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Bird I've never seen before


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#1 Jessifer

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Posted 04 June 2012 - 12:39 AM

Hello all. I sadly do not have a picture, but a poor MS paint version of what I saw. I have never seen this before in my life and it was stunning for the second that I did see it.

Details! Location: Watertown, Massachusetts. It was around almost 7pm, on a road next to a river. I only saw the back of it, it was flying towards a tree. I was driving, so I didn't get to stop and look. From what I recall, it was all black on the back, besides a white patch before the tail feathers, with yellow or golden circles all along the wings. It looked to be about the size of maybe a grackle or blackbird.

Here's my attempt at the visual: http://i.imgur.com/qnhTd.png

#2 betiam

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Posted 04 June 2012 - 01:01 AM

European starling perhaps?

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#3 Jessifer

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Posted 04 June 2012 - 01:07 AM

The circles were bigger than a starling's spots. That did come up when I was trying the bird identifier, but doesn't look like it.

#4 Liam

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Posted 04 June 2012 - 03:48 AM

Only thing I can think of is a Flicker in poor lighting: http://deltanewsweb..../flicker_st.jpg

4riN89X.png Liam
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#5 Triplefeather

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Posted 04 June 2012 - 03:59 AM

Only thing I can think of is a Flicker in poor lighting: http://deltanewsweb..../flicker_st.jpg


This seems closest as a starling doesn't look anything like this. Well, neither does a Flicker, aside from the really obvious white rump.

Maybe if not a Flicker I was thinking a little leucism? I can't really think of anything with yellow spots on its wings...

Good timber does not grow with ease:

The stronger wind, the stronger trees.

The further sky, the greater length,

The more the storm, the more their strength.


#6 Liam

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Posted 04 June 2012 - 11:02 AM

This seems closest as a starling doesn't look anything like this. Well, neither does a Flicker, aside from the really obvious white rump.

Maybe if not a Flicker I was thinking a little leucism? I can't really think of anything with yellow spots on its wings...


If you look at the photo I attached, the flicker has some spots on its wings. They're not quite as big as in the OP's attachment, but they're more substantial than the starling's.

4riN89X.png Liam
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#7 Limpkin

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Posted 04 June 2012 - 12:30 PM

Here's a shot (not mine) of a Yellow-shafted variety Northern Flicker. They'd be far more likely than Red-shafted based on your location, and do have yellow on the wings: http://www.billhubic...ue_20081109.jpg

#8 Jessifer

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Posted 04 June 2012 - 04:06 PM

Hmm. I did see the flicker on my identifying quest. It was the one that most resembled what I saw flipping through bird books, with that white patch. It was very dark black though, maybe it was indeed the shade. I also don't recall seeing that red stripe behind its head. I guess I will settle for that. Maybe go back to that area and try to spot it again! Unless anyone else has any ideas. Perhaps a migrating bird or something?




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