h2001st

black & white bird ID

15 posts in this topic

Hello-

I'm attempting to ID a bird I saw yesterday, the likes I have never seen before:

-located in Northern NY on the border to Canada-

-body size like a blue jay

-white "fluffy" chest

-black stripes on the head (no red)

-solid black wings

Any thoughts?

Thanks.

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It does sound like a Shrike.  It should have what could be described as a black mask across the eyes. 

Sometimes at first distant glance it is mistaken for a Mockingbird.  However, it has the mask, wings blacker, and bill is hooked.  The Northern Shrike is the same size as a Mockingbird and the Loggerhead Shrike is slightly smaller.

The common Shrike down here, is the Loggerhead.  It usually flies very fast and low which is different from the Mockingbird.  It usually won't let you get as close as a Mockingbird will either and it is not a singer like the Mockingbird either.

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Thank you for the photo :)

- but the bird I saw was bigger with no gray.

This is a ridiculous statement, so please pardon my ignorance: it almost looked like an albino blue jay with black markings...??!

Thanks again.

 

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h2001st:

Thank you for the photo
:)

- but the bird I saw was bigger with no gray.

This is a ridiculous statement, so please pardon my ignorance: it almost looked like an albino blue jay with black markings...??!

Thanks again.

 

Other than the no gray how did it differ from a Shrike? Did the black markings look similar to what the shrike in my photo looks like?

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There were two black stripes on a white head around the eye.

solid black wings on a white body/chest, size of a blue jay

acted like it had never seen a suet feeder before...... 

Thanks :)

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I googled "Albinistic Blue Jay" and that's not it... close though...

it almost looks like a "Gray Jay" with more black stripes on the head?

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Were the "black stripes on the head" through the eye, or on the crown? And is it possible for you to get a picture of it, as a picture is probably the only sure means of a ID in this case. Also what color was the tail?

One more thing, does "acted like it had never seen a suet feeder before......" mean it was eating suet? Or watching the suet feeder?

[EDIT: Gray poll might have something with Black-backed Woodpecker]

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Stripes were on the crown- sorry I didn't take a picture- there wasn't enough time before it flew away :(

-white tail

yes, it was eating suet- it would stick its beak in the suet but not peck too much away at it. It looked out-of-place as it preferred to hang on the feeder.

not being an expert: maybe female Downy Woodpecker? 

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h2001st:

Stripes were on the crown- sorry I didn't take a picture- there wasn't enough time before it flew away
:(

-white tail

yes, it was eating suet- it would stick its beak in the suet but not peck too much away at it. It looked out-of-place as it preferred to hang on the feeder.

not being an expert: maybe female Downy Woodpecker? 

Yeah probably a female Hairy (closer to size of Blue Jay) or a Downy Woodpecker

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icon-quote.gif
h2001st:

Stripes were on the crown- sorry I didn't take a picture- there wasn't enough time before it flew away
:(

-white tail

yes, it was eating suet- it would stick its beak in the suet but not peck too much away at it. It looked out-of-place as it preferred to hang on the feeder.

not being an expert: maybe female Downy Woodpecker? 

Since the bird was eating suet, we can rule out Northern Shrike and Northern Mockingbird, since neither eat suet.

I am thinking its a Woodpecker of some kind, it could be a Downy or a Hairy, Downy is very similar in plumage, but is smaller, with a proportionately smaller bill.

http://www.hww.ca/%7EContent/39/Images/DownyWoodpecker_web.jpg'>

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I think we have a winner with female Hairy- when I googled it- the image of the white lower belly sticking out is exactly what I remember. I might have been off with how much black was on the wings since I didn't have a lot of time to see it.

Thanks for your help!

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Did you notice that their tails had white tips on them as they are fanned out as they fly?

 

I have been catching glimpses of birds like these for several years and have yet to identify them.

 

They are very similar in appearance to Blue Jays and to Downy and Hairy woodpeckers, but I have ruled all of those out..

 

From what I have seen they have a very loud booming call which sounds like a "Woo Dee Dee, Woo Dee Dee". The last two notes in the series are one semitone higher than the first.

 

Their call is high pitched with a whistle timbre and they are very graceful. I always see them gliding slowly and usually in packs of 3-5.

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Did you notice that their tails had white tips on them as they are fanned out as they fly?

 

I have been catching glimpses of birds like these for several years and have yet to identify them.

 

They are very similar in appearance to Blue Jays and to Downy and Hairy woodpeckers, but I have ruled all of those out..

 

From what I have seen they have a very loud booming call which sounds like a "Woo Dee Dee, Woo Dee Dee". The last two notes in the series are one semitone higher than the first.

 

Their call is high pitched with a whistle timbre and they are very graceful. I always see them gliding slowly and usually in packs of 3-5.

 

 

I hope you get your ID in your other thread. However, the person who started this thread hasn't posted to the site in almost 8 years, so it's unlikely you'll get an answer from them.

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