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Swallow in Death Valley National Park, California, USA

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Old Thursday 14th March 2013, 22:30   #1
SHolt
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Swallow in Death Valley National Park, California, USA

Please help identify this swallow. It was flying over the Furnace Creek Golf Course "Audubon" water hazard. (The only area where bird watching is allowed on the course.) It was observed on March 9th. Any assistance is appreciated.

FYI: On March 7th winds gusting to 60 mph blew through the park preceeding a rainstorm which resulted in 13.2 mm of water over six hours.
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Old Thursday 14th March 2013, 22:42   #2
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I suspect it's a Northern Rough-winged Swallow.
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Old Thursday 14th March 2013, 22:49   #3
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Looking at the wing to tail ratio...I'd have thought Violet-green or Tree Swallow, as being the two most likely candidates...Think I'd opt for the former?

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Old Thursday 14th March 2013, 22:58   #4
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The wings do look a bit narrow and the tail has a definite fork to it, but the throat looks awfully buffy. Assuming that's an artifact of the photo, I could go with Tree Swallow or Violet Green Swallow as an alternative.
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Old Friday 15th March 2013, 00:16   #5
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I like Rough-wing for this bird.

I don't see why the wing to tail ratio would suggest one of Tree or Violet-green; those two species are nothing alike in that regard. In fact, a relatively short tail is one way to separate Violet-green from Tree.
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Old Friday 15th March 2013, 00:19   #6
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I'd go with Rough-Winged Swallow
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Old Friday 15th March 2013, 00:21   #7
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That said, the wing to tail on this bird is consistent with Violet-green!

But that throat is clearly coloured and contrasts with the belly/vent.

I don't know.
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Old Friday 15th March 2013, 14:33   #8
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I saw Violet-green and Tree swallows flying over this pond on the 2nd. There have been no Northern Rough-winged reported this year to the Park. The employees who observed this bird were trying to capture white-throated swifts with point-and-shoot cameras. This was the only image that had a bird visible. Unfortunately, this is not a swift.
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Old Saturday 16th March 2013, 12:09   #9
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I do not know what the terrain is like there, but could that not be a bank swallow, there appears to be a necklace and a slightly forked tail
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Old Sunday 17th March 2013, 05:42   #10
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The wings look very long to me.

Compare to this VG.
http://www.jkcassady.com/images/VGSWb411.jpg

or this RW
http://nathistoc.bio.uci.edu/birds/p...,%20March).jpg
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Old Wednesday 20th March 2013, 01:38   #11
Rjensen
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I saw that bird too!

I was also at the Furnace Creek golf course "birdwatching pond" on March 9 and saw the same swallow! A new birder, I at first took it to be a bank swallow (based on breast band) but have since learned that that would be a pretty rare sighting, and am now second-guessing myself. Thoughts?
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Old Monday 25th March 2013, 15:09   #12
SHolt
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It could be any of the three swallows discussed in this thread...or a Bank swallow. Of the 54 Bank Swallows reported to the Park, 48 were at Furnace Creek Ranch.

For now it is just a Swallow sp.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rjensen View Post
I was also at the Furnace Creek golf course "birdwatching pond" on March 9 and saw the same swallow! A new birder, I at first took it to be a bank swallow (based on breast band) but have since learned that that would be a pretty rare sighting, and am now second-guessing myself. Thoughts?
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