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> Firstly, the idea that it could be a Chilean, White Rumped, or Tumbes
> Swallow, not to mention a Violet-Green or a Mangrove, is still up in the air.


Why is the ID of this bird as a Mangrove Swallow still up in the air?

I've neither heard nor read of any feature which would be questionable
in its ID. Of course, until all relevant info was available by photos or
by careful observation, there was no possibility of naming it, but now
that it has been seen perched and more closely flying, everything fits
the criteria for Mangrove.  I'd like for anyone to point out any
questionable feature.

Comversely, there are certainly reasons this bird couldn't be a
White-rumped.  Most obviously, according to Turner and Rose, the
White-rumped has dusky blue-green uppertail coverts which should in
itself eliminate it from consideration.  Also, the upperparts including
the scapulars and lesser and median wing coverts are blue-green. Does
the blue-green color on the Mangrove extend to all the coverts? The tail
   as pictured is decidedly more forked than Mangrove.

As for the Chilean Swallow, it lacks the supraloral white line which is
clearly seen on the Mangrove and which is one of the distinguishing
features.  The color of the Chilean is also described and pictured as
being deep metallic blue rather than blue-green. The tail is even more
forked than on the White-rumped.

There is no discussion in T&R of the Tumbes.

It seems to me that if a bird meets all the possible criteria for a
specific species, is clearly seen and documented with photos, and all
similar species fail the ID test, then there should be no question - or,
if not, then it follows that no bird, first record or not, can ever be
identified with accuracy or acceptability.

Again, I seriously would like to hear comments on the features which
make this a questionable call.

Margie Wilkinson
St. Petersburg, FL
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