, and wrong.
- H.L. Mencken

*

Offline Casa Grande

  • Site Founder
  • Administrator
  • Mountain Lion
  • *
  • 6120
  • Bending It Since 1991
    • Virtual Big Bend
Re: Bird ID please?
« Reply #24 on: June 05, 2018, 07:11:35 PM »
Is that little guy blind in the right eye or is that just and artifact of the second picture?
Whelp.  I think my lovable family canine actually get herself a taste before we rescued him from a blood thirsty Italian Greyhound mix.

Sent from my Note 8 using Big Bend Chat mobile app


*

Online House Made of Dawn

  • www.youtube.com/watch?v=h2YJduDyFA4
  • Golden Eagle
  • Mountain Lion
  • *
  • 2844
  • Backpacking since '78, Big Bend since '95.
Re: Bird ID please?
« Reply #25 on: June 07, 2018, 11:39:44 AM »
Last word of advice, David: if your bird is indeed an Eastern Phoebe nestling that left the nest too early for whatever reason, that nest shouldn't be too hard to find. Eastern Phoebes almost always build their mud-and-vegetation nests on human structures.  Look on house eaves, ceilings, in culverts, etc. and you'll probably find a nest stuck to a man-made surface somewhere nearby. The nests are fairly robust and It's not unusual for them to be reused over the course of several years. Eastern Phoebes are also active flycatchers, so you may see the adults zooming around low on your property, especially near water, catching small flying insects, and then bobbing their tales while waiting on perches.

https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Eastern_Phoebe/lifehistory
"The trick, William Potter, is not minding that it hurts."

*

Offline iCe

  • Random Pixel Generator
  • Golden Eagle
  • Mountain Lion
  • *
  • 1812
    • Wild Light Imaging Studio
Re: Bird ID please?
« Reply #26 on: June 07, 2018, 09:51:19 PM »
Ya know... I have read this whole thread and I'm pretty amazed  :notworthy: 


I'll go ahead and post my links but I don't think they'll be any better than what you get here. What Bird and the other links (below) are better than the FB page imho but I'll concede that (A) I don't like Facebook and (B) I don't like Facebook. Forums are way better... and I don't like Facebook...


What Bird: http://www.whatbird.com/ The iBird app is affiliated with the site somehow or another. Unfortunately the forum is down (being moved) and that means the bird id forum is down. Bummer... those folks are no better than HMoD and BK but there's a lot more of them.


BNA: https://birdsna.org/Species-Account/bna/home I have a subscription to this site (to support it) so I don't know what the link will look like. It might not be helpful


If you want to id a bug the people on the site in the following link are amazing: https://bugguide.net/node/view/15740


No back to your regularly scheduled answers...

*

Online House Made of Dawn

  • www.youtube.com/watch?v=h2YJduDyFA4
  • Golden Eagle
  • Mountain Lion
  • *
  • 2844
  • Backpacking since '78, Big Bend since '95.
Re: Bird ID please?
« Reply #27 on: June 07, 2018, 10:42:06 PM »
Ya know... I have read this whole thread and I'm pretty amazed  :notworthy: 

 :dance:

What Bird and the other links (below) are better than the FB page imho but I'll concede that (A) I don't like Facebook and (B) I don't like Facebook. Forums are way better... and I don't like Facebook...

Sure, but have you considered Facebook?

BNA: https://birdsna.org/Species-Account/bna/home I have a subscription to this site (to support it) so I don't know what the link will look like. It might not be helpful

BNA (Birds of North America) is awesome, especially now that it's user-friendly and filled-out.  It needs all the supporters it can get. Good for you, iCe.

"The trick, William Potter, is not minding that it hurts."

*

Offline iCe

  • Random Pixel Generator
  • Golden Eagle
  • Mountain Lion
  • *
  • 1812
    • Wild Light Imaging Studio
Re: Bird ID please?
« Reply #28 on: June 08, 2018, 07:26:46 AM »

Ya know... I have read this whole thread and I'm pretty amazed  :notworthy: 


 :dance:


What Bird and the other links (below) are better than the FB page imho but I'll concede that (A) I don't like Facebook and (B) I don't like Facebook. Forums are way better... and I don't like Facebook...


Sure, but have you considered Facebook?


BNA: https://birdsna.org/Species-Account/bna/home I have a subscription to this site (to support it) so I don't know what the link will look like. It might not be helpful


BNA (Birds of North America) is awesome, especially now that it's user-friendly and filled-out.  It needs all the supporters it can get. Good for you, iCe.
I am on FB because of my kids and some of my friends. I am even on FB Birds of Texas. Whatbird has a huge membership of ornithologists and birders. Facebook has some of those and some opinionated bird photographers imho. FB conversations, in general,  tend to descend into "strongly worded" opinions (can't claim that about TX Bird section, I don't visit that one much). When I was on the VTX (motorcycle forum) forum "strongly worded" could get your a** kicked. Some of those guys were keyboard commandoes and some, the quiet ones usually, were professional marshal artists. It was always interesting to meet up at the VTX rally's and see who's tone would change afterward :) Facebook has not been good for society imho. Besides that, you could never get a Stuffed Kingbird recipe there :)

I've been supporting BNA for as long as I can remember. At one point I was going to send them photos but they needed rarely seen birds and all I had was the more common birds. I really like photographing birds. It's the most relaxing photography that I do. I've never been good at id'ing anything but the more common birds. Cardinal, Mockingbird, Loggerhead Shrike, Yellow-billed Cuckoo (I have a nesting pair of those in my yard), Bluejay, Green Jay, etc. Even with the iBird app, BNA, AllAboutBirds, I still have to ask. What Bird is like Bug Guide - ask and ye shall receive in less than 5 min. 99% of the time the id is positive and confirmed a dozen times in under 30m. Those folks are intense  :icon_biggrin: 

I miss Artie Morris's Birds as Art forum (not Artie so much but we had a few good exchanges). The bird photography there was outstanding. The forum forced it to be and I thought they were a little over the top a lot of times but it was a place to see some amazing shots and learn what the "intense among us" considered amazing.  The people were a bit pompous online, but face to face I found them to be really nice. It was fun to go to the Bosque de Apache the week after Artie and the entourage that paid exorbitant fees for him to "show them the Bosque" had been thru. Forum members were always there. Some stragglers that had gone early for a chance to see Artie  ???  and some, like me, that were trying to avoid the same  :icon_lol: 

Texas Photo Forum was a great site. I met a lot of friends there. I'll take a forum over Faceplace any day...

PS - If I hit enter between a yellow smily and text (like if I want to add a paragraph), Lilliputians take over the text and make it very small. Selecting all and changing the font and text size leaves the not size code behind...

*

Offline badknees

  • Actually, I was there once
  • Mountain Lion
  • *
  • 4305
  • I think I know that place
    • Through the Mirror
Re: Bird ID please?
« Reply #29 on: June 08, 2018, 07:39:01 AM »

PS - If I hit enter between a yellow smily and text (like if I want to add a paragraph), Lilliputians take over the text and make it very small. Selecting all and changing the font and text size leaves the not size code behind...

When was the last time you cleared your browser cache?
Not all those who wander are lost.
J.R.R. Tolkien

Through the Mirror
http://mirrormagic.com

 


©COPYRIGHT NOTICE

All photographs and content posted by members are to be considered copyrighted by their respective owners and may not be used for any purposes, commercial or otherwise, without permission.

+-Calendar For Sale

 2019 BigBendChat Calendar on sale now!

Powered by EzPortal

Facebook Comments