Just thought I'd check up on a few sources, now that I am back home. It seems that the only other (than Hilty's "Birds of Venezuela) recently published good quality guide that deals with the ID of these two species mention the exact same features: Ridgely's "Birds of Ecuador" not only mention this feature, it is also clearly shown on the plate (#28). This source being significant as east Ecuadorian Ruddy's - according to my knowledge - belong to ssp. bogotensis, too. This is what they write under the description of Ruddy p. 173: "...Plumbeous somewhat heavier billed, and its iris is pale (not reddish)". Even Clement & Shany's (rather poor) "Birds of Peru" mention the feature, and thereby is consistent with my personal observations. So, if you see an individual with a strikingly pale eye, you can call it a Plumbeous. If the eye is reddish-brown, then we are probably looking at a Ruddy - the problem being that a few Plumbeous (juv?) apparently have dark eyes, too.
Last edited by Rasmus Boegh : Saturday 23rd October 2004 at 14:58.