Somehow there's a little confusion here. I don't think I said there were 12 _straight_ vocal kingbirds, I said that of about 302 eBird reports there are a total of 12 reports of calling. That means, to give an trivial interpretation, there is a 290/302 = 96% allowance that the remaining observations _could_ have included Couch's Kingbird.. Now, to reiterate, I don't think anyone is claiming a significant fraction of these _are_ Couch's; I just think that the vast majority of these sightings were not positively identified, except by expectation and/or range. I believe this was the intent of the first post on this matter. Now If anyone wishes to include range/expectation in the ID, I have no problem with that. The very first Tropical Kingbird I saw in Oregon ~35 years ago, was very vocal so I'm sitting pretty.
I have gone through the 302 observations more carefully now, searching for 'call', 'twitter' AND 'vocalizing', finding 10 observers who heard the call, 5 observations who said the bird was silent; leaving 284 observations which did not mention the distinctive call either way. With better accuracy this pretty much upholds the above (trivial) probability that one or more might have been a Couch's.
There were four additional mentions of birds giving calls, but they were due to a party of two observers giving the same observation on the same date and I've removed them. I've included the dates this time. (These more careful statistics supercede my previous post but give pretty much the same conclusion.
Bob OBrien Carver OR Observations below PS If anything comes out of this at all, birders who don't hear the call should report that also.
OBSERVATION DATE Calling Vocalizing SPECIES COMMENTS 11/17/14 NO Discovered at small pond along east side of road most of the way north along east edge of bay. Flying from roadside wires to exposed perches in low trees up to very tops of highest conifers, often flycatching. Very similar habitat & behavior to the one I saw at Yaquina Bay a couple of weeks ago. A kingbird by size, shape, and behavior. Bright yellow breast and belly, pale grayish head with darker area around eye. Olive-green back, gray-brown wings and tail. Somewhat heavy blackish bill. Did not hear it vocalize. Have photos and will post once they are downloaded.... 12/28/14 NO Bird was first spotted on the Cape Arago Highway in Coos Bay at 2:40pm on 28-DEC-2014. During the 10 minutes we had it, it never vocalized but just flew back and forth between several utility wires and a nearby Douglas Fir. We lost sight of it about 2:50pm when it flew inland (east).----TRKI vice WEKI based on deeply notched tail shape and lack of any tail white (although a worn WEKI could look similar), larger and thicker bill than a WEKI, distinctly brown wings with very light covert edges, yellow-green breast extending almost to the throat, and a very green mantle. 10/05/15 NO First reaction when driving up was oh, scrub jay, due to pale breasted bird on top perch. But no, Kingbird! Very yellow underneath, large bill (depth and length), plain brown tail w/o white outer vanes, gray head, dark auriculars. Many photos. Never vocalized. Viewed from 43.6673, -124.2037. 11/22/15 NO One at slough just west of machine shop area towards north end of Wireless. Perched up briefly on powerlines. Noted yellow underparts grading into grayish-white chin. Long black bill. Gray crown, brownish back and folded wings. Tertials show bright, light edgings. Tail is brownish, with slight fork. No vocalizations heard. 11/22/15 NO One at slough just west of machine shop area towards north end of Wireless. Perched up briefly on powerlines. Noted yellow underparts grading into grayish-white chin. Long black bill. Gray crown, brownish back and folded wings. Tertials show bright, light edgings. Tail is brownish, with slight fork. No vocalizations heard. 11/06/12 Yes One in 8' pine about 15 ft from me along fenceline, the other at top of a spruce. Both had bright yellow belly and breast, white throat. Calling between both birds, single note brief trill. Both actively feeding. These birds have been reported by others at this location during the last few days. 11/08/12 Yes Reported on OBOL. Hawking insects from low to middle height perches. Deeply notched dark--brown tail, no white edging. Calls as in Sibley app. 11/01/13 Yes Photos available upon request (both myself and Tom got some). This is presumably the same bird that many have been seeing at this location. Vocalizing freely with characteristic metallic twitter. Obvious kingbird morphology and behavior, sitting on various treetop perches and flycatching before returning to perch. Forked tail and long heavy bill and yellow breast evident. 11/27/13 Yes 1st thought WEKI, but this bird had a forked tail, yellow up the chest to throat, much yellow underside of wings, no white tail margins, also it vocalized as we were leaving.. in true TK form.. woohoo 11/05/14 Yes Found today by Janet Lamberson, who told me of it. Thank you, Janet! About 2 minutes after I stepped out of the car, I heard the characteristic chittering call of this species. As I jogged toward the sound, I saw two birds in the air and realized it was the kingbird being chased by a Sharp-shinned Hawk! The Sharp-shin came within a couple of feet and just missed. The kingbird escaped and flew about 200 m to a perch atop a tall conifer and continued chittering. Apparently it was really worked up (understandably so!) -- and likely had been scolding the hawk in the first place when I'd initially heard it. 12/13/14 Yes Seen by others previously at this location recently. Watched it fly from the east into the trees behind the pizza shop calling. 10/02/15 Yes Yellow-bellied Kingbird, much larger bill than western. Rattling call different than western. Photo. 11/03/15 Yes Heard his trilling call across the pond near the parking lot first- I was on the northern side opposite. Used my scope to locate him on roadside wires. Distant view but could detect his yellow breast, large bill and characteristic kingbird perching style. Wasn't able to relocate when I returned to parking lot. Seen here previously a couple weeks ago. 11/29/15 Yes Photos plus heard calling giving the zippy trill which we are very familiar with. Video can be seen at: https://youtu.be/GWvazZS_GZM. 11/20/16 Yes Heard and seen. Twittery call diagnostic (as opposed to the "pip" of a Couch's). Primaries appeared to be of uneven length which also suggests Tropical rather than Couch's, which tend to have evenly spaced primaries (Couch's).--Seen in shrubbery on the south side bank of river downstream from bridge.