Hi all! We are in bonus time thanks to some heavy lifting earlier in the month. This isn’t so much a post as it is a call for help. As with any bird post, a third of the time is usually spent pouring over reference books and pounding Google with every possible search string in hopes of identifying whatever winged creature happened to be featured in the upcoming post. Luck typically wins out and I find a match to confirm the identification… or I take the closest option and go with it .. or I just lie and wait for someone to call me on it (ha). That process has worked okay so far but that is usually with one or maybe at worst two birds on a given shoot. The first day at Henderson Bird Viewing Preserve left me with FIVE birds that left me stumped. Thus the need for some assistance. Rather than force you to start from scratch, I went ahead and added all the information (links) obtained during my research but feel free to opt in a different direction if you think I’m all wet. I will also apologize ahead of time for some of the poor pictures (errr style yea, that’s the ticket).
Sooooooo, here we go
It is surprising this particular bird gave me such a hard time thinking the flycatcher type crown would be a lock for identification. It didn’t help that I failed to execute on my bird photography principle to capture as many angles as possible. All the shots were from the back providing no insights into breast coloring which is always handy in the classification process – bad Bri, very baaad. After searching far and wide there were two options that made it through to the end. The first is the Western Wood Pewee. Depending on which image you happen to find it will either match almost perfectly or be so differently colored (usually greyer) that you’ll almost write it off.
Here are the best matches from the Internet
All About Birds (link here) – more dull/drab than the image below
Flicker (link here) – not bad, but a little lighter in the neck area
Utah Birds (link here) – lots of options to choose from
Wild Photos Photography (link here) – not the BEAR! … look further down
On the Wing Photography (link here) – too grey
Based on those samples, just not sure. Back to the drawing board. A few pages further I came across another possibility, the Black Phoebe. This is DEFINITELY one of those situations where the breast coloring would have confirmed or knocked it out immediately. The neck is at least solid black which solves that issue, but the tail seems thicker on these birds. Although, the white piping on the Phoebe wings seems a little sharper
As before, here are some of the reference images.
National Zoo (link here) – lots to choose from
SDakota Birds (link here) – damn close … again just the amount of white seems off
Rich Ditch (link here) – not a good comparison angle but does show the all black neck
Birds and Nature (link here) – very close in my opinion
All About Birds (link here) – another bad angle, but the profile in the neck area looks good
Hit the jump to see the other 4 in question