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Native Californian, biologist, wildlife conservation consultant, retired Smithsonian scientist, father of two daughters, grandfather of four. INTJ. Believes nature is infinitely more interesting than shopping malls. Born 100 years too late.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Bird ID quiz

Maybe some birder or owler out there can tell me what this is, or isn't?

You are looking at the full frame, and your eagle eyes, I am certain, have already zeroed in on the round fluffy thing on the branch at the left.

Here it is closer up. The diameter of the tree (a Douglas fir sapling) is about 6 inches at the bird's level.

It seems too big to be a screech owl. What is it?


Anonymous said...

I don't think it's an owl. My first thought was some species of Goatsucker, but it doesn't match any descriptions of the species found in CA. Of course, none of the descriptions show or describe what it would look like from that angle! Maggie

Hugh Griffith said...

I can't think of anything more likely than screech owl.

Owlman said...

Good test Chris.Difficult to make out the tail but it has pale undertail coverts and white patches on either the median coverts or greater coverts. The upper scapulars and or mantle appear rusty or rufous in color. It could be a Screech or a Saw-whet
but hard to tell from this angle.

Camera Trap Codger said...

I was hoping it was something else -- like a medium sized owl. This isn't far from a cavity where screech owls nested last year. Thanks for the comments.