Friday, March 18, 2022

How To Identify Birds, and the Bird I Saw Today

On lucky days I spot a new bird! Today was one of those days.

On my walk in Delaware Park I heard a bird call, a kind of low rumbling call, I never remember hearing. It is hard to describe bird calls and I do not know the correct terminology. However I was able to fix the call in my head so I would remember it.

Then I looked up into the tree I was passing hoping I could see the bird. This time of year, you do not have all the leaves in the way, so sometimes you can. And sure enough! I saw him!

He had a red head. The rest of him was gray. He was making that call and another bird was answering him from another tree.

I got home and found this great site, All About Birds.

They have a feature called Bird ID.  Oh, darn. I am trying to link to Bird ID and now it is demanding my email and stuff. A few minutes ago I was able to get around it somehow by Googling "Northeast US Bird With Red Head." And this site came up, and it let me do Bird ID.

They ask you questions such as, where were you when you saw the bird? Buffalo, N.Y., USA.

Where was the bird? On a beach, on the ground, at a feeder, in a tree? In a tree.

What colors were the bird? They let you choose two and I put "red and gray."

I discarded a few possibilities -- robin, scarlet finch -- because I know robins, duh, and for finch, the call was not right.

About the fourth bird down, though, I had a positive ID. The sound was "a churr, a kwirr." I listened to it to make sure.

It turns out what I saw was a Red-Bellied Woodpecker!

Triumphantly, I clicked a box that said, "Yes, that's my bird!"


I copied the picture from All About Birds and pasted it up above and now I am sitting here regarding it proudly.

A new addition to the mental aviary!

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