Thursday, March 7, 2019


      Even though these photos are out-of-focus due to the bird's small size, distance and fast flying, we can ID this bird as a Cave Swallow as follows:
  • Small size
  • Flight pattern of a swallow
  • Dark, square tail - this differentiates the Cave Swallow from most other swallows.  The only other swallow with a range in West Indies that has a similar tail is the Cliff Swallow, which is very rare or a vagrant in Jamaica and generally not in February.  The Cave Swallow is present all year in Jamaica
  • Combination rufous and dark head
  • Rufous rump
  • Dark wings with no discernible pattern
      To help ID this bird we used the Merlin Photo ID app.  For one of the photos it gave a choice of a Cave Swallow and another swallow.  We were able to easily eliminate the other swallow.  For the other photo it gave a choice of a Cave Swallow and three other birds.  We were able to eliminate these three birds.

      The Cave Swallow is a new species to our Photographic Life List,which now stands at 845.

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