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Videos of Watsonville Cuckoo, and of CT Warbler

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  • Jay Withgott
    Hello CalBirds – In case it’s of any assistance in the discussion over this bird, I’ve posted two videos of the Watsonville Cuckoo here:
    Message 1 of 2 , Oct 4, 2012
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      Hello CalBirds �

      In case it�s of any assistance in the discussion over this bird, I�ve posted two videos of the Watsonville Cuckoo here:
      http://youtu.be/fAsWQBeYK-Q
      http://youtu.be/BmYRsJ_xe0k

      With apologies for the shake from my handheld digiscoping, the potentially(?) useful thing about these videos (taken Sunday evening 30 Sept) is that they show an out-of-place feather that I believe is an alula feather. It is blackish on the basal half and barred rusty on the distal half. In Birds of Russia and Adjacent Territories (Flint et al 1984), a diagram on p 170 presents as a field mark distinguishing Common from Oriental Cuckoo the color of the �marginal covert�: barred in Common and unbarred in Oriental. (Black bars on white vs. clear white in adult males.) However, to my eye the diagram appears to be showing the alula rather than the marginal coverts. Illustrations in the new NGS guide also appear to show barring on the alula for Common, while noting that �underwing primary coverts are largely white and unmarked [in Oriental], while they are barred in Common.�

      I�m not completely certain that the feather in the video is an alula feather, nor whether this is truly a useful field mark, but in lieu of more careful research on my part I thought I�d simply offer this up and let those with more knowledge and access to specimens take it into consideration.

      � And just for kicks, here are two fun videos of the Pt. Reyes Connecticut Warbler (and, briefly, Ovenbird), also taken on Sunday:

      http://youtu.be/_qvzeEmtFQ4
      http://youtu.be/-nDYDo-VMWw

      Some enjoyable birding indeed following the WFO Conference in Petaluma! California birding in late September never fails to impress. Thanks to those who found these birds and for the help and good company of many folks in observing them.

      Jay Withgott
      Portland, Oregon



      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Bob & Carol Yutzy
      Anyone look for the Cuckoo today? About how many people were out looking? Any info, negative or positive, is appreciated. Bob Yutzy Shasta, Ca Sent from my
      Message 2 of 2 , Oct 4, 2012
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        Anyone look for the Cuckoo today?

        About how many people were out looking?

        Any info, negative or positive, is appreciated.

        Bob Yutzy
        Shasta, Ca

        Sent from my iPhone

        On Oct 4, 2012, at 3:41 PM, Jay Withgott <withgott@...> wrote:

        >
        > Hello CalBirds –
        >
        > In case it’s of any assistance in the discussion over this bird, I’ve posted two videos of the Watsonville Cuckoo here:
        > http://youtu.be/fAsWQBeYK-Q
        > http://youtu.be/BmYRsJ_xe0k
        >
        > With apologies for the shake from my handheld digiscoping, the potentially(?) useful thing about these videos (taken Sunday evening 30 Sept) is that they show an out-of-place feather that I believe is an alula feather. It is blackish on the basal half and barred rusty on the distal half. In Birds of Russia and Adjacent Territories (Flint et al 1984), a diagram on p 170 presents as a field mark distinguishing Common from Oriental Cuckoo the color of the “marginal covert”: barred in Common and unbarred in Oriental. (Black bars on white vs. clear white in adult males.) However, to my eye the diagram appears to be showing the alula rather than the marginal coverts. Illustrations in the new NGS guide also appear to show barring on the alula for Common, while noting that “underwing primary coverts are largely white and unmarked [in Oriental], while they are barred in Common.”
        >
        > I’m not completely certain that the feather in the video is an alula feather, nor whether this is truly a useful field mark, but in lieu of more careful research on my part I thought I’d simply offer this up and let those with more knowledge and access to specimens take it into consideration.
        >
        > … And just for kicks, here are two fun videos of the Pt. Reyes Connecticut Warbler (and, briefly, Ovenbird), also taken on Sunday:
        >
        > http://youtu.be/_qvzeEmtFQ4
        > http://youtu.be/-nDYDo-VMWw
        >
        > Some enjoyable birding indeed following the WFO Conference in Petaluma! California birding in late September never fails to impress. Thanks to those who found these birds and for the help and good company of many folks in observing them.
        >
        > Jay Withgott
        > Portland, Oregon
        >
        >
        >
        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        >
        >
        >
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