A pair...one with tail feathers, one without

by Larry Baker
(Bristol, TN)

These 2 little birds have been coming to our back yard recently. They always seem to be together, as a pair.

The bodies of both are about the same size, except one of them has tail feathers and the other does not.
We have seen them for the last several years (probably not the same exact two) and there is always one of them without tail feathers.
Just wondering what kind of bird they are, and if one is a male and the other is a female, and which has the tail and which does not.
I first thought maybe the one with the tail feathers was a parent, and the one without tail was a juvenile, but it seems too early in the season for there to be "babies".
Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks

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