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Old Wednesday 26th August 2009, 13:59   #1
jenihig
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FLORIDA- black & white bird w/ orange beak & very long tail feathers

We spotted this bird today in our front yard. The neighbor spotted him about a week ago and thinks he is a scissortail flycatcher but the pics I have found of those are more brown. This is definitely black and white. Any ideas? We live in the Panhandle of Florida near Pensacola. I have lived here my whole life (almost 38 years) and have never seen this bird. Neighbor is 87 and he said the same thing

Thank you!!!
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Old Wednesday 26th August 2009, 14:04   #2
Sy V
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Pretty bird.
I have no idea, but the beak (bill) is not typical of any kind of flycatcher, that I've seen.
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Old Wednesday 26th August 2009, 14:06   #3
Gill Osborne
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Reminds me of a Pin-tailed Whydah.....we had a few in the pet shop I used to work in ten years ago.

I'm not so good on birds outside of Britain and Europe though so it'll be interesting to see what someone else reckons who HAS got experience of American birds It's certainly a stunner.....if that's what your birds are like in Florida I want to visit ASAP!!!
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Old Wednesday 26th August 2009, 14:07   #4
Sy V
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Here's a gallery shot of a typical flycatcher's beak... click the link below (image courtesy of Duck_Pond).

http://www.birdforum.net/gallery/sho...p?photo=268083
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Old Wednesday 26th August 2009, 14:09   #5
birdboybowley
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Pin-tailed Whydah - seem to be fairly common in Florida as there's been quite a few threads about these guys lately.
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Old Wednesday 26th August 2009, 14:12   #6
Sy V
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Yeah a Google of Pin-tailed Whydah images seems to point that way.
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Old Wednesday 26th August 2009, 14:14   #7
Gill Osborne
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Woooohoooo gold star to Gilly I don't often get id threads correct Give me another 20 years and I'll be looking at all those little brown jobs wthout breaking into a cold sweat!
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Old Wednesday 26th August 2009, 14:15   #8
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It is a Pin-tailed Whydah :-)
http://www.photos-of-the-year.com/im...93DSC_6423.jpg
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Old Wednesday 26th August 2009, 14:23   #9
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Something to compete with the cowbirds!!!

These birds are parasitic breeders with Estrildid finches being the usual hosts -what on earth are their host species in Florida?
Are there lots of escaped Waxbills in Florida?
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Old Wednesday 26th August 2009, 15:17   #10
ovenbird43
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I agree on Pin-tailed Wydah, must be an escapee from a pet store... I don't know of any established populations of this species anywhere in North America.
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Old Wednesday 26th August 2009, 17:15   #11
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First of all, jenihig, welcome to Birdforum.

I don't know about Florida, but pin-tailed Whydah is established and doing well in Puerto Rico, where they use several African species as host, that are also established there. I would by no means be surprised to hear the same being true for S Florida. (after all, "Parrots of the world" is jokingly called Birds of Dade County).

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Old Wednesday 26th August 2009, 17:56   #12
Joern Lehmhus
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Quote:
Originally Posted by njlarsen View Post
First of all, jenihig, welcome to Birdforum.

I don't know about Florida, but pin-tailed Whydah is established and doing well in Puerto Rico, where they use several African species as host, that are also established there. I would by no means be surprised to hear the same being true for S Florida. (after all, "Parrots of the world" is jokingly called Birds of Dade County).

Niels
Do you know which species it uses there as a host, Niels?
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Old Wednesday 26th August 2009, 18:31   #13
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I have not studied that, and have only seen a note in some fieldguide, which is at home at the moment. However, Puerto Rico has populations of yellow-crowned and orange bishop, and Orange-cheeked and Black-rumped Waxbill to mention the most likely hosts, and in addition some Lonchura sp which I don't think would work. I think I read somewhere that the total number of introduced, established species on PR was something like 32 or 38.

cheers
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Old Thursday 27th August 2009, 16:04   #14
Joern Lehmhus
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Niels, Thank you for information!

I thought these wydahs are parasitic breeders with each using one or a few Estrildid finches with siimilar mouth pattern, and are in themselves highly adapted to that by their nestlings also have practically a similar mouth pattern as the preferred hosts -because the host selects against this by not feeding youn with wrong mouth pattern and switching to another potentially possible host is near impossible, but this seems not necessarily so, see this for example:

http://web.uct.ac.za/depts/stats/adu/bn8_2_06.htm

Having read through the web, Pintailed seems the most adaptable of the wydah species in regard to hosts...

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Old Thursday 27th August 2009, 19:09   #15
njlarsen
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Joern,
thanks for sharing that information!

Niels
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Old Thursday 27th August 2009, 19:56   #16
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I saw this bird at an indoor tropical plant greenhouse thing at the Fred Meijer botanical gardens in Grand Rapids. I was wondering what they were so this saves me a thread. Thanks!
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Old Thursday 27th August 2009, 22:54   #17
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Here's your little guy - Pin-tailed Whydah Vidua macroura, photographed in Western Cape Province, South Africa. Yours must be an escapee.
Best wishes,
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Old Wednesday 23rd September 2009, 19:26   #18
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I saw the exact same bird while walking on Tuesday morning in Northwest Florida (Pensacola). I have been trying to find out what type of bird it is as well. Flycatcher is as far as I got. Nothing seems to have the orange beak.
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Old Wednesday 23rd September 2009, 19:30   #19
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Pin-tailed Whydah is what someone said and it looks just like what I saw.
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Old Wednesday 23rd September 2009, 19:30   #20
jenihig
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Pin-tailed Whydah Vidua macroura is exactly what it is

I am so glad that I found this forum! I wish I could see the bird again but we have only seen him that one time & he was spotted by my neighbor about a week prior to showing up in our yard. He was beautiful!
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Old Wednesday 23rd September 2009, 19:34   #21
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I wish I had my camera with me. I thought no one would believe it if I told them. The orange beak made me think tropical so I thought it might be an escapee from someone or somewhere. I own an escapee parakeet that I found walking along a sidewalk one day when I was walking. This Pin-tailed Whydah was a very interesting bird. I will look for it again!
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Old Tuesday 6th October 2009, 18:05   #22
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I saw one too

Itís amazing as I saw this bird one week ago in Southeast Florida in my back yard
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Old Tuesday 6th October 2009, 18:49   #23
njlarsen
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Originally Posted by unkeb View Post
Itís amazing as I saw this bird one week ago in Southeast Florida in my back yard
So it seems pretty widespread in S Florida!

Welcome to Birdforum!

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Old Monday 10th October 2011, 15:03   #24
JoyceA
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I have spotted this bird, Pin-tailed Whydah at my feeder the last 2 days. Took me 2 days to find identification but ID is perfect. Please explain this bird being in Southern California & tell me its fate with probably not having a mate? Or is a mate possible in my area? Enjoying the watch of this "looker".
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Old Wednesday 16th November 2011, 06:16   #25
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Got one in my garden

Hi all. I came across this thread while trying to find the name of the same species. I have one in my garden in Johannesburg, South Africa. He is fairly aggressive toward birds many times his size and rules the feeder, despite being one of the smallest (if you don't count the tail). He has been living in the area (probably in the same tree as the feeder) for at least 3 months.He seems protective of three small brown and black speckled birds, but chases a 4th similar bird away. Any possible explanation?
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