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Writing4Fun June 8th, 2005 12:00 PM

Need help identifying a bird...
Hi folks. I just saw a bird in one of the trees in my front yard that I don't think I've ever seen before. I didn't have the camera handy, so I couldn't take a picture for reference. I can't find any good birdwatching sites that will let me browse pictures to find what I'm looking for.

This bird was the size & shape of your standard sparrow or finch. Most of the body was also the same brown colour. But, it had a white band at the eye, and a red cap. It was very cute. :D I hope someone knows what I was looking at!


Trinitie June 8th, 2005 12:10 PM

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Like this one?

raingirl June 8th, 2005 12:11 PM

I love that bird but I ALWAYS forget the name of it. red...something...starts with a t...Common in the wooded areas of Ontario. They had tons of them at my friends cottage. You don't mean a scarlet tanager though?


I need to get a bird book. I love identifying birds.

Lissa June 8th, 2005 12:12 PM

I'm not very knowledgeable about birds but I have a few bird books at home that I can check.
Did you see this bird in the southern ontario area?
Maybe it was a Field Sparrow - but they have more of a pinky colour - on their legs as well.
Or maybe the House Finch - the male has some red on its head but also a bit on the front - the female doesn't have these marking though.
But I don't think either of these have a white eye-marking - I'm not sure though!
Hopefully a knowledgeable bird watcher will be of more help!

Writing4Fun June 8th, 2005 12:19 PM

Trinitie - YES! What's the name? They may very well be hanging out in the bushes at the back of our yard, but that's too far for me to see from the house, and they probably scatter when I get close enough to see them. :p Where did you find that picture?

Raingirl, I wish it was a scarlet tanager! Beautiful! I regret that I can't have a yard full of mature trees. I'd love to attract a bunch of orioles and cardinals. :love: My brother's old house was a great place to bird watch because of all the mature trees. His new house is in a new development - nothing but scrawny saplings and burnt grass. :( We have a great mature maple tree on our front lawn, but that's not enough to attract the rarer birds.

I have seen some neat species while driving around the neighborhood, though. I've seen kingfishers by the river that runs past the golf course, and I swear I saw a bluebird once (no, not a blue jay, a wee bluebird). We gets lots of wild turkeys, some sort of hawks, oodles of finches & sparrows & robins & swallows & starlings ... Can anyone recommend a good birdwatching book?? :D

Writing4Fun June 8th, 2005 12:21 PM

Lissa, we have a pair of house finch nesting in the cedar bush (that's more like a tree these days) up against our house. They've been coming back for a few years now. It's great because the cedar is between the boys' bedroom windows, so they get to wake up to the sounds of the finch singing their lovely morning songs. :love:

Trinitie June 8th, 2005 12:22 PM

Ah, good! I just did a search for the information you provided, and let Google do the rest.

According to [url][/url] , it's a "Chipping Sparrow".

Their website states:

"Chipping Sparrow Spizella passerina (Emberizidae)

Cool Fact- Once among the most common birds in North America this bird declined sharply in the early 20th century. This was most likely due to competition House Sparrow which was becoming more common. Also increase agricultural activity created more habitat for cowbirds which then increasingly parasitized the nests of these birds. Chipping Sparrows have been known to steal hair from dogs and horses to use in their nests.

Field Marks- A tiny, gray-breasted sparrow (significantly smaller than Song and House sparrows) with a bright rufous cap, a white line above the eye, and a black line through the eye.

Occurrence Status- Breeding Bird"

Writing4Fun June 8th, 2005 12:42 PM

[QUOTE=Trinitie]"Chipping Sparrows have been known to steal hair from dogs and horses to use in their nests."[/QUOTE]
That's interesting! I wonder if it was attracted because I've been brushing Phoebe outside, leaving giant carpets of fur across my lawn?

(ETA) That was too funny! I went to that website you posted, Trinitie, and played the bird's song. Phoebe immediately stared up at the ceiling and started doing the head tilt to the point I thought it was going to rotate 360 degrees on her neck. I guess she's more familiar with these birds than I am! :D

Trinitie June 8th, 2005 01:04 PM

LOL! That's a good one!

A friend I had, quite some time ago, played an evil trick on his wife. She would play on the computer during the day, when he was at work (she worked evenings) and when she'd turn it on, it would say, in the husband's voice, "wanna go for a walk?" and their dog would go nuts!!! Funny thing is, she didn't know how to change it from that, and he wouldn't do it. Then he'd turn off the computer at night so she'd HAVE to turn it back on during the day. Silly woman, she didn't think of turning off the speakers!!! Every day, take the dog for a walk because of that. At least the dog was happy! :thumbs up :thumbs up

Writing4Fun June 8th, 2005 01:07 PM

Oh, that is funny!! :D :D I'll have to tell my sister to do that to her son's computer! :evil:

levimh June 8th, 2005 01:07 PM

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I think this is the same bird. My grandmother feeds birds (using bird feeders/bird feed) and I usually see this little bird there, as well as an abundance of others.

Trinitie June 8th, 2005 01:12 PM

Looks the same, but duller. It could be the female.

chico2 June 8th, 2005 04:56 PM

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I just looked it up in my bird-book,but Trinitie was quicker than me,it's a Chipping-sparrow,a member of the Spizella sparrow-family.There are soo many different sparrows.I love the song-sparrow,he sings so pretty...
I have 3 feeders,including a Finch-feeder,right now I am looking at 3 Gold-Finches...I love birdwatching and checking them out in my book.
Here's a not so good picture of"my"finches :D

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