May 10th, 2008, 02:22 PM
What's this ?
This bird was seen in Québec, Canada at the begining of may (06-05-08).
Size : more or less two time an House sparrow, direct comparison.
Very huge bill, orange and striated flank.
May 10th, 2008, 05:16 PM
An immature (2nd year) Brown Shrike?
May 10th, 2008, 06:55 PM
What a bizarre looking bird. To me it looks like a female type House Sparrow but with an abnormal, deformed beak. Not sure why it would also have orange flanks as you note which you can just see in your photo.
May 10th, 2008, 08:07 PM
But Renaud says it is twice the size of a House Sparrow. It is the bill shape (rather than size, which could be an illusion) and length of tail which makes this bird look "shrikey" to me.
May 11th, 2008, 05:37 PM
What a strange bird! It does look like a House Sparrow with a massively deformed bill, but I can't explain the colour of the flanks and the description by the poster of the size. The half closed eye makes the bird look a bit sick too. I've had a good rummage around my field guides and the nearest I can come to it is one of the African bush-shrikes (taking that the hooked tip of the bill is real). A weaver of some sort may also fit the bird (they have quite a reputation of being difficult to identify escapes).
I take my hat off to the person who can put a name to it though....
May 12th, 2008, 07:21 AM
The general colouration along with the upper wingbar is very House Sparrow-ish. I've seen photos of birds with crazy mutant bills but not one like this. Check out Alex Lee's selenium poisoning note. Seems conical and seed eaterish than a shrike to me but no idea why it's twice the size of a House Sparrow and has orange flanks. Wonder if a hyrbid could produce this- House Sparrow x Grosbeak?!
Any more photos Renaud?
May 20th, 2008, 01:28 AM
I agree that it has aspects that seem very House Sparrow. House Sparrows are in collision-prone areas and maybe a collision caused a deformed bill and even strange tone underneath, as the bird grew beyond the collision. Size can be hard to judge, but if it was double size for a House Sparrow then a possible hybrid between a house sparrow and another normally-occurring bird of Quebec seems likely. Poisioning affecting growth is also possible these days. As a least likely possibility, a stray species from another continent is something to consider.
May 23rd, 2008, 12:41 PM
The bird is a female plumage House Sparrow with a deformed bill. The apparently organge flanks are an artifact of lighting. It happens: several years ago I saw Eurasian Starling in Ontario with a long, decurved bill, about 2x normal length - it looked like a Wood hoopoe!
May 23rd, 2008, 07:01 PM
The original poster stated that the bird had orange, striated flanks (I presume observed) which rules out the "lighting artifact" suggestion. He also states that it is twice the size of a House Sparrow, and that there was a "direct comparison" (i.e. a House Sparrow in the vicinity).
I can see no evidence whatsoever of any similarity with a female Passer domesticus.
June 1st, 2008, 06:12 PM