20-B-2018 Summer Tanager

STATUS
Accepted
DATE VOTING COMPLETED
1ST ROUND
6-1
2ND ROUND
6-1
HOW MANY OBSERVED?
One female
DATE SIGHTING OCCURRED
DATE REPORT PREPARED
REPORTER
Chuck Trost
OTHER OBSERVERS
Tracy Payne
LOCALITY OF OBSERVATION
The “Straight-a-way” in Camas NWR
HABITAT WHERE THE BIRD WAS OBSERVED
In mature cottonwoods along a canal, about fifty feet up.
SIGHTING DURATION, CONDITIONS, and EQUIPMENT USED
About five minutes on a clear, warm and calm afternoon. Zeus’s 8X42 binoculars.
DID YOU TAKE NOTES?
Yes, later the same day
DID YOU CONSULT A FIELD GUIDE OR OTHER REFERENCE WORK?
Yes, later the same day
WHICH GUIDE(S) OR REFERENCE(S): DID YOU CONSULT?
National Geograpgic guide, as soon as I got back to my car, also Sibley’s Western Guide.
DESCRIPTION OF THE BIRD(s)
It was an all yellow bird, with the wings somewhat darker than the body. The bill looked large, and was light (whiteish) colored. There were several Western Tanagers nearby, and this bird looked slightly larger.
BEHAVIOR OF THE BIRD(s)
It was foraging slowly about fifty feet up in a mature cottonwood. I did not hear any calls.
HOW AND WHEN DID YOU POSITIVELY IDENTIFY THE BIRD, AND WHAT CLINCHED THE IDENTIFICATION FOR YOU?
It was an all yellow Tanager, and the bill size and color clinched the ID for me.
HOW DID YOU ELIMINATE SIMILAR SPECIES? WHAT WERE THEY?
Female Hepatic Tanagers have a dark bill, Female Scarlet Tanagers have darker wings, female Western Tanagers have wing bars.
WHAT IS YOUR EXPERIENCE WITH THIS (AND SIMILAR) SPECIES?
This was my first sighting for Idaho, but I have seen this species several times in Arizona and Texas.
DESCRIBE YOUR GENERAL BIRDING EXPERIENCE
I have been Birding for over seventy years, and consider myself to have considerable expertise.
WERE PHOTO(S), VIDEO, AND/OR AUDIO OBTAINED FROM THIS SIGHTING?
None

FIRST ROUND VOTING:

Cliff Weisse
Accept

Description supports the identification of Summer Tanager.

Shirley Sturts
Accept

Well described and similar species eliminated

Dave Trochlell
Accept

I'm convinced.

Carl Lundblad
Reject, specific identification not established

There's a decent chance I'd vote for this record in a second round, but the documentation seems a bit thin. There is little description of the structure, but we can largely infer it indirectly from the comparison to Western Tanager. I would have liked some discussion to eliminate Orioles, but the description implies no wing bars, I think. Hepatic Tanager is an very unlikely bird in Idaho, but separation of Summer from Hepatic is a frequent stumbling block for observers in other regions and should be approached cautiously and using more than a single field mark, and the same probably goes for Scarlet. The timing is good for Summer Tanager (almost every previous Idaho record is from mid May to mid June).

Doug Ward
Accept

Description is light, but key field marks mentioned in separating from similar species. Observer experience definitely helps.

Darren Clark
Accept

Brief, but good description that eliminates similar species.

Jay Carlisle
Accept

Diagnostic field marks described (& inferring that no wing bars were observed on this bird)

SECOND ROUND VOTING:

Cliff Weisse
Reject, specific identification not established

With some reservation I'm going to change my vote to reject this record.

Shirley Sturts
Accept

I am staying with my first round vote for the same reasons

Dave Trochlell
Accept

I'm still convinced.

Darren Clark
Accept

Description is very light, but I'm still comfortable with the identification.

Doug Ward
Accept

Agreed this record could be better documented, but I continue to believe the record is good based on the few critical features notes, particularly relative size and bill coloration.

Carl Lundblad
Accept

I would have preferred a more detailed write-up of such a rare bird including more careful elimination of other tanagers and orioles, but this is probably barely adequate.

Jay Carlisle
Accept

No change from round 1 vote