Field Notes

Ann Nightingale
123. by Ann Nightingale on December 06, 2012 at 10:39 am

A Citrine Wagtail has been present near Comox on Vancouver Island BC since November 14, 2012 until at least December 5 (as of the writing of this note). It has been seen around a sometimes flooded agricultural field, typically at the edges or searching for food in shallow puddles. The bird walks, foraging for food, most of the time, although periodically it takes off and flies, giving a flight call as it goes. As it walks, its tail frequently wags up and down (go figure!). As a juvenile bird, it lacked any bright color, but is a beautiful combination of black, white and gray. The bird is medium sparrow-sized and shaped, but with a medium length sharply pointed bill. The dorsal surface, from the crown to the rump are dark gray, while the underside is pale gray. The face has a distinct intermediate gray auricular patch, complimenting soft white eyebrows (which arch behind the auricular patch), lores and throat. Eyes and legs are dark, bill appears to be two-toned--pale yellow at the base and dark at the tip. Undertail coverts and outer tail feathers white. Primaries, secondaries and tertials appear black, edged with white. Primary and median coverts are black, tipped white, showing as clear wing bars. Tail, except for white outer feathers, is black. Flight call was a repeated single somewhat raspy note fairly evenly spaced with pauses. "My experience" below didn't have the option I needed. I have only seen this bird once, but am highly confident of the identification due to scrutinization by many people. This is the second documented record for North America, the first for Canada.

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Citation: Personal Experience. I observe this regularly, highly confident.

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Ann Nightingale added a note to Citrine Wagtail Notes 12/06/2012 at 10:39AM