[wisb] Re: Identification of Raven/Crow and Gull, and Pine Grosbeak photos

Sid-
Some feedback here:

I believe your corvid is an American Crow. While this bird may have been
big for a crow, a number of structural characteristics rule out Common
Raven. Ravens have a huge schnozz. Just HUGE. This bird's bill is not big
enough to make it a Raven. Additionally, Ravens have a wedge-shaped tail -
this bird's looks pretty rounded, although this is very difficult to be
sure of in a perched photo. I've never heard it expressed as an ID
characteristic, but one thing that stands out between your bird and a
selection of Common Raven images from google is that it's missing hackles.
I feel like your bird should show more texture on the throat from the long
feathers that ravens show, as well. The ID hardcores on this list may
disagree with me on that one, though.

Another one - your Grosbeaks are House Finches. They're red, carmine,
almost vermilion. Pine Grosbeak males tend toward the pink side of things.
Male Pine Grosbeaks are also evenly pink on the face, and your bird has
that brown patterning on the cheek and ear that is characteristic of House
Finches. And that's another hint - male PIGR aren't very brown anywhere,
and your bird has a fair bit of brownish on the wings. He also lacks white
wing bars.

Both species are tied to the north woods, as well. Ravens seem to be
expanding perhaps, and do make it as far south as the Baraboo Hills. Pine
Grosbeaks (as far as I know) probably don't get to south Wisconsin except
in irruption years, and this doesn't seem to be one for them, so finding
PIGR this year that far south would be highly unusual.

Good birding, and great photos!

Jesse Ellis
Madison, WI

On Wed, Feb 29, 2012 at 3:26 PM, Sidney Hamm <sidney.hamm@xxxxxxx> wrote:

> Greetings,
>  There is a question on whether this is a Raven or Crow, and whether a
> Raven has been seen in Southeaster Wisconsin:
>
> http://thebirdpoint.wordpress.com/category/northern-raven/
>
> Can anyone help to identify this Gull type:
>
> https://picasaweb.google.com/hammsidney/Identification
>
> For anyone else who would like to see Pine Grosbeak photos taken at Bong
> SRA:
>
> https://picasaweb.google.com/hammsidney/PineGrosbeak
>
> Thanks,
>
>
> Sid Hamm     Muskego    Waukesha County
>
>
>
>
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-- 
Jesse Ellis
Post-doctoral Researcher
Dept. of Zoology
University of Wisconsin - Madison
Madison, Dane Co, WI


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