[Tweeters] Options for photo IDs - Canyon Towhee ID on my ID request

retief retief at deweydrive.com
Tue Dec 8 19:47:52 PST 2015

First of all, thank you all so VERY much for helping to educate me,
hopefully this old dog will retain a bit of your knowledge and help.

These are great suggestions for searching for ID. One thing I find
difficult is that even when someone gives me an ID, as in this case, I
look in my Sibley's and what I see does not quite look right, although
close. The reply from Hal Michael really helps me to understand this
more completely, and his "single point in time" comment resonates with
me. I try to got through these steps prior to asking, but sometimes
they don't quite get me there. I have downloaded the Merlin app on my
phone and tried using that, but Canyon Towhee did not show up in the
list, not did it via the Online version. Jane, can you tell me what
options you used so I can figure out how better to use the app?

This is why I find Tweeters to be such a great resource, especially for
people like myself who are do not fit what I think is the typical
"birder", as my "focus" (bad pun intended) is a bit different. That
being said I do want to be as accurate as possible, and you folks simply
all deserve a very big "Thank You" from you, so ..

Thank You very much.

> Jane Hadley <mailto:hadleyj1725 at gmail.com>

> Monday, December 7, 2015 1:17 PM

> Bill Dewey asked for help identifying a bird he photographed in New

> Mexico. I also believe that it is a Canyon Towhee.


> Several people raised questions about whether Bill's pictures matched

> pictures in their field guides.


> I wanted to suggest that one helpful option for matching bird photos

> is Google Images. If you go to https://www.google.com/imghp and type

> in "Canyon Towhee," you'll be shown scads of pictures of Canyon

> Towhees (plus sometimes other birds thrown in thanks to the vagaries

> of the algorithmic approach). You can even search by sex, age and

> season: "female Hooded Merganser" or "Juvenile American Robin" or

> "basic plumage Golden-crowned Sparrow," for example.


> When I did the "Canyon Towhee" search at Google Images, I saw that the

> Canyon Towhee sometimes shows a crest (5th picture on the first row).


> Another sometimes helpful option is Cornell's Merlin Photo ID. This is

> at: http://merlin.allaboutbirds.org/photo-id-help/


> I ran one of Bill's photos through this program and it did identify it

> as a Canyon Towhee. However, this program is in "Beta" right now and

> is somewhat hit-and-miss in its accuracy. Still, I've found it to be

> fun to try and easy to use.


> Jane Hadley

> Seattle, WA





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Bill Dewey

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