Birds

Posture and shape distinguishes male and female Dark-eyed Juncos

Backyard Bird Discoveries While watching a small flock of juncos at my bird feeder on December 17, 2012, I noticed one particularly brownish female. Considering subspecies and watching it a little further I noticed that it seemed more active and alert, darting around quickly and holding its body more upright than the other juncos. Could this …

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Bird identification quiz 53: Eastern Sparrows in early September

Test your bird identification skills with the three photos below. These three sparrows were all photographed in Concord, MA on 11 Sep 2012. Can you identify the species? Today’s quiz features a bonus Everyone who submits a perfect score by noon Eastern Time tomorrow – Thursday September 13th – will be entered in a drawing …

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In search of Spoon-billed Sandpiper

Join me on a WINGS/Heritage Expeditions cruise 21 June to 4 July 2013 to search for nesting Spoon-billed Sandpipers in Siberia. I’ve always been fascinated by Siberia. Growing up in the lower 48 states I dreamed of seeing birds like Steller’s Sea-Eagle, Siberian Rubythroat, even Middendorff’s Grasshopper-Warbler, and the crowning jewel of the Siberian specialties …

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Juvenal plumage of songbirds: Gray Catbird

Most Passerines only hold juvenal plumage for a few weeks, quickly molting to a more adult-like plumage soon after they fledge and before fall migration. It’s a plumage that is seen almost entirely on the breeding grounds, but the breeding grounds (and fledging time) of many birds overlaps broadly with the fall migration of others, …

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