Change Is Hard

…but change is certain.

Bad bird photos

37 Comments

It’s not that the birds are bad. No, the birds are, as always, just being birds. It’s the images I got of them that are bad. But I have an excuse.

From the backside of this large-ish brown speckeled bird, can you tell what he or she is?

I was grabbing quick shots of birds that I wanted to identify — birds that are not usually at my feeders or standing still in my yard here in lower Michigan.

Sharing the feeder with a bluejay so you can get an idea how big the brown bird is.

I was shooting from across a room because I couldn’t get close to the window in fear of scaring them away. And of course the windows are filthy.

Blury, but you can see the shape of the head. From the beak I thought maybe woodpecker, but young red bellied woodpeckers (about this size) have white stripes across the back. If you look close there is an adult red bellied woodpecker on the other side of that suet.

On top of all that the light was bad both days.

Today this guy showed up. What kind of hawk do you think it is?

But still, there’s enough here to identify these two…right? So….I need help…any ideas what they are?

Dirty windows, bad light and extreme cropping doesn’t hide how beautiful he or she is.

Author: dawnkinster

I'm a long time banker having worked in banks since the age of 17. I took a break when I turned 50 and went back to school. I graduated right when the economy took a turn for the worst and after a year of library work found myself unemployed. I was lucky that my previous bank employer wanted me back. So here I am again, a long time banker. Change is hard.

37 thoughts on “Bad bird photos

  1. Dawn–these are pretty! Ha! From your title, I thought you were channeling ‘Angry Birds.’ 😀 So I got out a ‘Backyard Birds of Florida’ guide we have…I know–Florida. But, hopefully, someone else can clarify. The first bird (from the rear) looks like it might be a Northern Flicker. The speckled underbelly and long beak look similar to the picture in the guide. The other bird–what a great shot that is!!–maybe a Cooper’s Hawk.
    I hope someone who knows birds w/o looking at a guide from a totally different state responds.

    Like

  2. I love the title but they are not as bad as you think.
    In fact – I like the originality and rawness of them.
    You know – I sometimes get more than enough super Uber professional good bird shots and so quite often I find these originals to be fresh and moody and filled with personality –
    Something about catching the moment – there will be times for clean windows and ideal daylight – and those pics will have a different mood – ya know

    Like

    • Thank you. I particularly like the hawk with his foot out…he had just scratched his armpit with his foot. He took off shortly after this shot. I was lucky to see him out there. I’m sure he’s around more than I realize. I first saw him out the kitchen window, with my camera at the other end of the house. He was sitting on my deck railing facing the house and I was afraid to move, so I just stood there and watched him watch me. Then he flew off and I went out into the living room and saw that he was sitting on the dog pen. And my camera was right there. So I shot this from the other side of the living room, at an odd angle through the window….but he was so cool I’m glad I did. Love his long spotted feathers in the front.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I immediately thought European Starling when I saw the butt shot. It doesn’t look as much like a starling in the other shots but it might be a juvenile or just winter plumage. I don’t know of another bird with that kind of speckling. It’s definitely not a northern flicker.

    Was the hawk a small one? I’m thinking it’s a juvenile sharp-shinned or Cooper’s hawk. Hopefully someone who is good at IDing hawks will come along and know for sure.

    Like

    • You are so right about the European Starling. I had never seen this bird before, I looked up European Starling and see that this was a female. I’ve seen the males around mostly in summer, never saw the females before. She had to be hungry, I saw her first on the suet. She’s been back once, also on the suet. She checked out the flat feeder but wasn’t all that interested. I know we have the males at the feeder once in awhile but I don’t put up suet in the summer so odds are they aren’t really feeding at my feeder during the summer, just checking it out. So glad I saw her! She’s really cute.

      Like

  4. Funny, I was originally thinking “Angry Birds” as well! 😀

    Like

  5. I believe that’s a Red Shouldered Hawk that you have a picture of. We have some at the Peace River Wildlife Center where I volunteer. I think a Coopers Hawk is more brown in color. Either that or a Red Tailed Hawk.

    Like

  6. I think your Hawk might be an immature one.. Yes I will guess Flicker for the first bird:) Just guesses:)

    Like

  7. I think European Starling and Blue Jay for the first photo. I have a lot of trouble with hawks – get the red tail when it’s flying. Standing still confuses me.

    Like

    • I think you are right about the European Starling…I’ve never seen the female before, so this bird was startling when I first saw her. After someone suggested European Starling I looked them up in my Michigan bird book. Apparently we have them here all year. I’ve seen the males on my feeder sometimes in the summer, but have never seen a female before. She was on the suet, when I first saw her. She came back a second day for more suet, so that must be her winter thing.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. That first guy looks like a starling to me. He’s got a short tail and all those speckles. Like so many of your fans I have trouble with hawks. If you get another chance with him, tell him you need to seethe front and back of his tail.

    Like

    • I’ll let him know. The first one is a European Starling. I had never seen a female before. I looked it up after someone suggested it and for sure that’s what she was. I have the males in the yard in the summer, but had never seen (or noticed) the female before. I love her polka dots.

      Like

  9. Your photos are WONDERFUL!! I agree with what others have written about the rawness of them. The cameras doesn’t focus on the dirty windows so we all can’t tell. Funny, I’ve shared photos that I believe are bad or fuzzy or… But when uploaded and shared they are fine. And I get great feedback!! You are lucky to have so many pretty birds right outside your window! BEAUTIFUL! ❤️😃👍

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am very lucky to have so many wonderful birds (and other critters) in my backyard. I have lots of little birds at my feeder and sometimes a few bigger ones too. The red bellied woodpecker is a regular, probably the biggest bird that eats here. The bigger hawks, pilated woodpeckers, herons, crows, come and go through the yard looking for little birds and other things for lunch.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I think you’re being too hard on yourself — sometimes, we just need to go with what we’ve got! At least we’re able to see what you saw. I’ve no clue what these birdies are; however, I can assure you, I bring Dallas inside FAST when I see hawks circling overhead! I don’t seriously think one could scoop him up for dinner, but I’m not willing to experiment, ha!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Even if the hawk couldn’t scoop him up, he could still be injured by those sharp toes, see that foot on that thing!!! The brown bird is an European Starling….female. Very very cool. I’d never seen one before.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I’m not sure what kinds of birds they are, but good job stalking and capturing them with your lens, Dawn. I just filled my feeder in my backyard. Now if I can keep the pesky squirrels away!

    Like

  12. Love the claw action. From our book looks like immature Coopers. But it is so hard to ID Hawks.

    Like

  13. Late to the party, but I also think you had a European Starling and Cooper’s Hawk visiting your yard. Those speckled/polka dotted feathers are just gorgeous!

    The pictures are awesome, Dawn! How many times do we only have a memory because we did not have our camera, had a full memory card, or our batteries died and we forgot to bring the spare? 😊

    Like

    • Oh more times than I can count! Have had some awesome opportunities when I wasn’t ready. On the other hand I took my camera today and the light was so dead that I never even stopped anywhere for a shot of anything.

      Like

  14. I protest. The title of this post is incorrect. These are good bird photos. Or did you mean to tell us that you were taking good photos of bad birds? That’d be perfectly understandable.

    Like

  15. Nice. I really like the hawk photos. After reading the comments, I googled “immature cooper’s hawk”, and yep, that’s what it is.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. So I was at the wildlife center these past few weekends. Thought I would share a few things that might help you in the future. first, there is a free app called Merlin which is great for helping to identify birds, and also teaching you about some that share a lot of the same characteristics and might be mistaken for each other. Also, there is a webpage that one of the employees recommended to me called Allaboutbirds.org. He said it is good if you want reliable, accurate info! And also, I think that last guy is a red-shouldered hawk. They are a lot smaller than the red-tailed hawks and more common to be seen. Plus, by looking at his back, it seems to be less uniform in color than a lot of red-tailed hawks. That is another way of differentiating between the two. I hope that helps. We have both at our center.

    Like

  17. I am super nerding out here, but check out this page!! https://academy.allaboutbirds.org/course-list/

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s