Re-re-repost on Mystery Flock

A final shot, one photo… I think the size is too large, even having shrunk each image.  I took most of them with the digital zoom to get a better look right away, so they are impossibly large files to begin with and still a little too big after being modified.

Occam’s Razor comes to mind and after some image searching, I have concluded these to be exactly what I had originally suspected.  However, their behavior seems “off” and, assuming they are what I think, there were no males in this flock of approximately 30.  The behavior I am referring to is their foraging in the pines.  This little flock has been attracted to the same couple trees at least twice in the last three or so weeks (east central Florida).  They fly in, forage through the pine cones, and fly off; all the while making soft clucking noises.  I have never seen the suspected birds foraging through pine cones and ignoring the seed feeders which I would have thought would attract them also.  I have actually only ever seen them in wetlands/marshes/fields and once traveling through in a flock with another species.

So I’d love to get your thoughts on this one, all!  So here is this mystery flock of mine (which I have concluded is not the mystery I first thought it to be):

(“If you see me clap your hands” Bedford Bear  signed – SLB)

mystery flock 2

mystery flock5

mystery flock3


9 responses to “Re-re-repost on Mystery Flock

  1. Alas, another red x!!! Can’t believe how much trouble this site is giving you! Perhaps you should contact SLB about it?
    However–did you read DaLo’s previous post? With that, plus your remark in the penultimate sentence above, I’m going to have to believe you’ve see Red-winged Blackbirds foraging in this odd way. Kudos to such observant birding! I’m always fascinated to learn about such behavioral idiosyncracies.
    Without pictorial help, of course I’d been thinking something like Pine Grosbeaks, or crossbills. Would have taken a ton of guesses to arrive at RW’s!

    • SLB and Jenn worked together to get the latest post of her photos up and running. Someone needs to test the result to make sure it can be seen besides someone but me.

  2. I looked up Pine Siskin, but it is not the best match, so out it went.
    “Occam’s razor (also written as Ockham’s razor, Latin lex parsimoniae) is the law of parsimony, economy, or succinctness. It is a principle stating that among competing hypotheses, the one that makes the fewest assumptions should be selected.” This is taken from Wikipedia. This unique way of perceiving bird behavior as a method for identification is just one more reason more people should become involved with this site. I will be changing the title so that it is found more easily in search engines. The address and subheading will remain the same. I need to do some more research on this issue, but I expect it to occur.

  3. Seems to be working perfectly now SLB / Jenn.

  4. How in the world did you and DaLo figure this out?

  5. I actually saw my first (2012) flock of female red-winged blackbirds today come down into a pine-tree and start tackling the cones! 🙂

  6. Hooray, I too was able to see the Red-winged Blackbirds…..they do eat seeds, which is what they were looking for in the pine cones. We had several visits to the yard this past summer of the males, who went to either the sunflower seed feeders or ate the suet.

  7. I saw a small flock of (presumably) female red-winged blackbirds today ‘pouring’ into the top of a large pine-tree. However, I then was distracted by a Northern Harrier flying across the road in front of my car. I was then distracted further by the oncoming traffic so I had to let them pass unphotographed (it was either that or crash) so I opted to stay on my side of the road and watch where I was going. I guess we’ve all been there!

  8. Yes; that we have! 😀 No birding while driving…. (easier said than done, I know). 😉