1. English and Scientific names: Couchís Kingbird (Tyrannus couchii)


2. Number of individuals, sexes, ages, general plumage (e.g., 2 in alternate plumage): One apparent adult

3. Locality: Parish:Jefferson

†† Specific Locality: Grand Isle; Ludwig Lane near pumping station south of LAWF building

4. Date(s) when observed: 14 October 2012

5. Time(s) of day when observed: 3:10-3:25; 3:40-3:35 p.m.

6. Reporting observer and address: Phillip Wallace


††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††††††††††††††New Orleans, LA 70125

7. Other observers accompanying reporter who also identified the bird(s): David Muth, Dan Purrington. David Mandell, visiting from Portland,OR, discovered the bird at 1:30 and identified it as Couchís/Tropical

8. Other observers who independently identified the bird(s):

9. Light conditions (position of bird in relation to shade and to direction and amount of light): Good; sun behind the observers for most of the observation

10. Optical equipment (type, power, condition): Eagle 10x40 binoculars

11. Distance to bird(s): ~12 m

12. Duration of observation:20 minutes

13. Habitat: On power line over a drainage ditch in an open area adjacent to salt marsh

14. Behavior of bird / circumstances of observation (flying, feeding, resting; include and stress habits used in identification; relate events surrounding observation): Remained perched on the power line almost the entire 20 minutes of observation; sallied forth to capture an insect once.

15. Description (include only what was actually seen, not what "should" have been seen; include if possible: total length/relative size compared to other familiar species, body bulk, shape, proportions, bill, eye, leg, and plumage characteristics. Stress features that separate it from similar species): Obvious yellow-bellied kingbird; rich yellow underparts from undertail coverts to whitish throat; olive-grayish wash on upper breast below the throat; pale olive back contrasted slightly with pale gray head; blackish mask from lores through auriculars; brown wings and tail; tail showed slightly pale outer edge to outer rectrices, but not white as in Western Kingbird; slightly notched tail; thick black bill was not particularly long; in the photo of the spread wing P10 appears longer than P5.

16. Voice: None; did not respond to iPhone calls of Tropical or Couchís.

17. Similar species (include how they were eliminated by your observation): Western Kingbird eliminated by extent of yellow underparts, tail color, bill size and shape; Cassinís eliminated by throat pattern and breast color; Tropical possibly eliminated by relative length of P10 and P5; bill size and shape indicate Couchís.

18. Photographs or tape recordings obtained? (by whom? attached?): Photographs by Wallace attached.

19. Previous experience with this species: Iíve seen several TK/CK in Louisiana, including a few IDíd to species by voice. Iíve seen Couchís in Texas and many Tropical in Central America.

20. Identification aids: (list books, illustrations, other birders, etc. used in identification):

a. at time of observation: None

b. after observation: Pyle after returning home

21. This description is written from: x notes made after the observation (date: 15 October 2012); I relied heavily on my photos in writing the description.


22. Are you positive of your identification if not, explain: No. Iím positive itís a Couchís/Tropical, but separation from Tropical is problematic at best without vocalization or a specimen. Pyleís characteristics for separating the two are intended for birds in hand. Iím not even positive that Iím comparing P10 and P5 in the photo, but if I am, then it seems to be a Couchís.

23. Date: 16 October 2012Time:6:00 p.m.