LOUISIANA BIRD RECORDS COMMITTEE

REPORT FORM

     

1. English and Scientific names: Tropical Kingbird; Tyrannus melancholicus

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

2 indivs.; one in worn basic plumage; one in fresh, seemingly juv/formative plumage.

3. Locality: LOUISIANA: (parish) ___Cameron Parish_________

Specific Locality: town of Cameron, off of Davis Rd.; south of town; south of Haliburton: unmarked, unpaved road across from Haliburton entrance (almost immediately crosses cattle guard); coordinates: 29.77870, -93.32691__

 

4. Date(s) when observed: 18 August, 2011

5. Time(s) of day when observed: 10:15 Ė 10:30

6. Reporting observer and address: Stefan Woltmann, 510 E. Charles St., Hammond, LA 70401; stefan.woltmann@gmail.com

7. Other observers accompanying reporter who also identified the bird(s): none

8. Other observers who independently identified the bird(s): several, including Erik Johnson, though nobody else was there when I was there.

9. Light conditions (position of bird in relation to shade and to direction and amount of light): sun behind me

10. Optical equipment (type, power, condition): Leica 8x42, excellent condition

11. Distance to bird(s): as close as 3-4 m

12. Duration of observation: 15 minutes

13. Habitat: pastures with trees in fencerows, abandoned pasture.

14. Behavior of bird / circumstances of observation (flying, feeding, resting; include and stress habits used in identification; relate events surrounding observation): 2 birds: 1 apparent adult in worn basic plumage, other bird in all around fresher plumage: distinct pale edging on all greater coverts suggests a bird hatched this year.

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):

Olive-backed Tyrannus with yellowish bellies. Bill larger than Western Kingbird. Head gray, with slightly darker auriculars. No white on outer rectrices of either bird. White of throat not particularly contrasting or obvious; fair amount of olive smudging on upper breast.

Bird in worn plumage had one fresh tertial (s7 or 8), which I think was symmetrical but forgot to write that down. Bird in fresh plumage had distinct pale edging on all greater coverts.

 

16. Voice: sweet, twittery. Consistent with what Iíve heard for Tropical Kingbird 7+ years while working in Costa Rica and other Neotropical locales. Not consistent with vocalizations from recording of Couchís Kingbird found online, including recordings of juvenile Couchís. Short twittery phrases given by both birds, no playback used.

17. Similar species (include how they were eliminated by your observation): More than anything, vocalizations rule out Couchís. Large bill, no white in tail eliminates Western. No strongly contrasting white on chin and vocalizations rule out Cassinís.

18. Photographs or tape recordings obtained? (by whom? attached?): no.

19. Previous experience with this species: 7 years in Costa Rica, Panama, Honduras; several monthís worth in Belize and Bolivia. They all sound more or less the same to me.

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

a. at time of observation: one

b. after observation: listened to various recording of Couchís Kingbird on the Cornell website.

21. This description is written from: __X_ notes made during the observation (_no__notes attached?);_____notes made after the observation (date:_____); _____memory.

22. Are you positive of your identification if not, explain: Yes. True I donít have tons of experience with Couchís, but all recordings I listened to are stronger in character, lacking what I think of as sweet and twittery.

23. Date:_20 September 2011__Time:_______