Friday, September 28, 2007

HUH???!!!


Thanks to Bart Stephens, of Wingscapes, ( if you love checking out your feeder, you must have this little tool) we are stumped!
We recently sent this photo to our local expert, Phil Davis, who is a board member of the MD-DC Records Committee of the Maryland Ornithological Society, and also has an amazing list of birds in the ABA area.
Help! Phil? Anyone?


9 comments:

John said...

My guess is that it is a chickadee with an overabundance of melanin since that is the best fit for the bird's shape. Variable light and contrast may also be at work, but I think the apparent facial pattern is real. The obvious guess would be Carolina, though I notice that Boreal chickadees have ruddier flanks and plain wings. I'm not sure if any Old World species would fit better.

I hope it returns so that you can figure out what it is!

Warren & Lisa Strobel said...

John - many thanks for taking the time to check this out... We are having a blast trying to figure out what this bird is, and enjoying pulling birding friends who are more experienced than us in to help...

The general consensus so far seems to be that it's a Chickadee, or at least from that family, but either one with a genetic mutation or a non-Eastern species.

We're loving DC Birder as much as ever. But must say we miss your observations and comments and photos on Washington-related birding and environmental issues...

Hope you're enjoying the new territory!
Warren & Lisa

Larry said...

That is quite interesting!-I always send my photos to Birdforum if I'm stumped.-It does look like some version of a Chickadee to me too.

Nervous Birds said...

red-breasted nut-chickadee?

I really must get one of these cameras!

Anonymous said...

Common Redstart (a European chat), male -- now...the big question is, how did it get to Annapolis?? Perhaps by ship?

Has it come back?

Warren & Lisa Strobel said...

Anonymous: Opinion seems to breaking down along four lines:

_ Common Redstart

_ Carolina or Boreal Chickadee, with weird plumage morph

_ Red-Breasted Nuthatch

_ Trick of the light or malfunctioning camera.

What a mystery! Sadly, it has not come back.

John said...

I still try to follow and write about some of the DC-area issues, but it is harder since I don't hear as much about them. Plus I want to shift into covering some NJ issues too.

N8 said...

It looks to me like perfectly normal Black-capped Chickadee. No light trick, no hybird. He's tilted his head off to the right. What you are saying is the head is actually his chin.

Warren & Lisa Strobel said...

Chickadee with head turned seems to be the growing (although not complete) consensus...

Black-capped chickadees are rather uncommon in this part of Maryland, however. We're south of the Carolina/Black-Capped range overlap... At least we were.