Question: How are people so emphatically stating that the race of Cave
Swallow being seen at Viera and other places is the Mexican race (P. f.
fulva) and not the Caribbean race (P. f. pallida)? If you read Stevenson
& Anderson closely, there is nothing in there that would 100% preclude
the presence of the Caribbean race being present at ANY time of the year,
especially in South Florida. Sibley backs this up by stating that "color
varies in both populations [Mexican & Caribbean] with some overlap, which
may render field identification impossible."
I'm not doubting the skills and identifications of those who saw these
birds first-hand, I'm just curious as to how these identifications were
made and what criteria people used to differentiate the two races.
As for my two-cents worth regarding the possible Violet-green Swallow. .
. . Like Kurt, I've seen the Baja birds with nearly complete white rumps.
I've also seen this in V-g Swallows in some California birds. Facial
patterns are a better field mark for differentiating some of the more
similar swallows (like Mangrove and Violet-green). Size is another
factor, that so far, only David Simpson mentioned if I recall correctly.
What about flight characteristics? Are they the same? From my notes while
viewing both Violet-green & Tree Swallows in the same areas out West, I
noted that V-g swallows flew higher than Trees. Perhaps this is not
consistent but it sure was the day I was watching them in Arizona. Just
my thoughts. . . .
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