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35 minutes ago, AlexHenry said:

 @Jefferson Shank and @Birding Boy can you please explain how you identified the bluebird? I struggle with these sometimes

The bill looks to me a lot thinner than what I’d see on EABL,  and the orange on the flanks seems more blended into the white area of the belly/undertail area.  Seems a bit darker than EABL as well.

Edited by Birding Boy
Grammar
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10 minutes ago, Birding Boy said:

The bill looks to me a lot thinner than what I’d see on EABL,  and the orange on the flanks seems more blended into the white area of the belly/undertail area.  Seems a bit darker than EABL as well.

Eastern Bluebird isn’t even an option.

Western vs Mountain

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The difficulty here is not between Eastern and Western Bluebird (the gray/dusky cheek easily eliminates that), but Western and Mountain. It's actually pretty easy to find contentious cases of ID- here's a 'Western' that I would probably call Mountain, and it only took ten seconds of scrolling on ebird: https://ebird.org/checklist/S42994893

IMO after refreshing my memory (I last had Mountain a couple months ago but I don't live in the west anymore so I don't see it often) I think structural clues (short tail, short wings, general giss) combined (weakly and skeptically) with the apparent shade of blue color would suggest Western over Mountain on this bird. It may be best left a slash bird, however.

Edit: For greater context,  a small percentage of Mountain Bluebirds are rather rufous below, and this bird definitely falls within that range, purely based on that coloration

Edited by Hasan
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13 minutes ago, Birding Boy said:

Shoot. Sorry misread that.

You’re all good! I just like messing with super east-centric birders once in a while (although admittedly I was one only a few years ago).

Yeah, Western vs Mountain seems like it should be easy, but it can actually be pretty tough. Off the record I think you’re probably right that it’s Western, but for the record, I’d call it Bluebird sp. 

I guess my point is that it’s not as easy of an ID as you might think, so no need to jump straight to conclusions.

@Hasan is right that structural features and the color of blue in the wings and tail are good clues.

Chin color? Maaaaaybe....

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Definitely an under-appreciated ID challenge.

Western Bluebird based on bill length, structure, and prominent white edging to wing coverts. Much more likely at this location than MOBL as well.

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