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Re: [OrangeCountyBirding] Mystery Bird - SJWS

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  • Thomasabenson@aol.com
    Ryan, Your mystery bird appears to be a female Great-tailed Grackle. Tom Benson San Bernardino, CA ... From: mrsmeckle To:
    Message 1 of 2 , Aug 31, 2012

      Your mystery bird appears to be a female Great-tailed Grackle.

      Tom Benson
      San Bernardino, CA

      -----Original Message-----
      From: mrsmeckle <rswinkleman@...>
      To: OrangeCountyBirding <OrangeCountyBirding@yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Fri, Aug 31, 2012 12:00 pm
      Subject: [OrangeCountyBirding] Mystery Bird - SJWS

      Saw an odd bird at SJWS yesterday evening. Couldn't figure it out so I
      snapped some pictures to review later. One thing I can't emphasize
      enough: these are horrible, terrible photos. I was shooting through
      willow branches and into the sun. They're washed out and difficult to
      see and it may be unidentifiable. Because of the specific spot it was
      at, I couldn't find a good viewpoint that didn't have branches in the
      way but still gave a clear view of the bird, and then once I did it
      took off and I didn't see it again.

      Its bill is relatively distinctive, this may be the one saving grace to
      the photos. As it flew over it was making "churk" type calls similar to
      a blackbird, but it doesn't look like a blackbird. You can see that its
      got a distinctive and odd white pattern on its head (possibly related
      to a change in plumage?), and it appears to have a visible iris in a
      couple of the photos. While its back appears to have a blue base color
      in one photo, in person it appeared more reddish; this was probably due
      to the sun. You can see the tail feathers in the photos appear red. I
      would estimate length as 8-9 inches or so.

      The photos are located in the "Mystery Birds" folder. If this ends up
      just being some weird scrub-jay or something I'll be disappointed (and

      Thanks for taking a look!

      Ryan Winkleman


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