Need Help With Two Bird Id's No Pics :( Sorry

bonnieblueyesNovember 1, 2007

Hi everyone i hope you can help me without pictures. I have been spotting to very different types of birds and they have me so curious and i cant find them on the Internet and it is giving me a headache. LOL... I know we have some very knowledgeable birders here and i need your help. The first bird has light yellow throat and belly with a beige or grey back and wings with one or two black wingbars and seems to have taken a liking to a bluebird nest box, which the bluebirds are very upset about. LOL....The second bird is smaller like maybe a sparrow but im not sure could be a warbler. It has a very distinct chestnut brown stripe from its nose to its back (like a mowhawk) and seems to have white or grey over its eyes and white cheeks with dark grey or black lines under the cheeks that make it look like it has little jowls and it was looking in the bird house too. When it calls it sounds like a very high pitched squeak. These two birds stay in the grass and are very fast and chase each other a lot. I have not seen either at the feeders. So they must eat insects. Any ideas? Thanks so much :-)

Bonnie

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bonnieblueyes

Im almost positive the little bird with the reddish brown Mohawk is a little sparrow. Its smaller than the house finches and it sounds like it says "sip" or "sit" really high pitched. I didn't get to see the other bird anymore today but im almost positive it is a flycatcher of some sort. Its a cute little thing and so fast :-) just puts a smile on my face. Both birds love hanging out in the grass. They are probably migrating because i cant find them in my local bird book either but im so happy they stopped by!
Bonnie

    Bookmark   November 1, 2007 at 7:01PM
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jeanner(SW Ohio - Z6)

Hmmm, well the first bird has several possibilities. It sounds to me like an ovenbird, which is a warbler but is often found feeding on the ground. They are migrating right now so that is a possibility ...

Heres an ovenbird ...

Or it could be one of several sparrows ....

A chipping sparrow (I'm thinking you had these this summer) but just in case ... they are migrating out of the area now.

American tree sparrows are very similar to the chipping sparrow, they are migrating into the area although it seems a little early for them ... at first glance they do look like chipping sparrows but they have a chest spot and a yellow lower bill ..

An immature white-crowned sparrow has a tan/rufuous stripe instead of the black-white stripe of an adult ... they are migrating into the area right now.

A field sparrow has somewhat of a stripe and would be migrating also ...

Any of those look familiar?

I'm still contemplating the first bird ... the black wing bars have to be a good clue but nothing comes to mind. But flycatchers are rarely in the grass - they are almost always on a branch although they will dive to the ground to get bugs but rarely hop around on the ground. I'll get back to you if I think of anything!

    Bookmark   November 1, 2007 at 8:57PM
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jeanner(SW Ohio - Z6)

Heres a better picture of a field sparrow - the orangey/pink bill is very distinctive ...

If you want to listen to their songs/calls, go to the link below and pick the name of the bird from the Alphabetical list, when the species page opens, scroll about half way down and find the link to listen to the songs.

Here is a link that might be useful: Cornell's bird site

    Bookmark   November 1, 2007 at 9:07PM
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bonnieblueyes

Hi Miss Jean! So glad you thought about this because i beleive you got it with the immature white crowned sparrow. The only thing i didn't see was the little black marks under the brown under the eye. It may be that some individuals differ because as i watched them today some had black under the eye and others had none. Im so glad you helped me because i would have NEVER thought white crowned because i have seen the adults and they dont look like the ones im seeing now. LOL....The ovenbird has the same facial look but the little birds im seeing have no markings on their chest just solid color feathers no streaks or spots.
The other bird is just a mystery for me too because he just doesnt look like anything i have seen before. They seem to have come with the sparrows because they all fly in flocks together. Although the mystery bird loves to hang on the fence and dive to the grass where as the little sparrows just hop around in the grass jumping on each other. LOL....They are so darn cute! We had a flock of bluebirds go through last week and my pair of blues just haven't been right since. So this morning when i seen my blues being territorial over their nestbox i just thought those other birds were cavity nesters but really they just might have been curious about how weird the bluebirds were acting so they wanted to look in the nestbox too. Birds do watch other birds a lot. I really appreciate your help very much because i have just been searching books and everywhere trying to see what all these new little cuties are. If they would just hold still for a few minutes so i could take notes! LOL....This has just been the most exciting year for me, a lot of firsts. I would have never guessed that white crown sparrows wouldn't have a white crown :-) Thank you
Bonnie

    Bookmark   November 2, 2007 at 12:18AM
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bonnieblueyes

Sorry Miss Jean i forgot to tell you how lovely your pictures are and a much better quality than any i saw on the Internet today when i was looking.
Superb pictures! Thanks so much for sharing. You can even see their tiny little eyelash feather thingies, just awesome.
Bonnie

    Bookmark   November 2, 2007 at 12:24AM
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youreit

Bonnie, I sure hope you find out what the first one is! It sounds so interesting. I'm glad you asked, because we all get to look at Jean's gorgeous pics some more! LOL

Brenda

    Bookmark   November 2, 2007 at 8:49AM
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bonnieblueyes

Thanks Brenda. Miss Jean does take breathtaking photos and they are way better than most on the internet.
I had fun today because i saw a huge flock of white throated sparrows (which sound so pretty!), purple finches , and northern flickers today (eating ants on the ground) . I have never seen the white throats or purple finches before and have only saw the flickers once or twice before. The purple finches look hot pink to me and i think they are prettier than house finches IMHO. Their wings had the pink color and their backs too. Sooo pretty to see pink birdies eating sunflower seeds. LOL...I saw my mystery bird again by the birdhouse by the fence. It would perch so straight and pretty and then jump down to the grass and wrestle an insect and then fly back up and sit pretty again. Today its back looked more gray or darker than the other day. And its head looked darker too but when it turned around it still had a yellow looking chest belly. I would have watched it longer because it is just so lovely but i had to go and pick my son up after school so i had to leave :-( Maybe tommorow i will get to see it again and it will sit still a few minutes so i can get better details. I really think it must be a flycatcher but there are many many of them so we may never know. Its very graceful like its dancing in the wind and sunlight. VERY fast.
Bonnie

    Bookmark   November 2, 2007 at 7:38PM
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youreit

Oooo, purple finches sound so pretty! I would LOVE to see one of those in my yard!

What size is the mystery bird, Bonnie? Your description sounds so much like a kingbird, but if it's smaller than 8-9", then probably not. I've never seen our local western kingbirds on the ground, either; mainly, we see them up on the telephone lines, but the pale yellow front is so pretty when the sun catches it. :)

Brenda

    Bookmark   November 3, 2007 at 8:24AM
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bonnieblueyes

Hi Brenda , the mystery bird could be about 8-9 inches but in a slim way not a chunky way. It really gave my bluebirds a working over too! LOL...It seems to have taken a liking to a particular part of my chainlink fence that happens to be close to the nestbox so this upsets the bluebirds. It wouldn't give in to the blues either it kept its ground. Which usually the blues run other birds away from their box but this pretty bird wont go. The way it twitters i thought maybe a swallow but it just doesnt look right and it does look like a king bird shape. You may be right about it being a kingbird because i looked at some pics of kingbirds to see if it could be and i really think you are right. But it says the kingbird we should have has a white belly and this one has a yellow belly. It also puffs its head feathers up when it gets upset so it looks like it has a fuzzy hat on. Its really cute and holds itself very straight and perches on the fence to see insects in the grass. Do you think it could be a western kingbird that got lost? I saw it flying with the group of sparrows that are here migrating so maybe it flew here with them. I didn't see it here all summer, just this past week when all the little different sparrows started showing up. What if it got with the wrong group of migrants? I think they go to south America dont they? Maybe mine can go to Florida and keep warm. I haven't seen it today but there has been a big gray hawk hanging around all day so i haven't seen many birds at all today. I dont blame them, its a big gray hawk that i thought was an owl at first but then i seen it was a hawk. So i guess that was my bird sighting today! LOL....
Thanks Brenda
Bonnie

    Bookmark   November 3, 2007 at 5:18PM
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jeanner(SW Ohio - Z6)

Bonnie, you are right about the eastern kingbirds having no yellow and while it is possible a western kingbird has made it your way, it would be a very rare occurence (one that would attract hundreds of birders to your yard!) Have you tried looking at pictures of great-crested flycatchers? When you mentioned the crest and hunting from a perch, thats what I immediately thought of - they do have a yellow belly and are cavity nesters. I believe they use the same opening size as the bluebirds so that would explain their interest in your nesting box. Also, they are very gregarious birds so the blues would not be happy with them around.

I don't have any great pictures but here's a few - the yellow belly would be paler in young or non-breeding birds.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2007 at 5:41PM
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bonnieblueyes

Miss Jean that looks so much like my bird! It has the poofy head when it gets excited or mad and it has the yellow belly. I think mine must be a younger one because the yellow is not as bright. The way the bird in your first picture has its little head cocked is the same as the one i have been watching. So that would explain why the bluebirds are so freaked out then. The pics on the Internet that i saw didn't have the close up of yours and some i looked at were drawings. The colors were to dark and bright on the drawings. I think i have the great crested flycatcher. I will go back to some websites and see if i can find a call they make because i hear the one i have call when it fights with the blues or meets up with another of its kind. That should help with a confirmation. Jean you are so talented and even the pictures you say are not to good are way better than a lot on the Internet. Thank you so much for your time and interest in helping me. I want to know and understand what birds we have and some times it is so hard. I really appreciate you sharing your beautiful photos too because i was having no luck even from books. Your pictures just show such great detail. I will let you know what i find out. I need to read up on this bird. My mysteries may be solved :-)~~~~~~THANK YOU!
Bonnie

    Bookmark   November 3, 2007 at 10:15PM
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youreit

Way to go, Jean!!!! That bird is adorable, Bonnie! We don't have those out here. Love those pics, Jean. I hope this mystery has been solved! :D

Brenda

    Bookmark   November 4, 2007 at 7:44AM
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bonnieblueyes

Yep i think it the great crested fly catcher because i heard some audio on the web and it tweets and twitters just like that when it has disagreements with other birds. Maybe it will remember come spring and maybe nest in my yard :-) I have put out a lot of bird houses so there should be room for everyone if they choose to nest here. I hope they can get along good enough to do that! LOL...Well it looks like we have the juvenile white crowned sparrows and great crested flycatchers here in Tennessee for late October and early November. I would have never figured it out without yalls help. I really appreciate it so much :-) Migration in fall can be as exciting as spring. My hubby wants a digital camera for Christmas which is what i have been thinking about too ;-) So i hope he will share if i get him one and then i dont have to feel guilty for getting a camera! LOL...Then maybe i can share some pictures with you so identification will be easier. Jean thanks so much for sharing your lovely pictures. It made it a lot easier. Brenda thanks for the great suggestions too and the encouragement. Thanks so much!
Bonnie

    Bookmark   November 4, 2007 at 12:13PM
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jeanner(SW Ohio - Z6)

Bonnie, I am so glad to help! It's really rather fun to do. And I'm glad you enjoy my pictures, it really makes it more fun for me when I can share them with others.

If they do nest there next year, you ought to participate in Cornells nest box watch program. Every year I hope they nest in my property but they seem to like my neighbor's property better than mine :^(.

Here is a link that might be useful: Cornells birdhouse network

    Bookmark   November 4, 2007 at 9:40PM
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bonnieblueyes

Thank you Jean. If they do come back and nest here i will definitely participate in the nest box program. Thank you for suggesting that. Looks like fun. I didn't get to see them today, to much wind i think :-( We are expecting a cold front and it is really blowing out there. I took all my wind chimes down! LOL... Not so good bird watching weather today. Thank you for the info. Im new to birding and all this is so exciting, thanks for helping me out :-)
Bonnie

    Bookmark   November 5, 2007 at 6:16PM
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gary1-2007

O.k. ....how do I tell a Hosp from others ? where can I go to find pictures? And will other sparrows fight blue birds for the house -or only Hosp.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2008 at 4:37PM
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youreit

I like Cornell's site for bird IDs, when I don't use the book I received for Christmas, anyway. :D

By "hosp", I assume you mean house sparrow. I'm not too hip on that stuff. LOL Below is the Cornell page about house sparrows. Hope that helps!

Brenda

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

    Bookmark   February 25, 2008 at 9:45AM
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jeanner(SW Ohio - Z6)

Gary, the best website that I have found about bluebirds is www.sialis.org. They have alot of information about bluebirds, including how to identify house sparrows (click on the link below and scroll about half way down the page).

As far as I know there are no other sparrows that will use a nesting box or bother bluebirds but there are other native birds that might, such as the house wren. It is illegal to disrupt the nesting activites of any native bird, even if they are competing with bluebirds for your nest boxes.

Hope that helps, good luck with your bluebirds!

Here is a link that might be useful: Everything you wanted to know about bluebirds

    Bookmark   February 25, 2008 at 6:53PM
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