New Quiz – Which Kingbird is it??


Today I am giving you a quiz that is a bit more tricky.  It even had me stumped when I first saw it.  I like these, because it makes you get your bird guides out and study harder.  These photos were taken near Fort Davis, Texas on August 18, 2014.  Un-retouched except for a little sharpening.  You may click on the photo to see it enlarged.

I would love to hear more comments, too.

As usual, study the picture, then click your answer in the poll below.

What is this bird?

What bird is this??

Which Kingbird is this.

What bird is this??

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11 thoughts on “New Quiz – Which Kingbird is it??

  1. The only other kingbird I could find with that very slightly hooked beak was the Cassin’s. So I will “go out on a limb” and vote Cassin’s king bird.

  2. Another good quiz, Bob. I would probably not have known it was a kingbird at all! So I voted Western but I am interested to read your discussion. I love the way the grey just fades into yellow – so beautiful.

  3. My friend Dave Skinner, up in Canada had this to say:

    Dave Skinner – 4 hours ago

    “This is a very good quiz, Bob. I have been working hard on learning my kingbirds. Back home in Ontario, Canada, we only have the Eastern Kingbird. But in the west…….oh my!!!!! I see you did not include Thick-billed Kingbird. I guess that is different enough that quiz-takers would eliminate that one right away. I eliminated Couch’s because that is more of a southern Texas bird. And I eliminated Cassin’s because the gray is darker. Your picture shows a lighter gray. The Tropical Kingbird shows a darker ear patch. The bird in your picture does not have the darker ear patch. The Tropical has more of a notched tail. The bill, however, looks a little longer than I would have thought you would see in a Western. But my guess is for the Western.”

    Bob Zeller’s reply:
    When I first saw the bird, I thought it looked a darker gray, but light can play tricks on the eye. Anyway, that is what got my initial attention. As I told Dealle, what swayed me to think it is a Cassin’s it that the gray extended down farther on the chest, and I noticed the contrasting white molar.
    Western Kingbirds is the most common kingbird here in Texas. However, the range of the Cassin’s does include the mountains of far west Texas. These photos were made in the Davis Mountains. But as Dave said, this is an exciting and fun quiz. I may not be 100% correct in my vote of the Cassin’s but that is my guess.

  4. I voted for the Western Kingbird. Looking at the chest area, I was noticing how far down the grey went, this helped in my identification. Tropical & Cassin’s are not normally in the Texas area.

    • I love to have these quizzes, as it can provoke great discussions. I am glad that you provided your assessment. Personally, I surprised myself when I decided, in my opinion, that it is a Cassin’s. My Sibley’s guide does show the gray extending farther down on the Cassin’s, and I liked the contrasty white molar. Also National Geographic range map shows it to extend down into the mountains of far west Texas, where I took the photographs.
      When I saw the bird in the viewfinder of my camera, my first thought that the gray was darker. Of course, I was still thinking Western at that moment. I was still thinking that until I got it uploaded and was able to enlarge it and look at in more detail.
      But thanks, Dealle, for contributing. I hope that others will give there opinion, too.

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