Date: 9/9/20 5:06 pm
From: Haninah Levine <haninah...>
Subject: Re: [MDBirding] Blue jay tail variation
Funny - just this weekend I initially mistook a Blue jay for a
Yellow-billed cuckoo because of the prominent spots on the underside of the
tail, which I’d never noticed before in Blue jays - I didn’t realize that
there’s this much individual variation. Thank you for sharing!

On the topic of bird quirks, this weekend I was camping in Shenandoah NP,
and in the morning, a young housecat was wandering around the campground. A
group of four or five Carolina wrens gathered around to yell at it, when to
my surprise a Hooded warbler arrived to join them. I had never seen a
warbler of any kind act quite so boldly, except perhaps a Common
yellowthroat - it was sitting on a branch in the open, not more than ten
feet from my son and me!

On Wed, Sep 9, 2020 at 7:44 PM Scott Young <wsyacy...> wrote:

> Recently, Tyler Bell disabused me of a yellow-billed cuckoo ID in favor of
> a blue jay (in my defense, it was foggy but the body shape should have been
> a dead giveaway!). In any case, that spurred me to look at the tails of my
> backyard BLJA visitors. As shown in the figure below, you can see that the
> two sides of the tail could be used like fingerprints to ID them (and,
> maybe to a lesser extent, YBCUs). I suppose this may be known to many
> birders and if anyone knows of a publication addressing this, please pass
> it along.
>
> Thanks,
>
> Scott Young
> Gaithersburg
>
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