by Richard Haney
(Joshua Tree, CA, USA)
Joshua Tree, CA; north side of Joshua Tree National Park. "high desert".
I don't recall seeing this bird here. It is robin size. And it has a somewhat long beak with a concave arch in it. It quickly works (i.e., "flaps") is beak open and closed when it sings while sitting on a power line from a power pole to a house. From its readiness to sing and from its "song" I thought it might be a mocking bird in early, simple "random" stages of what has seemed to be seasonal "full-blast", multi-song singing I've observed elsewhere on other occasions. That is, its song is not what I would call a "bird call" but rather more in the nature of "easy" musical chattering, but not so chattery (and unmusical) as I have observed in some other birds. But its beak is longer than that of mocking birds shown in Internet images. And it does not seem to be gray in color. I can't tell the coloration much because the bird is somewhat silhouetted against a morning sky with the sun about 45 degrees away. But what I do see of coloration seems to be dark -- probably medium or dark brown -- coloration on its right rear "shoulder" area where the sun reflects from it. Also its tail is a bit long and narrow as seen while perched. I would guess its tail to be one inch wide and at least three inches long -- perhaps as long as four inches.
I would say its tail length (and distinctive tail narrowness) and its somewhat long, curved beak were its most readily noticed features.
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