What IS That?

Here are a couple of shots taken lately that made me scratch my head.

The first one was taken by leacox at 10:53 a.m. back on Wednesday, November 7:

Image 42254

leacox wrote “hawk from behind – white throat, can barely make out eye and beak,” and then later, “looking at the left wing, can see part of chest then the white bib.” When I first saw the image I didn’t notice the comments, and didn’t see anything. But looking at it more carefully now, I can almost imagine there’s a hawk in there (a juvenile accipiter, maybe?)

I’d be interested in seeing another shot of that same location for comparison purposes, both to get a sense of scale of whatever that might be, and (especially) to see if whatever it is is still there (which it could be, if it’s just a branch or something) or is now very much missing (which it obviously would be, if it’s a hawk). Does anyone know where this shot was taken? Can you get another one at a similar zoom?

Then there’s this shot, which was taken yesterday by vireo at 10:25 a.m. According to vireo, the “ghost bird” captured behind the Pygmy Nuthatch was a jay (which I’m inclined to think would be the Western Scrub-Jay, rather than the Steller’s Jay). It doesn’t exactly look like a Scrub Jay, but I imagine the slow shutter speed and rapid motion of the bird does some pretty wacky things to the image.

Anyway, I’m interested in what users have to say about either of those shots. Thanks.

Image 42931

Update: robin54 got a shot of the same place as leacox’s earlier image, and the “hawk” is still there:

Image 43064

So I think that settles that particular mystery: Not a bird, but a branch, or something.

9 Responses to “What IS That?”

  1. robin55 says:

    I’m not seeing a hawk, but that’s not to say it’s not there ! If I see leacox on line I’ll ask him/her to check the blog. I just LOVE vireo’s shot! I thought it looked like a towhee by the color. Maybe it’s a sparrow.

  2. robin55 says:

    As a child one of my favorite things to do was to imagine the patterns on my bedroom curtains were various animals , flowers and bizarre bugs. It was the fifties, not known for great textile design,and what my Mother was thinking I’ll never know. I always had the most interesting dreams ! I knew this spot looked familiar and found it. See my photo 43064. I couldn’t get as close as leacox without getting a light distortion on half the shot, but the “hawk” is still there . oh well…

  3. elanus says:

    Wow, great work. Thanks for posting that shot. Definitely not a hawk. Glad that mystery is cleared up.

  4. elanus says:

    Oh, and yeah, now that I look at vireo’s shot again, I’m thinking you’re right: Very sparrow-ish. House, Golden-crowned, or White-crowned? Note the longitudinal streaking on the back.

  5. robin55 says:

    What is that revisited – Check this shot 43765 11/15. so cool !

  6. vireo says:

    I think you’re right — some kind of ghost-y sparrow in my shot above. I didn’t see the bird there when I was concentrating on the nuthatch, so it must have jumped in as the
    camera was snapping a picture.

  7. vireo says:

    I can’t get to the web site anymore as of around 11:30 Sunday morning. They may be in the process of shutting it down.

  8. robin55 says:

    I had a hard time signing on, but then made it. I guess they officially pulled the plug on the camera around 3:30 east coast time.

  9. robin55 says:

    David Sibley has an interesting post about seeing birds on his blog : http://sibleyguides.blogspot.com keep scrolling down until you come to the shrike post.

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