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  1. V

    Common or Red-breasted Merganser in Santa Cruz, California

    Thanks everyone, especially for explaining your choice. Hopefully that will help me in the future.
  2. V

    Common or Red-breasted Merganser in Santa Cruz, California

    I have more, but these are by far the best because they were relatively close to me. All of them were wet because they were constantly diving.
  3. V

    Common or Red-breasted Merganser in Santa Cruz, California

    I took these photos on shortly before noon on September 15, 2022 at the San Lorenzo river in Santa Cruz, California. I believe they are either Common Mergansers or Red-breasted Mergansers, but I'm not sure which. There were quite a few of them swimming in the river that day. Can anyone help...
  4. V

    Santa Cruz, California sea birds

    Thanks Ken.
  5. V

    Santa Cruz, California sea birds

    I took these two photos from the Santa Cruz Municipal Wharf about 20 minutes apart in the late morning on 2022-07-06. My guess is that first is a Pigeon Guillemot, but I've only started seeing these birds recently, so I'm not sure. I'm even less certain about the second, but my guess would be...
  6. V

    Which kind of swallows are these San Francisco Bay Area specimens?

    I took these photos between 10 and 11 am on June 19, 2022 at the Palo Alto Baylands Park in Palo Alto, California. I'm reasonably sure the first is a Barn Swallow, but I'm uncertain whether the other two (I think they are different individuals) are Barn Swallows or Cliff Swallows. I'd be...
  7. V

    Southern California identification help needed

    Thanks for the quick responses everyone. It makes sense since there were some male great-tailed grackles perched in the trees on the other side of the lake (a couple photos attached). I forgot that that females are brown and didn't realize how much smaller they are than the males.
  8. V

    Southern California identification help needed

    I took this picture near the shore of the lake in Sepulveda Basin Wildlife Reserve in Van Nuys, California in the middle of the afternoon on 2022 May 7, and I have failed in my attempts to identify it. Any help would be appreciated.
  9. V

    Southern California duck ID help needed

    Thanks everyone.
  10. V

    Southern California duck ID help needed

    I took the photos of these two birds at Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve in the morning on 2022-May-06. Are they both Ruddy Ducks? Thanks in advance for your help.
  11. V

    Which kind of Grackle are these northern California birds.

    I took these photos shortly before noon on 2022 March 13 at Ed R. Levin County Park (in the hills East of San Franscisco Bay above Milpitas). There were several individuals in this tree, and I heard them long before I was close enough to see them. I assume they are Grackles, but I'm not sure...
  12. V

    Acorn, Downy, or Hairy Woodpecker in California's San Joaquin Valley?

    Oops, I was in too big a hurry and forgot the photo. Added it now.
  13. V

    Acorn, Downy, or Hairy Woodpecker in California's San Joaquin Valley?

    I took this photo shortly after noon in mid-February 2022, at San Luis National Wildlife Refuge near Los Banos, California. I don't see very many woodpeckers, but I'm guessing this is a Acorn, Downy or Hairy. Can anyone help me with the id? Thanks in advance.
  14. V

    Small black and white bird in Merced County, California

    Thanks Larry. Most of the Black Phoebes that I see seem to be more of a very dark brown than this one appears to be, but looking in my books again it look like you are correct.
  15. V

    Small black and white bird in Merced County, California

    I saw this bird on the morning of February 13, 2022 at the Merced National Wildlife Refuge, and after looking through my bird books, I have no idea what it is. Can anyone help me identify it. Thanks.
  16. V

    Santa Cruz, California Hawk

    Always nice to learn something. Thanks.
  17. V

    Santa Cruz, California Hawk

    Thanks folks. I was uncertain because the belly band isn't as distinct as I'm used too.
  18. V

    Santa Cruz, California Hawk

    Oops, I was in too big a hurry and forgot to add the photos. I can't see any way to add the photos now. Do I need to create a new thread?
  19. V

    Santa Cruz, California Hawk

    I took these photos in the early afternoon on 2021-10-21 near the lighthouse on West Cliff Drive in Santa Cruz, California. Red-shouldered or Red-tailed (or ...)? Thanks for your help.
  20. V

    Duck and Blackbird? in Santa Cruz, California ID help needed

    Thanks for the help everyone. What does "Domestic duck" mean in terms of scientific name (genus and species)?
  21. V

    Duck and Blackbird? in Santa Cruz, California ID help needed

    I took both of these photos in the morning of September 20, 2021 in Santa Cruz California. The duck was hanging out with the typical crowd of Mallards at Neary Lagoon, but it don't see a clear resemblance with anything in my bird books. I saw the second bird at the side of the multi-use trail...
  22. V

    Need help identifying several Chicago birds

    Thanks for the help everyone. @raymie , you make me wonder if some of the west coast birds I Identified as Red-winged Blackbirds were actually Tricolored Blackbirds :oops:.
  23. V

    Need help identifying several Chicago birds

    I took these photos around “The Magic Hedge” at the Montrose Point Bird Sanctuary in Chicago on the morning of July 12, 2019. I was visiting from the west coast, so I'm not a familiar with the local birds. I assume the first four are Red-winged or Tricolored Blackbirds (although I'm not so...
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