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Katelyn Davis

Unknown bird...maybe Northern Mockingbird??

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So I saw this bird today in Lewiston, NY. I switched my ID so many times on it so I thought I would just see if anyone could tell here from my (pretty bad) pictures. 

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4 minutes ago, blackburnian said:

I could see it as a mockingbird, but my first impression was honestly a kingbird of some sort. 

The only Kingbird around here is Eastern Kingbird and I did consider that but it wasn't nearly dark enough. 

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2 minutes ago, The Bird Nuts said:

Maybe a description of its behavior and habitat would help.

It was mostly just jumping from branch to branch. The area was a big field like area very open in the sun. 

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I'm currently looking at pictures of western kingbird. There was Yellow on the underside of the bird I saw like in the pictures of Western Kingbird I am seeing. It is just not possible because of the range though.

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1 minute ago, Katelyn Davis said:

I'm currently looking at pictures of western kingbird. There was Yellow on the underside of the bird I saw like in the pictures of Western Kingbird I am seeing. It is just not possible because of the range though.

It is possible...There was one in Vermont just a few days ago.

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My guess would be Mockingbird. I have seen them primarily in fields, and urban seaside. The only other thing the black mask reminds me of is a Northern Shrike, but I think that would be a bit of a stretch.

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42 minutes ago, The Bird Nuts said:

It is possible...There was one in Vermont just a few days ago.

Someone suggested Great-Crested Flycatcher to me. I did see a few Great-crested Flycatchers today but I'm sure this wasn't one. I'm still leaning towards Western Kingbird but I won't put it in eBird because these pictures are definitely not enough evidence lol.

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Just to be clear, when I said kingbird, I was indeed thinking about one of the yellow-bellied sp. Looking at the bird on a bigger screen now, I’m changing my vote to that. Although Western is a far more common eastern vagrant, I can barely make out a rather distinct white cheek patch, which would indicate Cassin’s, a much better bird. These photos aren’t good enough to confirm that, but this bird clearly has a yellow belly. 

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3 hours ago, blackburnian said:

Just to be clear, when I said kingbird, I was indeed thinking about one of the yellow-bellied sp. Looking at the bird on a bigger screen now, I’m changing my vote to that. Although Western is a far more common eastern vagrant, I can barely make out a rather distinct white cheek patch, which would indicate Cassin’s, a much better bird. These photos aren’t good enough to confirm that, but this bird clearly has a yellow belly. 

I agree. This is definitely a Flycatcher, you can just tell by the way it’s perched, Abe the Bill shape. I’m going to agree with any Yellow bellied Kingbird, but I can’t ID to species with the photos

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I have a hard time leaning to great crested due to the head shape. Mockingbird is possible, the angle could be making the bill look thicker than it is. It could however be a Western Kingbird if there was one in Vermont. 

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6 hours ago, blackburnian said:

Just to be clear, when I said kingbird, I was indeed thinking about one of the yellow-bellied sp. Looking at the bird on a bigger screen now, I’m changing my vote to that. Although Western is a far more common eastern vagrant, I can barely make out a rather distinct white cheek patch, which would indicate Cassin’s, a much better bird. These photos aren’t good enough to confirm that, but this bird clearly has a yellow belly. 

So when I was observing this bird my very initial thought was Yellow-Breasted Chat (It obviously isn't one but I had that stuck in my head from reading it on the sign on the way into the conservation area). The reason I thought this however was because of a white line near the eye which I can see is present in Cassin's. I do think the chest is wrong for Cassin's though because (you can't see in the pictures) but it was whiter on the top. 

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1 hour ago, thelodger14 said:

still leaning to Great-crested Flycatcher

I really don't think it was. I saw some Great-crested flycatchers the same day and I've seen them on other occasions. This bird seemed too big and there was no reddish-brown on the tail or wing like in Great-crested. The eye placement doesn't seem right either.

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1 minute ago, blackburnian said:

It’s not Great Crested or a chat. 

I know it's not a chat it was just the coloration that reminded me of one.

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I think I will probably just have to accept that I'm not going to know an ID for this bird. I wish I had been able to get better pictures but I know these aren't sufficient enough evidence for any species so I won't report it in eBird. The only thing I would consider putting in would be yellow-bellied kingbird sp. but i don't really want to report something I am not sure on. Hopefully either I or someone else will be able to look for it again soon. 

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1 hour ago, Katelyn Davis said:

I think I will probably just have to accept that I'm not going to know an ID for this bird. I wish I had been able to get better pictures but I know these aren't sufficient enough evidence for any species so I won't report it in eBird. The only thing I would consider putting in would be yellow-bellied kingbird sp. but i don't really want to report something I am not sure on. Hopefully either I or someone else will be able to look for it again soon. 

eBird is designed to encourage you to report things you are not sure one. That’s why there are reviewers. I would submit as yellow-bellied kingbird sp and see what the reviewer says. 

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