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Old Jul 25, 2004, 6:14 PM   #1
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Got this shot of a blue grouse hiding in a tree at 10,000 on top of a mountain in Idaho.



This is a heron shot from a couple weeks ago, just think it is kind of fun with the mama and baby ducks in the forground and the stilt in the background.



And this mystery bird. I think the males had a yellow head and think this was the female. Tough to get these birds never sit still. This bird is only about 3" tall. Anybody care to venture a guess on the ID?






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Old Jul 25, 2004, 6:22 PM   #2
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At first guess, I'd say the mystery bird is some kind of flycatcher. But I'm not great at ID'ing them and my book is downstairs.

Can you give us some tips on where it was? What it was like there?

Eric
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Old Jul 25, 2004, 6:52 PM   #3
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It was by a beaver pond, Southern Idaho, elevation about 4,000 feet.

They were darting about in the bushes. They seemed to be in groups of 3 or 4.
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Old Jul 25, 2004, 8:48 PM   #4
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Hi zoomn, nice shots here.

I think the grouse is a spruce grouse - the patch over his eye looks red to me rather than the yellow-orange of the blue grouse. Also, the male blue grouse would have a noticeable white stripe through his eye which this one does not exhibit. Did you first flush this bird, whereupon he flew into the branches of a nearby tree and then just allowed you to basically walk up for the shot? (I ask because that's the behavior I used to see from them when I used to hunt them many years ago)

The last bird is kind of a puzzle. I look at it and flycatcher screams out at me. But your description of only 3" must be an underestimate. The smallest hummer, the Calliope, runs about 3" and this guy couldn't be that small. Also, your observations that it seems to congregate with others like it but with yellow heads, you believe they were the males, is very confusing. If I assume that your estimate of size didn't include the tail and discount the other birds with yellow heads, then I'd guess that this guy was a Western Wood Pewee. I'm just not sure...
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Old Jul 25, 2004, 10:42 PM   #5
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I looked in my book and could not find this little bird either, it was tops maybe 4".

I am not sure on the spruce grouse. It was dumb like a spruce but acted and looked more like a blue. Plus they were quite large. I will say that it could have been a spruce however. We flushed 10 or 15 of them way up on that 10,000 ridge which is common and they are normally blues.
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Old Jul 25, 2004, 10:51 PM   #6
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Zoomn, I guess I wouldn't rule out that that could be a blue grouse, although it definitely doesn't look like an adult male. It could be the sunlight on that patch over his eye which is playing tricks with the colors of the patch.

I just don't know of any 4" flycatchers. The smallest one listed in my field guides is perhaps 5" long. It's got to be one of the flycatchers with no eye ring. You got me on this one...
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Old Jul 26, 2004, 7:03 AM   #7
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i like the loneliness feeling of the #3

nice shots
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