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eyesopen

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About eyesopen

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    : Northeast Illinois

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  1. Cooper's or Sharp-Shinned

    Further abbreviating the 4-char codes or using non-standard codes can lead to confusion, so I try to avoid it. For example, even experienced birders sometimes use CAGO for Canada Goose, ignoring the fact that Cackling Goose (CACG) and Canada Goose (CANG) can't be disambiguated when using CAGO. Or, RTH may mean Ruby-throated Hummingbird rather than Red-tailed Hawk.
  2. Merlin?

    Here's a Merlin on Macaulay Library that reminds me of the bird in question. Thanks for your help!
  3. Merlin?

    Thanks! I know NEVER to judge size in the field without a reference point, but this bird struck me as being too small to be a PEFA and it fluttered a bit like the smaller falcons do. The PEFA I've seen have been very strong fliers. I see what you're saying about the facial pattern (mustache) but in the 2nd photo I see dark underwing. The sunlight was coming from the side directly at the wing - I was in shadow as the sun set and there was just a little light still illuminating the bird.
  4. Cooper's or Sharp-Shinned

    Standard 4-char alpha bird code. The codes can be very helpful when taking field notes or entering data in eBird. The learning curve is relatively short and once a birder gets the hang of how they work, the codes can save a LOT of time, plus others will know what you're talking about. RTHA Red-tailed Hawk RLHA Rough-legged Hawk RSHA Red-shouldered Hawk COHA Cooper's Hawk SSHA Sharp-shinned Hawk MERL Merlin AMKE American Kestrel EUST European Starling
  5. Merlin?

    The sun had just set and I was stowing my birding gear in my car when this bird flew over a tallgrass prairie and across a small airport in northeastern Illinois today. In the fading light, my first impression was falcon because of the speed, almost constant flapping (no soaring), and the pointed wings. Then, because it fluttered a bit and because I've seen them in this location many times, I thought "American Kestrel." Now, however, when I got home and looked at the photos, the gray plumage has zero look of a kestrel and more of the look of an adult Merlin (taiga). Comments?
  6. Raptor nest?

    Thanks, I'll keep an eye on the nest (from a distance!).
  7. Raptor nest?

    Photo January 2018 in Illinois, adjacent to a minor river. This nest is about 6' in diameter and located ~60' above ground, at the top of the trunk of a tree. Some of the branches extend another 15' higher. There are some fresh branches in the nest, about 1" in diameter. Red-tailed Hawk? Great-horned Owl? Observed recently in the area: Cooper's Hawk, Rough-legged Hawk, Red-tailed Hawk, & Great-horned Owl.
  8. Greater or Lesser Scaup?

    Thanks!
  9. South California small birds

    Agree w/ California Towhee.
  10. South California small birds

    The first and last photos look like Say's Phoebe.
  11. 2 Gulls, northeastern Illinois

    Thanks psweet!
  12. Photo 9 Jan 2018 at a major river in northeastern Illinois. Greater or Lesser Scaup?
  13. Photos today at a frozen pond in northeastern Illinois, about a mile from an active landfill. Bird 1: Herring Gull? What age? Bird 2: Ring-billed Gull? What age? Photo includes Herring Gull for size reference.
  14. Common Redpoll, female & male?

    Thanks for the help! I saw on eBird that another birder about 10 miles away saw one at her feeder yesterday, so I pretty much kept checking my feeder area all day today. Neither the male nor the female would stick around very long - just 30-60 seconds at the nyjer feeder, then be absent for hours at a time. They were somewhat intimidated by the Pine Siskin and House Finch.
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