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Old 08-18-2012, 11:08 AM   #1
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Can any of you tell me what kind of bird this is? He is fairly elusive and this is the best photo I have so far. He is the size of a hermit thrush or small robin; I have seen him eating pokeberries and appearing to eat bugs off of plant stalks. He lands on my deck rail but I haven't seen him eating the seed from the feeder there. He doesn't use the tube feeder. He has been in my woods for about a week and I have never seen him before in the five years I have lived here.

I live outside of Chapel Hill, NC, in a rural area in mixed deciduous woods if that helps in the identification.
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Old 08-18-2012, 12:29 PM   #2
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I'm torn between female blue grosbeak and female summer or scarlet tanager. I wish the profile of the bill was a little better but I'm leaning towards blue grosbeak.
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Old 08-19-2012, 12:29 PM   #3
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I am leaning toward one of the tanagers. I will try to get a better photo, but I have seen his beak and it is longer than the grosbeak. Thanks, recurve!
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Old 08-19-2012, 05:05 PM   #4
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turttle, I wonder if that is my mystery bird! I haven't seen him/her for a week or so now but the behavior sounds very similar. I thought female tanager too.
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Old 08-19-2012, 06:07 PM   #5
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I don't know linrose...it is a long way from Kentucky to Chapel Hill, though if you haven't seen her recently, maybe she came to see me!

Kidding aside, the description fits, and I thought of your mystery bird when I saw mine. I hadn't realized quite how drab the females are for the tanagers. I had decided it might be an immature Baltimore Oriole, but the beak was wrong. It actually looks a bit peachier in person, rather than the olive-yellow that my photo through the window came out.
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