Date: 6/3/18 2:54 pm
From: Craig Miller <gismiller...>
Subject: [obol] Re: Eastern Or Say's Phoebe
Vermilion would explain the streaks.

Craig Miller

On Sun, Jun 3, 2018, 2:48 PM Alan Contreras <acontrer56...> wrote:

> I think its grandmother was a Vermilion Flycatcher.
>
> Is there actual streaking or is that an artifact of how fluffed it is?
>
>
> Alan Contreras
> <acontrer56...>
> Eugene, Oregon
>
> www.alanlcontreras.com
>
>
>
> On Jun 3, 2018, at 2:46 PM, Craig Miller <gismiller...> wrote:
>
> This does not look like any Say's Phoebe that I have seen. What's with the
> faint streaking on the flanks? If anything, the cinnamon/color should be
> more intense around the undertail coverts, but instead they are paler on
> this mystery bird.
>
> Very interesting indeed!
>
> Craig Miller
> Bend
>
> On Sun, Jun 3, 2018, 1:11 PM Nicholas Mrvelj <nickmrvelj...> wrote:
>
>> Hello all,
>>
>> I've attached two crudely photoshopped images with my post. The first has
>> James's Phoebe juxtaposed with two Eastern Phoebes taken in June/July. The
>> second has his Phoebe juxtaposed with two Say's Phoebes taken between the
>> same date range. All images were found on Cornell's Macaulay Library via
>> eBird.
>>
>> For my money, I feel this is a rather worn Say's Phoebe. The lack of
>> contrast between the upperparts/underparts, especially the head, lack of
>> gray on the breast (vest pattern), and overall impression this bird gives
>> are my main reasons. When I originally looked at this individual as an
>> Eastern Phoebe, something just looked a tad off. There are additional
>> points of scrutiny, as others have mentioned, but I'm feeling a bit lazy at
>> the moment and will just leave it with those three for now.
>>
>> In doing research on molt timing, I found that Say's Phoebes have a
>> relatively short molt cycle as opposed to Eastern Phoebes, with peak
>> activity of body/primary molt occurring between the beginning of August and
>> ending the beginning of September. Eastern Phoebes peak activity begins in
>> the middle of June for both body/primaries and goes until the end of
>> October (and even into early November for the primaries).
>>
>> With all that being said, did you hear it vocalize at all? Pardon me if
>> you mentioned this detail already.
>>
>> Very interesting bird and great find. Thanks for sharing and what a good
>> study.
>>
>> -Nick Mrvelj (Portland)
>>
>> <IMG_2492.JPG>
>> <IMG_2487.JPG>
>>
>> On Sun, Jun 3, 2018 at 11:36 AM Alan Contreras <acontrer56...>
>> wrote:
>>
>>> I read your comments and Matt’s and looked at the vids. A few thoughts
>>> from someone who has not seen an Eastern Phoebe for a few years.
>>>
>>> First, this is a rather worn bird and is also really fluffed so colors
>>> are probably a little off from what we’d normally see. When we compare to
>>> online photos, compare to worn birds. The fluffiness may also make the bird
>>> look stubbier than it really is.
>>>
>>> One thing that makes me think Eastern is that a Say’s normally has
>>> essentially the same color above—there isn’t really much contrast except
>>> for the very dark tail. Eastern usually has a paler back relative to a
>>> darker head, which this bird does. The head looks a lot darker than the
>>> back in the video when the head turns. However, I’m not sure what extended
>>> wear would do to that comparison—the back is probably an area that wears
>>> very little.
>>>
>>> Too bad there are no crisp flight shots from above as Eastern has a
>>> darker-winged look while Say’s is fairly pale, sort of a Forster’s Tern
>>> frostiness in gray.
>>>
>>> The shape of the bird is more like an Eastern—Say’s always looks lanky
>>> and this bird just seems short—but the fluffing may affect that perception.
>>>
>>> I don’t know which species is more likely to retain color for ten months
>>> without a molt and what that color would look like.
>>>
>>>
>>> Alan Contreras
>>> <acontrer56...>
>>> Eugene, Oregon
>>>
>>> www.alanlcontreras.com
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> On Jun 2, 2018, at 8:06 PM, James Billstine <billstinj...> wrote:
>>>
>>> Yesterday I reported what I thought was an Eastern Phoebe in Tillamook.
>>> Upon further discussion and review it has been brought to my attention that
>>> there are some inconclusive field marks that leave me wondering.
>>>
>>> I think what stands out the most is how gray or brown most of the wings,
>>> back, nape, face and head of the bird I observed. The photos of Eastern
>>> Phoebes on Cornell's Macaulay Library show birds that are much darker:
>>> charcoal gray to blackish.
>>>
>>> Next, if we look at the flanks, other photos of Eastern Phoebe show some
>>> light yellow washing. The bird I was photographing and taking video of was
>>> front-lit, which may have lessened the appearance of the bird's flanks to a
>>> yellow in the field (instead of the cinnamon of a Say's) which you can see
>>> hints of in the lower part of the belly and the undertail coverts.
>>>
>>> Moving forward from there, the Macaulay birds have generally white
>>> breasts, chins, and throats. Some do show a yellowish wash-but that is
>>> shown in the pictures I have studied next to definite white on the sides of
>>> the breast and throat. The bird I observed shows a faint yellow and almost
>>> orangish color throughout the breast, chin, and throat, without any
>>> contrasting white. And again, the front-lighting of the bird I observed may
>>> make it look lighter than it actually was.
>>>
>>> The photos also show a lot of static/noise based on the camera I use
>>> which may have also distorted the color.
>>>
>>> Finally, I was having major allergic reactions with my eyes watering
>>> profusely and swelling when I first observed the bird. I was focusing on
>>> taking photos for documentation. Even with clear eyes I don't know if I
>>> would have been able to pick out these details, but my binoculars and scope
>>> provide much better optics than my camera.
>>>
>>> In summary: Initially I thought it was a Say's Phoebe. Lack of orange
>>> and yellow and a possibly white wash in throat and chin made me think
>>> Eastern Phoebe. After studying photos and comparing to pictures in Macaulay
>>> Library and some discussion with others I am leaning back towards Say's.
>>>
>>> If you are interested in a truly close study I recommend opening the
>>> first youtube video link, and then hitting the gear cog symbol in the lower
>>> right hand corner of the frame to turn the resolution to 1080P, and then
>>> the speed to .25. It allows you to see a lot of details while the bird is
>>> moving.
>>>
>>> I would like to hear what others with more experience in both species
>>> have to say. It can be embarrassing to admit one is wrong, especially with
>>> a mis-ID of a rare bird, but this wasn't wishful thinking on my part (I
>>> have talked myself out of plenty of rare birds) and I accept this as a
>>> tough bird and a learning experience. And I would never, ever, in any case
>>> fault the judgment of my birding peers and mentors who have taught me so
>>> much and selflessly given up so much of their time and energy to guide me
>>> and grow my passion for the pastime. Without them I would truly be lost in
>>> a sea of feathers.
>>>
>>> Ebird report with similarly washed out Say's Phoebe showing evenly
>>> diffused coloring:
>>>
>>> https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S38325836#_ga=2.67407442.2120071054.1527990752-921895479.1525873060
>>>
>>> Macaulay Photos of an Eastern Phoebe:
>>>
>>> https://search.macaulaylibrary.org/catalog?taxonCode=easpho&mediaType=p&sort=rating_rank_desc&__hstc=75100365.ef07d7bbff1da112c211ba3e5d4e27a2.1525873060674.1527990755878.1527992927364.6&__hssc=75100365.1.1527992927364&__hsfp=32788050#_ga=2.260540878.2120071054.1527990752-921895479.1525873060
>>>
>>> My Report:
>>> https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S46213336
>>>
>>>
>>>
>

 
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