What are th­ese birds, please?

Bird Watching (UK) - - Your View -

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.


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