Need help to ID a bird

mamabear_on(6bON)August 30, 2006

Hello everyone. I have been a member of GW for a few years and have not been able to participate much in the last couple of years due to work schedule but I do drop in now and then to see what is going on.

I know that a few of you are good with birds and I was wondering if I could get some help to ID a bird that my son rescued from the park. We brought the injured bird to the rescue center and they could not ID it for us. I have seen these birds fly at night/early evening in groups and only in the last year or so.

I`m sorry that I do not have a pic to show. I thought of taking one with the digital but figured that the rescue center would be able to tell me what type of bird it is.

The general description of the bird fits that of a nighhawk but the colour and size are wrong. This bird fits in the palm of my hand. It has the wings and head and beek of the nighthawk, but is brown in color, almost like a common sparrow and has a cream colored chest. It also has black bands over the eyes like a raccoon. It`s wings are longer than the tail feathers and the tail feathers have what look like needles at the end of each tailfeather and it have 5 or 6 tail feathers. The needle like tail feathers a very pointy and the nighhawk, from what I can see from the pics does not have these and is about twice the size.

This is a very attractive bird. The women from the rescue center stated that she has never seen a bird like this one and when she called someone else for assistance they could not help either.

To sum up the description of this bird.

- 4 - 5 inches in lenght

- brown with cream chest

- long pointed wings

- short tail with needle-like ends

- raccoon like bands over the eyes

- body type and beek similar to a nighthawk

I really wished that I had taken a pic, but hopefully someone will be able to ID him/her with this description

Thank you


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hmmmm,i am thinking of a Whippoorwill but i think the color is wrong.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2006 at 1:23PM
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Thanks FTM, but I checked the whippoorwill out on google and the color is wrong, the tail is too long and it does have the raccoon band across the eyes.

The territory is correct. I am in southern Ontario Canada if this helps any.

Thank you

    Bookmark   August 30, 2006 at 1:30PM
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Louise, what about one of the sharp-tailed sparrows? Not sure if they're in your area, but I found a couple on the list in the link below.

Hope you find out soon! :)


Here is a link that might be useful: All About Birds

    Bookmark   August 30, 2006 at 3:55PM
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jeanner(SW Ohio - Z6)

The only bird that comes to mind is a bobwhite. The northern bobwhite is found in Canada but would be much bigger. There are other bobwhites that are much smaller but are not native to Canada. That doesn't make it impossible for them to be there but would be rare indeed. It could also be a domestic bird that was released.

Any word from the rescue center about what it is?

    Bookmark   August 30, 2006 at 5:04PM
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this seems awfully small for what i was thinking but it does say 4.75 inches.

this page will also link to a bunch of different birds to look through.

Here is a link that might be useful: Northern rough-winged swallow

    Bookmark   August 30, 2006 at 6:02PM
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Good Morning everyone. I placed a call to the rescue center this morning and left a msg...waiting for a reply

I checked out the pic of the bobwhite and it doesn`t match but the pic of the nothern rough-tailed swallow is very close. The differences are that it does not have the black band across the eyes and it doesn`t have the needle like ending to the tail feathers but the overall shape, size and color are very close.

My initial thought when I say the bird was that it was a swallow because of the wings.

I looked this bird up on google and it is on the rare bird site. We sit at night and watch these little guys dance throught the sky in groups. This year is the first year that I have seen these so they must be new to our area or the population is growing. I live in the heart of a large city across the river from Detroit MI.

I will keep looking on google and will post if/when I get an answer from the rescue center.

Well I just got a call from the rescue center and the little guy did not make it.....:(

She said that he may have been bleeding interally...all we saw was the bleeding from his foot....may have been attacked by a cat???

She did ID him for me and he was a Chimney Swift. I google this and the pic is exactly what he looked like.

Thank you everyone for helping.


    Bookmark   August 31, 2006 at 10:05AM
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FTM, yours sounds right! I hope that's the one! :)


Here is a link that might be useful: Rough-winged

    Bookmark   August 31, 2006 at 10:08AM
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looks like brenda and louise were on at the same time...

oh,the poor little chimney swift :(
sorry, louise.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2006 at 8:20PM
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jeanner(SW Ohio - Z6)

Ah, I'm sorry to hear he didn't make it, but you tried, many wouldn't have gone to the trouble to get it to a rehabber. They are such frail creatures.

And now I know what a chimney swift looks like, your description was right on.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2006 at 8:30PM
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Geez, I'm so sorry he didn't make it, Louise! He was such a pretty little guy, too.

You did a good thing. At least you tried.


    Bookmark   September 1, 2006 at 8:37AM
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We told Noah that the bird would be OK....didn't have the heart to tell him that he died. My son is like him Mom...loves any animal and will bring them all home. If it wasn`t for DH I would have a housefull.

Hubby says he is going to start packing his bags when the next animal comes in. I want another cat ( lost ours to a drunk driver) and I told him to start packing...LOL


    Bookmark   September 6, 2006 at 11:51AM
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