Hi all,

Work can wait when there is a potential first state record in your own back
yard.   This morning I went to Viera to observe the "Violet-green" swallow
for myself.  After about fifteen minutes of agonizing over "Mexican" Cave
swallows and Barn swallows, I finally saw the bird.  Immediately after the
observation, about 30 Tree swallows descended to confuse the situation.
Fortunately the Trees left and I was able to observe the bird several times
in the next 15 - 20 minutes.

Here's how it went.

I was able to observe the bird sitting on sticks four times, three times in
a 'scope and twice in direct comparison to Tree swallows.  In addition, I
was able to view the bird in flight several times at varying distances.  In
flight and once, while preening, the rump appeared entirely white.  I would
not rule out the possibility of a dark center that was obscured by the
fluffed up feathers while preening, but I saw no conclusive evidence of a
central line.  The facial pattern came closest to Juvenile Tree swallow in
Sibley.  There was a thin white line, evident in flight and while perched,
posterior to the auriculars.  The auriculars were fairly dark; there was no
white around the eye.  The cere was white.  The underparts were very white,
including the throat.  The upperparts had some iridescence, similar to a
dull female (HY?) bird.  The wing tips projected a little beyond the tail in
the sitting bird.  This feature did not appear to differ very much from
nearby Tree swallows.  It did not appear significantly smaller than Tree
swallows while perched or in flight.  Structurally, the bird did not appear
to be any thinner winged or smaller than tree swallow.

My previous experience with Violet-green swallow is zero.  I have been
looking for them for some time and have perused many a Tree swallow in a
thus far fruitless search.  I don't feel comfortable calling this a
Violet-green at this point.  The structural similarity to Tree swallow, and
facial pattern don't seem to fit.  Perhaps an aberrant Tree swallow or some
other species besides Violet-green.  If anyone can offer comments on
structural differences between the two species and variations in head
pattern, I would be glad to be wrong.  Further research on my part will have
to wait until after work today.

David Simpson
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Fellsmere, FL

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