Jim W Posted January 26, 2019 Share Posted January 26, 2019 These pictures were taken at Maxwell National Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico on July 12, 2018. The NWR wildlife list shows Western Kingbird, Cassin's Kingbird and Say's Phoebe as "common". The timestamps of these three sets of pictures are within 5 minutes. At first, I assumed they were all the same bird and called it a Western Kingbird. However, as I thought about it more, I was driving on the auto-tour route. It is very possible I had moved a few hundred yards between birds 1 and 2 and a quarter mile between birds 2 and 3. My current suspicion is I got pictures of three different, but similar, species in 5 minutes. However, this seems pretty unlikely. Also, as the field marks are subjective (e.g. “more contrast”, “lighter gray”), I’m looking for some help from folks with more experience. I’ve attached two pictures of each bird. Thanks in advance!! Bird 1 (in a tree): I think it is a Western Kingbird. ocular stripe contrasts with lighter grey head pale grayish upper breast not a lot of contrast between head and white chin coverts plain, not much scalloping Merlin says Western Kingbird with Cassin’s Kingbird as the first alternate. Bird 2 (on a wire): I am leaning towards a Cassin’s Kingbird. head and chest darker grey high contrast white chin I don’t see any white on the tip of the tail. Then again, I don’t see a Western’s white outer tail feathers. I think shadows on the tail are obscuring either field mark. Merlin says it’s a Cassin’s Kingbird with Western Kingbird as the first alternate. Bird 3 (on a chimney): Unfortunately, this bird was backlit. I’ve brightened the pictures quite a bit and turned up saturation. This definitely looks like a different bird to me. I think it may be a Say’s Phoebe. head looks a little brownish. chin and throat look more gray than white belly and undertail coverts show a hint of cinnamon. Merlin says it is a Say’s Phoebe with a bunch of oddballs as alternatives (swallows, thrashers, etc.) Bird 1, Pic 1: Bird 1, Pic 2: Bird 2, Pic 1: Bird 2, Pic 2: Bird 3, Pic 1: Bird 3, Pic 2: Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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