Weekly Photo Challenge: Foreign

This was quite a challenge, one that I thought would pass me by. BUT, as you can see, I did find a photo-op that fits the bill! A few days ago I saw a bird out on the deck I had never seen before. It was rather illusive and no matter how hard I tried, I just couldn’t seem to capture its image. Even when there were five or six of the birds, they didn’t hang around long enough for me to do my work! Then two days ago, I ventured out with the camera mounted on a tripod, sat stone still for a very long time hoping to see a bluejay, barely breathing, legs asleep and back aching, when one of the foreign birds lit nearby and began hopping around picking up seed and insects (I suppose) from the deck. Surprisingly, the little guy (or gal) hopped over close to where I sat, long enough for me to get the following shots. Later I pulled out my National Geographic Field Guide to the Birds of North America to identify this beauty. I could find nothing that matched it in the northeastern US. I then checked out the bird application on by iPod, but nothing came up that matched. I returned to the field guide and searched through the book, page by page, until I found an image of what could be my bird. While the likeness was not exact, it was strikingly similar to the photos shown here. Β The problem is that even though these are migratory birds, they are found only in the extreme southwestern US, and down into Mexico. How did they end up coming through northeastern Ohio? Take a look for yourselves. Maybe I’ve misidentified the bird. If so, help me out. But for now this bird looks like a Black Phoebe of the southwestern US and Mexico!

I never did get a shot of a bluejay. And the bird pictured here, along with its cohorts have left the area now, I guess on their way south . . . or to the southwest. Maybe they are some other type of bird that is more common to this area, but for now, to me, they are foreigners passing through. πŸ™‚

 

p.s. After searching further, I’m not so sure now about the identification of this bird. I’m looking to y’all to help me out. It may be a warbler of some sort, but it doesn’t match pictures in any of my bird books or apps.

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22 thoughts on “Weekly Photo Challenge: Foreign

    1. I was with you on this one, but so many people identified it as a Junco that I googled it and found that there are MANY variations of Juncos. Some don’t look like these photos at all. Others are spitting images. So, I’ve decided to call it a Junco. πŸ˜‰ (But I like the idea of it being a ‘foreign’ bird that wandered way off track and stopped in our yard!)

    1. I finally found them on my bird app, only the photo was not quite like these birds. I did not make the connection until several people suggested juncos. The Cornell Lab is absolutely awesome! Thanks for mentioning it.

    1. John, it is so good to see you! Well, with everyone’s help I think it is decided that this bird is a dark-eyed junco. They are cute birds. I hope they come back. Thanks for stopping by. I hope you have a great week.

  1. It’s a dark-eyed junco! I’m looking forward to them spending the winter with us! They are one of my favorite visitors. Thanks for sharing, though you certainly had a tough job getting the photos.

    1. Yes, you must be correct. I’ve gotten a few comments suggesting that this is a dark-eyed junco. I had originally ruled that out, but when I searched the internet I discovered that there are many variations. They are cute birds, and I’ve had fun watching them. Thanks for clearing up the myster. πŸ™‚

  2. I was going to pipe up with “junco,” but it looks like everyone beat me to it (not that I mind). We’ve got a bunch who live in our yard and enjoy our feeders (mostly eating from the ground). My kids and I like them a lot, the way they’re always hopping around with their little buddies. I love to see them in the snow under the feeders come winter.

    1. I noticed that they preferred to eat the seeds that dropped to the deck or on the ground. They are cute birds. But they were here for a few days and then they disappeared leading me to believe they are migratory. Others have told me though, that they will return in the winter. We’ll see. It’s great that you and your kids enjoy bird watching together. I’ve joined the Cornell University Lab on Ornithology’s FeederWatcher program, and will be watching the birds in our backyard throughout the winter, and sending data to Cornel. Google it to find out more info if you think that might be something you and your children would enjoy. πŸ™‚

    1. Thanks Jo. Yes, it was baffling but I found out the birds are more common than I knew, I had just never seen them before. They are gone now but I’m told they may return in the winter. I’ll be looking for them. Thanks for stopping by.

  3. Saw one on my deck overlooking the Milwaukee River this morning. I’m a Californian so I did a double-take thinking it was a Black Phoebe. I found your site by googling “looks like a Black Phoebe.” Didn’t see your posts here so kept looking until I found the “slate-colored” Dark-Eyed Junco. Not in my books either. It may not be a Phoebe but it makes me feel more at home!

  4. 4/7/13 we just had one of these in our yard in Sugarcreek Ohio did you ever find out if it was the black phoebe?

    1. It is NOT a black phoebe. I learned that the black phoebe has a black beak, but the Dark Eyed Junco has the white beak. Many Juncos visited our yard this winter, and I fell in love with these cuties! They are winter birds, sometimes referred to as Snow birds. I don’t know if they will hang around through the summer or not, but my hunch is that they will head north for cooler climes. Thanks for stopping by. We are Ohio residents, too. πŸ™‚

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