Join for FREE
It only takes a minute!

Welcome to BirdForum.
BirdForum is the net's largest birding community, dedicated to wild birds and birding, and is absolutely FREE! You are most welcome to register for an account, which allows you to take part in lively discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread
Old Sunday 12th February 2012, 04:03   #1
oldtrlrnr
Registered User

 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Pacific Palisades, CA, USA
Posts: 13
Flycatcher or bluebird?

Looking for help IDing this bird I saw today while running with a friend, up on Westridge in the Santa Monica mountains. It flew up into a bare tree and perched for a moment, then flew away. I thought its flight resembled a flycatcher, and its bill and general build was consistent with that . . . but its coloration didn't match any flycatcher I know of.

While I didn't get a very good look, it being high up in a tree with bright sun background, I could distinguish these features:
- thin straight bill, not too long, like other tyrant flycatchers (we have lots of black phoebes in our yards)
- chestnut upper chest area
- back & shoulders bluish-grey, not uniform but mixed blue & grey, can't remember exact pattern, but no bright blue.

I couldn't find anything like it in my Peterson's Western Birds field guide, but looking in my Sibley's I found the Mountain and Western Bluebirds having coloration about like that of this bird. Sibley's had lots more flycatchers than my Peterson's, but none with coloration anything like this bird.

So, what do you all think? I've only seen a very few bluebirds, mostly up in the Sierras, and am not familiar with their flight style.

Just curious; appreciate any feedback.

Bob
oldtrlrnr is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Sunday 12th February 2012, 06:01   #2
wimvdam
Registered User
 
wimvdam's Avatar

 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Santa Barbara, CA
Posts: 101
With that kind of color pattern it was most likely a Bluebird (Western).

- Wim
wimvdam is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Sunday 12th February 2012, 06:14   #3
yardism
Registered User
 
yardism's Avatar

 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: San Jose CA
Posts: 301
I've had the pleasure of watching two mountain bluebirds recently, and they did remind me of a flycatcher in some ways. Notably, leaving a perch for food (in a field below power lines in this case) and returning somewhat quickly to the same spot. I wouldn't say they were exact in their habits, but they definitely show some similarities.
__________________
Bluegrass Bird

Report your sightings to eBird
yardism is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Sunday 12th February 2012, 06:15   #4
Bird_Bill
Registered User
 
Bird_Bill's Avatar

 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: St.Louis
Posts: 1,655
Hi Bob. Back lit into dark silhouette,can imagine visual might be tough
Specifically, how do you feel about behavioral manner of bird?
Generally...
Flycatchers-tied to one spot by a rubberband...back/forth,up/down returning to same spot.
Thrush's- ground forage,maybe gleen bottoms of leaves.Huge amount time on ground hopping about.Although will perch and spy out prey below,still predominatly ground feeders.Have seen easterns take insect on the wing though.
Bird_Bill is offline  
Reply With Quote
BF Supporter 2012
Click here to Support BirdForum
Old Sunday 12th February 2012, 13:43   #5
Fred Urie
Registered User

 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Guelph, Canada
Posts: 122
This bird would dive to the ground and come back up to the same spot:

http://s1215.photobucket.com/albums/...view=slideshow

Most of the time it sat about 3 to 5 feet off the ground.

Last edited by Fred Urie : Sunday 12th February 2012 at 13:51.
Fred Urie is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Tuesday 21st February 2012, 04:10   #6
oldtrlrnr
Registered User

 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Pacific Palisades, CA, USA
Posts: 13
I didn't have much time to watch it, as it flew away after perching in the tree for a few seconds. As I said, its wingbeat resembled that of a flycatcher, but it did not swoop down then return to a perch like flycatchers do. Also, this was up on a ridge in the Santa Monica mountains, chaparral country, not typical flycatcher environment.

Fred Urie, it was not the bird in that link.

I'm going with Western Bluebird. Hoping to see it again.
oldtrlrnr is offline  
Reply With Quote
Advertisement
Reply


Thread Tools
Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Bluebird Encounter Marzilla Birds & Birding 1 Thursday 11th June 2009 23:53
ID help - bluebird? bkrownd Bird Identification Q&A 8 Wednesday 6th June 2007 13:30
Bluebird, Bluebird, through my window jimbofoxman Your Birding Day 1 Saturday 13th May 2006 09:20
Need help on Bluebird ID Richard L Bird Identification Q&A 3 Friday 14th April 2006 01:07

{googleads}

Fatbirder's Top 1000 Birding Websites

Help support BirdForum

Page generated in 0.15243006 seconds with 17 queries
All times are GMT. The time now is 20:45.