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Hello Members, I do not know much about bird identification, but I do appreciate beautiful animals of all species...especially in their native environment(s). I researched various bird ID groups and found this one to be the most straight-forward and knowledgeable, so I joined with hopes that someone smarter than I on the subject, could possibly help to identify a particular bird I watched (and was wowed by), at close range, over the course of about an hour. Thanks in advance to anyone who has a few minutes to spend reading this, and any additional info/intel you could share. I was in my elevated (10') hunting blind, this past Saturday Morning (12/30/17), in the thick piney woods of NE TX (Crockett, TX / Houston County / 75835 Zip Code) and watched this Wodpecker move from tree to tree (about 5 different trees in total, spending about 20 minutes at each tree). I first heard him or her and wondered if it was even a woodpecker at all - on account the "strikes" I was hearing seemed to be much louder, stronger, slower in succession, and with longer pauses in-between - compared to any otger woodpeckers I'd ever known, across my 20+ years of being an avid outdoorsman. When I first laid eyes on him/her, I was absolutely blown away by the size of this bird. By far the largest woodpecker I've ever seen...bigger than any Crow (and there are a lot of Crows in East TX, so I've seen my share of those for sure). While he/she was at the first tree (about 20 yards away, 20'above my vantage point, and 30' feom the ground) - I was able to get several few pics and a 1 minute video of the bird, which I'll upload here for your review. I just wish they (pics/vid) were of better quality, so I'm hoping they can still help. At each tree, he/she would peck at the main trunk and the branches as well...and did not seem to discriminate between trees that were dead vs. alive. He/she did stick to pine trees though, leaving the oak's and cedar's alone. As he/she was flying from tree to tree, I noticed that the underside of its wings were white. When I got home, I Googled the bird and was unable to decifer between the Pileated vs. Ivory-Billed variety of Woodpecker, and couldnt ID the bird's sex either. I know to always take Google with a grain of salt, which is why I'm here, but going solely from what I read on Google...Google "told" me that the Pileated is smaller than a Crow - the one I saw was much larger than any Crow. However, I'm not sure if the Ivory-Billed would be any larger than a Pileated (or not)? Google also "said" the Pileated has a shorter neck than the Ivory-Billed - the bird I saw had a very long neck, a characteristic that stood out to me right, off the bat - and even moreso after looking at the pics/video again. I hope I wasn't rambling...I just wanted to share any/all details I could recall. Aiming to let you (the experts) decide which were helpful, vs. not. The Video and 2 Pictures can be found here (please let me know if/of any issues Re: trying to access).... Folder: 1 Video & 2 Pictures Thank you all, once again. Gratefully, Lance
Please help me identify these birds, or confirm. I've been taking bird pictures along the Texas coast for about a year, but am just starting to try to identify them. Thanks for the help! Identify this bird, IMGUR Identify Birds, IMGUR Idenitfy shorebird, gray and white, IMGUR Vulture? IMGUR Vulture2, IMGUR BLUE HERON? WHITE IBIS
I am not an expert but also not ignorant about native wild birds. (I was a bird watcher in high school and do rescue/rehab of doves, pigeons, and occasional other species. And I am a native Texan, spending 33 of my 35 years in Corpus Christi and central Texas. From 12/2007 to 10/2012 we lived on native Texas brushland, operating an off-grid natural & humane poultry & dairy goat farm in Bastrop County (east of Austin). On that farm, all 3 of us residing there (myself, my husband, and our daughter [6-11 years old] encountered an unidentified flying animal/bird on multiple occasions. I had one encounter (my husband & daughter had zero) during the following 2 years after we moved to a different, more cleared property still in the same area, about 15 miles from our origional farm. Who: All members of our household, both adults & a child, had numerous encounters. All of the encounters were pretty much the same. When: Always in the dead of night, with no or poor moonlight, usually as I did a round of the fenceline or checked on the poultry & goats before finally going to bed. Probably between 11pm & 2am. Frequency: Several encounters a year among the three of us. Where: Central Texas, SE Bastrop County (an hour's drive southeast of Austin). 20 acres (not big--approx 1,000 ft x 1,000 ft) of native Texas brushland, unimproved. We were also surrounded by larger unimproved properties where cattle grazed & folks hunted. Lots of mesquite & hackberry trees, some oak, native grasses, lots of greenbriar & prickly pear. We experienced HIGH predator pressure, mostly from coyotes but also lynx, bobcat, feral cats, foxes, skunks, opossums, and raptors until we brought on a FANTASTIC team of livestock guardian dogs. The dogs kept predators at bay (including hawks, falcons, vultures, and owls--all raptor) and the wild doves & songbird populations really took off. Even the owls learned where our fenceline was--we'd hear them at night but never on our side so they either stayed off or learned to be silent to not alert the dogs. The encounters with the mystery bird took place in various locations, from the back corner of the fenceline to right around our little wanna-be cabin & the sheds where our animals slept. We never saw the bird. It would be on the ground (rarely a wooden fence post) and We didn't hear or see any hint that it was there until we were within about 10 feet or so. Then we would hear a sudden whirring of wings as the bird took flight. Strangely, we never saw a sillouette against the starry sky and clicking on the flashlight was no help either. With so many encounters, there was not a single visible clue as to what this bird was. So we dubbed it our "pet invisible pterosaur" and we're quite fond of our unknown visitor. The bird never seemed to harm anything--even though it would sometimes be loitering around our cabin and animal sheds. The dogs seemed unaware of it's presence or, more likely, did not consider it a threat. (I suspect the later because, given the whirring noise it made on take-off, it wasn't exactly a silent flyer like an owl.) There were never any vocalizations when we approached the bird & it took off. The only noise was a whirring noise of the wings as it took off & flew away. Even though we could hear it flying so knew what direction it was in, no quick turn of the flashlight showed anything. I've heard nighthawks eyes will shine back but we never saw eyes reflect any light. Based on the wing sound (not slapping, but whirring), our impression is that it is a large species, at least the size of a very large raptor. Though we obviously can't confirm that. I'm sure there is a logical explaination (though must admit that considering it the family's "invisible pet pterosaur" has been fun). I've been wondering what that bird could have been ever since our first encounter but have found nothing online that fits. This mystery has been bothering me for years! What could it be? What large, nocturnal, central Texas bird spends time on the ground between 11pm & 2am, doesn't fly until a person is so close, makes a whirring wing noise, doesn't make any vocalizations (that I know of)? And why could we never catch any glimpse of it? Could it be small but just sound ginormous? (it sounded HUGE & powerful--hence us calling it our pet pterasaur). Other than owls (which hang out in the trees, are more vocal, & are silent flyers), what could it be? We had bats but they are small, make sonar chirping sound, can't take off from the ground, and have quiet wings. So it's gotta be a bird of some sort. Only feathers, as far as I know, could make the whirring sound. And if it were Pegasus there would have been hoof-prints ;-)
I live in South Texas and I took these photos last week in my yard. Since they're migrating, I don't see these types often. On the same day, I had painted buntings and indigo buntings. Any help would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!