Bird Identification

Announcing Song Sleuth

I’m very excited to be able to announce the long-awaited launch of a new app – Song Sleuth – created by Wildlife Acoustics, Inc. It’s a bird song identification assistant, just a couple of taps and your iPhone will suggest what species of bird is singing. It covers nearly 200 of the most frequently heard …

Announcing Song Sleuth Read More »

White flickers

  This beautiful and striking bird is a partial albino Northern Flicker, photographed in Massachusetts in Sep 2015 by Michael Beagan. A second, very similar, bird had been photographed nearby in 2012 by John Harrison, and – besides being very attractive birds – the two provide a good opportunity to discuss some of the details …

White flickers Read More »

Underwing pattern in Cory’s Shearwater

If you keep up on the news of subspecies, you will have heard of Scopoli’s Shearwater. It’s the Mediterranean breeding population of Cory’s Shearwater, overlapping very little with populations nesting on Atlantic Islands, and many authorities have split the two into separate species recently. Both populations occur off the Atlantic coast of North America, although Cory’s in …

Underwing pattern in Cory’s Shearwater Read More »

A very young sandpiper

This image is for sale in an auction here Identification of downy young sandpipers can be a real challenge in the arctic, where multiple species occur, but I saw and sketched this one on Great Gull Island, New York, last weekend. At that latitude only a few other species are possible, and most are easily eliminated …

A very young sandpiper Read More »

A quiz on dabbling ducks

duck identification quiz4

Below are six ducks in a typical foraging posture, with their heads underwater. See if you can identify the species by their back ends. (All paintings by David Sibley)