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Thread: Bird identification

  1. #1
    Senior Member kerry13's Avatar
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    Bird identification

    Ran across this bird on Monadnock today. About the size of a sparrow. Distinct yellow crown with yellow under each wing and tops of wing sort of a greyish blue with black bars. Only similar bird, with the yellow crown, I have been able to find is a golden crowned kinglet, but the pics just don't match up. Any of you bird experts ID this little guy. Thanks
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    Yesterday is history, Tomorrow a mystery,
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  2. #2
    Senior Member Grey J's Avatar
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    I believe that is a Yellow-Rumped Warbler.

    http://www.audubon.org/field-guide/b...rumped-warbler
    "I am a pilgrim and a stranger"

  3. #3
    Senior Member kerry13's Avatar
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    Thanks GJ. That was my original assumption but my audubon books pics weren't even close. This guy certainly didn't have a yellow rump, which I would have thought would have been a pretty much given, because of the name. The first pic in your link is pretty much spot on, so yellow rump it is. Thanks again
    Yesterday is history, Tomorrow a mystery,
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    Senior Member Grey J's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kerry13 View Post
    Thanks GJ. That was my original assumption but my audubon books pics weren't even close. This guy certainly didn't have a yellow rump, which I would have thought would have been a pretty much given, because of the name. The first pic in your link is pretty much spot on, so yellow rump it is. Thanks again
    Sometimes the Audubon Guide photos are great but sometimes lacking. I like the Peterson Field Guide better but its good to have both. The link I sent is an excellent resource as well. Your bird surely does have that little yellow spot on his tush. Sometimes the light or the angle of your view causes you to miss a defining mark. Other times the bird just holds himself or arranges his feathers in a way that disguises the mark that you're looking for. As an example, the Red-Winged Blackbird will sometimes clearly display his red wing bands but at other times he just exposes the part that looks white or even yellowish. Nice photos and great spotting.
    "I am a pilgrim and a stranger"

  5. #5
    Junior Member fthurber's Avatar
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    Definitely a yellow-rumped warbler. A very nice bird but not too rare for a warbler. Still all warblers are wonderful.

    The Audubon guide, or any guide with photos, is dreadful. It is almost impossible to use. The best guide is the Peterson guide since it lines up similar bird with arrows that illustrate the differences. The Sibley's guide is more advanced but harder to use. Start with the Peterson.
    Last edited by fthurber; 01-07-2019 at 09:45 PM.

  6. #6
    Senior Member TCD's Avatar
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    Yes, Peterson guide.

    For yellow rump, listen for the distinctive chirp that is so sharp and brief that it almost sounds like a "click" instead of a "chirp."

  7. #7
    Senior Member iAmKrzys's Avatar
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    For on-line bird lookups one of the best places (for North American birds) is a site run by Cornell Lab of Ornithology: https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/...ped_Warbler/id

    For some reason many birdirs I know love Sibley Field Guide to Birds.

  8. #8
    Junior Member fthurber's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iAmKrzys View Post
    For on-line bird lookups one of the best places (for North American birds) is a site run by Cornell Lab of Ornithology: https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/...ped_Warbler/id

    For some reason many birdirs I know love Sibley Field Guide to Birds.
    Siblley's is the definitive reference work for difficult identification, rare birds, plumage variations, weird hybrids, and out of range birds. But because of its completeness it is huge, confusing, and unwieldy.

    The Peterson guide is much better for the casual birder and intermediate birder. If you are just starting off with birding, the Peterson First guide to birds is even better. Carrying the Sibley is sort of a macho thing for birders, but I have see some of them secretly peek at the Peterson to see what a bird really looks like.

    The Sibley is really good for shorebirds and such while the Peterson is unrivaled for song birds in the Northeast such as warblers, vireos, and thrush. Warblers are the jewels of the north woods and the birds I enjoy the most when hiking; for this reason I only bring the Peterson. I leave the Sibley in the car for reference. The Cornell site is great because you can listen to the song.

    Learning bird songs, especially warbler songs, can be very rewarding in the Whites because you will hear a bird about 10-100 times more often than see them (because of the thick cover). What is really interesting is to listen to how the warblers/thrush populations change with elevation when doing something like the Old Bridal Path. For every 500 feet or so of elevation you will hear different songs until you get above the Greenleaf hut and start hearing Bicknell's Thrush. Next time I do that climb, I will record the songs and their elevation.
    Last edited by fthurber; 01-08-2019 at 05:39 PM.

  9. #9
    Senior Member weatherman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fthurber View Post

    Learning bird songs, especially warbler songs, can be very rewarding in the Whites because you will hear a bird about 10-100 times more often than see them (because of the thick cover). What is really interesting is to listen to how the warblers/thrush populations change with elevation when doing something like the Old Bridal Path. For every 500 feet or so of elevation you will hear different songs until you get above the Greenleaf hut and start hearing Bicknell's Thrush. Next time I do that climb, I will record the songs and their elevation.
    Definitely! For whatever reason I've always been a fan of the white-throated sparrow. In the western Maine mountains above treeline and a little into NH (but not much) they sound different, with the song decreasing in pitch in the second half almost like the first few notes of "O Sole Mio". I haven't heard that anywhere else. I joked that that's the "ayuh" equivalent for them. Out here in CO they're even more different in song (and less common).
    --would rather be hiking than typing.

  10. #10
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    There are a few white-throated sparrows in Manhattan's Union Square, and hearing one as I did this morning always brings me back to the mountains. Sometimes it feels like they haven't completely learned their song yet, the last notes faltering or abandoned.

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