Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Identifying Birds - An Experiment

I've had a couple of bird families begin showing up at my bird feeder that I can't identify. I'm from Texas where everything at the feeder is pretty much a house sparrow or a chicadee, a squirrell or a blue jay. Here in Washington, we've got a new set of feeder birds.  The first I was able to identify was a dark-eyed Oregon junco. It took me verifying it with the Seattle Audubon Society website, but I was able to get a positive ID.  With these guys, not so much,

I think they are a pair, male on the left and female on the right. The female is striped all over. The male is striped on the belly with yellow bars on his wing.  You can see this more clearly on the pictures below. 

So here's what I'm going to do.  I'm going to ask friends on Facebook if they can identify the birds.  I'm also going to send a link to this page to a volunteer Master Birder at the Seattle Audubon Society and see if they can identify it.  It's the yellow markings on the male that are throwing me. The female looks like a common song sparrow. I haven't got a sample of their song yet, but if I do, I'll post it too.  I'll let you know how my search for the identity of these two is coming along. In the meantime, my poor little junco is outnumbered and having to slip in to the feeder while the new guys are off at the nest.

You can see the markings on the male's head and the striping on the belly and shoulders of the female.

You can see the yellow bars on the male's wings in this photo.

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