Saturday, August 13, 2011

You Tell Me

One of the more frustrating assignments that comes with being "the bird guy" is having folks tell you that they've seen a bird that is unfamiliar to them---and asking you to ID it on the basis of what pithy detail they provide. Last night one of those friends asked me to do this. The bird was supposed to be like a Red Bellied Woodpecker, but different. "Red head", but white belly, and ... well, the size of a robin? Not sure... My first two ideas were rejected (I did have iBird to use for pictures). Only later did I come up with a more satisfactory idea. Let's try a bird bigger than a robin, and with red somewhere on the head, that's "like a woodpecker", and that's likely to be in her suburban back yard in mid-August. And that new candidate would be a Northern Flicker. So I looked inept on the spot. But hey, I didn't see it. You tell me!

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