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  2. The Yellow-rumped split isn't happening this year. (Neither is the Willet, although that will probably change in the next few years, apparently.)
  3. Harriers also have much longer wings, when they're folded they should just about reach the tail tip. In Accips like this, they barely reach the base of the tail.
  4. I feel this second set of pictures are Lesser as well. I agree that there is no "point" on the back of the head, but there are other features that suggest lesser....to me anyway. That great shot from the front gives some great perspective on the "cheeks" of the bird. Greaters have much bigger cheeks that this one. I also see your point about the bill, but this bill is still quite small compared to Greaters I've seen. The front of the bill may appear big here because the shot us directly from the front. The nail us more telling, and you can see the relative size of the nail more closely resembles that of a Lesser.. Just my two cents.
  5. I'm thinking Lesser for this one as well. The bill shape fits Lesser better, and the vermiculations on the flanks and back are quite coarse. In alert postures like this the head shape becomes less useful, but even here the highest point is at the back of the head rather than the front.
  6. There's a fair bit of yellow on the bill. There's no black and white visible in the crest (apparently by mid-Feb there should be some visible, as they molt through the winter), and I can't see any male-type tertials. Pyle states that adult females can have a "light brown or tinged yellowish" iris -- I wonder if older, "senescent" females might get a yellower eye than we normally expect to see.
  7. They're all quite worn, but I'd say they're all 1st-cycle California, yes.
  8. Yesterday
  9. agree with snow goose
  10. Yes
  11. Southern Michigan today. Snow Goose given the size compared to the Canada? Thanks.
  12. Also, a really good spot to go to near NYC is Jamaica Bay. It's huge (a map is needed) and its full of birds. In the winter it's a great spot for Snow Geese and any type of Duck (in the East Pond), and during the other times of the year for migrant Passerines (songbirds), Shorebirds and other goodies. And if you were to see just one rarity in the NYC area right now, it would be the Pink-footed Goose in Hendrickson Park (Valley Stream in western Nassau). It's an extremely rare (yet increasing and annual in Suffolk and other parts of the Northeast) vagrant to North America from Greenland and Europe, and this bird is being extremely cooperative, as you can see here:
  13. Maybe We're just happy it's not being called "Mexican Warbler". We are all bummed that we have to call Green Violet Ears Mexican Violet Ears now!
  14. Good advice from Aveschapines and Astrobirder. If I could have only two bird guide resources, it would be Sibley's Eastern and the iBird app. Both are terrific; neither really takes the place of the other. It takes some time to to learn your way around either of these, but it is rewarding and the effort will pay off. Wishing you success!
  15. It's just about to be split, but not yet. Maybe you we too dazzled by your Pink-headed Warblers to notice?
  16. Thank you. I checked my field guide and could see it wasn't a Magnolia. I'm really not all that familiar with the ranges of US birds, but that info is very helpful in this case I thought Goldman's had already been separated? Maybe we Guatemalan birders are just overly excited about the possibility though.
  17. Yep, immature Cooper's Hawk. Juvenile Northern Harriers have buffy undersides.
  18. Magnolia Warblers would have migrated out of TN a long time ago. It is a Yellow-rumped Warbler, and the only subspecies in the East is the Myrtle subspecies, which may be elevated to the species status along with the two other groups (Audubon's, found in the West and Goldman's found in Guatemala) later this year.
  19. Thanks! It was a nice surprise.
  20. Field Guides are essential in birding; they help you narrow down to the exact species (or species group) quickly. A good field guide (like Sibley's) will also mention other similar birds to speed the identification process. Learn the differences between broader bird groups (in taxonomy that means orders and families). Anseriformes (an order containing Ducks, Geese and Swans) for example generally have have distinctive bill shapes (shovel-like) and body shapes (generally fat) that can help differentiate them from other similar swimming birds (Grebes, which are fluffy and have either thin bills or thick deep bills, and Coots, which have short somewhat thick bills with an extension on the forehead called a facial shield), but exceptions to this are the Mergansers (which are very odd and unlike anything else) and Scoters (again, they're very odd). Get a good pair of binoculars. Cameras are great for documenting birds (I use one on nearly every outing), but they have a very hard time focusing in bushes. Binoculars are generally easier to look through and have the advantage of nearly instant focus. A good pair is mandatory; bad binoculars will frustrate you to the point of giving up, while a good pair will help you see the little moving things up in the trees and help you observe interesting behaviors of common and uncommon birds. Also interesting, though not really needed, is a spotting scope. They can help you see really far away (good for sea watching and ducks), but have the downside of being cumbersome. When you feel confident about common birds, start chasing rarities! It's a lot of fun and it's extremely rewarding when you get to see one. You could sign up for a listserv serving NYC (I use ebirdsNYC, which is a Yahoo group), which will give you updates on rarities in your area. Also, a really good program is eBird, which is amazing. You can make checklists using the app (available for iPhone and Android) or a notebook and pen later entered on a computer. It keeps track of what you've seen and you can also subscribe in rare bird alerts (emailed) to alert you of the rarities uploaded to eBird. Since most birders use eBird, rarities that are found are likely to be put on eBird.
  21. Yes, and they do seem to "pop up" out of nowhere.
  22. Yes, I believe you have photographed a Great -horned Owl.
  23. Can anyone confirm great horned owl? Was pulling up my driveway and spotted this one sitting at the peak of my roof. Never saw an owl here before. Thanks! https://goo.gl/photos/BF7f1gW4EyQbCNH38
  24. I definitely have inconsistent Internet. You would think with a bird that colorful I should have seen it by now. I'll keep trying. Thank you for all the help.
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