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upat5
Nov 26, 2016 9:49 AM CST
Could someone give me some suggestions as to what species of bird I keep starling?

I live in Northern VA in the woods...property has patches of woodland but this bird is generally in an area that has shrubby cover but is also adjacent to septic field (meadow-y). It is always on the ground. It is not a passerine...too "heavy-bodied" and is not a turkey. When it flies away I catch sight of "dark peach-y(sorry not good at colours) feathers. It is compact, not large like a turkey and it makes an alarm call that is sort of chittery. I don't think it's a hawk because it's in the same vicinity every morning (doubt it would hunt in the same place every day) and doesn't "sound" like a hawk. Any suggestions would be helpful! Thank-you!
Name: Becky
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)
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beckygardener
Nov 26, 2016 11:13 AM CST
Any chance of taking a photo of this bird?
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Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)

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plantladylin
Nov 26, 2016 11:20 AM CST
I wonder if it could be a Ruffed Grouse or the Northern Bobwhite?

Ruffed Grouse:
http://www.audubon.org/field-g...
https://www.allaboutbirds.org/...

Northern Bobwhite:
http://www.audubon.org/field-g...
http://www.pwconserve.org/wild...
https://www.allaboutbirds.org/...
~ Playing in the dirt is my therapy ... and I'm in therapy a lot! ~


Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)

Region: United States of America Deer Region: Florida Charter ATP Member Million Pollinator Garden Challenge I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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plantladylin
Nov 26, 2016 11:25 AM CST
I forgot to say, you can scroll down those pages to hear vocals for comparison also!
~ Playing in the dirt is my therapy ... and I'm in therapy a lot! ~


Name: Christine
North East Texas (Zone 7b)
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wildflowers
Nov 26, 2016 1:32 PM CST
Have you browsed through Audubon's bird guide? http://www.audubon.org/bird-gu...

May your life be like a wildflower, growing freely in the beauty and joy of each day --Native American Proverb


upat5
Nov 26, 2016 1:39 PM CST
Thank-you both for your help!

Becky: No chance for a photo. It is in an area that I barricaded w/branches to keep the deer (and myself apparently Smiling )out. So for about 3 weeks now I disturb this bird every time I go out for a morning walk and walk past this barricaded patch...guess it feels safe there. Even if I had a good camera I don't think I'd get a good look at it.

Lin: Probably not the grouse...according to range maps they'd be extremely rare in my area....I'm at the southern edge of their range. I don't think the bobwhite fits either because of the colours. The bobwhite is about the size but the colour is closer to the masked bobwhite which is not in my range.

Oddly enough I'm leaning towards the american woodcock....colour fits and vocals seem chittery...and with the warm weather we are having the robins are still going after earthworms and apparently woodcocks go for these too until the ground freezes...so maybe it is a wayward woodcock Smiling

Name: Morgan
IL (Zone 5b)
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molanic
Nov 26, 2016 4:07 PM CST
American Woodcock is the first thing that came to my mind before I even saw your last post! Everything you said describes it perfectly. Ebird shows recent sightings in northern Virginia too. They are most often seen when they are startled and flushed out of their camouflage cover like you said. I've only seen one once and I think it got lost and ended up in our suburban backyard, nowhere near any significant fields or forest. My dog startled it and it took off... leaving the yard. But, I got a quick look at it and determined there was nothing else it could be. I thought I would never see it again, but it came back a couple of times that day and was accidentally startled by us again before it left for good. They really blend in well to brush. Like you said a picture might be difficult, but if you can do video or at least record the sound, that may be enough for a definitive id.

They are pretty odd looking birds!
https://www.allaboutbirds.org/...
Name: Margaret
Near Kamloops, BC, Canada (Zone 3a)
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mcash70
Nov 26, 2016 5:59 PM CST
Cool bird. Thumbs up
Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)

Region: United States of America Deer Region: Florida Charter ATP Member Million Pollinator Garden Challenge I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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plantladylin
Nov 26, 2016 6:43 PM CST
Ooh, the American Woodcock sure is a pretty one! They resemble some of the shorebirds with their size, shape and that long bill. The Audubon website: http://www.audubon.org/field-g... shows them as year round common residents farther north in Florida where we lived for 43 years and it shows them as winter residents in this part of the state but I've never seen one; I'd love to see those around!
~ Playing in the dirt is my therapy ... and I'm in therapy a lot! ~



upat5
Nov 27, 2016 7:55 AM CST
I'd love to set eyes on it too! I am in Appalachian mountain forest up here and we are usually frozen solid tundra by now so this is probably a rare opportunity for me too! It would look really strange to come across a shorebird in these woods. Sad thing I read is that they are actually hunted....I am surrounded by neighbours that hunt so hope it sticks around here until temps get very cold!
Name: Cheryl
Brownstown, Pennsylvania (Zone 6b)
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nativeplantlover
Nov 29, 2016 9:35 AM CST
Hi upat5,

I tip my hat to you. to you if you really are up that early each day! You mentioned that the American Woodcock is hunted. I hate to admit that my father once shot one mistaking it for something else. I was a child and rather upset but do remember handling its small body and observing it carefully.

Here's a link to its various calls:
https://www.allaboutbirds.org/...
"My work is loving the world. Here the sunflowers, there the hummingbird — equal seekers of sweetness. Here the clam deep in the speckled sand. Are my boots old? Is my coat torn? Am I no longer young, and still not half-perfect? Let me keep my mind on what matters, which is my work which is mostly standing still and learning to be astonished." — Mary Oliver, from Messenger

upat5
Dec 1, 2016 1:48 PM CST
Cheryl,

Thank-you but it is the only time in the day I can be alone (with my coffee) outside Smiling
I think I know how you felt...a couple of years ago I picked up a little dead bird that had flown into one of our windows....I had never seen anything like it...turns out is was an ovenbird....if it hadn't flown into the window I'd never even known they were in this area but what a sacrifice....really rather not have known Crying I have encountered the woodcock a few more times....never really caught more than a flash as it flaps away...the last time I disturbed it, there was a melee of crows, hawks and ravens overhead... crows chasing ravens and hawks and ravens chasing hawks...gets really noisy around here sometimes....hope the woodcock was safe from the hawks and ravens!

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