Cassin's King Bird
|[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note|
|Took this snap at Buena vista Lagoon, carlsbad|
Cassin's kingbird [Tyrannus vociferans ]
Length: 7 inches
Often seen perched in exposed location where it flies out to catch insects and returns to the same perch
Adult: Dark, unforked tail with buffy fringe Gray head with slightly darker cheeks
Grayish-olive upperparts Pale throat and contrasting darker breast Yellow lower breast to undertail coverts
Plumage somewhat duller than adult
Pale edges to wings
The Cassin's Kingbird is similar to several other species of kingbirds and can best be identified by its dark breast band. Tropical and Couch's Kingbirds have forked tails and darker cheeks. Western Kingbird has white outer tail feathers. Thick-billed Kingbird usually has whiter underparts and has a darker head. Brown-crested, Ash-throated and Great Crested Flycatchers are somewhat similar but have darker, browner crowns and brown and rusty tails.
Length and wingspan from: Robbins, C.S., Bruun, B., Zim, H.S., (1966). Birds of North America. New York: Western Publishing Company, Inc.
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This could be one of two species. First, it is a genus Tyrannus. The two possibles, in this location, and at this time of the year, are: Tyrannus verticalis (Western Kingbird); and Tyrannus vociferans (Cassin's Kingbird).
I was tempted to call this a verticalis for the lack of white retrical tips, but I think that this bird just has worn plumage. So, on the basis of the depth and distribution of the grey on the breast and lower throat, and, in particular, on the basis of the white malar zone extending from the lower mandibular insertion aborally to only about the level of the posterior eye canthus - Tyrannus vociferans (Cassin's Kingbird) for me.
You have captured this bird beautifully against the blue sky. Good details and plumage - well done.