General Question

DandyDear711's avatar

What kind of bird is in my back yard? Mourning dove like, Red spot on back of head. Black ring at neck?

Asked by DandyDear711 (1512points) September 24th, 2008

It was pecking at ground – probably looking for ants. Was near a mourning dove – maybe a bit smaller. Body was grayish. Beak was dark. I live in upstate New York.

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22 Answers

JackAdams's avatar

Here is a quote: “At right is what looks to be a female downy woodpecker (males have a small red spot on the back of their head).”

See the photo here

Harp's avatar

Sounds like a Flicker

tscoyk's avatar

Could it possibly be a barbary dove?

DandyDear711's avatar

I think HARP found it! It looked like a Northern Flicker. It was poking around in the ant area of my backyard and “ants alone can make up 45% of their diet.”

Thanks everyone!

Right now I am researching a bird guide book to purchase.

gailcalled's avatar

Give us approximate size. Clearly a woodpecker. Flicker most likely. Pileated too big and too secretive; sapsucker has different coloration and Hairy and Downy too small, probably. The flickers here are systematically destroying parts of my cedar house (eating the borer bee larvae and all of the pine stumps-where ants and other insects hide) I have had trees cut down and the flickers rip the bark off the stumps.

Listen and maybe you will hear either the “flicker” call – probably rare now after mating season – or its loud and distinctive hammering.

I live near DandyDear and there are no Barbary Doves here.

My birding book is one of my bibles.

DandyDear711's avatar

It was bigger than my usual woodpeckers. It was not a pileated – saw those in Minnesota. I am fairly certain it was a flicker… Wasn’t here long. I suspect it is migrating. Hopefully yours will too! We have lots of carpenter ants so I don’t mind it eating the ants in the backyard.

I have been having a lot of activity on my feeders recently. Just put out raw beef fat – took birds 24 hours to decide to eat it. They are used to the suet blocks from Christmas Tree Shop. I prefer the butcher’s price – free – and the squirrels won’t eat it.

A special thanks to Gail and Harp! Many thanks for trying Jack and TSCoyK!!

gailcalled's avatar

Dandy; beware of the local and more numerous brown bears than in earlier times. They are attacking bird feeders, especially those with only sunflower seeds. At my mother’s staged living facility in Lenox, management has banned birdfeeders due to bear issues.

I have solved both the chipmunk and squirrel problem with Milo.

DandyDear711's avatar

@Gail – I just purchased a used copy of Stokes Field Guide to Birds: Eastern Region (Stokes Field Guides) from Amazon for $4.68 with shipping… Can’t wait for it to arrive!

gailcalled's avatar

@Dandy: My Golden book is 30 years old-filled with notes and observations (and mildew and stuck pages due to my falling into swamps. You bird by looking up and walking at the same time – like Gerald Ford, I have difficulties.)

DandyDear711's avatar

I haven’t heard of brown bears here yet but will keep an ear out! I mostly use safflower seeds cuz everyone loves them except the squirrels…

Who or what is “Milo”?

How sad that your mother can’t have feeders anymore!! I can’t imagine life without them!

DandyDear711's avatar

I started buying bird books by the state – Illinois, Minnesota etc. Decided to get eastern region this time instead of just New York…

DandyDear711's avatar

Falling into SWAMPS!? Oh MY! I have no depth perception so I am too a bit like G Ford!

gailcalled's avatar

Good idea. Birds don’t always recognize the state lines; and due to climate changes, the bird population locally is changing, sadly. I used to have many more warblers, thrushes, and other songbirds that I heard in the spring. No more.

Milo is the cat my daughter thrust upon me 5 months ago. Knowing nothing about felines, I used Fluther to see me thru some harrowing (for me) early days.

DandyDear711's avatar

I have a Dewey. She wears a loud bell – like a walking christmas package or old ringing telephone. So we have a reasonable # of mammals around. The neighbors on either side don’t mind her, fortunately. I guess they figure she keeps the mammmals away too. Dewey is about 9 YO now – has turned into a great pet… She was never bad but now she is much more friendly and trusting.

luminous00's avatar

definately a flicker.

DandyDear711's avatar

The used book I bought on Amazon finally arrived! It looks like it will be very helpful!–1

gailcalled's avatar

@Dandy; It will be officially yours after you fill it with siting info, notes, sticky tabes, life list, blotches from tea or coffee and pages glued together from having dropped it in a stream. Keep a pair of birding binocs. with the book and never use one without the other. Birds rarely stay stll for more than a milisecond. (Also a pen.)

You’ ll have to wait until next spring for much activity; but I saw both the Great Blue Heron and the Red-Tailed Hawk two days ago. And a few chickadees and tufted titmice and molting goldfinches at a friends’s feeder. My sis called last night and let me listen to a screech owl over the phone. (Really good birders do 90% of their IDing by ear, I am told.)

DandyDear711's avatar

@Gail – Oh no! I may never be a really good birder then… We have a bird clock in the kitchen – have had it for years. I only know a few of the birds calls on it – the obvious ones like the mourning dove! I can mimic them well though!! LOL!

solo's avatar

what kind of bird is black and white

gailcalled's avatar

@Solo: Bobolink, osprey, bald eagle, some hawks, many shore birds, one of the magpies,some woodpeckers; if you are serious, give us some more information. Larger or smaller than a robin? Seaon, location, vocalization?

DandyDear711's avatar

junco… chickadee…

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