Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 23
  1. #1

    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Thankfukky watching skating
    Posts
    13,672
    vCash
    317
    Rep Power
    41192

    Bird identification

    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?

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Two places! Atlanta suburbs and in the North Georgia Mountains
    Posts
    3,820
    vCash
    500
    Rep Power
    2089
    Could it be a gackle? I was just in San Antonio and we saw zillions of them. They have a lot of personality.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    May 2002
    Posts
    10,726
    vCash
    500
    Rep Power
    34438
    I don't think that grackles have yellow beaks or reddish legs/feet. At least the ones here in Illinois don't.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Thankfukky watching skating
    Posts
    13,672
    vCash
    317
    Rep Power
    41192
    Gackles have longer tails & no yellow beak. But thanks.

  5. #5
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Atlanta
    Posts
    2,804
    vCash
    500
    Rep Power
    0
    A european starling, maybe? They're a big smaller but ubiquitous here.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    May 2002
    Posts
    10,726
    vCash
    500
    Rep Power
    34438
    Quote Originally Posted by mkats View Post
    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 as well -- they have the right beak and leg color and irridescence and short tail, but they are much smaller than crows.

  7. #7
    Quadless
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Celebrating the power of Pooh
    Posts
    15,037
    vCash
    325
    Rep Power
    43699
    Since you seem to like birds, you would probably enjoy Roger Tory Peterson's Field Guide to North American Birds. In my younger days, I used to spend hours pouring over it to try to ID visitors to the feeder.
    "I miss footwork that has any kind of a discernible pattern. The goal of a step sequence should not be for a skater to show the same ice coverage as a Zamboni and take about as much time as an ice resurface. " ~ Zemgirl, reflecting on a pre-IJS straight line sequence

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Thankfukky watching skating
    Posts
    13,672
    vCash
    317
    Rep Power
    41192
    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.

  9. #9
    OmnipresentAdmeanistrator
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Posts
    7,938
    vCash
    500
    Rep Power
    0
    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.

  10. #10

    Join Date
    May 2002
    Posts
    10,726
    vCash
    500
    Rep Power
    34438
    Quote Originally Posted by taf2002 View Post
    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 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).

  11. #11
    OmnipresentAdmeanistrator
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Posts
    7,938
    vCash
    500
    Rep Power
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by taf2002 View Post
    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.

  12. #12

    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Home in England!!
    Posts
    2,477
    vCash
    500
    Rep Power
    1014
    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!!

  13. #13
    AYS's snark-sponge
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    in the Bobrova & Soloviev Fan Clubhouse
    Posts
    41,908
    vCash
    500
    Rep Power
    30529
    Quote Originally Posted by BittyBug View Post
    Since you seem to like birds, you would probably enjoy Roger Tory Peterson's Field Guide to North American Birds. 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, but a field guide is the best bet for identifying birds, even if you never leave your own backyard.
    Congratulations 2014 World Ice Dance Champions Anna Cappellini & Luca Lanotte!!!

  14. #14
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Atlanta
    Posts
    2,804
    vCash
    500
    Rep Power
    0
    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 , 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

  15. #15

    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Thankfukky watching skating
    Posts
    13,672
    vCash
    317
    Rep Power
    41192
    Quote Originally Posted by WindSpirit View Post
    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.

  16. #16

    Join Date
    May 2002
    Posts
    10,726
    vCash
    500
    Rep Power
    34438
    Quote Originally Posted by taf2002 View Post
    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.
    Maybe you are thinking about the American blackbird, which is similar in size to the robin? The crow is a very large bird -- at least 3-4 times the size of a robin -- about 16-20 inches long (the raven is even larger, around 25 inches). There are quite a few in my neighborhood and when they are feeding in my backyard they can be rather intimidating looking.

  17. #17
    From the Bloc
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Location
    California, I wish
    Posts
    17,366
    vCash
    500
    Rep Power
    11617
    I third the vote for Peterson's Field Guide - I keep mine by the back door so that I can consult it any time a new bird shows up to partake in the seed we put out or our birdbath.

    I was just at a resort on the west coast last week that thoughtfully provided binoculars and a guide to local birds in each room. It was really fun to see so many birds we don't have here in the east, and to be able to identify them.

  18. #18
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    467
    vCash
    500
    Rep Power
    0
    I'm late getting into this thread, but I'm a master birder. Everybody has their favorite field guide but I can't say that Peterson is mine. The problem with it is that the essential maps that show whether a bird might be in our area do not accompany the descriptions and illustrations of that bird. You end up doing some interminable flipping back and forth b/w the ID pages and the maps. I like Ken Kaufman's guides or the compact National Geographic guide.

    Sounds like we've identified a starling conclusively. The white spots on the feather tips do wear off over time. They also love suet. It's interesting to note that starlings are not native to the US. From Wikipedia:

    "Although there are approximately 200 million starlings in North America, they are all descendants of approximately 60-100 birds released in 1890 in Central Park, New York, by Eugene Schieffelin, who was a member of the Acclimation Society of North America reputedly trying to introduce to North America every bird species mentioned in the works of William Shakespeare."

  19. #19
    Banned Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    IN RETARDED PETLAND!!!
    Posts
    1,173
    vCash
    500
    Rep Power
    0
    Its a starling and if you see lots of them on your lawn you have grubs!
    Without fear you cannot find courage

  20. #20
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Atlanta
    Posts
    2,804
    vCash
    500
    Rep Power
    0
    Yeah, I never see a starling by itself. It's always a ton of them at once.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •