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Odd Bird on Feeder in mid August in Washington DC Area

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Old Friday 11th October 2019, 14:42   #1
SarahNoVa
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Odd Bird on Feeder in mid August in Washington DC Area

I live in the Washington DC area. In mid August I noticed this bird on my feeder eating sunflower chips. It was on the feeder twice that day and each time stayed for a long time (didn't flit away and come back). I took these photos. Later I removed the screen in hopes of a clearer shot, but it never returned to the feeder. The shape of the head, narrow neck, the crest down the back and the long, slightly curved bill caught my attention. As I recall, the bill was yellowish. Its belly was light grayish and had black or brown spots. From what I could see, its back looked rather drab, though my viewing angle wasn't great. A staff member at the Audubon Society wondered if it was an immature pileated woodpecker, but the crest wasn't red. Its feet were grasping the underside of the feeder. I estimate its length was about 6 inches head to tip of tail.
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Last edited by SarahNoVa : Friday 11th October 2019 at 14:50.
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Old Friday 11th October 2019, 14:45   #2
The Bird Nuts
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I think it's a Carolina Wren with a lot of its feathers missing.
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Old Friday 11th October 2019, 15:16   #3
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Interesting possibility. The bird was too big to get its head into the feeder hole using the perch under the hole. I would think a wren could, as the sparrows and finches who frequent the feeder can. It had long legs and grasped the underside of the feeder with them, the way cardinals and woodpeckers at the feeder do. I'm enlarging the photo to try to make out an eyestripe.
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Old Friday 11th October 2019, 15:26   #4
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It is a Carolina Wren, you can see the eye stripe.
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Old Friday 11th October 2019, 20:00   #5
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Yeah, I'm leaning towards a Carolina Wren as well.

And BTW, a warm welcome to you from those of us on staff here at BirdForum
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Old Friday 11th October 2019, 21:19   #6
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It sure doesn't match Carolina Wrens I see. The tuft of feathers on back of the head, the head shape, and long beak that doesn't taper from the head - all look different.
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Old Friday 11th October 2019, 21:41   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dalethorn View Post
It sure doesn't match Carolina Wrens I see. The tuft of feathers on back of the head, the head shape, and long beak that doesn't taper from the head - all look different.
That's because it's missing a lot of feathers.
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Old Friday 11th October 2019, 21:49   #8
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100% Carolina Wren... with a bunch of feathers missing like others have said.
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Old Friday 11th October 2019, 21:52   #9
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Originally Posted by SarahNoVa View Post
Interesting possibility. The bird was too big to get its head into the feeder hole using the perch under the hole. I would think a wren could, as the sparrows and finches who frequent the feeder can. It had long legs and grasped the underside of the feeder with them, the way cardinals and woodpeckers at the feeder do. I'm enlarging the photo to try to make out an eyestripe.
Carolina Wrens are all over my suet feeder here... upside down and all. It is not unusual for them.
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Old Saturday 12th October 2019, 03:37   #10
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Definitely not a wren. My bet is a Hairy Woodpecker. A cheerful little fellow who follows the bird feeder circuit in the Dc area. I see them all the time on my feeder in Springfield VA.
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Old Saturday 12th October 2019, 03:59   #11
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Definitely not a wren. My bet is a Hairy Woodpecker. A cheerful little fellow who follows the bird feeder circuit in the Dc area. I see them all the time on my feeder in Springfield VA.
A Downy Woodpecker wouldn’t have that downcurved bill. It’s definitely a Carolina Wren.
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Old Saturday 12th October 2019, 07:58   #12
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We have a coupla Starlings in similiar condition and they look a different species, whether it is a skin or mite infection i don’t know but that looks like a Carolina Wren to me

Laurie -
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Old Saturday 12th October 2019, 10:46   #13
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It's a Carolina Wren, missing many feathers.
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