This forum is for asking questions and providing answers on bird identification. New and visiting birders are encouraged to ask and participate.
Hi Mario,

I really suggest you get a field guide I highly recommend "Stokes field guide to the birds of North America." You can buy it here: ... th+america. It has photos of all bird species and rarities in every stage of the bird's life. It will really help you out in identifying birds in the future.

The first bird is a Lincoln's Sparrow

The second is a female House Finch

Thanks Mel as always!

The house finch really threw me off with the tail that seems banded unless what I see as a banded tail is not part of the bird. :) With the banded tail, I didn't even know which category to start from.

As for the Lincoln, like you say, I might have found it if I try to little harder. The buffed hair or peaked crown wasn't on the primary description but on the 3rd photo from allaboutbirds.

Right now, I am using the Peterson and the Sibley field guide and with my non-existence level of knowledge, Peterson seem to be directing me better when I was trying to learn the shorebirds. I will try to find the Stokes as well from the library and try it.

The hardest thing for me as a novice is to learn the basis of reference. For example, how small is small has a certain term of reference like lesser yellowlegs as compared to greater yellowlegs or when it is on its own. I am slowly catching on. Yesterday, another birder explained about the slight curve of the long bill on the greater yellowleg really helped.

It is going to be a long and challenging journey but I am inching forward. Thanks everyone who helped along the way. BTW, for those of you with flicker accounts, if you label your birds, it really help novices like me learn. I use it like a flip card, make the guess, then move the mouse over to confirm. :)

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