Name this bird
April 22, 2008 8:55 PM   Subscribe

Please help me identify this bird from Oregon with rather vague information [more inside]

This was a medium size (4-9 inches perhaps) bird. It was black, with a very bright red/orange collar around his neck, which may have stuck out a bit. I saw two, one in the central willamete valley (oregon wine country), and again along the central oregon coast. Does anyone have any brilliant notions of what this might be? I just spent a couple hours poking through ornithological websites to no avail. I might have missed something, but he looked to be all black to me (except for the collar).

Any notions?
posted by Shutter to Pets & Animals (6 answers total)
Redwing blackbird?
posted by one_bean at 9:06 PM on April 22, 2008

This is an extensive list of Oregon birds I had a look through and the only thing that was all black with a flash of orange was the redwing blackbird but obviously its not a collar. The have a wizard where you can select location, shape, size and color.
posted by missmagenta at 12:11 AM on April 23, 2008 [1 favorite]

Wow! Thank you for that link missmagenta.
I am a recent transplant to Oregon and I have been wondering about all of the gorgeous birds I have been seeing outside my window. I finally found out the name of the blue birds that like to hang out in my back-yard area in the conifer trees. (Steller's Jay)
posted by KoobieKitten at 1:33 AM on April 23, 2008

After much poking around online last night before bed, and not finding a bird like you describe, I think the others have it that it's a redwing blackbird. In the spring, the males will perch on a fence post or tall stalk of grass and sort of shrug their shoulders forward while singing about how awesome they are. The shrugging pushes their bright wing patches forward, and may give them a collared appearance. The only other birds I could think of would be some sort of oriole, but they mostly don't have a lot of black on them - chests and bellies of the adult males tend to be screaming orange or yellow-orange in the spring.
posted by rtha at 7:43 AM on April 23, 2008

Here's a picture of a rw blackbird singing about how awesome he is. That shoulder shrug rtha described is the classic pose for these guys and this is what they sound like when they are all puffed up like that.

There's a lot of variation by locale on how much red, orange or yellow shows on the wings.

There's also the very similar looking Tricolored Blackbird, which is often spotted along the southern Oregon coast.
posted by jamaro at 9:11 AM on April 23, 2008

Thanks for the ideas everyone, the red-wing blackbird doesn't seem to fit what I recall though. On the other hand, I'm not exactly experienced at identifying birdy features on the fly. When I get back from vacation I might poke around for video of a red-wing blackbird in flight and see if the shoulder patches give the effect that I saw...but for now I'm going to eat my father's famous french toast.
posted by Shutter at 9:22 AM on April 24, 2008

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