Matt Cormons — July 08, 09:00PM
blackbird with yellow rump
My wife and I are experienced birders, so we are certain about seeing an icterid that was all black with a yellow rump. Any ideas - a grackle dyed by a researcher, a mutation, a foreign species, a practical joke, etc. Has anyone ever seen what we saw? Thanks
meg — July 13, 11:09AM
Perhaps include a geographic location for your observation or the URL to an eBird entry where we can view your image. both useful items to assist with a possible identification.
Matt Cormons — July 19, 10:29AM
he following had been sent b me to Meg a few days ago. I do wish to continue the conversation, Than you.
Thanks for your reply. We do not have an image, since the bird flew across out path while we were biking; we saw it briefly but very well and agreed completely on what we saw. It was at the Chincoteague Wildlife Refuge on the Wildlife Loop (Virginia's Eastern Shore, Delmarva Peninsula) in early July.
We believe it was likely a marked bird. How can we find out what birds have been marked recently, on what part of the body and with what colors. Would the Eastern Bird Banding Association have that information, or would Fish and Wildlife be a better source?
I strongly doubt that such a bird exists, unless it was a yellow-headed blackbird "chimera" (the yellow was the same as what I have seen in yellow-headed blackbirds. I recently saw a black cardinal (melanistic, which is a different phenomenon) and which is known to occur now and then, so we wonder what other anomalies are possible. Has anyone else reported seeing what we saw? Is there a place where bird anomalies are listed? I suggest Ebird create such a list, if it doesn't already have one; I'm sure we are not the only experienced birders who have seen anomalies worth recording. Incidentally, my wife is an ornithologist who has been studying the endangered Roseate Tern since the early 60s, so we are not the average people who come up with very imaginative observations.
Just so we know to whom we are corresponding, at the risk of offending you, may I ask what your qualifications as a birder are? I know from past experiences in former requests for information that they are often passed on to relative novices - which is fine, having been one and given the job of answering odd questions from the general public regarding natural history when fresh out of college I worked as a docent at the American Museum of Natural History in NYC decades ago. Experience makes big difference, at least in my case.