Surfbird: Medium sandpiper, dark gray upperparts marked with rufous, white rump, white underparts marked with distinct black chevrons. Upper breast, head, neck are heavily streaked. Wings are dark with bold white stripes visible in flight. Tail is white with a black triangular tip visible in flight. Eastern Meadowlark: Short ground-dwelling bird with buff- and black-streaked brown upperparts. Head has black-and-white striped crown, white face, black eyestripe and a pointed bill. Throat to belly is yellow, broad black V on breast. Brown tail has white edges and undertail coverts.
A strikingly marked, oversized sparrow of the East, feathered in bold black and warm reddish-browns – if you can get a clear look at it. Eastern Towhees are birds of the undergrowth, where their rummaging makes far more noise than you would expect for their size. Their chewink calls let you know how common they are, but many of your sightings end up mere glimpses through tangles of little stems. The Yellow-breasted Chat offers a cascade of song in the spring, when males deliver streams of whistles, cackles, chuckles, and gurgles with the fluidity of improvisational jazz. It’s seldom seen or heard during the rest of the year, when both males and females skulk silently in the shadows of dense thickets, gleaning insects and berries for food.
Large black raptor. Ugly red head. The Turkey Vulture, Cathartes aura, is the most common North American vulture. It is an extremely graceful bird in flight. It seldom needs to flap its long wings once airborne, but soars high overhead looking for carcasses. Among the black and white birds in the yard, the male Eastern Towhee (top left) sports large rufous-colored patches on his sides. The female (above) is brown where the male is black but also wears the rufous. Young Eastern Towhees (left) can be real foolers to identify, but since their parents are usually nearby, they help solve the ID mystery.