Poor shot, but can you identify this bird?

Started 4 months ago | Questions
Flycaster
Flycaster Senior Member • Posts: 1,874
Poor shot, but can you identify this bird?
1

So, there was this very tiny bird rapidly flitting within tree branches.  I certainly wasn't ready for it, but I was able to capture a 1/4 decent shot of it.  I tried looking it up in Merlin (smaller than a sparrow, flitting around tree branches, white belly and bluish top, southeast Florida, water reclamation area,) but I'm not a birder and not too good at identifying, and couldn't make an ID. Bird may have been a juvenile? Hoping out of curiosity someone can make an ID of this bird's so-so image.  Thanks.

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ANSWER:
Erik Ohlson
Erik Ohlson Forum Pro • Posts: 22,377
Re: Poor shot, but can you identify this bird?
1

Flycaster wrote:

So, there was this very tiny bird rapidly flitting within tree branches. I certainly wasn't ready for it, but I was able to capture a 1/4 decent shot of it. I tried looking it up in Merlin (smaller than a sparrow, flitting around tree branches, white belly and bluish top, southeast Florida, water reclamation area,) but I'm not a birder and not too good at identifying, and couldn't make an ID. Bird may have been a juvenile? Hoping out of curiosity someone can make an ID of this bird's so-so image. Thanks.

I don't know if you have them in Florida, but if that was in my yard here in California, I'd say a Magpie: Black, white on wings, pretty long tail; black beak - but our "Coast Range" magpies have yellow beaks unlike those in the rest of the country, so I really can't help much from here.

Any purple iridescence when it took off? Magpies have iridescent feather son their backs.

Why not slip down to your library & look it up? They'll have books in ID'ing local birds.

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Hawkowl Senior Member • Posts: 2,368
Re: Poor shot, but can you identify this bird?
1

LOL, I've never been to Florida or seen this bird but I also became curious about its I.D. so started checking google images and wonder if it might be a Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher?

You said smaller than a sparrow and this description from surfbirds.com seems to fit:

".....A small songbird.....adults are blue-gray on the upper parts with white underparts, with a long slender bill and a long black tail.   They have a white eyering."

Regards

Marcia

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Flycaster
OP Flycaster Senior Member • Posts: 1,874
Re: Poor shot, but can you identify this bird?

Erik Ohlson wrote:

I don't know if you have them in Florida, but if that was in my yard here in California, I'd say a Magpie: Black, white on wings, pretty long tail; black beak - but our "Coast Range" magpies have yellow beaks unlike those in the rest of the country, so I really can't help much from here.

Any purple iridescence when it took off? Magpies have iridescent feather son their backs.

Why not slip down to your library & look it up? They'll have books in ID'ing local birds.

Thanks, Eric, but I don't think it is a magpie as the bird definitely has a bluish top and I really didn't see any black on top.

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Flycaster
OP Flycaster Senior Member • Posts: 1,874
Re: Poor shot, but can you identify this bird?

Hawkowl wrote:

LOL, I've never been to Florida or seen this bird but I also became curious about its I.D. so started checking google images and wonder if it might be a Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher?

You said smaller than a sparrow and this description from surfbirds.com seems to fit:

".....A small songbird.....adults are blue-gray on the upper parts with white underparts, with a long slender bill and a long black tail. They have a white eyering."

Regards

Marcia

Hey Marcia, I think you got it. Merlin did list this as one of the possibilities and there was a picture of it in my Florida Bird Book, but not being a birder and the captured image was poor, I missed it.

For those who might be interested, this site shows Gnatcatcher's much better than my capture:

https://www.google.com/search?q=gnatcatcher&tbm=isch&hl=en&chips=q:gnatcatcher,g_1:florida:3oFIaBbHLD8%3D,online_chips:blue+grey+gnatcatcher:Dw0t5oK074M%3D&client=firefox-b-1-d&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwj4797o6pzzAhXeEt8KHbQCB1wQ4lYoBXoECAEQHg&biw=1270&bih=600

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kkardster
kkardster Forum Pro • Posts: 10,115
Re: Poor shot, but can you identify this bird?

I must have better luck with Merlin as it almost always gets it right.

Merlin concurs with others here.

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Flycaster
OP Flycaster Senior Member • Posts: 1,874
Re: Poor shot, but can you identify this bird?

kkardster wrote:

I must have better luck with Merlin as it almost always gets it right.

Merlin concurs with others here.

Yeah, Merlin gets it right, but I didn't recognize it.  Yes, the gnatcatcher was among a choice of birds, but to me, its image as Merlin presented, just didn't look like my bird...although, I must say, I at the time I did think the gnatcatcher could have been my bird, but I lacked confidence to make a definitive determination.

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Erik Ohlson
Erik Ohlson Forum Pro • Posts: 22,377
Re: Poor shot, but can you identify this bird?

Flycaster wrote:

kkardster wrote:

I must have better luck with Merlin as it almost always gets it right.

Merlin concurs with others here.

Yeah, Merlin gets it right, but I didn't recognize it. Yes, the gnatcatcher was among a choice of birds, but to me, its image as Merlin presented, just didn't look like my bird...although, I must say, I at the time I did think the gnatcatcher could have been my bird, but I lacked confidence to make a definitive determination.

Looks to me like the Knatcatcher wins - although yours certainly has the body feathers pressed closer to the body. That body shape was a big part of my idea about it.

Fun !!

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arnoud venema
arnoud venema Senior Member • Posts: 1,144
Re: Poor shot, but can you identify this bird?

What ever bird it is, your "poor" shot shows a very nice bird with plenty details.

Arnoud

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keep on shooting!

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Flycaster
OP Flycaster Senior Member • Posts: 1,874
Re: Poor shot, but can you identify this bird?

arnoud venema wrote:

What ever bird it is, your "poor" shot shows a very nice bird with plenty details.

Arnoud

Thanks, Arnoud, but as this image has been heavily processed and although about as much detail as possible (at least in my hands) has been brought out, I feel if the shot was better, there would have been less need for heavy processing and still a lack of detail in my eyes.  Anyway, thanks again.

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