Hello there, I am a Monterey-area birder who was at the Merced National Wildlife Refuge on Jan 1. We were on the Sousa Marsh Loop. Noticed this reddish bird in a tree with the Brewers Blackbirds. Unfortunately, spousal unit disappeared with scope so just have lousy photos from 420mm lens.
Caveat: 4:58 PM so setting sun may be affecting perceived and photo'd color. Cropped photos and +0.3 exposure but no other adjustments.
Description:Bill looks thinner and longer than the nearby Brewers Blackbirds. Outer tail feathers appear white (like Western Meadowlark); wingtips appear lighter too(second photo). Bill much thinner than Brewers Blackbird and Meadowlark.. Appears to be a similar size to nearby blackbirds.
I am baffled as to what this could be. A leucistic Brewers Blackbird would have the same size bill as the others, so I didn't feel that was correct.
Apologies for lousy photos; hopefully they are sufficient.
Carol Greenstreet, Pacific Grove, Monterey County, CA