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Kathie — July 21, 04:02PM

Help with bird ID

Saw a bird this morning in Susquehanna Co, PA near a small lake. It was robin-sized, grayish brown all over with slightly darker cheeks, a short tail, some white streaks under the throat, and some pale white wings bars. It had a long a long black dagger-like bill and a large black eye. It was walking on the ground. It even walked in and out of our garage and then down the driveway. It waddled when it walked. It appeared that it was unable to fly, so thought maybe a juvenile. All my searches have turned up sandpipers, but I don't see any with this coloring. Also checked out juvenile flicker and killdeer - but they don't have this color. It looks nothing like a brown thrasher - bill is not curved and it has a short tail.

Omar Bronstein — July 25, 11:54AM

It was probably a bird of prey with a bill like that. Did you get a pic of it? It could be an American kestrel. It looks a lot like you described. http://www.audubon.org/field-guide/bird/american-kestrel . Otherwise it's a different bird of prey.

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Kathie — July 26, 11:51AM

Omar - thank you for your response. No, this bird is not a kestrel. Have still been looking at pictures, and it is very similar to a juvenile starling - the same overall grayish brown color and the black beak. But this bird is bigger than a starling and the beak is longer. It has been walking around my property for several days now. Yesterday, I saw it fly for the first time. The wing span was much bigger than a starling and the short tail was fan shaped in flight. It does have very thin white wing bars, noticeable when the wings were closed. It had a bit of white under the chin. Unfortunately, I have not been close enough to get a photo.

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Omar Bronstein — August 05, 09:02AM

How long would you say the beak was? 2", 4", 6"? If it didn't have a curved bill then it wasn't a bird of prey. Was it the size of a blue jay or a catbird or was it smaller? Maybe you should get the merlin bird ID app by cornell lab.
It's supposed to make identifying easier. And try to get a photo of this mystery bird.

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