Birders notoriously find it difficult to tell Short-billed and Long-billed Dowitchers apart. I have got a request to do an identification explanation on them so here goes, I hope it will be helpful.
Short-billed Dowitchers and Long-billed look so similar. Using their habitat is helpful but not diagnostic. Short-billed Dowitchers tend to prefer Salt water and brackish water and Long-billed Dowitchers tend to prefer fresh water. However, I have OFTEN seen Short-billeds in freshwater and Long-billeds in brackish and salt water.
Therefore, DO NOT rely on habitat.
Another feature many people will tell you to rely on is spotting on the side of the flanks of Short-billeds and barring on the side of Long-billeds. Usually this is a mark that you can use but it is not always as distinct as you like. I have seen Short-billeds with a barred appearance to the flanks. It is only at the side of the breast where you have to look for this diagnostic feature for the spots on a Short-billed and the bar…
As per request, here are some tips that I hope will be helpful in identifying and differentiating Red-necked Stint from Little Stint. I will also do a brief intro on Long-toed and Temminck's Stint... if you build it they will come right?😉
I get several questions about the difference between accipiters. The most common ones are between Sharp-shinned Hawks and Cooper's Hawks and between Cooper's Hawks vs Northern Goshawks (to a lesser degree). Next, I get many questions dealing with a certain race of buteos the Western Red-tailed Hawk and Harlan's. So I thought I would do a post on these to help answer those questions.
I will deal with Cooper's and Sharpies and not Goshawks because they are much more common here and look much more alike. My friend John Reynolds inspired me to write this up.
COOPER'S AND SHARP-SHINNED HAWKS EYE COLOUR - YELLOW OR ORANGE? RED? Normally a juvenile Cooper's hawk has a bright yellow eye and a Juvie Sharpie has a orange eye but some cooper's can have a dull yellow eye that looks a bit orangish. Cooper's Hawks usually only transition to the orange eye colour when they are sub adults, so in good light, it's a very very reliable feature. However you can't rel…
Seeing an owl anytime is special, they are rare and beautiful and when they look at you, you are entranced. You can't blame people for being excited when they see one. It's a thrill! Especially when you see ones that you don't normally see in the area you live, like the ones from the Boreal. This year I successfully completed an owl big year, seeing all 19 North American Species. So no one has to tell me twice, how special they are.
Speaking of Owls, here is a gorgeous photo of a painting of a Snowy Owl that young birder Viktor Vandereyk completed recently. Man these youth are talented!
It seems this year may be a flight year for Snowy Owls in the Lower
Mainland. Time will tell. Snowy Owls are here now and getting lots of
attention. Photos are posted on Facebook and sightings are all over eBird.
This year many incidents have occurred already. People have witnessed a Snowy Owl flushed 4 times in 30 mins by photographers approaching it on both sides. Another one was ca…
Ilya and I went down for eight days to Southeastern Arizona, it was one rarity and fun-filled trip. Day 1, we went to Encanto Park and picked up the Rosy-faced Lovebirds and then went to Tonopah, where we found multiple nesting Black-tailed Gnatcatchers, some Brewer's Sparrows, Verdins, a Horned Lark and one very accommodating Bendire's Thrasher with 2 Crissal Thrashers. There was unfortunately no sign of a Le Conte's Thrasher. This is usually the best spot in the state for this species.
On Day 2 we went to Mt Lemmon where we went to Rose Canyon Lake and had Virginia's, Olive, Grace's, Red-facedWarblers and Plumbeous Vireos... just to name a few!.
We finished the night at Madera Canyon where we stayed at Kubo B&B. I highly recommend the quaint cabins there which puts you direct into the bird action by both day and night. We did some owling and nightjaring and got good views of an Elf Owl. We also had a Northern Pygmy-owl, Whiskered Screech and Grear Horned Owl. We …