Saturday, June 13, 2009

Do You Know What This Is?

This afternoon, we had a visitor to our yard. He was a handsome fellow and not terribly shy. We first saw him when he landed on our porch railing. He sat looking at us for a while and then flew over to one of the flower beds where he sat motionless for quite some time. I was able to get fairly close to get a picture without scaring him away. We were concerned that he might be sick or injured.


Although it's difficult to tell in this picture (my camera's focus hasn't been working well), his feathers were fluffy leading us to believe he was still a baby. He was much larger than other baby birds we've had in the yard, larger even than some adult birds. We're quite curious to find out what type of bird he is because we've never seen another like him.

He was still in the flower bed when we went in the house for lunch, but he was gone when we came back out. Sadly, we found him dead on our porch some time later. He had found a spot behind our bar and quietly passed away. My guess is that he had lost his mother and was unable to fend for himself.

I would still like to identify him. I've looked at pictures of dozens of birds that are native to Michigan and I can't find any that look quite like him. He resembled a robin, but he was larger than a typical adult robin and he had very long tail feathers, almost hawk-like. Do you know what he is?

9 comments:

5thsister said...

Aw, that's a sad story. I wish I could help you. You might be on the right track thinking "bird of prey". The belly markings are a tad unusual, don't you think?

Heidi said...

Aw... poor baby. I have no idea what he is. He was pretty though. Hopefully you get a bird watcher on here who knows!

L.B. said...

I did a Google image search and may have found something like this. The name I came up with was "Kirtland's Warbler" which is apparently a rare bird. I didn't find any exact matches to the bird you found but some of the features of those and the pictures I saw seemed similar.

L.B. said...

Hi Willoughby!

Damn right I read your blog about nuder! It just seemed to fit when I used it, so I used it as a shout out to my blog buddy.

Willoughby said...

Thanks, everyone, for your input! I checked out pics of Kirtlands Warblers, they are close, but I'm not sure that's what our visitor was.

L.B. - Thanks for the shout out! Did you see any spanghew in the mud on your run?

doggybloggy said...

it looks like a baby hawk of some kind

ChristineM said...

That's so sad... I've never seen one in real life, so I'm not sure, but google "juvenile merlin" - it does look like one!

Willoughby said...

doggybloggy and Christine - Thanks for the ideas. I took your advice and looked at juvenile hawks and merlins. They do resemble this bird. I wish I had a clearer picture!

abby jenkins said...

Hi Willoughby, I am pretty sure that is a baby robin. We had four families roost above our front door and I would watch them as their mom taught them to fly. Sure looks the same. Poor baby.
I am also quite certain that we were separated at birth.