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Documentation for the 106th Loving (NM) CBC

Green Kingfisher

This record is an undocumented sight record. Here is the complete original set of details submitted by the observer. Due to the lack of confirmation, the author considers this record hypothetical.
Species Green Kingfisher
Date 2005-12-17
Time Approximately 1000h
Location "Fisherman's Rock" area, approx. 500m upstream from the old Dog Town Road crossing, N side of Malaga Bend of the Pecos River, approx. 7 miles east of Malaga, Eddy County, NM
Observer(s) Rick Wiedenmann, 1504 Grant, Carlsbad, NM 88220; 505-628-8891
Distance Approx. 15-20m
Optics 16 x 50 Tasco binoculars
Weather Overcast, hazy
Photo? No, camera was in truck 1/4 mile away
Past experience Considerable experience with Green Kingfishers in South Texas and Mexico in 80s and 90s. Had not observed the species since about 1994.
References During observation I did not have a reference with me. Afterward while still in the field I looked in Sibley and later that evening at home I used the National Geographic Field Guide.
Behavior At approximately 0945h on Saturday, 2005-12-17, I was walking the south bank of the Pecos River near Fisherman's Rock, just upstream from the Dogtown Road crossing, taking part in the Loving Christmas Bird Count. I observed some waterfowl flying over and landing upstream approximately 100m from my position. I moved up out of the mesquite and followed an old dirt road along a powerline to find a position to observe and identify the waterfowl. I proceeded upstream what I thought was an appropriate distance and then moved towards the river. I observed several Common Mergansers and a female Wood Duck along the north riverbank. I reached the edge where the ground surface dropped off towards the riverbank at approximately 1000h and scanned the tamarisk along the south bank.

Looking through tamarisk branches I saw a kingfisher perched on a low branch over the river. The bird was perched approximately 3m below a group of 5 White-crowned Sparrows. The bird was facing away (downstream) from me presenting its right rear quarter. The bird then turned to face upstream presenting almost all of its left side. The bird wagged its tail and bobbed its head up and down several times before taking off and flying low over the water across the river to the north bank, somewhat upstream from its initial location. It perched there for a short time, then flew downstream just above the surface of the river. It continued downstream out of my view towards the crossing. This ended the observation.

Description The head, back and wings were green with the color extending as spots across the upper chest. The rest of the ventral surface was white. There was no orange visible on the chest. There were white bars/spots in the wings and a white ring encircling the neck. In flight it showed white on the edges of the tail. The overall size of the bird was approximately that of the nearby White-crowned Sparrows. I heard no vocalizations during the time I observed the bird.

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John W. Shipman,
Last updated: 2006/04/18 01:20:36