Date: 9/28/19 9:50 am
From: Conor Scotland <scotland.conor...>
Subject: [obol] Re: Those fall kingbirds
Now seems like as good a time as any to ask for seabirding advice. Alex, I
see you have reported in eBird several encounters with Sooty Shearwaters
this month. Imagine my surprise then as I do not see any accompanying field
notes making the tricky distinction between that species and Short-tailed
Shearwater. But surely, as someone with such outrageously conservative
reporting criteria, you did indeed eliminate short-tailed for each of these
cases (without stooping to using seasonality and geographic distribution
like the rest of us). As I can only assume many of these birds were seen
briefly in flight at hundreds of meters, I’d be keen to get any tips on an
identification that I admittedly find challenging.

Thanks,
Conor Scotland
NW Portland

On Sat, Sep 28, 2019 at 7:20 AM Josh Spice <joshspice...> wrote:

> First and foremost, my sincere apologies to all for stepping out of line
> with name-calling. That was unnecessary and unacceptable. I seem to have
> read the two emails differently and was offended at the tone. That did not
> warrant name-calling. Swallowing my own pride here and my sincere apologies
> to all. A valuable lesson learned in my first experience (and year) with
> listservs.
>
> Off less importance, a second thought I had in reading some great replies
> by experienced kingbird-ers is if the the main difference between the two
> species is voice, could the 'two species' just be a matter of splitting
> instead of lumping? It'd be fun to hear more from those who know more about
> this.
>
> Again, I stepped out of line with my name-calling and I apologize to
> everyone for that. Let's all keep this a non-attacking place, hopefully
> always from the start of every email thread.
>
> Good birding to all and thanks for everyone's contributions. I, for one,
> have been grateful for this resource and the people that make it up.
>
> Josh
>
>
>
> On Fri, Sep 27, 2019, 22:00 Wayne Weber <contopus...> wrote:
>
>> Alex,
>>
>>
>>
>> You are probably correct that non-vocalizing Tropical and Couch’s
>> Kingbirds cannot usually be distinguished from each other under field
>> conditions. However, geographic distribution is a major factor that should
>> be considered in making bird identifications. Tropical Kingbird is a
>> species which has a well-documented pattern of fall occurrence along the
>> West Coast. There are records north to Alaska, and there are scores of
>> sightings every fall in coastal BC, Washington, Oregon, and California. On
>> the other hand, there is only one confirmed record of Couch’s Kingbird on
>> the west coast (in 1998 in Orange County, California). Given these facts,
>> it is a certainty that fewer than 1%, if any, of the Tropical/Couch’s type
>> Kingbirds seen in Oregon are actually Couch’s. Observers should feel safe
>> in reporting such birds as Tropical Kingbirds, with very little likelihood
>> of error.
>>
>>
>>
>> Your statement that non-vocalizing birds MUST be recorded as
>> Tropical/Couch’s is ludicrous. Using your standards, we would have to
>> report all non-vocalizing meadowlarks seen in Oregon as Eastern/Western,
>> because these two are very difficult to separate.
>>
>>
>>
>> Please do not bother to send any more of your dogmatic and bluntly-worded
>> messages about bird identification to OBOL. Many of us have been birding
>> much longer than you, are well aware of the various pitfalls in bird
>> identification, and do not need to be lectured by you on how to report
>> things in eBird. Thank you.
>>
>>
>>
>> Wayne C. Weber
>>
>> Delta, BC, Canada
>>
>> <contopus...>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> *From:* <obol-bounce...> [mailto:<obol-bounce...>] *On
>> Behalf Of *Alex Lamoreaux
>> *Sent:* Friday, September 27, 2019 4:38 PM
>> *To:* Oregon Birders OnLine
>> *Subject:* [obol] Re: Those fall kingbirds
>>
>>
>>
>> Similar to my rant on crossbills yesterday, without vocalizations
>> Tropical and Couch’s Kingbirds are not identifiable under field conditions.
>> Some variation in shape of the P4 on adult males, and other subtle in-hand
>> features can separate them but otherwise they must be recorded as
>> Tropical/Couch’s until vocals can confirm species. Current eBird records of
>> this Newport bird make no mention of calls and the records should be
>> changed to the dreaded ‘slash’.
>>
>>
>>
>> Tropical has shown a solid pattern of northward movement up the west
>> coast in fall in recent years (and up the east coast to a lesser extent,
>> with overwintering in Florida etc) but Couch’s Kingbird has also greatly
>> increased its US population in the last 10 years and should be expected as
>> a fall vagrant throughout the country. 4+ have been confirmed by vocals in
>> the west, and many more in the northeast and Great Lakes.
>>
>>
>>
>> Alex
>>
>>
>>
>> Alex Lamoreaux
>>
>> 717-943-7086
>>
>> Naturalist and Senior Leader/North America Specialist for Wildside Nature
>> Tours
>> https://wildsidenaturetours.com/team-member/alex-lamoreaux/
>>
>

 
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