BirdCouple - Warren and Lisa - recently set up a camera to photograph activity at their birdfeeders while they were away from home during the day. Within a week, it caught a photo of one very strange-looking feeder bird. It most closely resembles a common redstart (Phoenicurus phoenicurus). But then, how would a common redstart end up in Annapolis? A summer resident of northern Europe, the common redstart migrates to Africa, not Maryland, for the winter. If this identification is correct, the bird probably escaped from captivity, though it is possible that it made it on its own.
My original guess was that the bird was an abnormal chickadee, perhaps one of the local Carolina chickadees or a wayward boreal chickadee. Alternately, it could be a trick of lighting and contrast, though that seems less likely. What do you think? Leave a comment over at the BirdCouple blog if you have any ideas about its identity or provenance.
For more images, see the common redstart account at oiseaux.net.