The Cornell Lab Bird Academy Discussion Groups Bird Identification Identifying birds by the color of their rump

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    • Jean
      Participant
      Chirps: 18
      cowvet
      It seems recently I have noticed a number of birds with brightly colored rumps. I have learned the house finch male has a red rump, and if that is the part of an LBJ I see, I can ID it. I recently clinched the ID on a flicker because of its white rump. There is another bird around that has a yellow rump. I have ruled out a yellow-rumped warbler; it looks like it could be a young/female pine warbler, but nothing says they have a bright yellow rump. I would love to see a short course or article that can help ID birds by the color of their rump. A second short course/article on birds with eye-rings would be cool, too. Do these already exist?
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    • Sandra
      Participant
      Chirps: 8
      sjacobson
      Most field guides will point out rump color if it's an important field mark. Generally, two groups that are important to pay attention to rump color are warblers and finches. The rump plus back and wing pattern of white on shorebirds is often really helpful too, especially in flight. You can find a detailed explanation of appearance on the Birds of the World site. There are lots of images that help because they show individuals in different positions and plumage. Rump color and eye-rings are just two of the many features that we use to distinguish species. One of the Cornell courses gives a list of the main features to look for, and it's the combination that makes it easy to narrow down the list of possibles.
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