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Possible Siberian Rubythroat


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#1 Ryn

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 01:03 PM

Unfortunately, I do not have a picture. I was recently participating in my annual 24hr birdathon and I saw a bird that I have never seen before. I would consider myself a seasoned birder, I have been studying birds for at least the last few decades and I have never seen a bird that even somewhat resembles the one I spotted the other day. It was in a large marsh surrounded by a mix of conifer, decidious, and scrub, located in Valemount, BC, Canada. The bird, clearly a male, was with a more drab female. The male was dark and had the most amazing orange-red throat I have ever seen. It was at the farthest range of my binoculars so I was unable to spot any closer details other than the amazing throat which almost flashed in the sun. It was the same size as a red-winged blackbird but definately not that species. The closest thing I could come up with is the Siberian Rubythroat, though I was not close enough to confirm the white eyebrow. My Sibleys says that it is a rare migrant.

Does anyone know if this is even somewhat likely or if there is another species that matches this description?
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#2 TheBillyPilgrim

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 02:11 PM

Welcome to Whatbird. I've got no experience at all with Asian species, so I can't help with the ID, but I checked ebird and there don't appear to be any sightings of that species listed in Canada. There are a couple in extreme western and northern Alaska, but it seems unlikely that one of these guys would have made it as far east as you.

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#3 Liam

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 02:15 PM

Welcome to Whatbird. I've got no experience at all with Asian species, so I can't help with the ID, but I checked ebird and there don't appear to be any sightings of that species listed in Canada. There are a couple in extreme western and northern Alaska, but it seems unlikely that one of these guys would have made it as far east as you.


I agree. Two individuals are even less likely. The only suggestion I have is going back again to try to observe the bird/s more extensively, maybe even try for a photo.

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#4 Ryn

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 02:39 PM

Thanks for the welcome and the replies. I was quite skeptical as well but no other bird fits the description. What ever it was, it wasn't a bird common to that area; I would love to observe it more but it's now 3 hours away from where I live. I was visiting the area for my birdathon.
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#5 JimBob

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 02:53 PM

Blackburnian Warbler might be an option. They are WAY smaller then RWBB but match somewhat.

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#6 Ryn

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Posted 19 May 2012 - 02:07 AM

I was thinking a Blackburnian at first but the size didn't match. Nor was the head yellow. The color was only on the throat and actually reflected the sun, something like a rubythroated hummingbird. I am kicking myself for not having a satellite at my disposal so I could get a decent picture. lol
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#7 Kryptos18

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Posted 19 May 2012 - 02:56 AM

Try something like Rufous Hummingbird. Their throats reflect in the sun too, and can appear different colors depending on the angle.
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#8 Ryn

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Posted 20 May 2012 - 02:29 AM

Had a similar throat but the size, posture, beak and flight pattern all said not hummingbird. Also saw a pair of Eurasian Collared Doves the other day and my place is way out of their range. I will get a pic soon here. The exciting thing about the birding world these days is that traditional distribution no longer holds true the way it used to. People are seeing all sorts of things where they never were before.
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#9 TheBillyPilgrim

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Posted 20 May 2012 - 03:34 AM

The Eurasian Collared-Doves are expanding their range pretty rapidly in North America (a lot of field guides don't reflect the change accurately) due to human introductions. They are now reported on a regular basis in BC, too, so giving them a defined range is pretty impossible right now.

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