Post by nickinthegarden on Apr 6, 2020 11:57:46 GMT -8
I ran into John and Ed this morning at Columbia Valley. Ed had spotted 10 Mountain Bluebirds earlier perched in a Birch tree. By the time John and I got there they had spread out feeding on the far western side of the abandon Raspberry farm. John and Ed thought they had spotted a female Western Bluebird, it was incredibly distant across the field and ID was difficult. I took several images and they were still inconclusive in the field, on the computer at home the breast was definitely more rust colored than the Mountain Bluebird's grayish beige color. After I left to go check out other areas I returned and found that some of the Mountain Bluebirds had moved closer to the fence and the road. I spotted what I thought was the same bird we had seen earlier but I was shooting through a mesh fence so the image is mostly garbage. Checking out my Stokes and my Peterson's Bird books it looks like it could be a female Western Bluebird. It does not look like the female Mountain Bluebirds I have seen in the past or the other one I saw there. Possible female Western Bluebird by Nick, on Flickr
Fairly pale head, light throat, lack of darker lateral throat stripe, orange on the upper breast but not on flanks are all reasons I would still tilt towards a Mtn Bluebird(a substantial number of Mtn Bluebirds have varying degrees of orange on their upper breast). I would want this to be a Western but.......
Post by nickinthegarden on Apr 7, 2020 6:08:15 GMT -8
I found another image that might be a bit better. I tend to lean towards the Western Bluebird rather than the Mountain Bluebird. The female is significantly washed out compared to the male Mountain Bluebird and what "orange" color is on the breast is very pale almost beige leaning towards grey. I am sorry that I did not make more of an effort to get a clearer image.