Hotline Photos

The Jensen Mystery Bird

Here are some photos sent in by Clay Johnson of the "mystery" bird seen in Jensen.  You can help with the ID by sending your comments  to the BirdTalk list serve or to the webmaster.  Here are the suggestions received so far (Scarlet Tanager and Summer Tanager have both received two "votes -- [number of votes in brackets]."):

     Scarlet Tanager  [2]
     Summer Tanager (female or non-breeding)  [1];  (adult female) [1]
     Orchard Oriole (lost early migrant) [1]
     Prothonotary Warbler (female) [1]
     Couch's or Tropical Kingbird [1]

Here's part of Clay Johnson's original email with some details which should help:

¨Some additional information gleaned from watching the bird/s through binoculars: The bird is bigger than a house finch and smaller than a robin (elderberry leaves in the photos vary from 4-6" in length). Color rendition in the photos is pretty true, but my impression through the binoculars was that the underside was clearly yellow rather than gray, clear to the vent, and the underside of the tail was grayish brown. Head/back were greenish to greenish-gray, wings brown with no sign of wing bars. The eye was dark (brown?) and there appeared to be a very slight, possibly broken, eye ring. The heavy, slightly drooping bill was bicolor, yellowish lower mandible with all or mostly dark upper mandible. The head appeared to be quite flat, so the overall impression of the head and bill was sort of grackle-like (except for the colors).¨
¨I got fairly good views through the binoculars, and didn't note any stripes, speckles, color patches, lore stripes, breast banding, white feather flashes, or anything else that would help. Overall colors suggested some warbler, but that bill and head shape sure didn't. About the closest I could come to my overall impression of the bird in Sibley was the Gray-crowned yellowthroat, if you leave off the loral stripe, change the head shape a bit, grow the bill at little, add a greenish cast, and then put that bird way, way out of its range.¨

Original Photos by Clay Johnson Enlargement

Photos by Clay Johnson


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