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About psweet

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    Northeast Illinois

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  1. Don't worry about it -- it happens. Astrobirder put in the comment to try to keep all of the discussion about the bird on one thread.
  2. Given the debate over exactly what Krider's is, and the occurrence of leucism in Red-tails, I'd always hesitate to call one on the East Coast. Having said that, the head and tail aren't white enough for a "classic" Krider's, in my view.
  3. 1, 3, and 4 are Herring Gulls of various ages. 2 is something different, but it's a bit hard to say for sure. Given the location, this is most likely an Iceland.
  4. Distinguishing warblers from flycatchers mostly involves behavior. Flycatchers tend to remain fairly still on perches, then fly out after food, mostly flying insects. Warblers never hold still, and they spend most of their time checking out leaves, flowers, etc. for small caterpillars and the like. If you get a good look at the bill, that will also do the trick -- warbler bills are thin and pointed, whereas flycatcher bills are flattened top to bottom, and typically fairly wide at the base. Yellow-rumped in their winter plumage (especially their first-winter) can be extremely gray. They should show yellow on the rumps, but you'll only see it when they fly, since the wings cover the rump otherwise.
  5. 2 is a Laughing Gull -- those extensively dark primaries are distinctive. 5 does appear to be mostly Lesser Scaup. 6 is a young Herring Gull.
  6. This is one of the Dowitchers.
  7. Many songbirds actually have to "relearn" their songs each spring, so they can sound funny this time of year. The parts of the brain that provide the syringeal motor control actually atrophy, and have to regrow in the spring!
  8. Well, it's not a Ferruginous, it doesn't appear (to me, at least) to be a Rough-leg, the lack of a white forehead should rule out a dark Swainson's. I've just run out of other options, given the location.
  9. Red-shouldered is also quite rare in Arizona.
  10. Black-bellied Plover. The overall shape and heavy bill say plover, the spotting on the back says Pluvialis, and the presence of hind toes says Black-bellied.
  11. Sounds like an Eastern Towhee.
  12. Sibley's 2nd edition shows them in south-central and southwestern Washington. They've been rebounding for the last century or so from 19th century market hunting.
  13. Female Redheads can have pretty dark bills. Canvasbacks also have a distinct head and bill shape to look for.
  14. Plebejus sp. According to Kaufmann (2003) the orange rather than pinkish band indicates Lupine Blue (P. lupinus) in your area, but he also states the taxonomy and distribution aren't well-resolved. I don't know what the current thinking is on these two (P. lupinus and P. acmon). Lorquin's Admiral Gulf Fritillary Western Pygmy-Blue
  15. Molt timing in gulls is highly variable. I'm not really sure why -- it may have to do with age (perhaps younger adults take a little longer?) or diet (birds that eat better have enough energy to start sooner?) or perhaps winter birds are coming from nesting colonies spread over a large geographic area, and different colonies are on different seasonal schedules?