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The Spoonbill, May 2001
Image 4
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The Spoonbill, May 2001 - Image 4. May 2001. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. April 7, 2020. https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/2007_023/item/1220/show/1215.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

(May 2001). The Spoonbill, May 2001 - Image 4. Outdoor Nature Club Newsletters. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/2007_023/item/1220/show/1215

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

The Spoonbill, May 2001 - Image 4, May 2001, Outdoor Nature Club Newsletters, Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries, accessed April 7, 2020, https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/2007_023/item/1220/show/1215.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

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Compound Item Description
Title The Spoonbill, May 2001
Contributor (Local)
  • Haddican, Mary Pat
Publisher Outdoor Nature Club
Date May 2001
Subject.Topical (LCSH)
  • Ornithology
Subject.Geographic (TGN)
  • Houston, Texas
Genre (AAT)
  • newsletters
  • periodicals
Language English
Type (DCMI)
  • Text
Original Item Location ID 2007-023, Box 13, Folder 5
ArchivesSpace URI /repositories/2/archival_objects/9886
Original Collection Outdoor Nature Club Records
Digital Collection Outdoor Nature Club Newsletters
Digital Collection URL http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/2007_023
Repository Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries
Repository URL http://libraries.uh.edu/branches/special-collections/
Use and Reproduction In Copyright
File Name index.cpd
Item Description
Title Image 4
Format (IMT)
  • image/jpeg
File Name uhlib_2007_023_b013_f005_005_004.jpg
Transcript Beginning Birding When the Sexes Look Different Don Richardson Sexual dimorphism (Whoa!! Don't leave yet) is a term to refer to species in which the sexes look different. It means the sexes (sexual) appear in two forms (dimorphic). In most cases the male is the brighter and more patterned bird. Females, in general, are more inclined to be burdened with the nest sitting duties. This requires days of sitting, hopefully out of sight. A more subdued coloration and pattern is a great benefit for this activity. Beginners sometimes have a difficult time identifying females where the males are easy to identify. I suppose that one way out is to just wait around to see what kind of male they are hanging around with. Seriously though, take a moment to open your field guide to examine some females. Note the female Rose- breasted and Black-headed Grosbeaks, check out the orioles, and how about the female buntings. Field marks are the answer. We read about using field marks a few months ago and here are some cases where learning them is essential to success. We mentioned Rose-breasted and Black-headed Grosbeak. A study of the field marks for these two females would reveal that the Black-headed female has less streaking in the breast In fact, the center of the breast is nearly devoid of it. And the streaking has an orangish or buffy background. The streaks on a Rose- breasted female, while fine, are more dense all across the breast and are on a white background. Rose-breasted usually has a pretty light mandible, while Black-headed is darker and usually the upper mandible is even darker than the lower. Now that you can see how easy that was, take a look at female Purple and House Finches. Not only do folks have difficulty separating them from each other but they even look a little like the grosbeaks. Examine the bill, see that the bills of the finches are much smaller than the bills of the grosbeaks. The female House Finch has a pretty plain face while the female Purple Finch has a fairly strong face pattern. It has a light area above a dark whisker mark. That and a whitish eyebrow frame a brownish gray ear patch making a distinctive pattern on the face. Now look at the Siskin, both male and female. We have yet another look alike that looks amazingly like a female House Finch. Look first for any yellow at all on the wing feathers. This is particularly visible in flight. Also check the bill, the Siskin's bill is quite sharp and pointed. Buntings, like grosbeaks and finches, are seed eaters. They have the same conical bill the finches have. Also, like the others, the females can be confusing The Painted Bunting male is unmistakable with his spectrum of color, he resembles Joseph's coat. Females, however, might resemble the female Indigo Bunting. The female Painted Bunting has a bill just like the finches, but is greenish in color and has no hint of a wingbar. Female Indigo Buntings have a warm tan color overall, and a faint hint of darker streaking on the breast. A female Indigo Bunting might also resemble a female Blue Grosbeak. They are also a warm brown but have obvious wing-bars and lack any streaking on the breast. They also have that very large grosbeak bill. How about a plan? First, try starting with the bill. Be sure that your bird is indeed a finch, bunting, or grosbeak. Many new birders try to make something like a female Red-winged Blackbird into all sorts of things. If the bill is very large you probably have a grosbeak. A smaller conical bill probably means a finch or bunting. Finally the Pine Siskin is the one with the sharply pointed bill. Second, look for streaking on the breast. If present is it on the whole breast or just on the sides? Is it faint or bold? Are the streaks heavy or thin? Third, look for wing-bars. Are they present? Are they white or another color? Are the faint or bold? Armed with this information, you'll be able to make the ID. Another sexually dimorphic group of birds includes the tanagers and the orioles. Male orioles seen regularly on the Upper Texas coast (UTC) tend toward orange and golden while the tanagers have red (Western Tanagers have a red face, throat and crown). Females of these species are yellow and, as mentioned before, careful attention to learning and using field marks will enable you to identify them. We'll take a look at the Summer, Scarlet, and Western Tanagers, and Orchard. Baltimore, and Bullock's Orioles. Start with the bill (by now you may have noticed that this is often a good place to start). The orioles tend to have a slimmer sharper bill while tanagers have bills that are heavier and more blunt. Summer Tanager