Couch's/Tropical Kingbird in Nebraska

Abbreviations used in this post:
CT: Couch's/Tropical
Tr: Tropical
Ck: Couch's

This afternoon I saw a CT kingbird in Nebraska. This post is my description of what I saw and how I eliminated other species.

Head Pattern: Black eyeline or "Mask" stretching bill to top of auriculars.
Bill: Heavier than Western, hard to estimate length
Body pattern: Yellow extended all the way from the belly to the bottom of the neck
Wing Pattern: Extensive yellow on underwing
Tail: Here's the problem. It has a deep notch in it- unlike a WEKI. But it was dark brown with faint white streaks on the outer tail- very faint.

Tr or Ck?

Well, this is really confusing. Definitely not a WEKI. It was perched on a wire, and had an evident notch in the tail. It had a black mask. The yellow reached the bottom of the neck.

A Tr would be a first state record- but a decent explanation of the dark tail.
A Ck would be a 4th state record.

@greglasley @psweet @gcwarbler @joshuagsmith @bridgetspencer
@kevinhintsa @john8

Publicado el agosto 13, 2017 12:59 MAÑANA por danomaha danomaha


The tail pattern could be explained as a worn Western -- this is about the right time to see that. But the rest of what you're describing doesn't really fit. The faint pale outer edges don't really concern me for a Tropical/Couch's, though. Worn outer webs could show as pale on any bird, I would think.

As far as distinguishing the two -- your only bet is to get a recording of it calling, or to find it dead and send it in for a DNA analysis. I would definitely post your description where other Nebraska birders can see it -- the more people looking the more likely it is to be re-located.

Publicado por psweet hace más de 6 años

Its call was similar to what I would think of as a Tropical, a few slightly buzzy notes with warbles. @psweet

Publicado por danomaha hace más de 6 años
Publicado por danomaha hace más de 6 años

If this is a Couch's or Tropical can I ebird it without a photo?

Publicado por danomaha hace más de 6 años
Publicado por danomaha hace más de 6 años

This is America. We can ebird anything we want, I just wouldn't expect the regional editor to confirm it. And from this description, which is certainly evocative of Tropical/Couch's, I would probably enter it as Tyrannus sp. and attach the description along with any speculations about what it might be. Then go back out tomorrow and get a recording.

Publicado por mikepatterson hace más de 6 años

From the description, I couldn't distinguish this between Tropical (TRKI) or Couch's (COKI). The description of the call as "a few slightly buzzy notes with warblers" doesn't remind me of TRKI or COKI, but more likely the latter. The Tropicals we hear in South Texas have high piping or twitter calls. And COKI would be much more expected as a late summer wanderer up in the Great Plains.

Publicado por gcwarbler hace más de 6 años

I listened to TRKI recordings and they sure sound similar. This one:
Buzzy not the best description- though slightly gentler than this.

Publicado por danomaha hace más de 6 años
Publicado por danomaha hace más de 6 años

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