What are these birds, please?
I’ve recently returned from a cruise in the Caribbean and would like to identify a couple of birds. I thought one may be a Brown-headed Cow Bird, but it may be a grackle?
QThe brown, finch-like bird is, we think, a Black-faced Grassquit, a member of the tanager family. This is a female, or possibly a juvenile, hence the lack of a black face. The species is a commonly seen on roadsides in the Caribbean, especially where there is long grass or rice fields. As for the other picture, we can see why you took this for a cowbird or grackle, but this is in fact a Pearly-eyed Thrasher, so named for those lovely pearlescent eyes. Quite an aggressive bird with a liking for coffee plantations, it has been held in part responsible for the decline in numbers of the Puerto Rican Amazon Parrot, on whose eggs it sometimes preys.