- Nov 25, 2013View Source
No matter what the identity of the female blackbird in Gregg Gentry’s photo, there were certainly both a male and a female Rusty Blackbird present in recent weeks at Harbor Park. There are many very good photos of each bird, and on one day (at least) both birds were seen and photographed simultaneously by Curtis Marantz, Dick Norton and others. I don’t believe the male has been seen for some time, but as has been posted here the female is still around. As for the photo in question, I would lean toward Rusty, based in part on the rusty tips to the greater coverts (which should be solidly slaty in Brewer’s); rusty tertial edges are diagnostic for Rusty, but that part of the bird is not visible in the photo.
There have been at least three Rusty Blackbirds in the county this month, and I should remind birders that this species is on the CBRC review list (so please get your details and photos to CBRC Secretary Guy McCaskie).
Kimball L. Garrett
Ornithology Collections Manager
Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County
900 Exposition Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90007 USA
I looked at a lot of Rusty Blackbird photos online, and it still looks good to me, but experience dictates that it is possible for me to make mistakes! I will ask Greg for some other photos. Maybe some of our other experts who follow these posts can give us some insights on this bird?
From: "dan_cooper_90042@..." <dan_cooper_90042@...>
Sent: Monday, November 25, 2013 7:30 AM
Subject: RE: Re: [LACoBirds] Harbor Park continuing Rusty Blackbird and American Redstart
Maybe it's just me, but that first bird (from 11/24) looks like a pretty normal (female) Brewer's Blackbird. I'm not seeing much of the orangey tones of a Rusty. Bill looks stout too, better for Brewer's. Was that bird calling? And are there any photos that show more of the bird? I'm willing to be wrong on this, and know that I'm fooled at least once a fall by "rusty" Brewer's...
[Brings up a good point that these photos, and other documentation, are really important for figuring out last dates of these rarities that lots of people are chasing and ticking and the actual number involved. First dates are usually a lot clearer. Dave Pereksta recently had a good little article in the Ventura Audubon Dec. newsletter about this situation which he terms the "Laguna Road effect".]