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Please help me i.d. this bird!

unk bird again

Can anyone identify this bird? It and another one were foraging on one of our trees in the shade garden. It had a rufous cap, a buff belly, and a greyish brown back. It didn’t have any speckles or barring that I could see. Its legs and bill were black. I tried looking in a bird book but couldn’t find anything that matched it.

*It’s a little smaller than a sparrow, with a longer beak; it wasn’t very timid or nervous while it browsed. It struck me as being round and fat with a relatively large head compared to its body as opposed to being lanky. Its cap wasn’t bright red but was a reddish brown compared to the rest of it.

**I think it’s a bushtit, Psaltriparus minimus

2 comments… add one
  • Christina May 25, 2008, 2:50 pm

    Say’s Phoebe? Western Kingbird? In my Peterson guide I was surprised to see in the WK illustration that it has a little red cap — I don’t think I’ve ever noticed that in the WKs I’ve seen around. The ones I’ve seen aren’t as bright yellow as the guide indicates either, more of a buff.

    What approximate size was it (wren, sparrow, mockingbird, jay, crow?) Tail up or down when perching? Short triangular seed-eating beak or longer, narrow insect eating beak? Any notable behaviors?

  • julia June 3, 2008, 9:27 pm

    Hi Steph, the red on the head and long bill isn’t typical of the bushtit. I’m wondering if it might be a Orange-crowned Warbler (Vermivora celata). The orange crown is typically very faint. It’s nearing the end of their nesting season.

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