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      Found a baby bird or a sick or injured bird?   07/11/17

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Bird Brain

Unknown bird

5 posts in this topic

Saw this today, along with a few others of its kind, flitting mostly in the trees, occasionally lighting for a few seconds on the ground or on a log like this one did. Only managed to get this one photo, and of course it was looking the other way. I'm 99.9% sure it was not  a Junco, despite the dark head. I've seen hundreds of Juncos, and this one did not have the same flight pattern, no white outer tail feathers, it's tail is longer, didn't sound like a Junco, and it was longer and slimmer than a Junco. This was taken along the Trail of 100 Giants in southern Calif. at an elevation of 6400 ft. All help appreciated. 

35584225530_176393395e_z.jpgIMG_8782-001 by Wayne J Smith, on Flickr

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Every feature I see on this bird looks good for a male "Oregon" Dark-eyed Junco; the black hood, pinkish sides, bluish patch on coverts, and (from what I'm seeing,) even the color of the legs and feet. I've seen some juncos that only had 6r tail feathers (two of the 4 white edges of the junco's tail feather), and I wouldn't be surprised if some could lack the white tail feathers. The reason this bird looks more slimmer than normal is because in hot weather periods, birds tend to compress their feathers; this makes them appear "thinner." This may also influence the judging of this bird's tail length, because to me it looks normal for a junco. I don't know what to say about the non-junco-like calls and flight, and I'll leave that one to someone else to solve. The only other species likely to be confused with a Dark-eyed Junco in the United States is a Yellow-eyed Junco, but the feather pattern isn't right.

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I can see the base of the white outer tail feathers, that and the rufous mantle with black hood and body shape really rule out anything but a male "Oregon" Dark-eyed Junco. Chestnut-backed Chickadee or Spotted Towhee would really be the only other two, but shape and missing marks can rule those out. 

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Ahhh, well........I wanted it to be something new, but....that's why I left the .1% possibility of it being a Junco, so I wouldn't be 100% wrong!! ;) Thanks, y'all!!

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