RocknRobin

Mystery Bird

36 posts in this topic

This may be the strangest request for an ID ever! LOL

It's also my first post, so instead of reading directions, I am just going to try to attach the pic, and hope it works.

Two of my sons were out for a walk today and they saw a bird that they have never seen before. Both of them are experienced outdoorsmen and are pretty knowledgeable. They made mental notes of it's markings, size, etc. They described the bird to me and I had no idea. They looked in the Audobon Guide and found nothing that resembeled it...did some searching on the internet...nothing similar.

This is in central Wisconsin. Very cold today, sunny, but temps right around zero degrees. The bird was spotted along a frozen river and was feeding on a hemlock tree. They said it was hanging upside down.

They were frustrated that I was suggesting certain birds that didn't match the description, so they drew a sketch...a very detailed one. LOL

They said it was smaller than a grosbeak, but larger than a chickadee. That should really narrow it down for everyone. :D The also said the head was real roundish looking. The tail was forked, but a shorter tail.

So look at their sketch and see if anyone has any suggestions of what this might be. I did ask them to color it to make it more realistic, but they reminded me that I threw all their crayons away when they graduated from high school.

If I find out this is one of their practical jokes on me...... :unsure: I think it's for real though.

post-36806-0-94858100-1359776425_thumb.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I Will try to throw someting out there this is a tuff one. Magnolia Warbler in migration. Just a guess. Go to the search browser on add what the boys saw. and look at each bird to see if you come up with any thing. Welcome to what bird. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No on the Warblers. The whole head is primarily yellow.

Only one of my sons are here now and he said the White-winged Crossbill looks similar, but is not it. (I bet it is though)

I'll ask my other son tomorrow. Keep the suggestions coming!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What leads me in that direction is the context - a bird hanging upside down on a hemlock tree in winter in Wisconsin! And the features in the sketch match.

If it's not a WW Crosbill, how about other winter finches? Not a Pine or Evening Grosbeak? Pine Siskin?

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I saw my first Red Crossbill a few days ago. A female, and I had a feeling it was a Crossbill that they saw, but they insisted it wasn't.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I suspect that it was a White-winged Crossbill, specifically a subadult male. Try showing them this picture, and see if they agree:

http://www.mvgazette...nged-crossbills

Sub-adult males are variable, ranging from looking much like females to looking orangey to looking pinkish-red with just a trace of juvenile streaking, so if it's not exactly like what they saw, it could still be a White-winged Crossbill. The only thing that doesn't match is the white spots in the tail.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My oldest son is a guide out in Montana part of the year and he sees Pine Grosbeaks all the time out there, so he is very familiar with those. They said it is smaller than a grosbeak too.

We have all kinds of Goldfinches on our feeders, so they know that one too. LOL

They think it's a hybrid something or other, but I am leaning toward it being the White-winged Crossbill.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No on the Pine Siskin also. We've had a lot of them on our feeders this year, so they know that one too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They think it's a hybrid something or other, but I am leaning toward it being the White-winged Crossbill.

At this point I would agree with you...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I showed him images of the subadult male and since you stated that they are really variable, he thinks this could be it. :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sometimes if you do a google image search on a possible ID you'll get a big enough variety of different shots that there will be a few that resemble the bird you want to ID. You have to be on the look-out for mis-identifications, though...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sometimes if you do a google image search on a possible ID you'll get a big enough variety of different shots that there will be a few that resemble the bird you want to ID. You have to be on the look-out for mis-identifications, though...

Yeah, one time I typed in Yellow Warbler, and I probably saw at least 20 different kinds of "yellow" warblers :lol:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok, so my other son looked at the WW Crossbill. He thinks that looks the most like it out of anything he's seen so far. So I think we most likely have a WW Crossbill! Hopefully I will see it. I usually have my camera with me.

Thanks for all the help. I will post again if we have any more sightings or pics.....or sketches! :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, one time I typed in Yellow Warbler, and I probably saw at least 20 different kinds of "yellow" warblers :lol:

LOL

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

LOL

Some of the more common ones are, Yellow-rumped, Cape May, Hooded, Wilson's, and one Virginia's....

Townsend's

Prothonotary

Palm

Orange-crowned

^^ also a few of these

and a robin? what the heck? :huh:

And so NEVER trust google searches entirely! ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

if it was a crossbill, the bill is extremely crossed, thicker and longer than most finches and will be very noticible unless he didnt see the bill that well. great sighting. ive never seen one, im too far south

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some of the more common ones are, Yellow-rumped, Cape May, Hooded, Wilson's, and one Virginia's....

Townsend's

Prothonotary

Palm

Orange-crowned

^^ also a few of these

yep, and some are so similiar, they are tricky id, especially the females

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As long as we're on the topic of Crossbills....Is this one a Red Crossbill? This was my first ever sighting and I figured this is what it was. Just want a confirmation. It was a few days ago right on my deck. I was outside freezing and decided to hang in there for a few more minutes and was so glad I did! My sons said this is not the bird they saw...and that theirs was marked differently. (I'm still thinking they saw a WW Crossbill.)

This Crossbill was the only one and she was with a large group of Redpolls. Is that a weird thing, or are they known to do that? She was not afraid to boss the Redpolls around when they got too close to her lunch! LOL

(First time using imgur...hope it works.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now