Bird Weekly – Photo Challenge – Birds with Stripes, Spots or Freckles

The feature image is a Limpkin tucked into cover in some grass. I still managed to get a good look and pretty good photo.

Week #51 brings us to birds with stripes, spots or freckles. I thought of this challenge because I was a little freckle faced kid. I have a lot of freckles on my face and all over my body, although they are starting to blend as more of age spots the older I get.

Many birds are easy to identify because they have a certain shaped head like an Oystercatcher or there is only one like the Osprey. Other birds, like Sandpipers and Warblers are difficult to identify. We rely on their stripes, spots or freckles. Often these identifiers are on the wing bars or on the chest. Learning to identify your bird species takes time and a really good field guide. I carry by Sibley’s Field Guide everywhere. I have one for Eastern North America for our home range and one for Western North America that I take with me on trips out west. They are written by David Allen Sibley who is an American Ornithologist and these guides are available on Amazon. For my overseas birding friends, I’d love to know what your favorite field guides are and who authors them.


Ovenbird feeding and hiding in the forest. They have a freckled chest and yellow & black stripe over the top of their head.

The Ovenbird in the thick of cover has wonderful freckles on the chest and yellow and black stripe over the top of their head.

Northern Bobwhite

Northern Bobwhite perched in a large pine tree in Georgia has beautiful spots all over and a distinctive white stripe across the eye on the head.

The Northern Bobwhite aka Quail has spots throughout the body with that very distinctive stripe across the face and neck.

Gambel’s Quail

Gambel's Quail foraging on the ground in Las Vegas.

Gambel’s Quail male has beautiful stripping around the head and neck. Females have a less distinct striping around the eye. Both the male and female have white stripes at the back of their wings.

Carolina Wrens

Two curious juvenile Carolina Wrens perched on driftwood.  They have a buffed colored breast, brown head, back and tail feathers.  A white stripe over the eye.

These two curious juvenile Carolina Wrens were starting to get their rusty brown colors in. Their eye stripes were distinct and their spots were beginning to come in on their tail feathers.

Pileated Woodpecker

Pileated Woodpecker

The Pileated Woodpecker is an easy bird to identify. The largest woodpecker in North America sporting that awesome black stripe through his eye and down the back of his head. That large tufted patch of red on the head stands out like a sore thumb.

Red-shouldered Hawk

Red-tailed hawk perched on a fence.

Red-shouldered Hawks have freckles all over their bodies. Maybe this is why I love them so much. They remind me of me, but I don’t have yellow feet.


Speckled chicken heading to the hen house because I didn't have food.

This speckled chicken was not having anything to do with me because I had nothing to feed her. She was giving me the cold shoulder by showing me her backside and clucking with disgust.


A mated pair of Osprey high in a Cypress Tree with a next built on top.

A pair of Osprey nesting in an old Cypress Tree. Osprey are easily recognized with their black stripe across their eyes. These birds can be misidentified as an eagle or hawk with the naked eye, but once you get your binoculars on them, there is no doubt what they are.

Spotted Sandpiper

Spotted sandpiper along the shore in Jacksonville, Florida.

The Spotted Sandpiper has a few spots as a non-breeding adult like this one, but in their breeding plumage, they are very spotted all over. I’ve never seen a breeding adult as they breed from the central United States north into Canada.

Semipalmated Sandpiper

Semipalmated Sandpiper foraging along the shoreline at Little Talbot Island State Park.

This Semipalmated Sandpiper was “spotted” during migration on his way to Canada and Alaska to the breeding grounds. The breeding plumage was really coming in with lots of colorful spots and brown freckling on the chest.

Wilson’s Plover

Male Wilson's Plover trying to steer people and predators away from their nest on Little Talbot Island State Park.

This Wilson’s Plover with 4 other pairs had nests at the south end of Little Talbot Island. They sport the very distinctive black striped collar.

Bonaparte’s Gull

Bonaparte's Gull floating in a pond.  They are distinguished from other gulls by their ear spot.

Bonaparte’s Gull has the very noticeable ear spot on the back of their head.

Next time…Week #52 – Birds with long tail feathers. (6/18/21)

Bird Weekly Challenge Badge.

41 Comments on “Bird Weekly – Photo Challenge – Birds with Stripes, Spots or Freckles

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  5. Yes indeed, warblers, raptors, several kinds of waders, some of the owlets, and lots more are best told apart by their spots and stripes. You have a lovely collection there of more birds which I’ve never seen.

    This week I have the grey Francolin, strongly streaked, and harder to spot today than it used to be.


    Liked by 1 person

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