Join for FREE
It only takes a minute!
More discoveries. NEW: Zeiss Victory SF 32

Welcome to BirdForum.
BirdForum is the net's largest birding community, dedicated to wild birds and birding, and is absolutely FREE! You are most welcome to register for an account, which allows you to take part in lively discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.

Yellow and Gray Bird at Feeder - Northern California

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rating: Thread Rating: 1 votes, 5.00 average.
Old Monday 23rd April 2007, 04:33   #1
Natalie
Learning Birder
 
Natalie's Avatar

 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 395
Yellow and Gray Bird at Feeder - Northern California

Sorry, no pictures in this one but I hope someone can still help me.

Today when I was outside working on some snake enclosures under the tree where I have some feeders filled with seed, I noticed a bird I had never seen at the feeders before. The strange thing (and what's throwing me off on the identification), is that it looked like a flycatcher. I heard it fly up to the feeder, so I looked up at it and at that moment it saw me and flew off while uttering a harsh wret-wret-wret-wret.

Here is my description of the bird, though I only saw it for a couple seconds... The body size was about that of a Purple Finch (abundant around here), but the bird I saw had a longer tail, giving an overall length of about seven or eight inches. It had yellow underparts and, from what I briefly saw, relatively plain, slate-gray upperparts. I believe the head was gray as well, and it was large for the size of the bird (larger than that of a Purple Finch). The bill was small and gray. After the bird saw me, but before it flew away, it raised a fluffy crest that I thought was characteristically flycatcher-like.

Does anyone know what this could be? I'm thinking some sort of vagrant or something because I looked through all my local bird guides and found nothing that matched. I was considering a female Lesser Goldfinch, but that species is common around here as well and this did not look like any Lesser Goldfinch I've seen. Basically, everything I remember about the bird screamed "flycatcher", but I've never heard of any species from this group visiting seed feeders, nor do any of the species that look like the bird I saw live around here at this time of year.

Any ideas? Thanks for any advice.
__________________
Life list: 215 (Ovenbird, Rose-breasted Grosbeak)
Year list: 159 (Ovenbird, Rose-breasted Grosbeak)

Last edited by Natalie : Monday 23rd April 2007 at 04:39.
Natalie is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Wednesday 25th April 2007, 03:10   #2
cavan wood
Registered User

 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Cavan, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 2,025
An eight inch flycatcher with a yellow belly, grey back and a crest sounds like one of the Myiarchus flycatchers. I only know the great crested in the east, but range maps put ash-throated as most probable in northern california, and it also has a relatively small bill. I can't comment on their alarm call.

Scott
cavan wood is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Wednesday 25th April 2007, 03:13   #3
AlexC
Opus Editor
BF Supporter 2020
 
AlexC's Avatar

 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Los Angeles, CA, USA
Posts: 5,239
Quote:
Originally Posted by cavan wood View Post
An eight inch flycatcher with a yellow belly, grey back and a crest sounds like one of the Myiarchus flycatchers. I only know the great crested in the east, but range maps put ash-throated as most probable in northern california, and it also has a relatively small bill. I can't comment on their alarm call.

Scott
At a feeder though?
__________________
My Gallery | My Life List of Life | My eBird | #s Format: (Total / Area Accepted / Non-Intro).
Latest Lifer: LeConte's Thrasher (1190 World, 627/617/590 ABA).
Latest CA: Brewer's Sparrow (369/352/345 CA, 331/315/308 LA Co.).
Latest 2020: Pin-tailed Whydah (311 World, 236/223/217 CA, 197/185/180 LA Co.).
AlexC is offline  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Wednesday 25th April 2007, 03:15   #4
cavan wood
Registered User

 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Cavan, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 2,025
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexC View Post
At a feeder though?
Yes, that bothered me too, but then again it was only there for a second or two so perhaps it was just intending to use it as a perch.
Scott
cavan wood is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Wednesday 25th April 2007, 03:18   #5
AlexC
Opus Editor
BF Supporter 2020
 
AlexC's Avatar

 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Los Angeles, CA, USA
Posts: 5,239
Natalie, could you maybe describe the bill? Thin and kind of longish or thick and kind of shortish?
__________________
My Gallery | My Life List of Life | My eBird | #s Format: (Total / Area Accepted / Non-Intro).
Latest Lifer: LeConte's Thrasher (1190 World, 627/617/590 ABA).
Latest CA: Brewer's Sparrow (369/352/345 CA, 331/315/308 LA Co.).
Latest 2020: Pin-tailed Whydah (311 World, 236/223/217 CA, 197/185/180 LA Co.).
AlexC is offline  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Old Wednesday 25th April 2007, 03:36   #6
Natalie
Learning Birder
 
Natalie's Avatar

 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 395
The bill was about medium-length and relatively slender. The Ash-Throated Flycatcher seems very similar to the bird I saw (though maybe with less rufous coloring on the tail), but I'm still puzzed about what such a bird might be doing at the feeder. Thanks everyone for the help so far.
__________________
Life list: 215 (Ovenbird, Rose-breasted Grosbeak)
Year list: 159 (Ovenbird, Rose-breasted Grosbeak)
Natalie is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Wednesday 25th April 2007, 22:39   #7
djleahy
Registered User
 
djleahy's Avatar

 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Carnation, Washington
Posts: 683
maybe a western kingbird?

Fits the gray and yellow description, still don't know what it would be doing on your feeder, though.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	coyote_hills_2005-04-09.jpg
Views:	114
Size:	28.3 KB
ID:	81622  
djleahy is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Thursday 26th April 2007, 01:18   #8
jcwings
Registered User
 
jcwings's Avatar

 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Santa Maria CA USA
Posts: 799
Quote:
Originally Posted by djleahy View Post
Fits the gray and yellow description, still don't know what it would be doing on your feeder, though.
Or a Cassin's Kingbird. Either of these entered my mind.
__________________
www.sbcobirding.com: Birds where I live
My digiscoped photos
jcwings is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Friday 27th April 2007, 15:46   #9
digishooter
Digishooter
 
digishooter's Avatar

 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: California
Posts: 27,358
Natalie: I am located in Kern Co., Lake Isabella, So. Sierra Mts. I have had Ash Throated flycatchers come to my feeders. As it turns out, it was very brief and only exploratory. What it really wanted was the water in the bird bath. This happend on a few occasions, and in each the birds only explored, nothing more. It is possible to have them turn up at feeders.
__________________
digishooter
digishooter is offline  
Reply With Quote

BF Supporter 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 Support BirdForum With A Donation

Advertisement
Reply


Thread Tools
Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Nightjar61's 2007 Year List Nightjar61 Member's Lists 2007 0 Sunday 28th January 2007 18:40
An Englishman in New York Edward Vacational Trip Reports 17 Friday 10th November 2006 10:16
Larry Lade's 2005 Missouri Bird List Larry Lade Member's Lists 2005 0 Wednesday 3rd August 2005 19:26
Gray bird ID-south central Okla. buckskin hawk Bird Identification Q&A 8 Saturday 21st May 2005 03:10
Crispy & Arwen's 2005 List, State Life List, County Life List crispycreme Member's Lists 2005 0 Wednesday 4th May 2005 00:46



Fatbirder's Top 1000 Birding Websites

Help support BirdForum

Page generated in 0.17885089 seconds with 22 queries
All times are GMT. The time now is 16:41.