[Tweeters] Tricolored Blackbird

Randy Hill re_hill at q.com
Thu Apr 2 07:51:59 PDT 2015

A word of caution in identifying Tricolored Blackbirds. Bob Flores and I had a very promising bird at Washougal a few weeks ago. From behind I got scope views and several distant photos of what appeared to be pretty convincing white bars and red patches. When we got closer and finally had a better view of the wings from a different angle, different lighting turned red to reddish orange and white to a yellowish tinge. I’ve had photos from some angles that fooled WBRC members, and Bob and I both have pretty extensive experience from California and the wintering Othello population.

There were Tricolored Blackbirds last weekend in Othello during the Sandhill Crane Festival. A large mixed flock was using the RR crossing area and grain storage at the north end of town where Broadway turns into McManamon Road.

Randy Hill


From: tweeters-bounces at mailman1.u.washington.edu [mailto:tweeters-bounces at mailman1.u.washington.edu] On Behalf Of William Brynteson
Sent: Thursday, April 02, 2015 7:19 AM
Subject: [Tweeters] Tricolored Blackbird

Good Morning all

Now that April 1 has come and gone I wanted to share a sighting tidbit that has come to my attention. A good friend of mine (casual birder Jon Sneddon) was down in the south Puget Sound area (near Hartsteen Island) visiting his daughter and sent me a text about a black bird with a white stripe on its shoulder. I had just gotten up and upon seeing the text, responded with "Pigeon Guillemot" in breeding plumage.

He responded no, that he thought it was a "tri-tip" blackbird! I said you mean a Tricolored Blackbird, and they are not found here. He said okay, but I cannot find anything that looks like it, so I only had my iPhone and I took a very fuzzy picture of it, I will send it to you.

Well he did and you can just make out that it is a bird, that is the size and shape of a blackbird and yes it has the appropriate looking shoulder patch that is all white. I have the picture at work and my system will not allow me to post it, so I will do so later today.

When I checked eBird it does not show the TCBB being seen in the Puget Sound area at all, so I am working to find out if this bird is a regular at the location it was seen, and then get over to see if I can find it and hopefully get a better photo.

Isn't birding fun!


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