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Peg

Yellow Tipped Tail

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Two birds flew at high speed evidently head-on right into our bedroom sliders, just next to the woods on our rural property which abutts a 65 acre beaver pond.  Sadly, both died in the crash.  The larger bird is a falcon that appears to be a 12 inch Merlin probably chasing the small bird - one that I cannot identify.  The small bird is med. brownish gray and  smooth coated with a brown breast and creamy yellow underbelly that extends down partway onto the tail.  Feet and beak are dark, beak is small and straight with a little curve at the end, the bird is 5-6 in. long with a wing-span of 11 in.  There are dark markings from beak to eye with a creamy yellow line over the beak and eye.  .It has a half inch of bright yellow at the tip of its tail.  Both birds appear heathy.  I did not see them in flight, but heard the very loud crash yesterday afternoon - didn't find it till this morning.

 Can you name the small bird for me?  Thanks.
 

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Hi Josh,

Thanks for your immediate reply. Sorry, I'm new at this bird description and measuring.  I might have stretched him a bit in measuring.  This bird is much, much smaller than a cedar waxwing, more the size of a sparrow.  He has a smooth colored brown head and back,  and grey rump and wings. But his two rounded tail feathers are tipped with bright yellow.   That 1/3 inch of bright yellow on his tail is the outstanding marking on this little guy.   His chest is a soft warmer light brown. His undercarriage is a soft creamy yellow.  I overstated the markings on his head - nothing like a waxwing and he has no crown.  Just a thin white line across the top of his beak to over the eye.  My husband says he's a drab little bird with a bright tail marking.  I think he is beautiful little guy and sure wish I knew what he was.  Thanks.

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You could take a picture to post here and I'm sure you will get an accurate i.d. from someone here in the forums.  I have a wall of windows on the front of my house and it comes to a prow which is even worse as the birds think they can "fly through".  I have had great success with the new decals that reflect ultraviolet light.  Shape really doesn't matter, it's the flash of light they will avoid.  I have not had a single strike since I put them up.  http://www.whatbird.com/store/pc-239-82-window-hawk-transparent.aspx  

 

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Yes, thank you to you all! I think it definitely is a very young cedar waxwing.  I'm sure the Merlin was totally focused on the yellow tips of his tail feathers and both crashed.  The Merlin appears quite young as well - his tail feathers have not developed their markings completely.  Strange, you never see cedar waxwings around in our area.  Thanks again for showing me that birds aren't always as they appear in the birdbook.  I'll look into the window decals - a very good idea.

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