The 2023 Clements/eBird taxonomy update has just been announced, and the biggest surprise is that Cattle Egret will now be considered two species! Few people are familiar with variation in Cattle Egret, and while the split won’t have much impact on North American birders I thought it would be helpful to describe the differences. At […]
I wanted to know if I could find an objective and reliable feature that would allow me to distinguish any elaenia from any empidonax, and it turns out it’s the pattern on the folded wing. The presence or absence of pale edges on the primaries is the best single feature to focus on to be sure which genus you are looking at.
Pine Siskins – streaky relatives of goldfinches – are so distinctive as a species that we tend to overlook their considerable individual variation. Siskins are unusual among the small finches in that males and females look nearly identical. Subtle individual differences in the amount or intensity of streaking, or in overall color, have no bearing
One of the great pleasures of birding is that you can run into something new and unexpected anytime, anywhere. This summer (June and July 2020) I’ve been birding around my local neighborhood in Deerfield, MA, and even though I’ve lived here for three years now, every day still brings new discoveries. A recent morning produced