Meteor Crater: Brown Thrasher, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Brown Creepers, etc
10 Oct 2017, 11:12 AM,
#1
Meteor Crater: Brown Thrasher, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Brown Creepers, etc
There was a lot of activity at Meteor Crater today. Highlights included:
- 1 Brown Thrasher at the north end of the campground near the septic field
- 1 Golden-crowned Kinglet in a pine at the south end of the campground
- 1 Evening Grosbeak at the feeder behind the store
- ~6 Brown Creepers all over the campground
- 2 continuing Lewis's Woodpeckers
- 1 late Black-chinned Hummingbird
- 1 Empidonax flycatcher whose ID I'm still working on

Except for the Empid, birds were incredibly resistant to photography today.

Here are some shots of the Empid...feel free to chime in with ID help!

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

Jason
Flagstaff, AZ
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10 Oct 2017, 6:29 PM,
#2
RE: Meteor Crater: Brown Thrasher, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Brown Creepers, etc
Shaggy crest, moderate 1º extension, sturdy bill, no contrast between nape and back ... Western type?
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10 Oct 2017, 6:36 PM,
#3
RE: Meteor Crater: Brown Thrasher, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Brown Creepers, etc
How do you feel about Hammond's, Roger?
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10 Oct 2017, 7:15 PM,
#4
RE: Meteor Crater: Brown Thrasher, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Brown Creepers, etc
Prefaced with, I suck at photos and you have better odds at being correct by going in the opposite direction to me, this bird does seem fresh enough that it could be Hammond's (since they molt before migration, and Western molts after) and the eye-ring is not particularly bold. I steered to Western mostly because HAFL always seem to me to have contrast between nape and back feathers, and this bird appears consistently olive all the way to the rump. Also, to my eye, the bill is on the stout side and almost entirely pale below (disfavoring HAFL).
However, if I looked at the photos long enough, and consulted more sources, I think I could talk myself into just about any empid!
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10 Oct 2017, 7:37 PM,
#5
RE: Meteor Crater: Brown Thrasher, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Brown Creepers, etc
Roger,
On other venues this bird is getting a lot of votes for HAFL, which is a species we'd ruled out in the field for the reasons you mention. I'm still bothered by the lack of contrast between the nape and back and the yellowish face and head (not gray), but the HAFL argument does jive with many structural features of the bird. Definitely, this is a tough bird (for me, at least)!

Jason
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10 Oct 2017, 8:32 PM,
#6
RE: Meteor Crater: Brown Thrasher, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Brown Creepers, etc
nothing about this bird says hammond's to me. the bill is too thick and too wide for Hammond's. A thick wide bill with an extensively orange underside, a pointy crest, and a bit of a teardrop toward the rear of the eye ring, along with an overall yellowish tone, it all says Western to me. I'll grant that the bill looks a bit on the short side, but on the whole, I have a strong sense of Western.
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11 Oct 2017, 9:44 AM,
#7
RE: Meteor Crater: Brown Thrasher, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Brown Creepers, etc
There is very strong consensus from many knowledgeable folks that this bird is a Hammond's. I've definitely learned a thing or two from this bird!

Jason
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11 Oct 2017, 1:58 PM,
#8
RE: Meteor Crater: Brown Thrasher, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Brown Creepers, etc
As all the opinions for Hammond's have been in other forums, I thought it would be useful to summarize some of the features that have myself and many others in the Hammond's camp. First off Hammond's can be rather variable especially young birds like this one. Bill shape and color is variable as well (perhaps the most variable of the empids), and it is not infrequent to come across birds with pale on the lower mandible (rarely they can be all pale even) as well having a stouter bill than the classic HAFL. Fresh, young Hammond's tend towards being bright and even "colorful" looking, on this bird you have grayish head and throat washed with greenish color which is fine for Hammond's and atypical for "Western" (olive and brown tones predominant). On this bird, it has long primaries with primary spacing typical of Hammond's, thin tail with distinctive notch and pale in the outer tail feathers, pale eye ring and lores giving it a RC Kinglet expression (Hammond's tend to have a kinglet like look to them), all of these are typical of Hammond's.

David Vander Pluym
Lake Havasu City
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11 Oct 2017, 7:59 PM,
#9
RE: Meteor Crater: Brown Thrasher, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Brown Creepers, etc
thanks, David. this one was definitely an educational experience. I have never thought of Hammond's/Western as one of the empid pairs that could cause confusion. I wonder what I would have thought about this bird in the field.
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11 Oct 2017, 8:41 PM,
#10
RE: Meteor Crater: Brown Thrasher, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Brown Creepers, etc
(11 Oct 2017, 7:59 PM)Canyonbirder Wrote: thanks, David. this one was definitely an educational experience. I have never thought of Hammond's/Western as one of the empid pairs that could cause confusion. I wonder what I would have thought about this bird in the field.

I agree, Brian. Definitely a trip. I also wonder what I would have thought of the bird in the field.
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