Date: 7/19/17 9:12 pm
From: Karl Schneck <keschneckdds...>
Subject: [obol] Re: digest non-attachments
I'll bite... this isn't an especially bad photo, but limited... this could
be fun :-)




Karl Schneck

"As age comes on, one source of enjoyment after another is closed, but
nature's sources never fail." John Muir

On Wed, Jul 19, 2017 at 8:31 PM, Larry McQueen <larmcqueen...> wrote:

> Joel and all,
>
> This is of course, another lesson on the difficulties of photo IDs, and
> this was an especially challenge one, due to limitations. Most aspects of
> the field are not present in photos, and these were reduced to nearly
> minimal. The fun of it is the challenge, and we could be playing more with
> the challenge. How about others deliberately posting bad photos on this
> list, as a teaching exercise?
>
> Larry
>
>
> On Jul 19, 2017, at 5:45 PM, Joel Geier <joel.geier...> wrote:
>
> Hi Larry & All,
>
> Sorry that I have to give a more inconclusive answer on this "quiz" than I
> was hoping for.
>
> Today when I checked back on that nest, the mom was nowhere in sight and
> the nest was empty, with no sign of the two very young nestlings or the one
> egg that were in the nest cup yesterday. So it might not be possible to
> establish the identity of this bird with certainty, except so far as we can
> get from my photos and incidental observations.
>
> I think she was a Song Sparrow -- not a species that I would normally
> expect to find nesting in this kind of situation. This was in a grazed
> upland pasture where the general habitat structure is oak savanna. There
> are a couple of very small shrubs nearby (one heavily browsed rose bush
> maybe 2 ft high, about 3 yards from the nest, and a couple of smaller ones
> within 5 yards or so), and a young oak (maybe 6" dbh) about 5 yards away.
> Otherwise the vegetation is mainly grasses and forbs, mostly 6-12 inches
> high except for scattered clumps of slightly higher vegetation 18-24" high
> like the one where this nest is located.
>
> The "impossibly long tail" of course fits with Song Sparrow. The first
> photo also shows a touch of rust on the crown, which I was also able to see
> in my frontal view of the bird when I noted the dark upper mandible (and
> not much of anything else). She did have an "ornery" look!
>
> I wasn't thinking about Grasshopper Sparrow at all (the nest cup was too
> big, for starters) but I can see why the one photo could lead folks in that
> direction. A Song Sparrow should have a post-ocular stripe, but this bird's
> head is turned slightly so that's not visible (I didn't see it in the field
> either, but what you can see in this photo is better than my field view).
> So I think the plain-faced look is just an artifact of how the bird's head
> is turned.
>
> Besides the tail and the bill coloration and size, the other main thing
> that leads me to the conclusion of Song Sparrow is the generally grungy
> look of the back. "Grungy" of course is a highly technical term! ;-) The
> bright bits of sunlight filtering through the vegetation certainly add to
> the difficulty, but this is the same situation that I faced in the field.
> Song Sparrows do have eye rings, though that characteristic seldom gets
> mentioned for this under-appreciated species.
>
> The other main candidates in that location would be White-crowned Sparrow,
> Chipping Sparrow, Vesper Sparrow, and Savannah Sparrow. This particular
> field/pasture has a high density of Chipping and Vesper Sparrow, but very
> few if any White-crowns or Savannahs (based on multiple field visits over
> the past few months). I was mainly trying to rule out Savannah Sparrow as
> an alternative to Vesper Sparrow, when I followed up on this nest. The idea
> of Song Sparrow didn't actually occur to me until after I got back home,
> still feeling puzzled, and looked at the same photos that I shared.
>
> Happy birding,
> Joel
>
>
>
> On Wed, 2017-07-19 at 23:41 +0000, Larry McQueen wrote:
>
> What I can make out of one of the pictures looks like Grasshopper
> Sparrow. I see a large eye, pale eye-ring, buffy and gray colors, and flat
> crown with a median line. But the nest should have a hood over it, or
> maybe that is only when the bird is absent (?). The GRSP’s eye is the most
> conspicuous feature of the face. To me, it has a stare unmatched by other
> sparrows. But of course, there is not much to see in this photo.
>
>
>
> I can’t make anything of the other photo except what looks like an
> impossibly long tail.
>
> NOT a feature of GRSP
>
>
>
> Larry
>
>
>
>
>
> On Jul 19, 2017, at 9:37 AM, Joel Geier <joel.geier...> wrote:
>
>
> Hi Linda & All,
>
> The attachments can be found in the regular OBOL archives at this link:
>
> https://www.freelists.org/post/obol/Another-sparrow-quiz
>
> Looks like I did attach them correctly on the first go after all -- sorry
> I didn't think to check this before I sent them a second time this morning.
>
> The ABA message list doesn't always pick up attachments, so it's good to
> keep the OBOL archives in mind for this kind of thing.
>
> Joel
>
> On Wed, 2017-07-19 at 09:17 -0700, Linda Fink wrote:
>
> Those of us on digest do not get photos attached to messages and did not
> get any "clip" to click on for Joel's sparrow attachment. I went to the
> aba obol message list and it's not there either. I am accustomed to
> going there for the scrambled letter messages when people send from
> their cell phones, but however Joel sent his photos, not even aba could
> grab them.
>
> Linda, curious in Yamhill County
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>

 
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