Garden birds from Detroit

  • mossie
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7 years 5 months ago #25369 by mossie
mossie created the topic: Garden birds from Detroit
On my 3.5 day trip to the USA (I must be mad travelling 4 days for this!) I managed to fit in a weekend visit to a relative in Detroit. Hopefully the ID's are correct.


House Finch


Female Cowbird


Male Cowbird


Female Golden Finch


The ubiquitous American Robin


Cedar Waxwing


Mourning Dove


Mr and Mrs Mallard


My trusty friend Mr House Sparrow, now seen by me in 30 different countries!

Also seen was a red winged blackbird, Northern Mocking bird, Red tailed Hawk, and the ever present Common Starling and ferrel pigeon.

Mossie

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  • darth bangkok
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7 years 5 months ago #25375 by darth bangkok
darth bangkok replied the topic: Re: Garden birds from Detroit
That's good list for a quick trip to a city! The Id's look correct. The cowbird is brown-headed cowbird. The finch could also be purple finch I think if its not house finch.

Cheers,
Brian

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  • Doug
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7 years 5 months ago #25380 by Doug
Doug replied the topic: Re: Garden birds from Detroit
Nice pics.

Just one question. Is it the way your pic came out or are the House Sparrows in the US a lot more richly coloured than the ones in SA?

Cheers.
Doug.

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7 years 5 months ago #25400 by mossie
mossie replied the topic: Re: Garden birds from Detroit
Hi Doug

Just one question. Is it the way your pic came out or are the House Sparrows in the US a lot more richly coloured than the ones in SA?


That was one of the first things I noticed, was the rich colours. I would like to have said that it was the sterling effects of my brand new canon EF 400mm f5.6L USM lens (I used it for 5 mins at the feeder before my camera battery went flat) and that the 10k I spent was worth every cent, but you are right.

In fact, I would go further to say that in almost every place I have been I have noticed local variation to the colouration of house sparrows. Take a trip up to Kenya, and you will see that many of our local birds vary in colour size and call.

You may find that in 10 thousand years time, the sparrows may even become separate species! What really fascinates me, is the driving force behind the local variation? It can be stochastic, and due to population bottlenecks, but there may be breeding or survival advantages to the colouration. If I remember correctly, the HS from Finland are also dark in colour, perhaps a response to cold/ thermoregulation?

On Darth's note: correct, brown headed cowbird. An interesting species with a nice call and it is a brood parasite.
I also toyed with purple and house finch. I think I settled for house finch on the basis of red colouring on rump, but I am open to correction.

Mossie

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  • darth bangkok
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7 years 5 months ago #25401 by darth bangkok
darth bangkok replied the topic: Re: Garden birds from Detroit
Mossie,

Your post made me check my records - I've seen House Sparrow in 6 countries, a ways to go!

Cheers

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  • Dave Shedman
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7 years 5 months ago #25422 by Dave Shedman
Dave Shedman replied the topic: Re: Garden birds from Detroit
It was only when I started photographing birds that I realised House Sparrows can be quite colourful little birds, not the drab, brown LBJ I had always thought them to be. Here are some Scottish House Sparrows for comparison. Taken with a cheap compact, generally through a less than clean double-glazed window, so not fantastic quality but it shows how colourful they British ones also are.

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