Readers’ wildlife photos

November 21, 2021 • 8:00 am

Today is Sunday, which means we get a themed batch of bird photos from biologist John Avise.  His IDs and narrative are indented, and you can enlarge the photos by clicking on them.

LBJ ‘s

Expert birders (and I’m not really one of them) take great pleasure in identifying even the most difficult of birds, including those that many non-birders derisively dismiss as “LBJs” (Little Brown Jobbers).  Many of these LBJs are sparrows (family Emberizidae) that I highlighted in an earlier WEIT post (see North American Sparrows)

This week I’ll show several additional LBJs that belong to a diverse array of other passeriform families.  About all that unites this selection of birds is that they basically share brown-motif plumages.

All of these pictures were taken in Southern California.

Bewick’s Wren (Thryomanes bewickii):

House Wren (Troglodytes aedon):

Cactus Wren (Campylorhynchus brunneicapillus):

Brown-headed Cowbird male (Molothrus ater):

Brown-headed Cowbird female:

Brown-headed Cowbird juvenile:

Bushtit male (Psaltriparus minimus):

Bushtit female:

House Finch female (Carpodacus mexicanus):

Nutmeg Mannikin juvenile (Lonchura punctulata) [JAC: It’s also known as the scaly-breasted munia]:

Rock Wren (Salpinctes obsoletus):

Pine Siskin (Carduelis pinus):

Say’s Phoebe (Sayornis saya):

Wrentit (Chamaea fasciata):

6 thoughts on “Readers’ wildlife photos

  1. Very nice. Thank you.

    My identification efforts have greatly improved with the use of the Merlin App by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology (free) which now includes sound identification . . . I often hear what I don’t see, but at least I now know what I’m not seeing.

  2. Fun birdlist. LBJs are difficult. I especially struggle with identifying females and juveniles, yet some of the experts I’ve met don’t seem to have much trouble. I guess it comes with practice.

  3. My pine siskins have distinct wing bars, and the ones in the pictures don’t.

    In Birds of New Mexico, the wing bars are evident in the pictures, too.

    Is this just a regional difference or are they different species?


    1. It’s the same species, just different camera angles I suppose. But if you look very closely, you can see the hint of a yellow wing bar in my photo too. In general, the yellow is much more evident when the birds are in flight.

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