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black & white bird ID


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#1 h2001st

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Posted 10 November 2008 - 05:41 AM

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.



#2 cnybirder

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Posted 10 November 2008 - 06:15 AM

Sounds like a Northern Shrike

Here is a photo to compare with:
 http://flickr.com/photos/9534802@N02/2372203789/



#3 Jim Penny

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Posted 10 November 2008 - 06:33 AM

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.



#4 h2001st

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Posted 10 November 2008 - 07:47 AM

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.

 



#5 cnybirder

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Posted 10 November 2008 - 07:52 AM

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?


#6 h2001st

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Posted 10 November 2008 - 08:00 AM

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 :)



#7 h2001st

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Posted 10 November 2008 - 08:17 AM

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?



#8 Gray Poll

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Posted 10 November 2008 - 08:33 AM

Stripes on the head are a puzzle but otherwise you might be describing a female Black Backed Woodpecker.


#9 Raptor

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Posted 10 November 2008 - 08:45 AM

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]


#10 h2001st

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Posted 10 November 2008 - 08:57 AM

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? 



#11 cnybirder

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Posted 10 November 2008 - 09:05 AM

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


#12 Raptor

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Posted 10 November 2008 - 09:07 AM

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.



#13 h2001st

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Posted 10 November 2008 - 09:24 AM

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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