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Index of Identification-related birds

PLEASE NOTE: The entries on this page are quite varied, and some of them suggest tentative IDs that would be extremely significant, were the ID to be confirmed - but almost all of these types of entries remain speculative, and the vast majority have NOT been submitted as any particular taxon - and probably never will be. The main purpose of these kinds of entries is to provoke discussion about identification/occurrence issues, and perhaps broaden awareness of the potential for certain forms to occur as vagrants. Of course, I'd prefer that I am right on such speculations! - but I am much more interested in discovering the Truth, and if that shows me to have been wrong, so-be-it; I usually learn far more when I'm wrong than when I'm right. Feel free to agree/disagree with these speculations - but please do so in a positive manner that hopefully may further the process - thanks!

Last Updated: November 25, 2019
NOTE: all birds were photographed in Texas unless stated otherwise.

Tundra Swan: Britain's second provides a nice comparison with a poorly-marked Bewick's Swan - added January 29, 2008 .
Blue-morph Ross's Goose: Good pics of an adult in southern Texas
- added May 17, 2014 .
Blue-morph Ross's Goose: An apparent adult from southern Texas - but is it pure? - added August 15, 2010 .
Ross's Goose: Two; one looks like a hybrid, while the other ...? - re-added December, 10 2005.
Greater-white-fronted x Snow Goose: a subtle hybrid from the central Texas coastal plain - added August 15, 2010 .
Greater White-fronted Goose: An illustrated discussion section for birds that winter in Texas - updated December 03, 2007.
Greater White-fronted Goose: More from the Texas coastal plain - two different subspecies? - added August 15, 2010 .
Brant: a worn summering individual in coastal Texas - is it assignable to a subspecies or form?- added April 12, 2011.
Richardson's Cackling Goose: A pair of presumed hutchinsi - one has a strong black throat divide - added Jan 03, 2003.
Taverner's Cackling Goose: Re-added this presumed taverneri with parvipes-type Canada Geese in Dallas - added Jan 03, 2003.
Black Brant: from Barrow, Alaska - but one might be a different form... - added January 09, 2008 .
Green-winged Teal: The resurrected page on variation within carolinensis - added June 01, 2003.
Common/Green-winged Teal: A female crecca from England that shows some carolinensis features - added January 21, 2008 .
Baikal Teal: Another page on carolinensis variation - now with comparison pics of juv. Baikal Teal - updated July 09, 2006 .
An Aythya from Fort Worth that may have Tufted Duck genes - added Dec, 2000.
Goldeneye: A female from England that shows some features associated with Barrow's - added January 21, 2008 .
Common Eider: Three from Scotland that have bills like the Arctic/Icelandic forms - ?; now with two (rather different) dresseri adults from Massachusetts
- updated December 01, 2014.

Pacific/Arctic Loon: (not in Texas!)... but which is it? - re-added Dec 16, 2005.
Common Loon: A flying bird showing a vent strap? - added Oct 28, 2003.
Common Loon: A bird showing a strong white patch on the lower flanks... - added November 11, 2014.
Yellow-billed Loon: A rather unusual individual from Texas... - added March 25, 2006.

Cory's Shearwater: A selection from Texas pelagics; are both subspecies shown here? - updated November 11, 2014.
Storm-Petrels: A selection from a July Texas pelagic, with ID discussion; are three taxa present? - added Oct 09, 2004.

Brown Booby: A young bird from the upper Texas coast that has bright orange-yellow feet - added August 21, 2008 .
sinensis Great Cormorant: from inland England; it looks a lot like a DC - but it's not.... - added Sept 20 2004.
Dalmatian Pelican: a vagrant pelican from Bahrain that I feel is the first country record of Dalmatian Pelican - re-added Dec 16, 2005.
Frigatebird: A Basic I/II immature from the Florida Keys that seems to have cinnamon on the chest...- added June 12, 2011.
Frigatebird: A subadult from the Florida Keys that seems unusual - added January 09, 2008 .
Frigatebird: A first-cycle bird from the central Texas coast that seems to have some untypical features - added August 18, 2008 .
Frigatebird: This pink-billed adult female from the upper Texas coast is now thought to be a variant Magnificent Frigatebird - updated September 09, 2008 .

Great Blue Heron: An atypical immature, with discussion of separation from Grey Heron - re-added Dec 11, 2005.
Reddish Egret: three young white-morph birds with yellow on the lores - how prevalent is this? - added October 20, 2011.
Snowy Egret: Reactivated my pages on variation in this taxon, with comments on Little Egret ID - added Jan 26, 2003.
Snowy Egret: Two spring adults with long head plumes - from the same site five years apart... - added November 06, 2013.
Snowy Egret: juvenile Snowies with pale bill-bases to ponder... - added July 28, 2003.
Snowy Egret: yet more presumed juvenile Snowies with pale bill-bases. - added July 28, 2003.
Snowy Egret: Another example illustrating variation in presumed juvenile Snowies - this one with dark gray lores - from south Texas - updated August 26, 2008 .
Snowy Egret: Two adults with dark head plumes (one from Colombia and one from Texas)...?- added September 14, 2010 .
Little Blue Heron: a young juvenile with a striking resemblance to juvenile Little Egret!. - updated November 06, 2013.
Tricolored Heron: an aberrant individual that has diluted plumage - or is there some Snowy Egret in it? - added August 17, 2019.
White-faced x Glossy Ibis hybrid: An apparent adult hybrid from Fort Worth - added May 05, 2002.
White-faced x Glossy hybrid: Another adult hybrid, this one from Port Aransas - added November 24, 2010 .

Swainson's x Rough-legged Hawk hybrid: the first documented example of this combination in the wild - updated December 03, 2002 .
Swainson's and Rough-legged Hawks: Examples of various morphs and ages - updated December 03, 2007 .
Swainson's Hawk: a nice study of a blackish dark-morph bird, part of a large grounding in southern Texas - added November 11, 2014.
Red-tailed Hawk: Examples of various morphs and subspecies - updated January 09, 2008 .
Krider's Hawk: close flight shots of a non-juvenile (adult tail but pale eyes?) - added February 07, 2013.
Harlan's Hawk: Examples of various morphs and ages - updated March 17, 2003.
Harlan's Hawk: recent light-morph juveniles (plus two darker birds), plus a light-morph adult from nine years ago - updated April 12, 2013.
Merlins: Examples of various morphs and subspecies - updated Jan 19, 2003 .
Aplomado-like Peregrine: a juvenile western anatum-type from south Texas that from a distance looks unexpectedly like Aplomado Falcon... - added November 01, 2013.

King Rail: a bird from west Texas in June/July 1993 - added October 31, 2012.

Golden-Plovers: A detailed analysis of the current state-of-play for separating non-Definitive-Alternate dominica and fulva - added October 29, 2011.

Pacific Golden-Plover: The first fully-documented record for Texas - updated April 13, 2006.
Pacific Golden-Plover: Thanks to Laurie Knight I present a series of birds from Australia in mid/late winter - with comments on structural/molt implications - added March 29, 2010 .
American Golden-Plover: A couple of yellowish juveniles - re-added Dec 16, 2005.
American Golden-Plover: A short-winged individual from Texas in early Spring - added Mar 20, 2006.
"Lesser" Golden-Plover: Audio of a Spring bird from Fort Worth, with comparative audio and spectrographs of fulva and dominica - re-added Dec 16, 2005 .
"Lesser" Golden-Plover: First of two from Texas in early Spring with very long tertials - added April 03, 2006.
"Lesser" Golden-Plover: Second of two from Texas in early Spring with very long tertials - added April 03, 2006.
"Lesser" Golden-Plover: A shoreline-feeding individual from Texas in early Spring with odd molt pattern - added April 05, 2011.
"Lesser" Golden-Plover: Six more on the same day from central Texas in mid-April that defy conventional wisdom: this first one and this second one might possibly be first-Spring fulva, while the third, fourth, fifth and sixth look like dominica - except for the rear-end structure - added April 14, 2006.
Mountain Plover: An interesting MOPL with some features associated with Oriental Plover - added August 20, 2018.
Semipalmated Plover: A presumed SEPL with some features associated with Common Ringed Plover - added Oct 26, 2003.
Semipalmated Plover: Another presumed SEPL with some features associated with Common Ringed Plover - added May, 10 2005.
Semipalmated Plover: Yet another presumed SEPL with some features associated with Common Ringed Plover - added Oct 03, 2009 .
Semipalmated Plover: One more SEPL with some features associated with Common Ringed Plover - added Oct 03, 2009 .
Semipalmated Plover: Again, a presumed SEPL with some features associated with Common Ringed Plover - added Aug 11, 2010.

a very pale hudsonicus?
- added April 05, 2011.
Eurasian Whimbrel: This first record for Texa was found by Cameron Cox; is this a nominate phaeopus? - added May 04, 2013.
Black-tailed Godwit: This first record for Texa was found by Ron Weeks; is this a female nominate limosa? - added June 04, 2012.
Bar-tailed Godwit: This first record for Texa was found by Mel Cooksey; it seems to be a nominate lapponica - updated October 12, 2014.
Eastern and Western Willet: A comparison of adults on the same pool in late summer in Texas - added Dec 23, 2010 .
Solitary Sandpiper: Two individuals that seem to show the extreme in size variation - ? - added May 25, 2006.
Purple Sandpiper: A bird from Texas with some wing features of Rock Sandpiper; a discussion of potential ID features - updated July 19, 2009.
Least Sandpiper: A juvenile showing features associated with Long-toed Stint - added Sept 7, 2002.
Least Sandpiper: Another juvenile showing features associated with Long-toed Stint - added Sept 5, 2003.
Least Sandpiper: Two more juvs with some features associated with Long-toed Stint: here's one, and here's the other - re-added December, 10 2005.
Least Sandpiper: Spring birds; one with an abnormal head, and one with strongly split-supercilium - re-added May, 10 2005.
Least Sandpiper?: A really striking Spring bird with some strong Long-toed Stint features... - added July 19, 2009.
Least Sandpiper: An alternate-plumaged bird with strong chevron markings on the lower flanks and lateral undertail coverts...- added May 17, 2014 .
Least Sandpiper: A juvenile with Broad-billed Sandpiper-esk split supercilia!...- added May 11, 2015 .
Least Sandpiper: A juvenile with striking, Long-toed Stint-like appearance...- added May 11, 2015 .
Semipalmated Sandpiper: A juvenile with some 2nd-generation scaps by mid-August - added December, 20 2005.
Semipalmated Sandpiper: Two birds with some Stint-like features - added December, 20 2005.
Semipalmated Sandpiper: a late juvenile with some unusual features - added November 12, 2012.
Red-necked Stint: A very fresh juvenile from western Alaska with an atypically dark head - re-added December, 10 2005.
Red-necked Stint: A peep quiz for all you calidriphiles! - added Sept 02, 2003..
Peep/Stint?: A worn summer bird from Texas with an orange wash on the shoulders... - added December, 10 2005.
Little Stint: A tantalizingly distant early Spring bird from coastal Texas with striking "double white braces"... - added December 16, 2005.

Wilson's/Common Snipe: A quiz; can you spot the G. delicatas among the G. gallinagos? - updated Nov 12, 2001..
Wilson's Snipe: Variation in G. delicata snipe: one rather like Great Snipe; and one somewhat like Pintail Snipe - added Sept 25, 2002.
Wilson's Snipe: More unusual birds - added Oct 04, 2002.
Wilson's Snipe: A presumed G. delicata with some supposed gallinago-like features - added Sept 30, 2003.
Common Snipe: A specimen at BMNH, England that may be North America's first Gallinago gallinago - added Sept 28 2004.
Common Snipe: A presumed G. gallinago from Texas with too much white on the underwing and outermost tail feather for delicata - added March 29, 2004.
More images of the presumed TX Common Snipe Gallinago gallinago including comparisons with G. delicata and G. gallinago - added March 29, 2004.
Comparisons of the underwing of the presumed TX Common Snipe Gallinago gallinago with G. gallinago from Korea - added August 31, 2004..

Pomarine Jaeger: A selection of subadult-types from the Gulf of Mexico - added Nov 17, 2004.
Pomarine Jaeger: This presumed adult-like Pom is a controversial, precedent-setting bird from Texas offshore waters with plumage resembing South Polar Skua - updated Nov 17, 2004.
A comparison of the Nov. 2004 TX Pomarine Jaeger-type with the Sept. 2005 Tenn. Skua, plus comments - added December 16, 2005.
Long-tailed Jaeger: A fresh "brassy" juvenile from the Gulf of Mexico - added September 08, 2008 .
Long-tailed Jaeger: A second calendar-year from the Gulf of Mexico - updated Nov 15, 2004.
Long-tailed Jaeger: A presumed third calendar-year, this one in San Antonio, Texas after a storm - added August 17, 2007 .
Black Tern: a variety of birds illustrating the variability of the ssp. surinamensis. - updated August 14, 2016.
Common Tern: A juvenile that is rather dark; from the central Texas coast
- added September 18, 2012.
Common Tern: A juvenile that stands out from the adults; from the upper Texas coast in late Fall - added May 24, 2006.
Common Tern: first-winter compared to first-winter Forster's Tern, standing and in flight - added November 11, 2014.
Common Tern: an Alternate-plumaged adult with unsually dark underparts - added January 01, 2016.
Arctic Tern: An adult from San Antonio, Texas in the late Spring; the bill seems photographically-distorted in most of the photos... - added May 14, 2008.
Forster's Tern: One with the appearance of a dusky carpal bar - added April 27, 2010 .
Sandwich Tern: From Texas a series of birds with varying amounts of yellow/orange in the bill... - updated November 13, 2015.
Sandwich Tern: An illustrated discussion about the perceived shape of primary tips with regard to Sandwich vs Cabot's ID - added November 13, 2015.
Elegant Terns: two birds from Texas in comparison to Royal and Sandwich Terns - added July 18, 2017.
Bridled Tern: a distant bird from San Antonio,Texas in 2010 - added August 05, 2019.

An unusual Black-billed Cuckoo: a juvenile with gray cheeks.- added November 13, 2013.
An unusual Yellow-billed Cuckoo: an adult with no eyerings and buff on the underparts - added May 07, 2018.

Common Nighthawk: A series from near Fort Worth showing some interesting structural (wing) variations - and one looks more like a Lesser... - added Aug 16, 2003.
Pauraque: I assume that's what this is - but it seems to be migrating by thermaling - ??? - added October 23, 2009.

Sick's Swift Chaetura meridionalis?: A Spring bird from Texas that seems to match-up well with this Austral migrant - ? - updated March 04, 2009.
Sick's Swift Chaetura meridionalis: A specimen-based comparison of this strongly migratory South American species to other Chaetura: pelagica, vauxi (4 races), brachyura, and chapmani. - added March 31, 2009.
Chaetura swift sp.: A late Fall bird from Texas suggesting Vaux's... - updated January 09, 2008 .
Vaux's Swift: An early Fall bird from Texas that looks to be vauxi - ? - Added Oct 03, 2009 .
Vaux's Swift: a series of birds from Washington state in September - added September 18, 2017.
Vaux's Swift: four birds from Odessa, Texas in December 2016 - added August 20, 2018.
Chimney Swift: A presumed melanistic specimen from Chicago - or is it something else? - added March 31, 2009.
Black-chinned x Broad-tailed Hummingbird hybrid?: Or just an unusual Ruby-throated from West Texas? - added October 07, 2009 .

Western Wood-Pewee: from coastal Texas; were there really four WWPE at Port Aransas in October 2011...? - added October 13, 2011.
Western Wood-Pewee: from coastal Texas; a bird with an all-dark mandible. - added August 14, 2016.
Eastern Wood-Pewee: a Fall bird from Houston that has an unmarked orange mandible (plus the real Greater Pewee for comparison!) - added November 11, 2014.
Empidonax sp.: A Fall bird from south Texas - now Id'ed by experts as a Hammond's Flycatcher - added Oct 19, 2004.
Empidonax sp.: A Winter bird (or two) on a south Texas ranch - more Hammond's Flycatchers? - added November 30, 2004.
Hammond's Flycatcher: A different bird at the same south Texas ranch - how many were wintering locally? - added February 21, 2005.
Hammond's Flycatcher: Winter birds from Corpus Christi and San Antonio
- added February 07, 2013.
Hammond's Flycatcher:
a late Fall bird from Bracketville (west of San Antonio) - added November 11, 2014.

Empidonax sp.: from Corpus Christi, Texas that to me suggests Dusky Flycatcher...? - added May 03 , 2009 .
Willow Flycatcher (?):
a Fall bird from coastal Texas that I presume to be a Willow yet has a dusky mandible...? - added September 11, 2013.
Empidonax sp.:
a Fall bird from west Texas that I presume to be a Willow yet has the main published ID features of White-throated Flycatcher...? - added September 07, 2011.
Willow Flycatcher (?): another - a Spring bird -from west Texas that I presume to be a Willow yet has the main published ID features of White-throated Flycatcher...? - added August 07, 2013.
Willow Flycatcher (?):
yet another - a Fall bird -from west Texas that I presume to be a Willow yet has some of the published ID features of White-throated Flycatcher...?- added November 11, 2013.
Western Willow Flycatcher:
a late Spring bird from the Lower Rio Grande Valley that looks like this form - added July 19, 2009
Yellow-bellied Flycatcher: a Fall bird from coastal Texas that appears to have a very thin bill...? - added November 11, 2014.
Cordilleran Flycatcher:
A bird wintering on a south Texas ranch - confirmed by voice - updated January 05, 2005.
Pine Flycatcher: Thanks to Chris Wood here are a series of images of from Colima, Mexico - added December 03, 2004.
Dusky-capped Flycatcher: of the form lawrenceii from south Texas - added December 17, 2010 .
Nutting's Flycatcher:
from west Texas; the first record for Texas, subject to acceptance by the TBRC - added January 10, 2012.
Piratic Flycatcher: A Spring bird from Texas, with notes on separation from Variegated Flycatcher - added May 05 , 2008 .
Variegated Flycatcher: A confiding "Fall" bird (for the bird it is Spring!) from south Texas - added October 06, 2016.
White-crested Elaenia Elaenia albiceps chilensis: The first record for the ABA and AOU areas, with audio - added February 10, 2008 .
Couch's Kingbird: juveniles plus a possible COKIxSTFL hybird - from Texas - added October 30, 2020.

White-eyed Vireo: with facial pattern resermbling Thick-billed and Mangrove Vireos.
- added June 29, 2020.

"Solitary" Vireo: But is it identifiable to species? - added July 28, 2003.
"Solitary" Vireo: Another interesting one; is it firmly identifiable to species? - added Nov 11, 2003.
Some audio clips comparing Cassin's and Blue-Headed Vireos from Alberta - added Dec 11, 2005.
Cassin's Vireo: a bird from Fort Worth in 2002 - added Sept 26, 2003.
Cassin's Vireo: from Corpus Christi - added Dec 23, 2004.
Cassin's Vireo: from south of San Antonio - added Dec 27, 2005.
Cassin's Vireo: from Port Aransas
- added October 13, 2011.
Cassin's Vireo: another from Port Aransas
- added September 18, 2012.
Cassin's Vireo: one from Corpus Christi that sang!
- added November 25, 2019.
Cassin's Vireo: one from our balcony in San Antonio
- added October 24, 2020.
Plumbeous Vireo: - from Corpus Christi in October 2004 - added Oct 31, 2004.
Plumbeous Vireo: another one from Corpus Christi in April 2010 - added April 27, 2010 .

Black-whiskered Vireo: from Sabine Woods - added April 25, 2005.
Black-whiskered Vireo: from High Island - added April 24, 2006.
Black-whiskered Vireo?: Possibly this taxon, a sickly, deformed bird from the central Texas coast - added July 19, 2009.
Red-eyed Vireo: From east Houston a very dull bird signing a slightly unusual song...
- added July 31, 2006.
Yellow-green Vireo: from Sabal Palm, LRGV - added May 16, 2005.
Yellow-green Vireo: from central Texas coast - added July 19, 2009.

Tamaulipas Crow: Two birds - adult + young? - from Brownsville, LRGV - added May 16, 2005.

Purple Martin: A late, rather aberrant Fall male from south Texas - added October 07, 2009.
Cave Swallow: One of the first records from the Fort Worth area - added Sept 14, 2003 .
Southwestern Cliff Swallow: A candidate for this dark-fronted form from Fort Worth - added October 20, 2002 .
Northern Rough-winged Swallow: A series of photos of birds apparently wintering along the Rio Grande near Del Rio, TX - some with interesting features - added Feb 13, 2015.
Northern Rough-winged Swallow: A dark individual from near Fort Worth - added April 07, 2002 .
Ridgway's Rough-winged Swallow?: A hirundine showing many characters of this taxon from near Fort Worth - updated September 03, 2007 .
Tree Swallows: Fall birds with "white-sides to rump" - added Sept 19, 2002.
Violet-green Swallows: "soft" images that help to show what immatures look like when the pics are not great!
- added June 11, 2012.

Winter Wrens: A couple of birds in Texas that look like they've swapped wintering regions... - added December 17, 2010 .
Bewick's Wren: A Fall migrant in coastal Texas - what subspecies is it? - updated November 14, 2014.

American Pipit: A pale-legged bird from Texas - added Feb 02, 2006.
American Pipit: A pale-legged individual suggestive of Asian japonicus from Texas - added Aug 15, 2010.
American Pipit: A bird suggestive of japonicus from Texas - added Jan 07, 2008.
American Pipit: An instructive recently-fledged juvenile from Unalaska in the Aleutians- added Jan 14, 2010.

Titmouse sp.: A bird from my yard in western Fort Worth - but which kind? - added Feb 8, 2003.

Black-capped Gnatcatcher: A bird from SE Arizona that is in wing/tail molt in late July
- added July 28, 2014.

American Robin: Variation within some birds wintering in Fort Worth, some with features recalling Eyebrowed Thrush - updated Jan 27, 2003.
Catharus thrushes: Variation within Spring Texas migrants, including one suggesting Bicknell's Thrush - added May 04, 2005.
Gray-cheeked Thrush: Another individual suggesting Bicknell's - updated January 05, 2012.
Gray-cheeked Thrush: A completely fuscous individual - ?
- added January 05, 2012.
Gray-cheeked Thrush: A brown individual - ? - added May 19, 2014.
Russet-backed Swainson's Thrush: A from south Texas - added November 06, 2014.
Hermit Thrush: two strikingly different indviduals together in southern Texas - added November 11, 2014.

Nashville Warbler:
from the Fall, an unusual extremely dull bird, plus another somewhat odd bird
- added October 08, 2013.
Tropical x Northern Parula: A possible hybrid from Santa Ana NWR, LRGV - updated Jan 04, 2006.
Northern Parula: An extreme Fall variant from Sea Rim State Park, Upper Texas Coast - added Oct 26, 2007 .
Tropical Parula: Is this winter bird from Austin, Texas a pure bird or not? - added Dec 31, 2007 .
Orange-crowned warbler:
A very bright, yellow individual from south Texas
- added January 19, 2013.
hybrid warbler: a mysterious Parulid from Panama - added Oct 26, 2007 .
Gray-crowned Yellowthroat: The long-staying bird from Sabal Palm, LRGV -but is it a pure bird?; now with a typical GCYE from south Texas - updated Feb 13, 2015.

White-winged Junco: A female/imm. from West Texas - added December 25, 2007 .
Chestnut-collared Longspur: With discussion on separating SMLO and CCLO - added December 16, 2005.
Smith's Longspur: some close studies of birds wintering just east of Houston - added January 16, 2012.
Chipping Sparrow: A Redpoll-like aberrant bird from Fort Worth in the winter - updated Dec 21, 2001.
Clay-colored Sparrow: A late juvenile suggesting Brewer's Sparrow from the Texas coast - added October 16, 2011.
Savannah Sparrow: A buff-headed bird suggesting Baird's Sparrow from the Texas coast - added October 16, 2011
Common Redpoll: An actual Redpoll from south Texas in late May! - re-added December 16, 2005.

Cassin's Finch: a female from Lubock, Texas - but it looks a bit odd to me - added November 24, 2014.
Pine Siskin: A series of pages about variation, with comparison to/ID tips about Eurasian Siskin - updated August 24, 2015.

Western Tanager: An informative fledgling from west Texas - added July 19, 2009.
Summer Tanager: A cold, olive-gray female from south Texas; is it cooperi? - added April 29, 2012.

Tricolored Blackbird: A comparison of freshly-molted birds with similar Red-winged Blackbirds from Los Angeles - added Dec 11, 2005.
Eastern Meadowlark: A bird suggestive of lilliani from near Fort Worth - updated June 24, 2006 .