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Old Sunday 24th October 2004, 19:52   #1
jward
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Faded Bluebird??

Hello all,

Snapped a shot of this bird today here in Central New Jersey. I noticed three of them gathered in an old dead tree beside a marsh. I then got close enough to this one when it selected a new perch. Any ideas on the species? Nearest, I can figure is an Eastern Bluebird, but will welcome your thoughts.

Jarrod
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Old Sunday 24th October 2004, 20:42   #2
cuckooroller
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No mystery here. You are right.
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Old Sunday 24th October 2004, 21:01   #3
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Roller,

Grazie! I appreciate the confirmation.

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Old Sunday 24th October 2004, 22:14   #4
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Jward......most of our PA. Bluebirds are pretty well faded, as was the one you photographed...but check out this one that I saw today (10/24/04)...it totally surprised me...it was colored almost like Summer plumage...I was lucky to get it as I snapped it out of the window of the car...it posed very patiently...I guess he was proud to still have retained his colors!!!! (and honest...I didn't tinker with the color saturation)
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Old Sunday 24th October 2004, 22:56   #5
Bluetail
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I would have thought that Jarrod's bird is a dull female or juvenile whereas Muskrat's is a male. Are the Pennsylvania and New Jersey populations migratory? They certainly are further north, according to Sibley. If so, what usually happens with migratory species is that the adults move out first, leaving the juveniles to follow on later. Could that be why most of the bluebirds you're now seeing are dull ones?
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Old Sunday 24th October 2004, 23:24   #6
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Bluetail....I have only been seriously involved in recording sightings for a short period of time so my observations have a limited amount of validity...but...the "Pennsylvania Breeding Birds" information does show some sightings throughout the winter months. I personally have never been aware of any throughout the "dead" of winter in my part of PA. They are probably not resident birds, but perhaps from a spot further north. I do know that they are one of the first arrivals in good numbers in the early spring. And from my observations this Fall, most birds are rather drab in color (with today's sighting being the exception)
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Old Sunday 24th October 2004, 23:47   #7
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Thanks, Muskrat. I just found some distribution maps which are clearer than those in Sibley. http://www.mbr-pwrc.usgs.gov/bbs/htm...22/ra7660.html (Looks like a great site BTW.) The numbers on the map represent birds per 100 "party hours".
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Come doleful owl, the messenger of woe,
Melancholy's bird, companion of Despair,
Sorrow's best friend and Mirth's professed foe
The chief discourser that delights sad Care.
O come, poor owl, and tell thy woes to me.
Which having heard, I'll do the like for thee.

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Old Monday 25th October 2004, 00:19   #8
Muskrat
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Yep!...I'm in the "Pink" area on that map...."one and below"....better not blink or I'll miss it!!!
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Old Monday 25th October 2004, 04:48   #9
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Hello all!

I would say that the three I viewed today (all of which were similarly colored) were migrants. I have been actively monitoring my local patch since I moved here early this spring and this is the first time I have ever seen Bluebirds in Jersey. I suppose that they are as you note, juvi's, travelling on the trail of their elders.

Thanks again,
Jarrod
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Old Monday 25th October 2004, 22:15   #10
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Its a drab female Eastern Blluebird for me. Even if it isnt brite like in breeding, its still mighty pretty.
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Old Monday 25th October 2004, 22:30   #11
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Those pale fringes to the wing coverts and tertials must surely indicate a first winter bird. Compare this adult female: http://ontfin.com/Fav/EABL3.htm
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Come doleful owl, the messenger of woe,
Melancholy's bird, companion of Despair,
Sorrow's best friend and Mirth's professed foe
The chief discourser that delights sad Care.
O come, poor owl, and tell thy woes to me.
Which having heard, I'll do the like for thee.

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Old Tuesday 26th October 2004, 03:19   #12
jward
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Bluetail,

I agree. Perhaps we can even postulate that the three birds were nestlings following along behind the others???
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Old Tuesday 26th October 2004, 12:44   #13
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Possibly, but not necessarily from the same nest. Lots of birds that migrate at night do so in flocks - sometimes large ones. You might not notice them gathering prior to leaving since they'll be very spread out and will leave on a very broad front, but it can be obvious when a flock is grounded by bad weather. Over here, for example, you might go to the coast birding on a drizzly spring morning and find the bushes hopping with several hundred Willow Warblers.
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Come doleful owl, the messenger of woe,
Melancholy's bird, companion of Despair,
Sorrow's best friend and Mirth's professed foe
The chief discourser that delights sad Care.
O come, poor owl, and tell thy woes to me.
Which having heard, I'll do the like for thee.

(Anon c.1607)

Last edited by Bluetail : Tuesday 26th October 2004 at 18:24. Reason: vital omitted word supplied
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Old Tuesday 26th October 2004, 14:04   #14
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They vary quite a bit. I have seen some in Nebraska that were equally faded. Then I saw some in Northern Nebraska that were blue, and quite dark. They had almost no reddish color on the breast. Yet they were too far East to ne Mountain Bluebirds.

Ours here look always at least slightly blue, though similar to yours.
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