What are these young birds?


It’s been a while since I’ve posted something here, so I thought I would give you a 2 for 1!

The photo featured above was taken almost two weeks ago (in late May) at Pacific Spirit Regional Park, next to Vancouver’s University of British Columbia. Although a Pacific slope Flycatcher was signing nearby, my guess is that this might be a fresh out of the nest Ruby-crowned Kinglet. Do you agree?

I took the photo below yesterday (June 11) in North Vancouver, BC. I am fairly confident that this is a juvenile White-crowned Sparrow, but I still wanted to check with others to see if they agreed:



6 responses to “What are these young birds?

  1. Hi Pierre!

    Oh, good, a quiz. 😉 I agree with you about the sparrow–that tiny conical bill, the head-markings, the overall Zonotrichia GISS….

    Without doing any research, though, the little fledgling just doesn’t strike me as a Kinglet. The bill, while short, looks too substantial to me to end up being the Kinglet’s little stylet of a bill. The legs and feet also look far too sturdy for a Kinglet–like it’s going to have to do some growing larger to grow into them, and I don’t think Kinglets have much larger to get. 😉 Also–not sure if fledgling Kinglets would show the orange feet or not, but if so, this bird doesn’t have them…

    Now as to what I think it might be…that will take some looking into!


    PS: I think the legs/feet rule out a flycatcher, too. They have ridiculously small feet for their size. (Also wrong GISS for flycatcher overall…)

  2. Diane, Thanks for your thorough comments, which make my mystery bird even more mysterious! I someone can come up with a positive ID…

  3. HI Pierre & Diane! The little fledgling said “Grosbeak” to me at 1st glance. Possibly the Western Black Headed Grosbeak?

  4. Veronica, Interesting comment! I should return to the same spot to see if I can find the BHGR… would be a lifer for me if I could ID them!

  5. Veronica’s comment sent me to Google images (searching for “grosbeak fledgling”); I did not find the juvenal/prebasic feathering a close match with your bird, Pierre. Though it’s hard to find shots of every species in every stage.

  6. Pierre, what did you decide.