[Mystery bird] Blue Grosbeak, Passerina caerulea, photographed at High Island, Texas. [I will identify this bird for you tomorrow]
Image: Joseph Kennedy, 11 April 2007 [larger view].
Nikon D200, Kowa 883 telescope TSN-PZ camera eyepiece 1/500s f/8.0 at 500.0mm iso800.
Please name at least one field mark that supports your identification.
Rick Wright, Managing Director of WINGS Birding Tours Worldwide, writes:
A blue bird. With a short, broad tail. And a huge bill. This is a male Blue Grosbeak in all his glory.
The classic confusion species is Indigo Bunting, another member of the genus Passerina. But especially in a view like this, we’d see the longer, paler, uniformly dark of an Indigo Bunting, the more slender body, the uniformly dark blue wings, the more diffusely blackish face, and the more sparrow-like bill of that smaller species. In poor light or at a distance, either species can appear simply blackish, but even then the longer tail, finer body, and slighter bill of Indigo Bunting should distinguish it readily from the fist-shaped Blue Grosbeak.