Very interesting discussion. I'm not a photographer and am not very
skillful on the computer, especially with photos. In other words, I
just looked at what I received - and realized I would have had
difficulty identifying the Blackpoll photo, except for the significant
clue of the leg color. I wasn't questioning your identification. I was
questioning whether I would have been able to identify the bird from the
photo. This isn't very shocking, since bird photos often are more tricky
to identify than actual birds in the field.
The second photo you sent was clearly a Blackpoll - and I would have had
no difficulty at all in identifying it. The head color is perfect and
the greenish tint below is very apparent. Even this photo shows very
little streaking, however, so I think it just wasn't very pronounced on
your bird. That the streaking is limited to the sides is not at all
surprising. Also, most fall blackpolls show more contrast between the
upper breast and the belly than does your bird. I see no contrast in the
first photo and only very little in the second. Both Sibley and the
National Geographic Guide show this contrast quite nicely.
I'm nervous if you have other pictures more difficult than this one to
identify. I might plead the fifth!
Jim Block wrote:
> Thank you. I'll answer to the whole list because the (non-bird) information
> might be of general interest to those viewing bird and other images on the
> web. I'm also sending you separately a side view of the same bird taken 90
> seconds earlier.
> There a lot that goes on between digital capture and viewing an image on a
> web site. Brightness and color can change. Many of the variables are not in
> the viewer's control, but some are. For example are you viewing the image
> on a calibrated/profiled monitor? Are you using a web browser that supports
> color profiles (many do not)? And of course what existing lighting does
> (the color of light changes considerably with many factors), what the camera
> does, and what the photographer does can affect colors and brightness.
> To your points. This photo was not overexposed. There are no clipped
> pixels and even if I significantly darken the breast with an editing program
> there is little streaking on the front of the breast. But there is
> definitely some on the side which can be seen in both images. So perhaps
> this bird has less streaking than the average Blackpoll. Also, the colors
> on my monitor closely match what I see in Sibley's and Peterson's for a fall
> juvenile Blackpoll. Additionally, a younger but more experienced birder
> than I "confirmed" the identification of this bird.
> I plan to post a similar (but harder) bird quiz on my web site as soon as I
> get help in the identification of some of the photos I am unsure of. Since
> these birds were photographed on the east side of the river I will notify
> UVBird and NHBird (but not VTBird) when I get this page up.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Vermont Birds [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Fred and Chris
> Sent: Saturday, September 06, 2008 10:56 AM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: [VTBIRD] Warblers and Vireos in Norwich -- a photo quiz
> These photos are gorgeous! One photo that confuses me is the Blackpoll
> Warbler, which I doubt I would have identified from the photo - and I
> have 35 years of experience identifying fall warblers in the field. Was
> the shot possibly overexposed? The colors don't seem true (breast
> should be more greenish-yellow) and I can't detect any breast streaking
> which should be quite apparent I would think.