Tuesday, May 13, 2014

A Difficult Identification

Here is a photo of another bird I took yesterday while we were birding at Minto-Brown Park.  It’s one thing to spot a bird with your naked eye, and then quite another thing to find it with your binoculars to get a closer look, and then a whole other challenge to re-find it with your camera.   And in this case the bird was a busy one, constantly moving tree to tree gleaning insects off of the leaves. However, we have discovered that though difficult to get sometimes, a photo is the best tool in making an identification as it gives us the opportunity for a close examination and the luxury of making comparisons with images in bird guides. What we use for guides now in the field are bird apps on our iPones, saving us from lugging around paper books. My first guess was a Yellow-breasted Chat, maybe in part because that was what I wanted to see.  But Jeanette pointed out it didn’t have the white eye-brow.  She thought the yellow abdomen was a clue that it was a Western Kingbird.  I didn’t think that was quite right, back and forth we went, neither identification seemed just right.  Some-where along in the process it finally came to me that it was a female Western Tanager. What fun, we love the challenge.

1 comment:

  1. Like most species of birds, the female Western Tanager is harder to identify than the more flamboyant male counterpart. Several years ago, I was stumped, too, as to the identity of this bird, until a fellow birder identified it in the field, using a bird guide. These birds migrate so quickly through our area that we get few chances to view them for long through our binoculars. Lee