[Tweeters] Help with Bird ID

Jonathan Bent bent.jonathan at gmail.com
Tue Jun 25 11:45:05 PDT 2013


Hi Bill,

Given your description, my best bet is a juvenile Starling
(European/Eurasian/Common, whatever they're calling it nowadays), with a
distant second/third choice of Brewer's Blackbird and Brown-headed Cowbird.
All three frequent populated areas in the NW, and typically walk through
grass when searching for food, and this is the time of year for a juvenile
to be walking around.

Images of juvenile Starling juvenile can be found here:
http://cdn1.arkive.org/media/54/54BB043B-6BE1-4C53-BAF5-D2CD09278233/Presentation.Large/Juvenile-European-starling.jpg
http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3350/4593943243_5918744c6c_o.jpg
http://images.nationalgeographic.com/wpf/media-live/photos/000/171/overrides/european-starling_17163_600x450.jpg

I think by far the most likely choice of the three above is a Starling,
since the body proportions look roughly right, since the color generally
matches your description, and since it was with other starlings. Starlings
have very short tails compared to most other small birds (ok, swifts
probably win!), and your image supports that detail. Color is roughly right
for a Brewer's female, or Brown-headed Cowbird female, but both of these
would have longer tails, even when juveniles.

Other thoughts... I agree that this is probably not a sparrow--though at
this time of year there are a lot of LBJs/LBBs kicking around--but all that
I can think of would have a longer tail relative to their body. We have
some of the most common sparrow juveniles in the back yard here: Song
Sparrows, Dark-eyed Juncos, Spotted Towhees, and none bear any resemblance
to your bird.

So, that's my 2 cents--juvenile Starling. Feel free to disagree!

Jonathan Bent
Whidbey Island/Seattle



On Tue, Jun 25, 2013 at 10:32 AM, Bill Brynteson <wnbrynteson at yahoo.com>wrote:


> Good Morning All

>

> Out on a walk and this LBB caught my eye

> http://www.flickr.com/photos/98016274@N02/

>

> It was actively chasing bugs in the lawn with a couple of starlings, it is

> a bit larger than half the size of the starlings and is much chunkier than

> a sparrow. Dark bill and legs, dark beige back, very light beige head and

> breast.

>

> I apologize for the quality, I took it on the fly with my Iphone. I would

> appreciate any help on this.

>

> Thanks

> BillB

>

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