Sunday, May 8, 2011

Found a brown-fronted probable hybrid BlackXEastern Phoebe in Coaldale,CO

Yesterday I found this brown fronted probable hybrid BlackXEastern Phoebe up the Arkansas River in a tiny town of Coaldale, CO. This location is about 33 miles west of where I had seen my first brown-fronted hybrid phoebe in late March of this year. This bird was about 80 feet away so I wasn't able to get a very good photo and cannot say if this bird looks like the one I saw in March. Due to the many nestings between presumptive Black and Eastern Phoebes in this area, I believe this is a BlackXEastern hybrid and that the brown-fronted plumage is a result of the hybridization. By the way, I did not do any editing other than cropping this pic so it would give the most accurate representation of the coloration and shading. I would add that this phoebe is not nearly as black as most Black Phoebes I have seen and photographed in this area (or other areas for that matter). The brown coloration on the crown of this bird is best viewed by double-clicking on the pic to enlarge it further.
The pic below is the brown-fronted probable hybrid BlackXEastern Phoebe that was associating with a presumptive Black Phoebe near Canon City at the end of March, 2011. It is certainly possible that this brown-fronted hybrid moved up river because I have not been closely checking the phoebes at my friend's place since they looked like they were going to nest and were very sensitive to disturbance. So I don't know for sure if the brown-fronted hybrid I was seeing there has been around for almost a month, plenty of time to move up to Coaldale. It would also be interesting if this brown-fronted characteristic might be occurring more than once as a result of hybridization.  Again, best viewed by double-clicking on this pic too. SeEtta