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Scawny bird sillouette and kingbirds in NM

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These were from August 31 at a stop in Carrizozo, NM.

I thought the really bad gas station pics were of a roadrunner at first, but it appears to be about the same height as the pigeon, and I thought a roadrunner would be much taller?

The second set are three kingbirds I believe. I know there are different species of kingbirds in the southwest, and I probably wouldn't know which even if the photos were decent.

Thank you!









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I got a grackle impression too, but...

Is the first bird molting?  The head and neck appear too narrow in proportion to the body, almost featherless.

I checked Macaulay and it looks like roadrunners have longer tails and bulkier bodies than this bird.

4 hours ago, Kittipaws said:

it appears to be about the same height as the pigeon, and I thought a roadrunner would be much taller?

Roadrunners are bigger than pigeons, maybe twice the height, but they're not large birds (despite how Looney Tunes portrays them.  In their defense, I've seen some rabbits that are the same size as some ducks. :classic_biggrin: )

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Pics 3, 4, 5: Pigeon on left for sure.  Confused by the bird on the right. 

Pics 6, 7: I think Cassin's Kingbird too, noting the ashy-colored throat to distinguish it from Western/Tropical Kingbird species (beyond any potential range issues which may or may not be relevant)...

Pic 8: Kingbird sp.


Just my less-relevant 2 cents as compared to the gentlemen above...:-).

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I googled “molting great-tailed grackle”, and that is absolutely what the scrawny bird is. I found pics that looked just like my bird including the two or three scrappy tail feathers. So thanks for that!
Also, I singled out, cropped closer, and lightly edited the kingbirds that are in the photo of two birds. I doubt it will be much more helpful in identifying, but mostly I want to see if the photos lose much quality once I upload them here because at this point they're better than the ones posted above.

Merlin calls all four of these photos Western Kingbirds but calls the single-photo bird above a Cassin's as you folks did.

Thanks so much!





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