Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Needed: Bird Identification Help


While photographing birds at a small Florida wetland in late December this small bird perched momentairly on a nearby fence wire.  I'm unsure of it's identification and any help you can give is much appreciated.

I also photographed this hawk at the same wetland.  Again I am unsure of it's positive identification.  I think it may be a Broad-winged hawk and again would appreciate confirmation from a more experienced birder than I.

Another view of the same hawk

I find bird identification frustrating at times with all of the plumage variations.  Immature, male, female, breeding plumage, non breeding plumage etc can drive one insane.  Rather than go totally nuts I prefer to photograph the birds for their beauty and the beauty of their surrounding.  Getting a good positive identification is a bonus, not a necessary requirement for me to consider any one encounter a success.

17 comments:

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

The first bird is in the Flycatcher family,perhaps an Eastern Phoebe.I find this family of birds very difficult to ID,but that is my best guess.I won't try for the Hawk.
Ruth

This Is My Blog - fishing guy said...

Coy: The little bird is a female Dark Eyed Junco which is in my winter back yard. I'm not sure about the hawk.

Beyond My Garden said...

Sorry, but I have to disagree with fishing guy. I'm pretty sure it is an eastern Phoebe. look at this wikipedia entry or look up phoebe in the id books
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eastern_Phoebe
The bill of the junco is usually lighter and the phoebe sits more upright rather than leaning forward as does the junco. they are very much alike and easily confused. Another thing, I wire is a normal place for the phoebe who is probably looking for bugs, being a flycatcher as Ruth said.
nellie

sfriel said...

My best guess is , Eastern Phoebe. No guess on the Hawk.

Chris said...

I think the first one is probably a flycatcher, but I do not know which one. If nobody can help you I can maybe copy your pictures and send them to one of my friend who is a very good birder ID... Let me know!

JimB said...

Eastern Phoebe and I agree with you on the Hawk-most likely Broad wing--it has significant barring on chest and has a long tail and dark head and tufted legs

Kerri said...

My guess is Eastern Phoebe as well. Lovely capture and that HAWK is awesome!

Montanagirl said...

My first thought was Phoebe as well. Not sure about the Hawk. I have a hard time with I.D.ing birds too.

Marilyn said...

I'm NO birder but it certainly looks like this, an Alder Flycatcher:

http://sdakotabirds.com/species/alder_flycatcher_info.htm

Marilyn

CountryDreaming said...

My vote would go to flycatcher rather than phoebe. Real nice shot!

Frank said...

Hi Coy. I'm not hot on US species but checking thro' my Sibley I would agree with Eastern Phoebe ... right winter location, general jiz, pale yellow underparts, bill and head shape.

Meggie said...

I appreciate all birds but have no idea of most of their names.

RuthieJ said...

Hi Coy,
Meggie sent me over to help with hawk ID. When I first looked at the picture, I thought Red-Shouldered (a year-round raptor in Florida) and reviewed some photos on-line. Then I also checked Broad-Winged photos to find that some of those photos also were very similar to yours. However in checking the Broad-Winged range map, I found that it winters only in the very southern tip of Florida. Not sure where you took this photo, but in late Dec. it could certainly have been a late migrant too.
You're so right about the frustrations of bird ID! Your photos are beautiful and I'm glad you're enjoying the beauty of nature and sharing it with your blog readers.

RuthieJ said...

Hi Again Coy,
I'm going with the others on Eastern Phoebe ID also. Yellow wash on the belly and conspicuous wingbars, plus it winters in Florida. Did you happen to notice any tail wagging as it was sitting on the wire? That's definitive too. Plus it sings it's name, so a lot of times even if you can't see it you know who's there!
Happy Birding!

Coy said...

It looks like most agree the small bird is an eastern phoebe and indeed looking at some reference material I do believe you all pegged it.

Considering the overall appearance of the hawk ie size, breast barring etc I probably do have a broad-winged. I would consider the location central Florida; it was 30-40 miles south of Orlando so it could easily be in the hawk's winter range.

RuthieJ,
Sorry but I cannot say that I heard the phoebe's song. With my hearing issues I have to rely primarily upon sight.

eileeninmd said...

Great pic's. the E Phoebe is a pretty bird. Love the hawk shots.

Marilyn said...

A birder friend told me it's an Eastern Phoebe. Here's a good picture of one for comparison:

http://lifeatdrtoms.blogspot.com/2010/03/eastern-phoebes-and-our-front.html

Marilyn