My first clue was the song. I hadn’t heard it before and I couldn’t see any new birds around, but I could hear them (probably two, at least) flitting around in the trees off the back yard. The Cornell Lab Merlin Bird ID app (which is wonderful, highly recommended if this is your thing) now has a “Sound ID” feature which is fantastic. Whipping it out, it immediately ID the song as a Cassin’s Kingbird. A photo showed it to be bigger than the juncos and house finches, smaller (maybe) than a mockingbird, with a yellow breast.
An hour or so later, out in the front yard, I heard the song again and saw these guys.
Mockingbird-sized, yellow breasts, same odd song.
Bingo, a Cassin’s Kingbird. Actually, a pair. The yellow breast can be seen easily, despite the lousy, cloudy lighting.
Different body shape than the mockingbirds, smaller tail.
The beak is short and pointed, almost like a woodpecker’s.
And their song is quite distinct and interesting.
So, another new bird friend for the neighborhood. Hooray!!