Friday, March 4, 2011

Dodge chips in

Panama Records Committee member His Former Fieldeditorshipness Dodge Engleman, an authority on all things bird and all things Panama, comments on some recent reports.
On the Variegated Flycatcher:

Great report! And much aided by the good photos. According to Birds of Northern SA by Restall, it matches better with the illustration of the northern races than the southern, migratory, races.

On the 2008 warbler:
That Black-throated Green (1) vs. Golden-cheeked (2) vs. Townsend’s (3) Warbler is very fascinating and I wish I could suspect some miscegenation has occurred. In one of the photos (first photo) the back looks like 1 or 3. In one (third photo) the crown looks like 1 or 3. In the other (second photo) it looks like 2! And although 1’s eye stripe can look black in some lights, it usually isn’t as black as it appears in the photos which makes one think of 2 or 3. And in all there is that hint of black under the eye that would be found in 3 (and in 1 if not black). Then what about the throat and lack of streaking on the upper sides? All three should have more streaking that the bird in the photo! 
Since in all three photos there appears to be yellowish under the black bib I suspect it may be a Townsend’s. I think the crown and eyeline are too black for Black-throated Green. Probably the back isn’t black enough for Golden-cheeked. The face pattern is a cross between Golden-cheeked and Townsend’s but I see no way on earth those two spp could get together for hybridization. Whichever it is it is a little aberrant. And as you mentioned in the report, color could be an artifact of lighting and camera restraints.
I’ll get Martin Reid’s opinion.
And here's Martin Reid's opinion:
I'd say it's not a GC (back is green; yellow on underside), and that the underside is not yellow enough for TO - my choice would be a BTG, albeit a slightly unusual one.

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