Thursday 12 August 2010

California Trip Birds - Poor and record shots - help with ID required

Ok, here a few shots that I need some help with. Some are ok, some are distant and some are blurry. Please let me have your suggestions via the comments or at Thanks.

Chipping Sparrow?

Help? Townsend Warbler?

Purple Finch?

Sage Sparrow?

Juv - White Crowned Sparrow?

As above?

Taken by Sophie. Savanagh Sparrow?

Orange Crowned Warbler?

Northern Mockingbird - it doesn't look quite right to me?

Belted Kingfisher?


  1. Here's my thoughts:
    1. I can't be sure from this shot, but I think Chipping Sparrow is unlikely. I'd be more likely to think Pine Siskin, House Finch, or Purple Finch. Gives me a finch gestalt, anyways.
    2. Williamson's Sapsucker, male.
    3. (Audubon's) Yellow-rumped Warbler. A bright adult male like this one:
    4. Tough to say, and I can't get a larger version to open up when I click on it. My gut says you're right with Purple Finch, but I can't eliminate House Finch.
    5. (Thick-billed) Fox Sparrow. See for example. This subspecies is often talked about as a candidate for future splitting from other Fox Sparrow subspecies.
    6. Correct, juvie White-crowned Sparrow.
    7. Song Sparrow.
    8. Another Thick-billed Fox Sparrow.
    9. MacGillivray's Warbler. Compare to
    10. Brewer's Blackbird. Young male, I think?
    11. Seems to me to be shaped like a gull, and I'd lean toward immature California, but I'm far from certain.

    Thanks for the challenge!

  2. Cheers Ryan. I'll get the Sibley out and see where I was going wrong. For 11. I didn't even consider a gull due to colouring. My daughter Sophie took that pic. and she said she couldn't remember what the bird looked like. All the birding best.

  3. I would agree with all of Ryan's comments with the exception of the two finches (Photos 1 and 4). The top bird especially has a very pointed beak, which would have me leaning toward Cassin's Finch. The second finch photo is definitely a finch, but I can't enlarge that shot so it's a tough call (I'm still leaning toward Cassin's on that bird as well though).