[Mystery bird] Fledgling Bicolored Blackbird, Agelaius phoeniceus gubernator, photographed at Las Gallinas Wildlife Ponds, Marin County, California. [I will identify this bird for you in 48 hours]
Image: Joseph Kennedy, 13 May 2010 [larger view].
Nikon D200, Kowa 883 telescope with TSN-PZ camera eyepiece 1/500s f/8.0 at 1000.0mm iso400.
Please name at least one field mark that supports your identification.
This mystery bird is quite challenging to identify, but for those of you who can ID this species, can you also tell me the subspecies?
The Bicolored Blackbird, Agelaius phoeniceus gubernator, of California and central Mexico is a distinctive subspecies of the Red-winged Blackbird, A. p. phoeniceus. The male lacks the yellow wing patch of the nominate race, and the female is much darker than the female nominate. The taxonomy of this form is little understood, with the relationships between the two isolated Bicolored Blackbird populations, and between these and Red-winged Blackbirds still unclear.