Can You ID These Two Birds?

Sometimes, particularly in late spring and early summer, when juvenile birds haven’t yet grown in their adult plumage, it’s tough to identify them. Other times, a new bird shows up that you haven’t seen before and it doesn’t look like anything in the bird field guides. Don’t you just hate it when that happens?

I came across this bird on the side of the gravel road we live on. It’s not a great picture and he’s well camouflaged, so you have to look closely. I thought it might be an Ovenbird, but no. The bird that I think it is is sparrow-sized and likes areas with rushing streams and clear brooks, while its northern counterpart prefers swamps and bogs.

This one really threw me. I became very excited when I first saw it – a new bird to add to my list of birds seen on our farm (65 and counting). I felt sure that the reddish-brown on the bird’s breast would give it away, but no such luck. I was beginning to get frustrated when I figured it out. We have a lot of them on our farm; this one is a juvenile.

Can you identify one or both of these birds?


14 thoughts on “Can You ID These Two Birds?

  1. I think that the first is a Purple Finch and the second is an Eastern Bluebird.

    • The first one is a Louisiana Waterthrush, a first-time sighting for me. You are correct – the other one is a juvenile Eastern Bluebird.

      • The simple things in life can hold the best memories. My Grandmother lived on a farm with a huge vegetable garden, cows and chickens. She was a wonderful cook who always wore her apron. She would gather eggs in her apron. Fan herself with her apron on hot summer days. So many wonderful memories of her. Thank you for your wonderful apron stories and reconnecting us with the past. I &#2dk0;li2e2≵ you on FB. Debby Todd, Somerset, KY

  2. Hi Jo Ann, probably ‘way out in left field here… Initially thought #1 was a Meadow Lark – until you mentioned “sparrow-sized” that is… Is fledge #2 an Eastern Bluebird?

    • Whoever #1 is, judging by that camo you mentioned, he or she spends a lot of time on the ground…

      • The first one is a Louisiana Waterthrush, and you’re right, the second one is a juvenile Eastern Bluebird.

  3. The first one does look like some kind of a Finch and the second is an Eastern Bluebird. I’m certainly no expert, just my best guess

    • First one is a Louisiana Waterthrush, the first I’ve ever seen so I was very happy about that. Yes, the second one is an immature Eastern Bluebird.

  4. How wonderful for you to have Louisiana Waterthrushes on your farm! They’re a rarity around here, at least difficult to spot unless you know where one hangs out. I got good looks at one just this year. I think it’s easiest to tell them from the Northern Waterthrush by the very wide striping around the vent. The juvenile Bluebird is delightful as well.

    • You pegged the Louisiana Waterthrush. I can’t believe how lucky I was to just kind of come across it as I was walking along.

    • I’m kind of in that category too. I spent most of last year trying to identify wildflowers. I’ve identified 65 birds on our farm so far. but I know there are lots more that I have yet to identify.

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