PDA

View Full Version : Bird identification



Pages : [1] 2

taf2002
05-03-2010, 04:03 PM
I have 2 bird feeders in my garden which is right outside my glass patio room so i can watch the birds coming & going. This year we have a flock (5 or 6 birds) that I can't identify even though I have googled them several different ways.

This bird is black/dark brown all over but it has a bright yellow beak, both top & bottom beak is yellow & their feet & legs are reddish like doves. Its head & back are glossy, irridescent black & its underside is a very dark brown. It has no markings of any other color. Its head is smooth with no ruff & it has a stubby short tail.

It looks exactly like an American Crow in looks & size but they don't have a yellow beak or reddish legs & feet. It's driving me crazy not to be able to figure this out.

BTW, I'm in a suburb of Fort Worth, Texas but I've looked into Canadian & Mexican birds too. Does anyone know what these birds could be?

Holley Calmes
05-03-2010, 04:15 PM
Could it be a gackle? I was just in San Antonio and we saw zillions of them. They have a lot of personality.

skatingfan5
05-03-2010, 04:22 PM
I don't think that grackles (http://denisewymore.files.wordpress.com/2009/04/boat-tailed-grackle-male-kure-beach-121205.jpg) have yellow beaks or reddish legs/feet. At least the ones here in Illinois don't.

taf2002
05-03-2010, 04:23 PM
Gackles have longer tails & no yellow beak. But thanks.

mkats
05-03-2010, 04:35 PM
A european starling, maybe? They're a big smaller but ubiquitous here.

skatingfan5
05-03-2010, 04:40 PM
A european starling, maybe? They're a big smaller but ubiquitous here.After a bit of searching, I was just going to suggest a starling (http://cat.uab.cat/Publications/2005/SEP05/starlings.jpg) as well -- they have the right beak and leg color and irridescence and short tail, but they are much smaller than crows.

BittyBug
05-03-2010, 05:07 PM
Since you seem to like birds, you would probably enjoy Roger Tory Peterson's Field Guide to North American Birds (http://www.amazon.com/Peterson-Field-Guide-Birds-America/dp/0618966145/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1272902715&sr=1-4). In my younger days, I used to spend hours pouring over it to try to ID visitors to the feeder. :)

taf2002
05-03-2010, 05:24 PM
I thought starlings were a possibility too but don't starlings always have little white spots down their sides? My birds have no markings at all. But your picture looks just like my birds otherwise. Maybe European Starlings have lost their markings due to a difference in diet here.

Thanks everyone for your suggestions.

WindSpirit
05-03-2010, 05:27 PM
Have you tried those websites?

http://www.allaboutbirds.org
http://www.whatbird.com/

I have no idea what your bird could be, especially if it's the size of American crow. Those are really big birds.

skatingfan5
05-03-2010, 05:30 PM
I thought starlings were a possibility too but don't starlings always have little white spots down their sides? My birds have no markings at all. But your picture looks just like my birds otherwise. Maybe European Starlings have lost their markings due to a difference in diet here.

Thanks everyone for your suggestions.According to this site (http://www.mbr-pwrc.usgs.gov/id/framlst/i4930id.html) it is a bit seasonal -- the white spots are most evident in the fall (which is also when the yellow bill color is least evident).

WindSpirit
05-03-2010, 05:34 PM
I thought starlings were a possibility too but don't starlings always have little white spots down their sides? Not always. They usually lose them by spring.

See, the size of American crow confused me. I don't think a starling is even close to its size. They're around the size of American robin.

Lorac
05-03-2010, 05:43 PM
Maybe you could keep a camera close at hand so that next time you see them on the feeders you can take a photo and post it here? They do sound like starlings but the size stated is throwing me as well!!

BlueRidge
05-03-2010, 05:47 PM
Since you seem to like birds, you would probably enjoy Roger Tory Peterson's Field Guide to North American Birds (http://www.amazon.com/Peterson-Field-Guide-Birds-America/dp/0618966145/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1272902715&sr=1-4). In my younger days, I used to spend hours pouring over it to try to ID visitors to the feeder. :)

I strongly second this. If you are interested in birds, this is the best way to go! Entirely worth the investment and the only way to really get to be able to identify birds.

I like the Peterson Guide best, but there are others, such as Sibley's (http://www.amazon.com/Sibley-Guide-Birds-David-Allen/dp/0679451226/ref=pd_sim_b_11), but a field guide is the best bet for identifying birds, even if you never leave your own backyard.

mkats
05-03-2010, 06:06 PM
I'm glad to see there are others here who love birds too! I'm a nature girl and usually end up spending most of my time off from work/school outside in the gardens and observing the birdies (not so much the squirrels though, since they steal my tomatoes and strawberries!) I find that if you watch them long enough you'll notice that they all have different personalities (even the same birds of one species) and be able to tell them apart. We had this one bright red male cardinal who never showed up without his three females :hat1:, the same pair of titmice that used to nest in the same birdhouse every year until a rainstorm knocked it off :( and once I accidentally startled a robin in the birdbath I put out for them. He was quite miffed and shook his feathers and angrily stalked off :lol:

taf2002
05-03-2010, 06:24 PM
Not always. They usually lose them by spring.

See, the size of American crow confused me. I don't think a starling is even close to its size. They're around the size of American robin.

I may be wrong about the size. The American crow is one of the smaller black birds. I thought they were similar size to the robin. My birds are robin-sized so I suppose they are starlings. I didn't know they didn't have their markings in the spring.

This is the 1st year that I've left the suet out after warm weather arrived. These black birds only eat the suet, not the seed, so I guess that is what attracted them to our back yard.

Until we built our garden room we really didn't notice the birds much because it's too hot in Texas to sit outside very long. But we've gotten pretty interested & I've done a lot of googling to ID the different birds. And I'm sure that our nesting pair of cardinals are the same as last year...I think our male only has 1 female because we've only seen 1 female at the feeder. Our 2 cats love to watch as much as we do...they are inside cats so they love getting to see outside.