Thursday, April 24, 2008

NAME THAT BIRD!!

OK, here's a puzzle for you - this bird was in my famous "bird tree" this morning. It was stark black and white - no "light tricks" - it was as black and white as a woodpecker! It otherwise looked very much like a female red-winged BB, but there was NOTHING brown about it. Also I think it was maybe a bit larger than a RWBB. I sent the photo along to my expert, who sent it on to her experts. Nobody is sure. One guess is a bi-colored blackbird, but they are supposed to be only in CA - this is a long way from CA! Another guess is a RWBB with "color problems." Anybody game to guess?
UPDATE: The consensus is that it is an immature female red-winged blackbird, who just happens to be black and white instead of brown. It was beautiful.

9 comments:

pnfphotography said...

We have Red Wing Blackbirds here and I have not seen one that looks like that. Did you happen to hear the call the bird makes?

Abraham Lincoln said...

This is a red-wing blackbird and can be seen on plate 560 in my Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Birds. This one is related to the Orioles and is smaller than a Robin. The male has those bright red shoulder patches. Female and young are heavily streaked with dusty brown.

That would be my guess and it looks like this in the book I mentioned.

John Theberge said...

It looks like the female red wing blackbirds I have in my neighborhood, just a darker version.

kjpweb said...

I second that - here's an image be Arthur Morris:
http://www.birdsasart.com/red-winged%20Blackbird.jpg

Cheers, Klaus

The Birdlady said...

PNF - It didn't call while I was watching it, but it did make sort of BB sounds...I have never seen anything like it before either.

Abe - This one had NO brown, which was what confused me - it was really balck and white, and a little bigger than the other RWBBs. I understand there is also a photo in the Nat Geographic field guide with a B&W RWBB. I'll look when I go to the store today. There I have every field guide; here at home, I use Peterson and Stokes. Thanks!

John - Thanks; looks like you're right on the money.

Klaus - I could get the page to come up, but I think this is unanimous - we'll take her as a RWBB. Thank you!

Sandpiper said...

I vote for RWBB female, too. Beautiful images.

The Birdlady said...

Thanks Lin - No dissenting votes, so RW she is!

Bird Girl said...

Great shots of your 'black and white red-winged blackbird' (not that was a mouthful ;-)
I often wonder how confused those birders before us were-- before there WERE experts and books and images and googling for IDs.

TSannie said...

grackel or grakel