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Violet-green Swallow

Tachycineta thalassina


Nathan Dubrow
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eBird Checklist S44562149
Hamilton Pond
Hancock, Maine, United States
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Latitude and Longitude 44.4268, -68.286 Map



White sides of rump, whitish face, and white over eye visible. Slight green and purple seen in designated spots.

Observation details

***Mega, first state record: Appeared to be an adult female, with the white extending well onto the the rump, along with the face, but not too much white above the eye. Green color most obvious with slight tinges of purple coming in. When flying with a few tree swallows, the smaller size was apparent. Seen from Norway Drive, flying most often within the cove area closest to route three. *Confirmed SY or ASY female by Peter Pyle. I pulled up to the pond on Norway Drive right by the intersection with Route 3 to scan for ducks from within my car, and quickly noticed a couple of swallows. The two that were present initially were obvious Tree Swallows, with glaring blue upperparts contrasting with white underparts. Then a third swallow came into view. This one seemed different. There was more white by the tail than the TRES, and it appeared slightly greenish on top, so I briefly toyed with the thought of a Violet-green. Then when I continued to view the bird, I started thinking, holy s*#t, that might actually be a VGSW. I then quickly got out of the car with my binoculars and camera and started attempting to get photos. It took quite a few photos before one came out that clearly showed the white sides of the rump with a thin dark median line. Then a while longer, I got shots showing the face, which had significantly more white on them than the TRES, and even a little over the eye (but not to the extent of an adult male). In the photos, the greenish coloring is clearly visible, along with dark purplish on its uppertail coverts. Soon after, I sent the sighting off to others who agreed with me on the ID, and then got the word out as soon as possible. In the time I was there during this visit, four other birders came by and observed the bird as well. All I can say is... what a bird!!

Technical Information

Canon EOS 7D Mark II
Lens model
EF400mm f/5.6L USM
Focal length
400 mm
Shutter speed
1/1000 sec
Flash did not fire, auto
Original file size
1328 x 931

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