Unknown Bird in London

by Judd
(London, Ontario)

An update on this mystery bird, Judd says ..... When I asked for help identifying the birds feeding at my juniper tree I mis-spoke about the white stripe on the leading edge of the wing.

The stripe is on the trailing edge of the wing and forms a pair of stripes on the back when the wings are folded.

For the last few weeks I have seen a group of birds feeding on the berries of my juniper tree.
I have been looking through my Peterson Field Guide and cannot find this particular bird.

They are between a Robin and a Sparrow in general size, but more sleekly built. They are mid grey in color with a fawn throat and whitish breast. The leading edge of the wing is white and they have a bright yellow bar across the end of a blunt tail, a black mask over the eye with a slender white underline.

Unfortunately, I have been unable to catch a photo of them yet.

Does anyone know what they are?

Hello Judd, thanks for writing to us - I'm sure one or more of our readers will be able to identify your mystery bird

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Unknown Bird in London
by: Alexis

I'm sure Tammy's right when she identified the bird as a Cedar Waxwing.

Usually found in flocks and absolutely loves berries and flying insects.

A juvenile has no mask, but the black mask is the most distinctive marking on the adults. They also have small red drops on the wings.

I have about 12 field guides. Two great ones living in Ontario are "Birds of Ontario" by Andy Bezener and "Birds of Canada" by David M. Bird PH D. What an appropriate last name.

The latter also gives the life span of a bird. In the case of a Cedar Waxwing they live 7 years.

Thanks, Judd
by: Anonymous

Sorry, Judd, I missed that you'd already been looking through the Peterson Field Guide! That's great you found the ID; I'm glad I could help. Really interesting looking birds and a real treat to see, eh?!

Happy 'birding',

Tammy :)

Unknown No More
by: Judd

Thank you Tammy.

I think you're absolutely right.

I couldn't let it rest and after digging through my Peterson Field Guide again I came to the same conclusion that you did.

Possibly Bird ID
by: Anonymous

Hello there, I was wondering if you might be seeing some attractive Cedar Waxwings, perhaps with juveniles in the flock.

It's the only bird that I know of that has a yellow bar across the bottom of a blunt tail. It is a grey bird about the size you describe & it also has a black mask with a slender white line underneath.

There are several species, such as warblers, that have yellow near their tail, but it's usually at the base, or on the sides of the tail.

May I suggest an amazing book called the 'Peterson Field Guides, Eastern Birds' by Roger Tory Peterson. It's such a handy tool in these situations & never seems to fail to provide an ID! I love this book. The library may have it, too.

Best wishes from Eastern Ontario,

Tammy :)

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