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  1. nartreb

    Did i really see a black swan?

    In Idaho? Even rarer than in most of the US, which is already extremely rare. The nearest sighting this year (according to E-Bird, which is usually pretty reliable for the US) was near Portland, Oregon. That's not a big distance for a swan (Tundras migrate over your area from Alaska on their...
  2. nartreb

    Canada Goose ID Needed Scotland

    The many subspecies of Canada goose are pretty hard to tell apart from each other, and I'm not even sure I'm up-to-date on which subspecies are recognized, but in Scotland this should be an "Atlantic" Canada Goose, Branta Canadensis Canadensis. That's about as "normal" as you can get.
  3. nartreb

    Duck categorization

    Wikipedia tells me that the reason for the splitting (technically, resurrection) of genus Sibirionetta was this paper: https://zslpublications.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1469-7998.2009.00622.x Seems to also be the reason for Garganey being moved, and I suspect it will address your...
  4. nartreb

    Texas Kingbird

    "Best distinguished [from Tropical] by voice" says my book. Exact location might allow for a reasonable guess - farther from the coast, Couch's is more likely than tropical. Also, tropical tolerates man-made environments (parks with grass) more than Couch's does.
  5. nartreb

    Bird ID help - East Coast, USA, November 25, 2022

    Shape looks fine for house sparrow to me, though I'm not good at silhouettes.
  6. nartreb

    Hawk ID help - New Mexico, USA

    Looks quite good for immature red-tailed hawk. Belly band just about visible in first and last shot. Tail pattern good, pattern of white blotches on upper side of wings is quite typical.
  7. nartreb

    Southern California, USA - Bird or Bat??

    Some killdeer do visit beaches, but many live extremely far from the coast. They feed in mowed, plowed or short-grazed fields, and nest in dry spots with open ground. They can be surprisingly hard to spot, though if you happen to pass close to a nest you might get to see the old broken-wing trick.
  8. nartreb

    What duck is this?

    ring-necked duck, females
  9. nartreb

    Tityra Peru

    Female masked tityra can look very much like this (but I would expect to see some browner shades on the head). I wonder what an immature or intersex bird would look like.
  10. nartreb

    Intriguing thrush species, 7th August 2022, Poconos mountains, Philadelphia area.

    I don't know what juveniles of other species of thrush look like, but it looks fine for a juvenile hermit to me. Thrush shape with scalloped belly and spotted shoulders and weaker-than-adult eye ring. Other species would be very unlikely based on location in August.
  11. nartreb

    New bird in Monterey California

    Hermit thrush, for the same reasons as this one: A thrush in Strathcona Provincial Park - British Columbia
  12. nartreb

    A thrush in Strathcona Provincial Park - British Columbia

    I'd call it a Hermit, assuming there aren't other photos that might change my mind. Pretty strong white eye ring (contra grey-cheeked), no buffy tones on face (contra swainson's), and the cherry on top: tail seems to be a warmer shade than the back.
  13. nartreb

    Lehigh Acres Florida USA - hawk

    Cooper's would be my first guess as well. How tall is the fence?
  14. nartreb

    Hybrid(?) duck, Manchester UK

    I agree this is an unusual combination of shape and size - and the bill pattern isn't common either - and the spotted flanks are interesting. If I were to reach for a non-mallard possible ancestor, I might consider a teal, but I can't find any examples of hybrids that look like this.
  15. nartreb

    Flyover Mergs? Loons? Southeastern Massachusetts

    Agree with loons. Pretty good views of the upper-left bird in the first few shots. I think I can see wavy "fingers" of darker feathers extending from the back of the neck into the whiter area of the underside of the neck. That's consistent with a non-breeding Common loon; red-throated has a...
  16. nartreb


    What's the location? (Preferably quite specific. There might be a park or farm nearby it could have escaped from.) I'm no goose guru, but domestic graylag would be my starting point. No gap at the "lips" to speak of, so I don't see much reason to think of Snow Goose (nor Ross') here.
  17. nartreb

    Wood Thrush or Hermit Thrush ??? in New Jersey

    On a wood thrush, the breast spots are larger, darker, more overlapping, and extend farther down the flanks. The top of the head is rather reddish, and the back is a bit reddish too, while the tail is a much plainer brown than the head -- the opposite pattern from a Hermit. I only needed a...
  18. nartreb

    Wood Thrush or Hermit Thrush ??? in New Jersey

    Most definitely a Hermit. It could very well have been in your yard all summer, though that might be less likely depending on which part of New Jersey you're in. Do you have any photos of your summer thrush?
  19. nartreb

    sparrow ID help, please. Northern Michigan

    Agreed. The second bird also has a rather different head pattern from the first. Presumably, you were focused on the black spot at center breast. In this case it's not due to color on the feather surface, it's a gap through which dark underdown / featherbases / skin is showing.
  20. nartreb

    Bird of Prey in New York city

    Red-tailed hawks are common throughout the USA, though they weren't too common among the skyscrapers of Manhattan until the famous Pale Male and a succession of mates started nesting on a building ledge near Central Park in the early 1990s. (Red-tails usually nest in trees.) It's not too...
  21. nartreb

    A duck in New England.

    I hate to bring up 200-year-old disputes, but I would not ever describe Quebec as part of "New England" :)
  22. nartreb

    Night Heron Which One

    Black-crowned. In yellow-crowned, the bottom row of wing covert feathers would have white edges, in addition to white spots. (There are also some differences in bill shape and color, but they can be hard to judge.)
  23. nartreb

    Help with another bird from Packwood (Washington State, USA)

    I didn't think the chest was streaky - we're seeing shadows from disturbed feathers. But on closer look, there are also some streaks, so you guys are right.
  24. nartreb


    Seems rather buffy around the face (especially in photo 6288), so I'd lean toward Swainson's. Hard to be certain from photos, but what we can see makes me pretty confident. Compared to Hermit, lacks strong pale eye-ring. (Hermit also has a contrast between reddish tail and plainer back, but...
  25. nartreb

    Help with another bird from Packwood (Washington State, USA)

    I get a sparrowy vibe. Can't be at all confident, but I don't see why it couldn't be a female house sparrow.