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18 Apr Re: Presumably 2 Cayenne Terns (or Cabot’s x Cayenne hybrids) – A... [Mark B Bartosik ]
18 Apr Re: paper on hybrids in Mexico - Terns that is [Mark B Bartosik ]
18 Apr Re: Presumably 2 Cayenne Terns (or Cabot’s x Cayenne hybrids) – A... [Mark B Bartosik ]
17 Apr paper on hybrids in Mexico - Terns that is [Alvaro Jaramillo ]
17 Apr Re: Presumably 2 Caye nne Terns (or Cabot’s x Cayenne hybrids) – A... [Alvaro Jaramillo ]
18 Apr Re: Presumably 2 Cayenne Terns (or Cabot’s x Cayenne hybrids) – A... [Mark B Bartosik ]
17 Apr Non Breeding [Timothy Reeves ]
17 Apr Re: Cayenne Terns [Shaibal Mitra ]
17 Apr photos of Cayenne Terns from Brazil [Alvaro Jaramillo ]
17 Apr Re: Presumably 2 Cayenne Terns (or Cabot’s x Cayenne hybrids) – A... [Mark B Bartosik ]
17 Apr A marginal record of Cayenne Tern [Ian McLaren ]
17 Apr Re: Presumably 2 Caye nne Terns (or Cabot’s x Cayenne hybrids) – April 9, 2015 –Texa s [Alvaro Jaramillo ]
17 Apr Cayenne Terns (or Cabots x Cayenne hybrid s) [Reid Martin ]
17 Apr Presumably 2 Cayenne Terns (or Cabot’s x Cayenne hybrids) – April 9, 2015 –Texas [Mark B Bartosik ]
16 Apr Re: Mew Gull in Connecticut [Steve Hampton ]
16 Apr Mew Gull in Connecticut [Nick Bonomo ]
10 Apr Paul R Wood/UK/TLS/PwC is out of the office. [Paul Wood ]
9 Apr Re: Colorado intermedius-type Lesser Black-backed Gull [Amar Ayyash ]
9 Apr Re: Colorado LBBG - correction [Bruce Mactavish ]
9 Apr Re: L.f.fuscus from Newfoundland [Amar Ayyash ]
9 Apr Re: Colorado intermedius-type Lesser Black-backed Gull [Doug Faulkner ]
9 Apr Re: L.f.fuscus from Newfoundland [Jean Iron ]
9 Apr Re: L.f.fuscus from Newfoundland [Peter Pyle ]
9 Apr L.f.fuscus from Newfoundland [Kirk Zufelt ]
9 Apr Re: Colorado intermedius-type Lesser Black-backed Gull [Phil Davis ]
9 Apr Re: Colorado LBBG - correction [Angus Wilson ]
9 Apr Re: Colorado LBBG - correction [Reid Martin ]
9 Apr Re: Colorado intermedius-type Lesser Black-backed Gull [Reid Martin ]
9 Apr Re: Colorado intermedius-type Lesser Black-backed Gull [Suzanne Sullivan ]
9 Apr Re: Phoenix, AZ mystery dove [Peter Wilkinson ]
9 Apr Re: Phoenix, AZ mystery dove [Noah Arthur ]
8 Apr Re: Colorado intermedius-type Lesser Black-backed Gull [Paul Pisano ]
8 Apr Phoenix, AZ mystery dove [Noah Arthur ]
8 Apr Re: Colorado intermedius-type Lesser Black-backed Gull [Reid Martin ]
8 Apr Fw: [BIRDWG01] Colorado intermedius-type Lesser Black-backed Gull [Alan Wormington ]
8 Apr Colorado intermedius-type Lesser Black-backed Gull [Doug Faulkner ]
5 Apr Re: Goodbye to Hoary (and Lesser) Redpolls ["Matthew A. Young" ]
5 Apr Re: Goodbye to Hoary (and Lesser) Redpolls [Jeff Holbrook ]
5 Apr Re: potential Common Snipe in Newfoundland [Jan Jrgensen ]
4 Apr Re: potential Common Snipe in Newfoundland [Jan Jrgensen ]
4 Apr Re: Flying small curlew look-alikes? [Suzanne Sullivan ]
3 Apr Eskimo habitat [Noah Arthur ]
3 Apr Re: Flying small curlew look-alikes? [Alvaro Jaramillo ]
3 Apr Re: Flying small curlew look-alikes? [Alvaro Jaramillo ]
3 Apr Re: Flying small curlew look-alikes? [Noah Arthur ]
3 Apr Re: Flying small curlew look-alikes? [Jeff Gilligan ]
3 Apr Re: Flying small curlew look-alikes? [Jamie Chavez ]
3 Apr Re: Goodbye to Hoary (and Lesser) Redpolls [Paul Guris ]
3 Apr Re: Goodbye to Hoary (and Lesser) Redpolls ["Kevin J. McGowan" ]
3 Apr Re: Goodbye to Hoary (and Lesser) Redpolls [Tony Leukering ]
3 Apr Flying small curlew look-alikes? [Noah Arthur ]
3 Apr Strange Gull in Pa [Frank Haas ]
3 Apr Re: Goodbye to Hoary (and Lesser) Redpolls [Jeff Holbrook ]
1 Apr Re: Goodbye to Hoary (and Lesser) Redpolls [Alvaro Jaramillo ]
31 Mar Re: Goodbye to Hoary (and Lesser) Redpolls [JOS GRZYBOWSKI ]
31 Mar Re: Goodbye to Hoary (and Lesser) Redpolls []
1 Apr Re: Goodbye to Hoary (and Lesser) Redpolls [Dick Newell ]
31 Mar Re: Goodbye to Hoary (and Lesser) Redpolls [Cliff and Lisa Weisse ]
31 Mar Goodbye to Hoary (and Lesser) Redpolls ["Kevin J. McGowan" ]
31 Mar Re: Goodbye to Hoary (and Lesser) Redpolls ["Kevin J. McGowan" ]
1 Apr Paul R Wood/UK/TLS/PwC is out of the office. [Paul Wood ]
31 Mar Re: Goodbye to Hoary (and Lesser) Redpolls [Norman Jenson ]
1 Apr Re: Goodbye to Hoary (and Lesser) Redpolls [Dick Newell ]
1 Apr Re: Goodbye to Hoary (and Lesser) Redpolls [Jean Iron ]
31 Mar Re: Goodbye to Hoary (and Lesser) Redpolls [Blake Mathys ]
1 Apr Re: Goodbye to Hoary (and Lesser) Redpolls [Alvaro Jaramillo ]
7 Mar Paul R Wood/UK/TLS/PwC is out of the office. [Paul Wood ]
6 Mar Re: Columbus, Ohio Towhee [David Irons ]
5 Mar Re: Columbus, Ohio Towhee [Tony Leukering ]
5 Mar Columbus, Ohio Towhee [Paul Gardner ]
4 Mar Re: Fw: Blackbird link [Allen Chartier ]
4 Mar Re: Fw: Blackbird link [Mark Szantyr ]
4 Mar Re: Fw: Blackbird link [David Irons ]
3 Mar Re: Fw: Blackbird link [Alvaro Jaramillo ]
3 Mar Re: Fw: Blackbird link [Peter Pyle ]
3 Mar Re: Fw: Blackbird link [Rob Parsons ]

Subject: Re: Presumably 2 Cayenne Terns (or Cabot’s x Cayenne hybrids) – A...
From: Mark B Bartosik <MBB22222 AT AOL.COM>
Date: Sat, 18 Apr 2015 11:48:58 -0400
In a message dated 4/18/2015 12:47:29 A.M. Central Daylight Time,  
chucao AT coastside.net writes:

Where  was this Cayenne you mention on the Pacific? 
Alvaro - I fond it but now I see why I did not take a note - it is too  
general note; I do not know who was copy and paste from who
 

http://www.planetofbirds.com/charadriiformes-sternidae-cayenne-tern-sterna-e
urygnatha

The  similar 'Cayenne' Tern breeds on islands in the southern Caribbean Sea 
and along  the Atlantic coast of South America, and has been recorded 
several times along  the Atlantic coast of North America and once along the 
Pacific coast of  Colombia.
 
 
 

http://secrb.trinidadbirding.com/idsandwichcayennetern.html
 

The similar ‘Cayenne’ Tern breeds on islands in the southern Caribbean  
Sea and along the Atlantic coast of South America and has been recorded 
several  times along the Atlantic coast of North America and once along the 
Pacific coast  of Colombia
 
 
 
https://books.google.com/books?id=H9INVOMUgOAC&pg=PA157&lpg=PA157&dq=cayenne
+tern+pacific+record+colombia&source=bl&ots=9VVJbYArzt&sig=qB9_sUg6TzBpiCXx1
uwO_M7rO5Q&hl=en&sa=X&ei=DXoyVdHZJ5H1oASpwIHoBQ&ved=0CCoQ6AEwAg#v=onepage&q=
cayenne%20tern%20pacific%20record%20colombia&f=false
 
 S eurygnatha (Cayenne Tern) of southern Caribbean and Atlantic coasts  of 
South ... (there are several records from northern Colombia), 
 
 
Mark B Bartosik
 
 
Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Re: paper on hybrids in Mexico - Terns that is
From: Mark B Bartosik <MBB22222 AT AOL.COM>
Date: Sat, 18 Apr 2015 05:43:27 -0400
Alvaro,
 
I already posted my opinion about your photo in earlier reply to Cayenne  
thread about possibly back light effects etc.
 
But I had my folder open with Cabot’s Terns together with Cayenne Terns in  
the same flock. One of the first I checked matches yellow/black proportions 
-  look here
 
http://www.pbase.com/mbb/image/159777766
 
And goddess forbid do not think I tried to say it is Cayenne - as I already 
 said many Cabot’s have prominent yellow tip.
 

Mark B Bartosik
 
 
In a message dated 4/18/2015 1:07:01 A.M. Central Daylight Time,  
chucao AT COASTSIDE.NET writes:



Easterners - what do you think about a Sandwich with such a  great deal of
yellow on the bill tip such as this one? I don't know what  this is, but it
is just a bit more extreme, and in breeding plumage, but  similar to the
oddball I photographed here in Half Moon Bay which I linked  to in an 
earlier
message. I have not looked to see if this was accepted by  the CBRC.  

http://www.westernfieldornithologists.org/gallery/displayimage.php?pid=169
  &fullsize=1



good  birding

Alvaro



Alvaro  Jaramillo

alvaro AT alvarosadventures.com

www.alvarosadventures.com




Archives:  http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html


Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Re: Presumably 2 Cayenne Terns (or Cabot’s x Cayenne hybrids) – A...
From: Mark B Bartosik <MBB22222 AT AOL.COM>
Date: Sat, 18 Apr 2015 04:33:43 -0400
Alvaro,
 
You are not alone - I am lost a bit too. Perhaps it is very late and I have 
 very bad weather outside -  lost power a few times so my writing was  
distracted as well.
 
“But to answer your question. I don’t know if anything is published on 
dark bill markings on Elegant Terns. But I know they exist because I see them 

(sometimes multiple in one flock) both here in California and in Chile on 
my  annual trips there. I have been seeing them for ages, they are actually 
pretty  frequent, not at all a rarity.”
 
So, nothing was published I assume - wonder why? Even that I do trust your  
observations I always like to depend on something solid that was published. 
I  find hard to believe that important thing like that is not even 
mentioned in major publications/books. Well this gives me a better picture how 

little really  was done to study those birds.
 
“If I understand you right, I should put that forward as a Cayenne  Tern?”
 
Not sure what you mean as I did not offer any opinion on that tern - in  
fact I wanted to think about it as I see sort of mixed traits of Elegant and  
Cayenne; I do not know nothing about this find details -  you know more;  
was this tern associated with other terns, how was reacting etc.
 

“As breeders Elegant and Sandwich are not birds that overlap as  breeders 
regularly, so I lost you here where you talk about overlap in Central  
America.”
 
Perhaps my fault - I was talking about sighting records (did not say  
nothing about breeding) - and I said I want to look more into it (somehow eBird 

was choking when I was accessing specific data for different months, lost  
electricity power a few times, so I gave up)
 
“As breeders Elegant and Sandwich are not birds that overlap as breeders  
regularly, so I lost you here where you talk about overlap in Central America.
” 
 
Now I lost you a bit. So do they do it irregularly? If so this is enough.  
Again I was talking about overlap of sighting records. 
 
“There have been Sandwich x Elegants documented in California, but in my  
opinion most of the presumed hybrids from Isla Raza, Mexico are Elegants with 
 dark on the bill. “
 
Here I think we have similar feelings. I am familiar with this paper; had  
it open when wrote my reply but did not say anything as I do have mix 
reactions. I do not know nothing about these authors or this particular journal 

but have  seen some heresies published about behavior of birds in South 
America.
 
“Where was this Cayenne you mention on the Pacific? “
 
I will have to look but I remember reading a note that one vagrant was  
reported there. All yellow-bill or not I do not remember or it was not  
mentioned. 
 

“Also where is this documented case of hybridization in Pacific South  
America. “
 
You already mentioned case in California and I was referring to the paper  
we both dislike so my fault I did not mention that fact.
 
Now about your photo - it seems to be back lighted so transparent part of  
the yellow bill tip can create some extra effect and perhaps concentration 
of  black pigment in that area near the tip that normally looks black has 
lower  concentration of pigment (and no bone inside) than other parts of the 
bill (just  a thought). On the other hand I do not find this yellow tip so 
large to loose  sleep over it; some Cabot’s can have it quite prominent. 
 
Mark B Bartosik
 
 
In a message dated 4/18/2015 12:47:29 A.M. Central Daylight Time,  
chucao AT coastside.net writes:

 
Mark 
You lost me a bit in your message. But to answer your question. I don’t 
know  if anything is published on dark bill markings on Elegant Terns. But I 
know  they exist because I see them (sometimes multiple in one flock) both 
here in  California and in Chile on my annual trips there. I have been seeing 
them for  ages, they are actually pretty frequent, not at all a rarity. That 
one in my  photos is the most extreme example. If I understand you right, I 
should put  that forward as a Cayenne Tern?  
As  breeders Elegant and Sandwich are not birds that overlap as breeders  
regularly, so I lost you here where you talk about overlap in Central 
America. There have been Sandwich x Elegants documented in California, but in 
my 

opinion most of the presumed hybrids from Isla Raza, Mexico are Elegants 
with dark on the bill. Where was this Cayenne you mention on the Pacific? Also 

 where is this documented case of hybridization in Pacific South America. I 
am  really confused here because Elegants do not breed in South America, 
and  neither do Sandwich on the Pacific.  
Alvaro   
 
Alvaro  Jaramillo 
alvaro AT alvarosadventures.com 
www.alvarosadventures.com
 
 
From: MBB22222 AT aol.com  [mailto:MBB22222 AT aol.com] 
Sent: Friday, April 17, 2015 9:29  PM
To: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
Cc: chucao AT coastside.net;  shaibal.mitra AT csi.cuny.edu
Subject: Re: [BIRDWG01] Presumably 2  Cayenne Terns (or Cabot’s x Cayenne 
hybrids) –  A...

 
Hi  Alvaro, Shai and All,
 

 
Now I  should to thank you both , Alvaro and Shai, for laborious replies. 
In fact it  will be easier for me to discuss some points base on statements 
in your both  replies. 
 

 
Alvaro,  if I understand correctly will refuse to accept any vagrant 
Cayenne-type tern that doesn’t have pure yellow bill (still better than 
Florida 

Record Committee  with strong vote 7-0 against any vagrant). Obviously Shai 
would accept one as  he published record of one as Cayenne Tern. Let me say 
it first that I  strongly support his decision. By publishing some but not 
all records we are  creating an illusion that records are scarcer then they 
really are. Here is  description from his paper:
 

 
“The  bill appeared very long, much slimmer than that of Royal Tern, seemed 
to droop  toward the tip, and its overall color was a cold greenish-yellow, 
devoid of  any orange or red tones. The basal fifth and the distal third of 
the bill were  purely this color, as were the top of the culmen, both 
cutting edges, and the lower edge of the lower mandible. In between these 
areas, 

i.e., in the middle  portions of each mandible, were several blackish-gray 
marks. These marks were  not very extensive and were most obvious when the 
bill was in full profile,  but in some views, they were barely discernible.”
 

 
So  definitely this Cayenne bill had some black bill coloration. I think 
that if  we start to try to divide intermediates in groups of less and more 
black  pigment showing on the bill we could create a bigger chaos.  Like we 
all  mentioned (Alvaro even stressed it out strongly) Caribbean population has 
 clinal black pigment distribution so it does not matter much how much 
pigment is there. As long as there is less than in Cabot’s bill very likely 
we 

deal  with either intermediates (Cayenne) or intergrades (Cayenne X Cabot’
s).   To take it farther, as Shai wrote, plausibly they can be rare local 
variants -  something never documented yet but perhaps possible. So with all 
these possibilities, even that not equally probable, no single individual with 

black  bill areas can be safely classified as a pure Cayenne, vagrant or 
not (again  to some even pure yellow-billed Cayenne cannot be safely 
identified as such). Following this rule will lead to not accept many records 
to be 

published,  Shai’s one included. And this, IMHO, is wrong. It would be 
better to correct them (misidentified records) in the future when we will 
better 

understand  genetic of these two taxa. For now when we are still looking 
for answers to  (too) many questions the published data can only help.  All 
these  unaccepted/non-confirmed records are just buried somewhere and can only 
add to  confusion when a new person start searching for information.  
 

 
Now  Alvaro, can you please refer to me the published papers about Elegant 
Tern  (pure, not a Cabot’s X Elegant) having black pigment in their bills. 
You  wrote:
 

 
“Two  things go on here. One is that some of Thalasseus have variable bill 
colors.  The tendency is for pale billed populations (Cayenne and Elegant) 
to show  black on the bill every so often.”
 

 
From  what I know the hypothesis now is that probably both Cayenne 
intermediates and Cabot’s X Cayenne integrates can show black on their bills 
and 

there are only  Cabot’ X Elegant intergrades that have black on the bills.  
Never mind I  see that as I scrolled down your post you believe that Elegant 
integrates are  in your opinion Elegant variants and all papers are probably 
in error.   Interesting; quite well documented in Florida and on Pacific (in 
South  America, not California) side both Sandwich and Elegant population 
are overlapping year around in many places especially in Central America – I 

will  look at this data later as this is a new approach to me.  BTW there 
is at  least one record of Cayenne vagrant to Pacific  side.
 

 
As I  could see under the photo you posted people still associate pink 
flush with  Elegant Tern. Here is a link to Cabot’s photo (taken recently as 
many of them sport pink flush now) that easy matches or even exceed pink flush 

in Elegant  plumage and can be seen in all underparts; so, but only 
sometimes, can be seen in Royal plumage as well - - I made a composite of these 

two examples. I  cannot guarantee how the image is going to display on some 
not calibrated  monitors but in the nature individuals like that look quite  
impressive.
 

 
http://www.pbase.com/mbb/image/159776665
 

At  the end I would like to stress out that it seems that there is not 
enough data now to draw any final conclusion, so we all might be wrong in some 

aspects.  
 

 
Thanks  for interesting discussion
 

 
Mark B  Bartosik



Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: paper on hybrids in Mexico - Terns that is
From: Alvaro Jaramillo <chucao AT COASTSIDE.NET>
Date: Fri, 17 Apr 2015 23:05:17 -0700
Folks

 

  In my opinion, this paper should never have been published in its current
form. Here are various photos of presumed hybrids from Mexico. All of these
birds look like variant Elegant Terns, I am surprised they see so few in the
colony to be frank given how many I see up here. I am quite sure these are
not hybrids (structurally there is nothing wrong with them, no intermediacy
towards Sandwich even though they suggest there is..there isn't!), and there
is no evidence of hybridization published, no pure Sandwich in the area. The
only evidence is dark on the bill! I am not sure why it didn't occur to them
to test instead the hypothesis that dark on the bill exists in Elegant
Terns!! 

http://www.marineornithology.org/PDF/40_1/40_1_25-29.pdf

 

Easterners - what do you think about a Sandwich with such a great deal of
yellow on the bill tip such as this one? I don't know what this is, but it
is just a bit more extreme, and in breeding plumage, but similar to the
oddball I photographed here in Half Moon Bay which I linked to in an earlier
message. I have not looked to see if this was accepted by the CBRC. 

http://www.westernfieldornithologists.org/gallery/displayimage.php?pid=169
 &fullsize=1

 

good birding

Alvaro

 

Alvaro Jaramillo

alvaro AT alvarosadventures.com

www.alvarosadventures.com

 


Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Re: Presumably 2 Caye nne Terns (or Cabot’s x Cayenne hybrids) – A...
From: Alvaro Jaramillo <chucao AT COASTSIDE.NET>
Date: Fri, 17 Apr 2015 22:47:23 -0700
Mark

 

 You lost me a bit in your message. But to answer your question. I don’t know 
if anything is published on dark bill markings on Elegant Terns. But I know 
they exist because I see them (sometimes multiple in one flock) both here in 
California and in Chile on my annual trips there. I have been seeing them for 
ages, they are actually pretty frequent, not at all a rarity. That one in my 
photos is the most extreme example. If I understand you right, I should put 
that forward as a Cayenne Tern? 


 As breeders Elegant and Sandwich are not birds that overlap as breeders 
regularly, so I lost you here where you talk about overlap in Central America. 
There have been Sandwich x Elegants documented in California, but in my opinion 
most of the presumed hybrids from Isla Raza, Mexico are Elegants with dark on 
the bill. Where was this Cayenne you mention on the Pacific? Also where is this 
documented case of hybridization in Pacific South America. I am really confused 
here because Elegants do not breed in South America, and neither do Sandwich on 
the Pacific. 


 

Alvaro 

 

Alvaro Jaramillo

alvaro AT alvarosadventures.com

www.alvarosadventures.com

 

From: MBB22222 AT aol.com [mailto:MBB22222 AT aol.com] 
Sent: Friday, April 17, 2015 9:29 PM
To: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
Cc: chucao AT coastside.net; shaibal.mitra AT csi.cuny.edu
Subject: Re: [BIRDWG01] Presumably 2 Cayenne Terns (or Cabot’s x Cayenne 
hybrids) – A... 


 

Hi Alvaro, Shai and All,

 

Now I should to thank you both , Alvaro and Shai, for laborious replies. In 
fact it will be easier for me to discuss some points base on statements in your 
both replies. 


 

Alvaro, if I understand correctly will refuse to accept any vagrant 
Cayenne-type tern that doesn’t have pure yellow bill (still better than 
Florida Record Committee with strong vote 7-0 against any vagrant). Obviously 
Shai would accept one as he published record of one as Cayenne Tern. Let me say 
it first that I strongly support his decision. By publishing some but not all 
records we are creating an illusion that records are scarcer then they really 
are. Here is description from his paper: 


 

“The bill appeared very long, much slimmer than that of Royal Tern, seemed to 
droop toward the tip, and its overall color was a cold greenish-yellow, devoid 
of any orange or red tones. The basal fifth and the distal third of the bill 
were purely this color, as were the top of the culmen, both cutting edges, and 
the lower edge of the lower mandible. In between these areas, i.e., in the 
middle portions of each mandible, were several blackish-gray marks. These marks 
were not very extensive and were most obvious when the bill was in full 
profile, but in some views, they were barely discernible.” 


 

So definitely this Cayenne bill had some black bill coloration. I think that if 
we start to try to divide intermediates in groups of less and more black 
pigment showing on the bill we could create a bigger chaos. Like we all 
mentioned (Alvaro even stressed it out strongly) Caribbean population has 
clinal black pigment distribution so it does not matter much how much pigment 
is there. As long as there is less than in Cabot’s bill very likely we deal 
with either intermediates (Cayenne) or intergrades (Cayenne X Cabot’s). To 
take it farther, as Shai wrote, plausibly they can be rare local variants - 
something never documented yet but perhaps possible. So with all these 
possibilities, even that not equally probable, no single individual with black 
bill areas can be safely classified as a pure Cayenne, vagrant or not (again to 
some even pure yellow-billed Cayenne cannot be safely identified as such). 
Following this rule will lead to not accept many records to be published, 
Shai’s one included. And this, IMHO, is wrong. It would be better to correct 
them (misidentified records) in the future when we will better understand 
genetic of these two taxa. For now when we are still looking for answers to 
(too) many questions the published data can only help. All these 
unaccepted/non-confirmed records are just buried somewhere and can only add to 
confusion when a new person start searching for information. 


 

Now Alvaro, can you please refer to me the published papers about Elegant Tern 
(pure, not a Cabot’s X Elegant) having black pigment in their bills. You 
wrote: 


 

“Two things go on here. One is that some of Thalasseus have variable bill 
colors. The tendency is for pale billed populations (Cayenne and Elegant) to 
show black on the bill every so often.” 


 

From what I know the hypothesis now is that probably both Cayenne intermediates 
and Cabot’s X Cayenne integrates can show black on their bills and there are 
only Cabot’ X Elegant intergrades that have black on the bills. Never mind I 
see that as I scrolled down your post you believe that Elegant integrates are 
in your opinion Elegant variants and all papers are probably in error. 
Interesting; quite well documented in Florida and on Pacific (in South America, 
not California) side both Sandwich and Elegant population are overlapping year 
around in many places especially in Central America – I will look at this 
data later as this is a new approach to me. BTW there is at least one record of 
Cayenne vagrant to Pacific side. 


 

As I could see under the photo you posted people still associate pink flush 
with Elegant Tern. Here is a link to Cabot’s photo (taken recently as many of 
them sport pink flush now) that easy matches or even exceed pink flush in 
Elegant plumage and can be seen in all underparts; so, but only sometimes, can 
be seen in Royal plumage as well - - I made a composite of these two examples. 
I cannot guarantee how the image is going to display on some not calibrated 
monitors but in the nature individuals like that look quite impressive. 


 

http://www.pbase.com/mbb/image/159776665


At the end I would like to stress out that it seems that there is not enough 
data now to draw any final conclusion, so we all might be wrong in some 
aspects. 


 

Thanks for interesting discussion

 

Mark B Bartosik


Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Re: Presumably 2 Cayenne Terns (or Cabot’s x Cayenne hybrids) – A...
From: Mark B Bartosik <MBB22222 AT AOL.COM>
Date: Sat, 18 Apr 2015 00:29:08 -0400
Hi Alvaro, Shai and All,
 
Now I should to thank you both , Alvaro and Shai, for laborious replies. In 
 fact it will be easier for me to discuss some points base on statements in 
your  both replies. 
 
Alvaro, if I understand correctly will refuse to accept any vagrant  
Cayenne-type tern that doesn’t have pure yellow bill (still better than 
Florida 

Record Committee with strong vote 7-0 against any vagrant). Obviously Shai 
would  accept one as he published record of one as Cayenne Tern. Let me say it 
first  that I strongly support his decision. By publishing some but not all 
records we  are creating an illusion that records are scarcer then they 
really are. Here is  description from his paper:
 
“The bill appeared very long, much slimmer than that of Royal Tern, seemed  
to droop toward the tip, and its overall color was a cold greenish-yellow,  
devoid of any orange or red tones. The basal fifth and the distal third of 
the  bill were purely this color, as were the top of the culmen, both 
cutting edges, and the lower edge of the lower mandible. In between these 
areas, 

i.e., in the  middle portions of each mandible, were several blackish-gray 
marks. These marks  were not very extensive and were most obvious when the 
bill was in full profile,  but in some views, they were barely discernible.”
 
So definitely this Cayenne bill had some black bill coloration. I think  
that if we start to try to divide intermediates in groups of less and more 
black pigment showing on the bill we could create a bigger chaos. Like we all 

 mentioned (Alvaro even stressed it out strongly) Caribbean population has 
clinal  black pigment distribution so it does not matter much how much 
pigment is there. As long as there is less than in Cabot’s bill very likely 
we 

deal with either intermediates (Cayenne) or intergrades (Cayenne X Cabot’s). 

 To take it  farther, as Shai wrote, plausibly they can be rare local 
variants - something  never documented yet but perhaps possible. So with all 
these possibilities, even that not equally probable, no single individual with 

black bill areas can be  safely classified as a pure Cayenne, vagrant or not 
(again to some even pure  yellow-billed Cayenne cannot be safely identified 
as such). Following this rule  will lead to not accept many records to be 
published, Shai’s one included. And this, IMHO, is wrong. It would be better 

to correct them (misidentified records)  in the future when we will better 
understand genetic of these two taxa. For now  when we are still looking for 
answers to (too) many questions the published data  can only help.  All 
these unaccepted/non-confirmed records are just buried  somewhere and can only 
add to confusion when a new person start searching for  information. 
 
Now Alvaro, can you please refer to me the published papers about Elegant  
Tern (pure, not a Cabot’s X Elegant) having black pigment in their bills. 
You  wrote:
 
“Two things go on here. One is that some of Thalasseus have variable bill  
colors. The tendency is for pale billed populations (Cayenne and Elegant) to 
 show black on the bill every so often.”
 
From what I know the hypothesis now is that probably both Cayenne  
intermediates and Cabot’s X Cayenne integrates can show black on their bills 
and 

there are only Cabot’ X Elegant intergrades that have black on the bills.   
Never mind I see that as I scrolled down your post you believe that Elegant  
integrates are in your opinion Elegant variants and all papers are probably 
in  error.  Interesting; quite well documented in Florida and on Pacific (in  
South America, not California) side both Sandwich and Elegant population 
are overlapping year around in many places especially in Central America – I 

will  look at this data later as this is a new approach to me.  BTW there is 
at  least one record of Cayenne vagrant to Pacific side.
 
As I could see under the photo you posted people still associate pink flush 
 with Elegant Tern. Here is a link to Cabot’s photo (taken recently as many 
of  them sport pink flush now) that easy matches or even exceed pink flush 
in  Elegant plumage and can be seen in all underparts; so, but only 
sometimes, can be seen in Royal plumage as well - - I made a composite of these 
two 

examples. I  cannot guarantee how the image is going to display on some not 
calibrated  monitors but in the nature individuals like that look quite 
impressive.
 
http://www.pbase.com/mbb/image/159776665

At the end I would like to stress out that it seems that there is not  
enough data now to draw any final conclusion, so we all might be wrong in some 

aspects. 
 
Thanks for interesting discussion
 
Mark B Bartosik

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Non Breeding
From: Timothy Reeves <northern.parula AT ROCKETMAIL.COM>
Date: Fri, 17 Apr 2015 18:39:43 -0700
Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Re: Cayenne Terns
From: Shaibal Mitra <Shaibal.Mitra AT CSI.CUNY.EDU>
Date: Fri, 17 Apr 2015 19:15:57 +0000
Hi Mark and all,

As Alvaro notes, some degree of variation is to be expected in any large 
population, and the degree of variation itself varies among populations. 
Comparing the frequencies of scarce to rare variants across multiple 
populations on different continents is bound to be difficult, but I also agree 
with Alvaro's basic summary of the situation in the smaller Thalasseus: 


(1) southern eurygnatha (which breed during the Austral summer and aren't even 
suspected of exchanging genes with northern Cayenne Terns) usually show wholly 
yellow bills, but they nevertheless include variants with dark bill elements 
relatively often--these are mentioned by all the authors who have tackled the 
issue. Indeed, as stated in Mitra and Buckley (2000*), "Buckley and Buckley 
(1984) assembled evidence documenting variation in bill coloration within 
populations of eurygnatha from essentially all portions of the taxons known 
range, including the larger-billed, longer-winged, austral-summer breeding 
populations in Brazil (Sick and Leo 1965), Uruguay (Escalante 1970), and 
Argentina (Voous 1968). Birds in all of these populations showed yellowish 
bills with varying amounts of dark blotching. In view of the great distance 
from the nearest colonies of acuflavida, the lack of exchange of banded 
individuals, the contrast in breeding seasons (austral vs. boreal summers),! 

 and the suite of structural differences between the austral populations and 
typical acuflavida, this variation cannot reasonably be attributed to 
introgression of genes for acuflavida-like bill color." 


(2) in contrast, northern acuflavida is almost always black-billed after early 
immaturity, such that as recently as 2000, P. A. Buckley and I were unable to 
find even one documented instance of a breeding adult acuflavida with extensive 
yellow elements on the bill beyond the usual yellow tip--just a very instances 
of mere traces of yellow along the gape or the edges of the mandibular ramus. 
This certainly does not mean that variants more closely approaching the 
appearance of eurygnatha never occur, but the general failure to detect them 
given a huge amount of banding and general birding effort implies that they 
must be near the greatest extremity of rarity. Thus Mark's birds are of the 
greatest interest, representing something that people have been looking for for 
a long time without success. 


But even so, these genuinely intermediate-looking birds appear to be rarer in 
the USA than are birds closely resembling eurygnatha, of which there are on the 
order of ten documented records (maybe a few more--I haven't looked into this 
in a few years). It is for this reason that I still think that it is better to 
regard such birds as likely vagrants, rather than as local variants. This 
course has the operational advantage of facilitating record-keeping. 


(3) the situation in the Caribbean is exceedingly complex and furthermore very 
dynamic. Many of the intermediate-looking individuals in that region are surely 
intergrades, but there's every reason to expect that this phenotype should 
occur (a) regularly among more or less pure Cayenne Tern colonies there--at 
least as frequently as they occur among Austral breeders, but probably much 
more frequently, owing to gene flow from acuflavida; and (b) increasingly 
frequently among the southernmost more or less pure colonies of 
acuflavida--i.e., much more frequently than they have historically among 
northern acuflavida. 


Thus, I would argue that the status of Mark's birds is really ambiguous. They 
could very easily be intergrades from the Caribbean; but they could easily be 
vagrant Cayenne Terns because, especially in the Caribbean, bill pattern 
appears to be relatively variable, even apart from recent intergradation; and 
finally, they could plausibly be the rare local variants of acuflavida that we 
expect must occur at some rate--a rate that appears to have been exceedingly 
low historically, but a rate that might perhaps be increasing. 


*This paper can be accessed at:

http://www.nybirds.org/KBsearch/y2000v50n4/y2000v50n4p358-367mitra.pdf#

Shai Mitra
Bay Shore, NY



________________________________
Register today for Curtains Up! the inaugural presentation of the Geraldo 
Rivera Lecture Series> 


Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: photos of Cayenne Terns from Brazil
From: Alvaro Jaramillo <chucao AT COASTSIDE.NET>
Date: Fri, 17 Apr 2015 11:14:44 -0700
By the way, there are tons of photos on wikiaves of Cayenne Terns, and you
can appreciate the variation in bills even in southern Brazilian
populations. 

http://www.wikiaves.com.br/556161&t=s&s=10381&p=2

 

Alvaro Jaramillo

alvaro AT alvarosadventures.com

www.alvarosadventures.com

 


Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Re: Presumably 2 Cayenne Terns (or Cabot’s x Cayenne hybrids) – A...
From: Mark B Bartosik <MBB22222 AT AOL.COM>
Date: Fri, 17 Apr 2015 13:33:38 -0400
Hi All,
 
Thanks for all comments especially Alvaro’s one who took a lot of effort to 
 present his point. Before I respond to some of his thoughts I want to 
point a  few extra observations first so these won't get lost in the text.

We do not have banding project studies that I am aware of to show any  
example of Cabot’s like parents producing intermediates on nesting grounds in 

North America but only from time to time very rare records of such 
intermediates showing up here and there. The Martin Reid’s page is a great 
example – 

from what  I can see he takes a lot of effort to collect photographs of 
interesting birds not only found by him but also photos taken by others and he 

seems to spend a  lot of time trying to obtain photos of birds found by 
others. So we can say his  photo collection is above the average in sample 
size. In all his effort for so  many years he produced one record which I will 
discuss in the  moment.   I will not go too deep into juvenile Cabot’s Tern 
bill  coloration as anybody can produce many photos of great variation 
including  practically all-yellow bills in the early stages and having 
considerably large amount of yellow in later stages. The question is how long 
some 

individuals can  retain this extra yellow in bill areas what normally become 
black. Something  what I did not include in my original post (already long 
enough) was an interesting observation that in ‘typical’ intermediates from 

Cayenne population  (again see extensive collection of photos in Hayes, 2004) 
proximal and medial  parts of tomia and close area around of outside bill 
(in both maxilla and mandible) – especially medial parts – are black. This 

coloration pattern applied  to my Cayenne-type turn #1 (and obviously with 
so much black in the bill to bird  #2 as well); on both sides of the bill 
even that one side has much less black than the other one. Now if you take a 

look at the Reid’s tern photo  you will see that tomium (maxilla) and 
narrow proximal bill area are yellow. These pattern generally matches bill 
color 

changes in juveniles that can be seen  in juvenile Cabot’s he included on 
the same page. But we do not have too many  examples of intermediate birds 
from North America to draw any serious   onclusion. So how long bill 
coloration transition can last? Again we do not have studies on banded 
Cabot’s Terns 

of known age.  My conclusion is that indeed  here, in his example, we might 
have a case of prolonged bill coloration  transition. And again I would 
like to see this bird banded to know its exact age and to see what will happen 

in the future to have a base for any serious  conclusion. Also, a great 
moment to mention this, I have a problem with so called eBird ‘confirmed 
record 

’ policy. Unfortunately these records do not show  up but I will bet there 
are many interesting records buried there that I would  love to see even 
just for comparison. Terns seem to generate very low interest so nobody really 

cares. On the other hand gulls are quite popular and  misidentified gulls 
are ‘confirmed’ quite often. Just take a look at the adult California Gull 

recently reported in Galveston and even with misidentified photo  it was ‘
confirmed’ so not only every day alert include records of this bird but,  I 
will bet you again, many people take special trip to try to see it. I take a  
Galveston ferry trips on regular basis so see if this American Herring Gull  
(true with odd leg coloration but still not matching yellow-greenish CAGU 
legs;  and other traits as well) do not match quite perfectly photos and 
descriptions  entered in eBird as a CAGU. 
http://www.pbase.com/mbb/american_herring_gull_with_odd_leg_color
 
If seems that I overestimated my time available to write this reply; I will 
 need to do a second part as I value Alvaro’s reply and want to discuss a 
few  points with him. Perhaps this evening or tomorrow.  In meantime, I hope, 
 there will be a few more interesting opinions posted.
 
Cheers,
 
Mark
Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: A marginal record of Cayenne Tern
From: Ian McLaren <I.A.McLaren AT DAL.CA>
Date: Fri, 17 Apr 2015 14:51:44 +0000
All:


Might note that an all-yellow-billed tern was ID'd as a Cayenne Tern by an 
experienced birder on the s. tip of Nova Scotia, 26 Oct 2005. Alas, no photo 
obtained.? This was in the aftermath of Hurricane Earl, which moved rapidly 
from the Gulf of Mexico to Nova Scotia laden with trans-Gulf landbird migrants 
and seabirds, including all the expected "southern" terns. Alas, no photo 
obtained. 



Ian McLaren

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Re: Presumably 2 Caye nne Terns (or Cabot’s x Cayenne hybrids) – April 9, 2015 –Texa s
From: Alvaro Jaramillo <chucao AT COASTSIDE.NET>
Date: Fri, 17 Apr 2015 07:28:45 -0700
Mark

 Two things go on here. One is that some species of Thalasseus have variable 
bill colors. The tendency is for pale billed populations (Cayenne and Elegant) 
to show black on the bill every so often. The other situation is that Caribbean 
populations are clinal, Sandwich like in the north, Cayenne like in the south 
with a significant area of intermediacy. So both of these situations create 
birds with intermediate bill coloration. 

 The southern breeding population of Cayenne (Argentina-Uruguay-Brazil) is 
yellow billed, but every so often a bird with dark on the bill shows up. Since 
this is well away from the direct influence of Sandwich type birds, one can 
class it as variation. Similarly in Elegant, even publications that have come 
out suggesting various hybrids in breeding islands in Mexico are probably in 
error. Most of these are likely individual variants. Here is the most extreme 
case I have found in California: 


https://www.flickr.com/photos/alvarojaramillo/9439419251/in/photolist-fo8utM-c7on6G 

Note that in South America, Cayenne only occurs on the Atlantic. On the Pacific 
side al are Sandwich. I am not sure where they breed, these may only be 
non-breeding birds in the Pacific. 

 Given your photos, and those from Martin, I think a rarer situation occurs in 
Sandwich (Cabot's if you prefer) where a few have restricted black. 

Finally, given that Cayenne is defined by a fully yellow bill. I think that any 
bird identified as Cayenne needs to have a fully yellow bill. 


Take care, 
Alvaro

Alvaro Jaramillo
alvaro AT alvarosadventures.com
www.alvarosadventures.com

-----Original Message-----
From: NBHC ID-FRONTIERS Frontiers of Field Identification 
[mailto:BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU] On Behalf Of Mark B Bartosik 

Sent: Thursday, April 16, 2015 9:48 PM
To: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
Subject: [BIRDWG01] Presumably 2 Cayenne Terns (or Cabot’s x Cayenne hybrids) 
– April 9, 2015 –Texas 


Presumably 2 Cayenne Terns (or Cabot’s x Cayenne hybrids) – April 9, 2015 
– 

  Texas Upper Coast; Galveston County
 
Hi All,

Published Cayenne Tern records in North America are quite scarce. Only a few 
records and only single birds mostly found in North Carolina. Same in eBird 
database; it shows mostly published records. Entered are records from North 
Carolina and single records in four other states: Virginia (no photo and 
description say “rather” adult than juvenile Sandwich [yellow billed 
fledglings are quite common, at least on Texas shore; pers. obs.] – 
summarizing that this record is tentative), New York (published record), 
Louisiana (photo taken but not available to check, description included) and 
two records in Texas (apparently of the same bird; two locations close to each 
other, seen a week apart; no photo or description but for some reason confirmed 
by eBird). I read with interest Florida Records Committee reports about one as 
they called Cayenne-type tern found in 2012. It seems that they suspect hybrid 
possibility in every Cayenne even with all yellow bills. To my kno! 

 wledge in Texas nobody even report/review subspecies so no need to worry. As 
races of any bird, no matter how ‘exotic’ they might be, are not on a 
birders’ tick list and anybody with minimal effort can tick off a Cabot’s 
around here there is no special interest to either keep checking flocks of 
hundreds/thousands Cabot’s Terns or chase one. As I have a special interest 
in terns any Cayenne or Cayenne-type tern vagrant always will be a very 
interesting find, at least to me. 

 
So here we are; according to Junge and Voous (1955) Cayenne Terns from 
Caribbean populations may show considerable black on the bill while all-yellow 
bills predominate in the southern part of the breeding range in South America. 
Olsen and Larsson (1995) note that Cayenne is as Sandwich Tern acuflavida, but 
bill yellow, varying from orange to straw-yellow, often with darker central 
areas. They also regard phenotypically intermediate individuals, with the basal 
two-thirds or more of the bill black (thus approaching the condition in 
acuflavida), as referable to eurygnatha. Included photos (numbers 57-59 and 71 
analyzed by Mitra and Buckley (2000) that also included excellent review of all 
published papers) show considerable variation in bill color and structure, even 
within the same flock. Major bill color-states (not discrete, but variable) 
include black with a yellow tip, black with yellow blotches, greenish-yellow 
with black blotches, orange-yellow with black blotc! 

 hes, pure greenish-yellow, and pure orange (red). Similarly, bill structure 
varies from as slender as acuflavida to almost as heavy as maxima, and from 
essentially straight to conspicuously drooping, but none of this variation has 
been critically dissected by sex, age, or latitude heeding area. 

 
Hayes (2004) in his paper included a few sets of photographs illustrating bill 
variations and also stated that “The taxonomic relationship between Sandwich 
and Cayenne Terns is poorly understood. If any reproductive isolating mechanism 
exists between the two taxa, it may be based on bill coloration or, perhaps 
more likely, postural and vocal displays (P A. Buckley, pers. 

comm.). However, no behavioral differences between the taxa have been 
described. As for bill coloration, the crux of the issue is whether individuals 
with phenotypically "intermediate" bill coloration represent (1) variant (or 
even normal) phenotypes of Cayenne Tern, (2) the results of interbreeding 
between the two taxa, or (3) a mixture of both phenomena. A second crucial 
question is whether individuals indistinguishable from Sandwich Terns nesting 
in the southern Caribbean and eastern Brazil represent (1) Sandwich Terns or 
(2) variant Cayenne Tern phenotypes. 

 
Perhaps I should mention that there are some private opinions posted on the web 
speculating that yellow with some black billed Sandwich Terns they claim to saw 
are, in their opinion, nothing else than Cabot’s with an aberrant bill – 
but … no photos were taken. If we are to take statements like that seriously 
than intermediate individuals here and in South America will ‘ become’ 
Cabot’s and if we reverse the approach why not all Cabot’s Terns are being 
Cayenne with aberrant bill. On the other hand, the later possibility, but only 
applied to some Cabot’s-like individuals in South American breeding colonies, 
was pointed by Hayes (2004) in form of the second crucial question in point 2 
(see paragraph above). 

 
So here I have a question that most likely is never going to be answered, or 
better said one answer is not going to be approved by all. Are the birds I saw 
from the South American race eurygnatha or they are Cabot's X Cayenne Tern 
hybrids with intermediate bill coloration? BTW from the point of my interest in 
terns I would love these birds to be a Cabot’s Terns with aberrant bills but 
as there is not, to my best knowledge, any published studies describing 
documented cases of such birds so I see this as an unlikely possibility. I 
remember reading somewhere on the web that a few Cabot’s with very little 
extra yellow spots were seen in North Carolina but even in those cases hybrid 
possibility was proposed as this area is known for Cayenne Terns to show up 
from time to time in the past so these vagrants could stay there and breed 
injecting their genes to Cabot’s population gene pool. In Texas I saw 
thousands of Cabot’s and never saw one before with anything su! 

 ggesting any extra yellow areas in the bill coloration. It might be worth to 
mention that every time I check tern flocks I am mostly looking at primaries 
and bills of as many birds as possible; for other reasons than trying to find a 
different species/race but it sometimes help with that as well. The Cayenne 
numbered #2 has only small patch of yellow (it is more like orange comparing to 
the bill tip coloration; this is characteristic to some Cayenne bill 
coloration) at the base of maxilla; no photos of other bill’s part were 
taken, from different angles, reason at the end of this post, but I assume bill 
coloration was similar on another side. I would like to know what coloration of 
the mandible ventral part is. Also bill tip coloration: in Cabot’ 

s there is a sharp defined border between yellow and black areas. As we can see 
in Cayenne #2 the maxilla tip yellow part ends farther from the bill tip than 
in mandible and there is no fine definition line between yellow and black but 
rather yellow smudges into the black area (also rather typical to Cayenne 
intermediates). Well, I have to admit that if I only found bird 

#2 I will probably had a huge headache by now. The fact that both these terns 
were part of the same flock let me assume that they could come from the same 
wintering ground in the South and are traveling together. Both birds have bills 
coloration matching some individuals in photo collection of intermediates 
published by Hayes (2004). 

 
Crude measurements of bill depth at the base indicate that Cayenne #1 bill has 
the same depth as one Cabot’s and is slightly broader compare to a couple 
other Cabot’s in the flock, and slightly shorter in total length in 
comparison to one (I have no other adequate photos taken to take more 
reasonable measurements). 

 

Photos Cayenne #1
 
On the wing
 
http://www.pbase.com/mbb/image/159764477
 
Between Cabot’s and other birds
 
http://www.pbase.com/mbb/image/159764483
 
http://www.pbase.com/mbb/image/159764485
 
Comparison of bill structure and coloration with other Thalasseus terns I found 
in Texas 

 
http://www.pbase.com/mbb/image/159764475/original
 
Ventral bill view to show mostly yellow coloration of mandible ventral part 
Dorsal bill view to show mostly yellow coloration of maxilla dorsal part 
Lateral bill view to show distribution of the yellow and black coloration of 
maxilla and mandible lateral parts (right side having more black area than left 
one) 

 
http://www.pbase.com/mbb/image/159764474/original
 
Cayenne #2
 
http://www.pbase.com/mbb/image/159764487
 

All these photos from above and several more can be check in one folder when 
following this link (to see composite photo in full resolution it might be 
necessary to click on ‘original’ under the photo if clicked in folder; 
links above are to full resolution) 

 
http://www.pbase.com/mbb/cayenne_terns_2___april_9_2015__texas_upper_coast
 
Note about sighting: This day was one of first few days when very large influx 
of migrating Cabot’s Tens occurred. With extreme high tide during part of 
that day birds had only a very few spots available to rest. Well, beaches are 
public and good people need a rest and relax. I usually try to find secluded 
places but you cannot expect that good birds will only show up in such places. 
It is a migration time so there are plenty of not only birds on the beaches but 
plenty of people as well. Unfortunately because of high tide and limited 
available resting spots these huge flocks of birds were easy to spook and some 
kept leaving the area when disturbed. Finally when too many people came to the 
beach and walkers, and moving vehicles were stressing birds too much the 
majority of birds left the area, so did I. Usually when the whole flock is 
spooked and fly away it will find spot to rest somewhere else and will not come 
back. I tried to relocate these terns during ne! 

 xt few days, including  spots even far away (where I know terns like to
rest) – no success. Terns are on the move and only few of Cabot’s Terns 
will nest around here. It could be interesting if a few Cayenne Terns (hybrids, 
or whatever somebody wants to call them) start to nest here in Texas too so 
interbreeding with Cabot’s could take place right around the corner where I 
live. 

 

Mark B Bartosik
Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Cayenne Terns (or Cabots x Cayenne hybrid s)
From: Reid Martin <upupa AT AIRMAIL.NET>
Date: Fri, 17 Apr 2015 08:24:42 -0500
Dear all,
For those contemplating the recent post about this subject matter, here are 
some Sandwich-like terns from Texas. The first (adult) bird is not too 
dissimilar to the recent birds from Texas that are the main thrust of the 
recent post. The second bird is a HY photographed in late September, which 
seems late for such a large amount of retained juvenile bill color (and note 
that the color is orange, not yellow): 


http://www.martinreid.com/Main%20website/SATE.html

Regards,
Martin

---
Martin Reid
San Antonio
www.martinreid.com






Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Presumably 2 Cayenne Terns (or Cabot’s x Cayenne hybrids) – April 9, 2015 –Texas
From: Mark B Bartosik <MBB22222 AT AOL.COM>
Date: Fri, 17 Apr 2015 00:47:36 -0400
Presumably 2 Cayenne Terns (or Cabot’s x Cayenne hybrids) – April 9, 2015 
– 

  Texas Upper Coast; Galveston County
 
Hi All,

Published Cayenne Tern records in North America are quite scarce. Only  a 
few records and only single birds mostly found in North Carolina. Same in  
eBird database; it shows mostly published records. Entered are records from  
North Carolina and single records in four other states: Virginia (no photo 
and  description say “rather” adult than juvenile Sandwich [yellow billed 
fledglings  are quite common, at least on Texas shore; pers. obs.] – 
summarizing that this record is tentative), New York (published record), 
Louisiana 

(photo taken but  not available to check, description included) and two 
records in Texas (apparently of the same bird; two locations close to each 
other, 

seen a week  apart; no photo or description but for some reason confirmed 
by eBird).  I  read with interest Florida Records Committee reports about one 
as they called  Cayenne-type tern found in 2012. It seems that they suspect 
hybrid possibility  in every Cayenne even with all yellow bills. To my 
knowledge in Texas nobody even report/review subspecies so no need to worry. As 

races of any bird, no  matter how  ‘exotic’ they might be, are not on a 
birders’ tick list and anybody with minimal effort can tick off a Cabot’s 

around here there is no  special interest to either keep checking flocks of 
hundreds/thousands Cabot’s Terns or chase one. As I have a special interest 

in terns any Cayenne or  Cayenne-type tern vagrant always will be a very 
interesting find, at least to  me.
 
So here we are; according to Junge and Voous (1955) Cayenne Terns from  
Caribbean populations may show considerable black on the bill while all-yellow 

bills predominate in the southern part of the breeding range in South 
America.  Olsen and Larsson (1995) note that Cayenne is as Sandwich Tern 
acuflavida, but bill yellow, varying from orange to straw-yellow, often with 
darker 

central  areas. They also regard phenotypically intermediate individuals, 
with the basal  two-thirds or more of the bill black (thus approaching the 
condition in  acuflavida), as referable to eurygnatha. Included photos 
(numbers 57-59 and 71  analyzed by Mitra and Buckley (2000) that also included 
excellent review of all  published papers) show considerable variation in bill 
color and structure, even  within the same flock. Major bill color-states 
(not discrete, but variable)  include black with a yellow tip, black with 
yellow blotches, greenish-yellow with black blotches, orange-yellow with black 

blotches, pure greenish-yellow,  and pure orange (red). Similarly, bill 
structure varies from as slender as acuflavida to almost as heavy as maxima, 
and 

from essentially straight to  conspicuously drooping, but none of this 
variation has been critically dissected  by sex, age, or latitude heeding area.
 
Hayes (2004) in his paper included a few sets of photographs illustrating  
bill variations and also stated that “The taxonomic relationship between  
Sandwich and Cayenne Terns is poorly understood. If any reproductive isolating 
 mechanism exists between the two taxa, it may be based on bill coloration 
or,  perhaps more likely, postural and vocal displays (P A. Buckley, pers. 
comm.).  However, no behavioral differences between the taxa have been 
described. As for bill coloration, the crux of the issue is whether individuals 

with  phenotypically "intermediate" bill coloration represent (1) variant (or 
even  normal) phenotypes of Cayenne Tern, (2) the results of interbreeding 
between the  two taxa, or (3) a mixture of both phenomena. A second crucial 
question is  whether individuals indistinguishable from Sandwich Terns 
nesting in the  southern Caribbean and eastern Brazil represent (1) Sandwich 
Terns or (2)  variant Cayenne Tern phenotypes.
 
Perhaps I should mention that there are some private opinions  posted  on 
the web speculating that yellow with some black billed Sandwich Terns they  
claim to saw are, in their opinion, nothing else than Cabot’s with an 
aberrant bill – but … no photos were taken. If we are to take statements 
like 

that seriously than intermediate individuals here and in South America will ‘ 

become’ Cabot’s and if we reverse the approach why not all Cabot’s Terns 

are being  Cayenne with aberrant bill.  On the other hand, the later 
possibility, but only applied to some Cabot’s-like individuals in South 
American 

breeding  colonies, was pointed by Hayes (2004) in form of the second crucial 
question in  point 2 (see paragraph above).
 
So here I have a question that most likely is never going to be answered,  
or better said one answer is not going to be approved by all. Are the birds 
I  saw from the South American race eurygnatha or they are Cabot's X Cayenne 
Tern  hybrids with intermediate bill coloration? BTW from the point of my 
interest in  terns I would love these birds to be a Cabot’s Terns with 
aberrant bills but as there is not, to my best knowledge, any published studies 

describing documented  cases of such birds so I see this as an unlikely 
possibility. I remember reading somewhere on the web that a few Cabot’s with 

very little extra yellow spots were  seen in North Carolina but even in those 
cases hybrid possibility was proposed  as this area is known for Cayenne 
Terns to show up from time to time in the past  so these vagrants could stay 
there and breed injecting their genes to Cabot’s  population gene pool. In 
Texas I saw thousands of Cabot’s and never saw one  before with anything 
suggesting any extra yellow areas in the bill coloration. It might be worth to 

mention that every time I check tern flocks I am mostly  looking at primaries 
and bills of as many birds as possible; for other reasons  than trying to 
find a different species/race but it sometimes help with that as  well. The 
Cayenne numbered #2 has only small patch of yellow (it is more like  orange 
comparing to the bill tip coloration; this is characteristic to some  Cayenne 
bill coloration) at the base of maxilla; no photos of other bill’s part were 

taken, from different angles, reason at the end of this post, but I assume  
bill coloration was similar on another side. I would like to know what  
coloration of the mandible ventral part is. Also bill tip coloration: in 
Cabot’ 

s  there is a sharp defined border between yellow and black areas. As we can 
see in  Cayenne #2 the maxilla tip yellow part ends farther from the bill 
tip than in  mandible and there is no fine definition line between yellow and 
black but  rather yellow smudges into the black area (also rather typical 
to Cayenne  intermediates). Well, I have to admit that if I only found bird 
#2 I will  probably had a huge headache by now.  The fact that both these 
terns were  part of the same flock let me assume that they could come from the 
same  wintering ground in the South and are traveling together.  Both birds 
have  bills coloration matching some individuals in photo collection of 
intermediates  published by Hayes (2004).
 
Crude measurements of bill depth at the base indicate that Cayenne #1 bill  
has the same depth as one Cabot’s and is slightly broader compare to a 
couple  other Cabot’s in the flock, and slightly shorter in total length in 
comparison  to one (I have no other adequate photos taken to take more 
reasonable  measurements).
 

Photos Cayenne #1
 
On the wing
 
http://www.pbase.com/mbb/image/159764477
 
Between Cabot’s and other birds
 
http://www.pbase.com/mbb/image/159764483
 
http://www.pbase.com/mbb/image/159764485
 
Comparison of bill structure and coloration with other Thalasseus terns I  
found in Texas
 
http://www.pbase.com/mbb/image/159764475/original
 
Ventral bill view to show mostly yellow coloration of mandible ventral  part
Dorsal bill view to show mostly yellow coloration of maxilla dorsal  part
Lateral bill view to show distribution of the yellow and black  coloration 
of maxilla and mandible lateral parts (right side having more black  area 
than left one)
 
http://www.pbase.com/mbb/image/159764474/original
 
Cayenne #2
 
http://www.pbase.com/mbb/image/159764487
 

All these photos from above and several more can be check in one folder  
when following this link (to see composite photo in full resolution it might 
be  necessary to click on ‘original’ under the photo if clicked in folder; 
links  above are to full resolution)
 
http://www.pbase.com/mbb/cayenne_terns_2___april_9_2015__texas_upper_coast
 
Note about sighting: This day was one of first few days when very large  
influx of migrating Cabot’s Tens occurred. With extreme high tide during part 

of  that day birds had only a very few spots available to rest.  Well, 
beaches are public and good people need a rest and relax. I usually try to find 

secluded  places but you cannot expect that good birds will only show up in 
such places.  It is a migration time so there are plenty of not only birds 
on the beaches but  plenty of people as well. Unfortunately because of high 
tide and limited  available resting spots these huge flocks of birds were 
easy to spook and some  kept leaving the area when disturbed. Finally when too 
many people came to  the  beach and walkers, and moving vehicles were 
stressing birds too much the majority of birds left the area, so did I. Usually 

when the whole flock is  spooked and fly away it will find spot to rest 
somewhere else and will not come back. I tried to relocate these terns during 

next few days, including  spots even far away (where I know terns like to 
rest) – no success. Terns are on the move and only few of Cabot’s Terns 
will 

nest around here. It could be  interesting if a few Cayenne Terns (hybrids, 
or whatever somebody wants to call  them) start to nest here in Texas too so 
interbreeding with Cabot’s could take  place right around the corner where 
I live.
 

Mark B Bartosik
Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Re: Mew Gull in Connecticut
From: Steve Hampton <stevechampton AT GMAIL.COM>
Date: Thu, 16 Apr 2015 15:47:41 -0700
I'd bet on kam.  A significant article on these taxa will be coming out in
Dutch Birding soon.



On Thu, Apr 16, 2015 at 2:19 PM, Nick Bonomo  wrote:

> Hi all,
>
> An interesting Mew Gull recently seen and photographed in CT, USA is
> being debated regarding subspecific identification. The feeling of
> myself and others is that this bird is of Asian origin. Any thoughts
> would be appreciated.
>
> Apparently the northeast US has become a crossroads for "Mew" Gulls of
> various forms, with records of canus, brachyrynchus, and apparent
> kamchatschensis over just the past few months alone. Fascinating
> stuff.
>
> Here are photos of the CT bird:
>
> 
http://www.shorebirder.com/2015/04/apr-15-mew-gull-in-west-havenmilford-ct.html 

>
> Nick Bonomo
> Wallingford, CT
> www.shorebirder.com
>
> Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
>



-- 
Steve Hampton
Davis, CA

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Mew Gull in Connecticut
From: Nick Bonomo <nbonomo AT GMAIL.COM>
Date: Thu, 16 Apr 2015 17:19:16 -0400
Hi all,

An interesting Mew Gull recently seen and photographed in CT, USA is
being debated regarding subspecific identification. The feeling of
myself and others is that this bird is of Asian origin. Any thoughts
would be appreciated.

Apparently the northeast US has become a crossroads for "Mew" Gulls of
various forms, with records of canus, brachyrynchus, and apparent
kamchatschensis over just the past few months alone. Fascinating
stuff.

Here are photos of the CT bird:
http://www.shorebirder.com/2015/04/apr-15-mew-gull-in-west-havenmilford-ct.html

Nick Bonomo
Wallingford, CT
www.shorebirder.com

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Paul R Wood/UK/TLS/PwC is out of the office.
From: Paul Wood <paul.r.wood AT UK.PWC.COM>
Date: Fri, 10 Apr 2015 06:40:47 +0100
I will be out of the office from 10/04/2015 until 13/04/2015.

I will respond to your message when I return.




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Subject: Re: Colorado intermedius-type Lesser Black-backed Gull
From: Amar Ayyash <amarayyash AT GMAIL.COM>
Date: Thu, 9 Apr 2015 19:30:24 -0500
Doug, although it may seem to no effect for the time being, I think records
committees should evaluate such dark birds. At the very least it could
contribute to a database of photos (and written descriptions) that may one
day be put to use to paint a broader picture. I think it's of less value
for an observer to pass up a very dark bird (or a very pale bird) and not
make any special note of exception to what they've seen. Of course no
committee should feel compelled to assign a subspecies to any individual,
but rather, simply annotate the record with an asterisk (i.e., *nominate
fuscus-like features..., *intermedius-like features..., etc).


Amar Ayyash
Frankfort, Illinois

On Thu, Apr 9, 2015 at 5:59 PM, Doug Faulkner  wrote:

> Hello all:
>
> First off, my apologies to Alan et al. for being U.S.-centric in my
> original post - bad habit of mine.  It was certainly not my intent to
> exclude the rest of the New World.
>
> The only other photo available from the photographer is uploaded now.  It's
> the original, uncropped version of one of the earlier two photos I posted
> so it may not be of much more help.  There were apparently 4-5 Lesser
> Black-backeds at that reservoir and this bird was distinctly much darker
> than the others.
>
> On a side note, if these darker-backed individuals can/should not be
> assigned to subspecies, is there value for a bird records committee to keep
> records of such individuals?  Is there anything we can learn by tracking
> these darker-backed birds if we are not sure of what they are or from where
> they might have originated?
>
> Thank you all for the feedback.  It's much appreciated.
>
> Doug Faulkner
> Colorado, USA
>
> On Thu, Apr 9, 2015 at 12:41 PM, Phil Davis  wrote:
>
> > All:
> >
> > This is just a related minor anecdote ...
> >
> > Also, many years ago (possibly during the same season that Paul Pisano
> > refers to, which I would place in the late 1980s or early 1990s), I
> > remember stopping at a gull spot somewhere in Maryland's Montgomery
> County.
> > As I recall it was a field, not a dump or reservoir. Already present and
> > looking at the gulls though scopes were the late Harvey Mudd and Willem
> > Maane, members of the MD/DC Records Committee. They pointed out to me two
> > gulls in the group that were fairly close together [and in the same
> > sun-orientation]. They said that the two were Lesser Black-backed Gulls
> but
> > they were of two different subspecies. Through their scope I clearly
> > remember seeing the yellow-legs and dark backs. So many years later, I
> > don't recall any other field marks, such as head streaking or bill
> > markings, except that the back color was very different between the two
> > birds, one appeared to be virtually jet black, very noticeably darker
> than
> > the other bird. I distinctly remember that they said that the dark bird
> was
> > "apparently a [nominate] fuscus." My recollection from the time was that
> > they knew that the nominate fuscus was either extremely rare or virtually
> > unknown in North America. Both Harvey and Willem were very experienced
> with
> > gulls, as our area had just been through the DC and MD Yellow-legged Gull
> > records experience. Harvey was a world birder, member and Chair of the
> > MD/DC Records Committee and Willem, a Dutchman, was also a member of the
> > committee.
> >
> > I remember thinking that I had just seen something quite rare; however, I
> > was not experienced enough at the time to document what they had just
> shown
> > me and, as a birding community, we were not so much into documenting
> > subspecies back then. I am pretty sure that this observation was never
> > documented for posterity. No other birders were present at the time and
> no
> > one had a camera with them. We also did not have the instant
> communications
> > that we do now.
> >
> > Could this really have been a fuscus or could the fuscus actually have
> > been an intermedius based on what we know now ... ???
> >
> > Was this the same bird that Paul Pisano saw at the Georgetown Reservoir
> > ... ???
> >
> > Again, just an anecdote, but one I remember pretty clearly, at least at
> > the superficial level.
> >
> > Phil
> >
> >
> > At 22:25 04/08/2015, Paul Pisano wrote:
> >
> >> Like Martin, I've seen 1 extremely dark Lesser Black-backed Gull, much
> >> too dark to be a graellsii, so presumably intermedius, but I wouldn't
> try
> >> to put a subspecific name on it.  This was many years ago, and I never
> took
> >> the time to take notes or pictures (didn't have a camera at the time),
> nor
> >> did I submit it to the Maryland/DC Records Committee.  This was at the
> >> infamous Georgetown Reservoir in Washington, DC (where the first NA
> >> Yellow-legged Gull was found).  So take that for what it' worth.
> >>
> >>
> > ==================================
> > Phil Davis      Davidsonville, Maryland     USA
> >                 mailto:PDavis AT ix.netcom.com
> > ==================================
> > Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
> >
>
> Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
>

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Re: Colorado LBBG - correction
From: Bruce Mactavish <bruce.mactavish1 AT NF.SYMPATICO.CA>
Date: Thu, 9 Apr 2015 20:54:48 -0230
The upper parts colour of LBBGs has long intrigued and troubled people in North 
America. I think, as Martin Reid also suggested, is that many of the North 
American birds are a little bit darker than the classic pale British graellsii. 
Every so often here in Newfoundland I see an adult that is a little paler than 
the rest and figure this is like the real British graellsii often illustrated 
in British bird guides. I am not too concerned about splitting LBBGs into 
graellsii or intermedius. It almost seems a waste of time. They seem to blend 
together with only difference being the shade of upper parts colour. The fuscus 
LBBG is a different story. These are not only very black but also a different 
shaped bird being long and sleek with small head, thin body and narrow wings. 


The bird we saw and photographed in St. John's over the winter of 2004/2005 and 
shown here in Martin's site 
http://www.martinreid.com/Gull%20website/lbbgp40.html and then seen again the 
following winter with photographs by Kirk Zufelt on his site 
http://larusology.blogspot.ca/2009/11/possible-baltic-gull-in-newfoundland.html 
was very different LBBG. The colour of the upper parts was a dry, deep black 
like black soot. But the more striking feature was the shape of the bird. Small 
headed, thin body, long very narrow wings, odd shaped bill - these features 
along with other subtleties made this bird feel like a different bird 
altogether from our usual LBBGs. 


I thought our photos taken in March 2005 would be enough to clinch it as a 
Baltic Gull. I sent the pictures to several European experts and hit a brick 
wall everywhere. No one would say it was a Baltic Gull without seeing a band on 
its leg proving it had been banded as a nestling within the breeding range of 
Baltic Gull. 


I have since read a few articles on the complicated LBBG scene in the 
Netherlands and that part of Europe. It is a different scene from just across 
the way in Britain where graellsii rule and darker backed potential intermedius 
and potential Baltic Gulls stand out. 


I have seen many photos of Baltic Gulls, I have even seen a few dozen adult 
Baltic Gulls during spring migration in eastern Poland. I have seen many LBBGs 
in North America, Ireland and Britain. I still feel the 2004/2005 bird in 
Newfoundland best fits Baltic Gull. But I respect the experience and wisdom of 
the European gull people that have said - No Band, No Go. 


Bruce Mactavish
St. John's, Newfoundland

-----Original Message-----
From: NBHC ID-FRONTIERS Frontiers of Field Identification 
[mailto:BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU] On Behalf Of Angus Wilson 

Sent: April-09-15 2:24 PM
To: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
Subject: Re: [BIRDWG01] Colorado LBBG - correction

That's better! The original link to birds from La Marque, Texas wasn't 
convincing as fuscus-like ;)) 


At first glance, the Halifax/Dartmouth bird shown in the new link seems a 
reasonable match for nominate fuscus (Baltic Gull) based on the very long wings 
and the black of the mantle being almost the same as the black primaries. I 
thought the bird photographed by Bruce McTavish in Newfoundland 
 also looked very 
interesting. If I'm not mistaken Baltic Gulls at any age should look relatively 
small and distinctively long-winged compared to other large gulls including 
other 'Lesser Black-backed' types. 


Some of the 'darker Lesser Black-backed Gulls' discussed on this forum have 
been perceived as being larger than expected. How does this relate to 
perceptions of graellsii, intermedius and 'Iberian' gulls by European 
observers? Could it be that the population now colonizing eastern North America 
(presumably from breeding sites in Greenland) was seeded by birds from more 
than one European population (in other words not pure graellsii) hence the 
puzzling appearance of some individuals? 


Lastly, in the context of coastal New York my impression is that there is a 
decline in the number of Lesser Black-backed Gulls that I'd describe as dark 
compared to my expectations of graellsii. Just a gut impression that I can't 
defend with data but thought I'd throw it into the mix. We've also seen changes 
in the frequency and habitat preferences of birds during the past 20 years. 


--
Angus Wilson
New York City & The Springs, NY, USA
http://birdingtotheend.blogspot.com/

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Re: L.f.fuscus from Newfoundland
From: Amar Ayyash <amarayyash AT GMAIL.COM>
Date: Thu, 9 Apr 2015 18:11:41 -0500
Peter and all, regarding the age of the Newfoundland gull on Martin's
website:
http://www.martinreid.com/Gull%20website/lbbgp40.html

I think since the assumption here is that this "may" be a nominate fuscus
candidate, then it would better fit a 2nd cycle (2nd winter), considering
this taxon generally looks rather adult-like by the end of the 2nd prebasic
molt (similar to Yellow-footed in some respects).

I think the brown tinge to the wing coverts, the thinner white edge to the
tertials, relatively retarded bill pattern and small mirror on the
outermost mirror all fit better for a 2nd cycle (despite what look like
thick-white inner primary tips and an adult-like tail pattern).

Would love to get a European perspective on this bird.

Best,
Amar Ayyash
Frankfort, Illinois


On Thu, Apr 9, 2015 at 3:02 PM, Peter Pyle  wrote:

> I'm curious as to the age designation as "second winter" for the
> Newfoundland bird
> http://www.martinreid.com/Gull%20website/lbbgp40.html
> I realize L. f. fuscus can show more advanced looking plumage than other
> gulls due to more-extensive prealternate molts (including replacement of
> secondaries here), but pattern to the inner (basic) primaries, lack of
> black in the tail, etc. make me wonder if this was a third-cycle
> (third-winter) bird that year.
>
> Peter
>
> At 12:19 PM 4/9/2015, Kirk Zufelt wrote:
>
>> Angus- The year after (Jan14/2007) Bruce took the pics you linked too- I
>> photographed what may well have been the same bird at the St. John’s
>> Landfill. It was later seen again at Quidi Vidi Lake by Bruce and multiple
>> observers.
>> The link to the pics is below.
>>
>> http://larusology.blogspot.ca/2009/11/possible-baltic-gull-
>> in-newfoundland.html > ca/2009/11/possible-baltic-gull-in-newfoundland.html>
>>
>> I believe this is the closest you could ever get to a genuine Baltic Gull
>> without photographing a ringed bird.
>>
>> Kirk Zufelt
>> Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
>>
>
> Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
>

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Re: Colorado intermedius-type Lesser Black-backed Gull
From: Doug Faulkner <zebrilus AT GMAIL.COM>
Date: Thu, 9 Apr 2015 17:59:24 -0500
Hello all:

First off, my apologies to Alan et al. for being U.S.-centric in my
original post - bad habit of mine.  It was certainly not my intent to
exclude the rest of the New World.

The only other photo available from the photographer is uploaded now.  It's
the original, uncropped version of one of the earlier two photos I posted
so it may not be of much more help.  There were apparently 4-5 Lesser
Black-backeds at that reservoir and this bird was distinctly much darker
than the others.

On a side note, if these darker-backed individuals can/should not be
assigned to subspecies, is there value for a bird records committee to keep
records of such individuals?  Is there anything we can learn by tracking
these darker-backed birds if we are not sure of what they are or from where
they might have originated?

Thank you all for the feedback.  It's much appreciated.

Doug Faulkner
Colorado, USA

On Thu, Apr 9, 2015 at 12:41 PM, Phil Davis  wrote:

> All:
>
> This is just a related minor anecdote ...
>
> Also, many years ago (possibly during the same season that Paul Pisano
> refers to, which I would place in the late 1980s or early 1990s), I
> remember stopping at a gull spot somewhere in Maryland's Montgomery County.
> As I recall it was a field, not a dump or reservoir. Already present and
> looking at the gulls though scopes were the late Harvey Mudd and Willem
> Maane, members of the MD/DC Records Committee. They pointed out to me two
> gulls in the group that were fairly close together [and in the same
> sun-orientation]. They said that the two were Lesser Black-backed Gulls but
> they were of two different subspecies. Through their scope I clearly
> remember seeing the yellow-legs and dark backs. So many years later, I
> don't recall any other field marks, such as head streaking or bill
> markings, except that the back color was very different between the two
> birds, one appeared to be virtually jet black, very noticeably darker than
> the other bird. I distinctly remember that they said that the dark bird was
> "apparently a [nominate] fuscus." My recollection from the time was that
> they knew that the nominate fuscus was either extremely rare or virtually
> unknown in North America. Both Harvey and Willem were very experienced with
> gulls, as our area had just been through the DC and MD Yellow-legged Gull
> records experience. Harvey was a world birder, member and Chair of the
> MD/DC Records Committee and Willem, a Dutchman, was also a member of the
> committee.
>
> I remember thinking that I had just seen something quite rare; however, I
> was not experienced enough at the time to document what they had just shown
> me and, as a birding community, we were not so much into documenting
> subspecies back then. I am pretty sure that this observation was never
> documented for posterity. No other birders were present at the time and no
> one had a camera with them. We also did not have the instant communications
> that we do now.
>
> Could this really have been a fuscus or could the fuscus actually have
> been an intermedius based on what we know now ... ???
>
> Was this the same bird that Paul Pisano saw at the Georgetown Reservoir
> ... ???
>
> Again, just an anecdote, but one I remember pretty clearly, at least at
> the superficial level.
>
> Phil
>
>
> At 22:25 04/08/2015, Paul Pisano wrote:
>
>> Like Martin, I've seen 1 extremely dark Lesser Black-backed Gull, much
>> too dark to be a graellsii, so presumably intermedius, but I wouldn't try
>> to put a subspecific name on it.  This was many years ago, and I never took
>> the time to take notes or pictures (didn't have a camera at the time), nor
>> did I submit it to the Maryland/DC Records Committee.  This was at the
>> infamous Georgetown Reservoir in Washington, DC (where the first NA
>> Yellow-legged Gull was found).  So take that for what it' worth.
>>
>>
> ==================================
> Phil Davis      Davidsonville, Maryland     USA
>                 mailto:PDavis AT ix.netcom.com
> ==================================
> Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
>

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Re: L.f.fuscus from Newfoundland
From: Jean Iron <jeaniron AT SYMPATICO.CA>
Date: Thu, 9 Apr 2015 17:47:42 -0400
Here are two more photos of the Baltic-like Lesser Black-backed Gull from 
Newfoundland. At the time (2007) Bruce Mactavish told us it was probably the 
subspecies intermedius based on information from Europeans who had examined his 
photos. Third photo shows a graellsii for comparison. 

http://jeaniron.ca/Trips/Newfoundland2007/lesserblackback.htm

Ron Pittaway and Jean Iron
Toronto, Ontario


-----Original Message-----
From: NBHC ID-FRONTIERS Frontiers of Field Identification 
[mailto:BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU] On Behalf Of Peter Pyle 

Sent: Thursday, April 09, 2015 4:02 PM
To: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
Subject: Re: [BIRDWG01] L.f.fuscus from Newfoundland

I'm curious as to the age designation as "second winter" for the Newfoundland 
bird http://www.martinreid.com/Gull%20website/lbbgp40.html 

I realize L. f. fuscus can show more advanced looking plumage than other gulls 
due to more-extensive prealternate molts (including replacement of secondaries 
here), but pattern to the inner (basic) primaries, lack of black in the tail, 
etc. make me wonder if this was a third-cycle (third-winter) bird that year. 


Peter

At 12:19 PM 4/9/2015, Kirk Zufelt wrote:
>Angus- The year after (Jan14/2007) Bruce took the pics you linked too- 
>I photographed what may well have been the same bird at the St. 
>John’s Landfill. It was later seen again at Quidi Vidi Lake by Bruce 
>and multiple observers.
>The link to the pics is below.
>
>http://larusology.blogspot.ca/2009/11/possible-baltic-gull-in-newfoundl
>and.html 
>land.html>
>
>I believe this is the closest you could ever get to a genuine Baltic 
>Gull without photographing a ringed bird.
>
>Kirk Zufelt
>Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Re: L.f.fuscus from Newfoundland
From: Peter Pyle <ppyle AT BIRDPOP.ORG>
Date: Thu, 9 Apr 2015 13:02:27 -0700
I'm curious as to the age designation as "second 
winter" for the Newfoundland bird
http://www.martinreid.com/Gull%20website/lbbgp40.html
I realize L. f. fuscus can show more advanced 
looking plumage than other gulls due to 
more-extensive prealternate molts (including 
replacement of secondaries here), but pattern to 
the inner (basic) primaries, lack of black in the 
tail, etc. make me wonder if this was a 
third-cycle (third-winter) bird that year.

Peter

At 12:19 PM 4/9/2015, Kirk Zufelt wrote:
>Angus- The year after (Jan14/2007) Bruce took 
>the pics you linked too- I photographed what may 
>well have been the same bird at the St. John’s 
>Landfill. It was later seen again at Quidi Vidi 
>Lake by Bruce and multiple observers.
>The link to the pics is below.
>

>http://larusology.blogspot.ca/2009/11/possible-baltic-gull-in-newfoundland.html 


> 

>
>I believe this is the closest you could ever get 
>to a genuine Baltic Gull without photographing a ringed bird.
>
>Kirk Zufelt
>Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: L.f.fuscus from Newfoundland
From: Kirk Zufelt <zufelt_k AT SHAW.CA>
Date: Thu, 9 Apr 2015 15:19:51 -0400
Angus- The year after (Jan14/2007) Bruce took the pics you linked too- I 
photographed what may well have been the same bird at the St. John’s 
Landfill. It was later seen again at Quidi Vidi Lake by Bruce and multiple 
observers. 

The link to the pics is below.

http://larusology.blogspot.ca/2009/11/possible-baltic-gull-in-newfoundland.html 
 


I believe this is the closest you could ever get to a genuine Baltic Gull 
without photographing a ringed bird. 


Kirk Zufelt
Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Re: Colorado intermedius-type Lesser Black-backed Gull
From: Phil Davis <pdavis AT IX.NETCOM.COM>
Date: Thu, 9 Apr 2015 13:41:27 -0400
All:

This is just a related minor anecdote ...

Also, many years ago (possibly during the same season that Paul 
Pisano refers to, which I would place in the late 1980s or early 
1990s), I remember stopping at a gull spot somewhere in Maryland's 
Montgomery County. As I recall it was a field, not a dump or 
reservoir. Already present and looking at the gulls though scopes 
were the late Harvey Mudd and Willem Maane, members of the MD/DC 
Records Committee. They pointed out to me two gulls in the group that 
were fairly close together [and in the same sun-orientation]. They 
said that the two were Lesser Black-backed Gulls but they were of two 
different subspecies. Through their scope I clearly remember seeing 
the yellow-legs and dark backs. So many years later, I don't recall 
any other field marks, such as head streaking or bill markings, 
except that the back color was very different between the two birds, 
one appeared to be virtually jet black, very noticeably darker than 
the other bird. I distinctly remember that they said that the dark 
bird was "apparently a [nominate] fuscus." My recollection from the 
time was that they knew that the nominate fuscus was either extremely 
rare or virtually unknown in North America. Both Harvey and Willem 
were very experienced with gulls, as our area had just been through 
the DC and MD Yellow-legged Gull records experience. Harvey was a 
world birder, member and Chair of the MD/DC Records Committee and 
Willem, a Dutchman, was also a member of the committee.

I remember thinking that I had just seen something quite rare; 
however, I was not experienced enough at the time to document what 
they had just shown me and, as a birding community, we were not so 
much into documenting subspecies back then. I am pretty sure that 
this observation was never documented for posterity. No other birders 
were present at the time and no one had a camera with them. We also 
did not have the instant communications that we do now.

Could this really have been a fuscus or could the fuscus actually 
have been an intermedius based on what we know now ... ???

Was this the same bird that Paul Pisano saw at the Georgetown 
Reservoir ... ???

Again, just an anecdote, but one I remember pretty clearly, at least 
at the superficial level.

Phil


At 22:25 04/08/2015, Paul Pisano wrote:
>Like Martin, I've seen 1 extremely dark Lesser Black-backed Gull, 
>much too dark to be a graellsii, so presumably intermedius, but I 
>wouldn't try to put a subspecific name on it.  This was many years 
>ago, and I never took the time to take notes or pictures (didn't 
>have a camera at the time), nor did I submit it to the Maryland/DC 
>Records Committee.  This was at the infamous Georgetown Reservoir in 
>Washington, DC (where the first NA Yellow-legged Gull was 
>found).  So take that for what it' worth.
>

==================================
Phil Davis      Davidsonville, Maryland     USA
                 mailto:PDavis AT ix.netcom.com
================================== 

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Re: Colorado LBBG - correction
From: Angus Wilson <oceanwanderers AT GMAIL.COM>
Date: Thu, 9 Apr 2015 12:54:15 -0400
That's better! The original link to birds from La Marque, Texas wasn't
convincing as fuscus-like ;))

At first glance, the Halifax/Dartmouth bird shown in the new link seems a
reasonable match for nominate fuscus (Baltic Gull) based on the very long
wings and the black of the mantle being almost the same as the black
primaries. I thought the bird photographed by Bruce McTavish in
Newfoundland  also
looked very interesting. If I'm not mistaken Baltic Gulls at any age should
look relatively small and distinctively long-winged compared to other large
gulls including other 'Lesser Black-backed' types.

Some of the 'darker Lesser Black-backed Gulls' discussed on this forum have
been perceived as being larger than expected. How does this relate to
perceptions of graellsii, intermedius and 'Iberian' gulls by European
observers? Could it be that the population now colonizing eastern North
America (presumably from breeding sites in Greenland) was seeded by birds
from more than one European population (in other words not pure graellsii)
hence the puzzling appearance of some individuals?

Lastly, in the context of coastal New York my impression is that there is a
decline in the number of Lesser Black-backed Gulls that I'd describe as
dark compared to my expectations of graellsii. Just a gut impression that I
can't defend with data but thought I'd throw it into the mix. We've also
seen changes in the frequency and habitat preferences of birds during the
past 20 years.

-- 
Angus Wilson
New York City & The Springs, NY, USA
http://birdingtotheend.blogspot.com/

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Re: Colorado LBBG - correction
From: Reid Martin <upupa AT AIRMAIL.NET>
Date: Thu, 9 Apr 2015 10:58:52 -0500
The correct link for the NS, Canada LBBG that is within range for fuscus...

http://www.martinreid.com/Gull%20website/lbbgp75.html

Martin

---
Martin Reid
San Antonio
www.martinreid.com


Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Re: Colorado intermedius-type Lesser Black-backed Gull
From: Reid Martin <upupa AT AIRMAIL.NET>
Date: Thu, 9 Apr 2015 10:09:29 -0500
Here are a few darker LBBGs from Texas:

http://www.martinreid.com/Gull%20website/lbbgp90.html

http://www.martinreid.com/Gull%20website/lbbgp74.html

http://www.martinreid.com/Gull%20website/lbbgp61.html

http://www.martinreid.com/Gull%20website/lbbgp26.html

http://www.martinreid.com/Gull%20website/lbbgp24.html

http://www.martinreid.com/Gull%20website/lbbgp12.html

http://www.martinreid.com/Gull%20website/lbbgp83.html

http://www.martinreid.com/Gull%20website/lbbgp11.html

http://www.martinreid.com/Gull%20website/lbbgp13.html


- and a couple from Canada that are within range for fuscus...

http://www.martinreid.com/Gull%20website/lbbgp24.html

http://www.martinreid.com/Gull%20website/lbbgp40.html


- and keep in mind that the famous "F5" Maine Appledore gull is fairly 
dark-mantled: 


http://www.martinreid.com/Gull%20website/lbbgp82F05.html

Here is a photo from Florida showing the variation often found when good 
numbers of LBBGs are present: 


http://www.martinreid.com/Gull%20website/lbbgp92.html


- and lastly, an example of how mantle color can appear much darker than it 
really is if there is no benchmark species in the photo! This first adult looks 
pretty dark - until you compare it to the Laughing Gulls around it... 


http://www.martinreid.com/Gull%20website/lbbgp17.html


Martin

---
Martin Reid
San Antonio
www.martinreid.com


Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Re: Colorado intermedius-type Lesser Black-backed Gull
From: Suzanne Sullivan <swampy435 AT GMAIL.COM>
Date: Thu, 9 Apr 2015 07:37:40 -0400
I have  photographed this year 2  different very dark LBBG, too dark to
be graellsii. My photos are not nearly as good as yours Doug, they are
distant.  http://www.pbase.com/suzsull/ebird_archive_  The first set is
from 2 days ago are digiscoped and the subject bird was not very
cooperative since it stayed in the back of the pack. I seriously considered
KELP for a few but the white on the trailing edge is thin. Way too big to
be fuscus, so intermedius-type seems plausible.  This bird was bigger than
what I would expect from a typical LBBG also. The one single shot from
March on the Merrimac also distant record shot for ebird ( rare at this
location) was as you can see typical size, but interesting also, no open
wing shots of that bird.

Here is a gallery of much better photos
http://www.pbase.com/suzsull/_lesser_blackbacked_gull_larus_fuscus , most
are from Salisbury state park in Mass. They all seem really dark to me but
the gallery “presumed not graellsii” has many angles open wing shots etc.
The group of October birds is very interesting to me because they seem so
bulky, and their heads have no streaking for Oct. and the bills are
serious, almost GBBG like and seem to have spots on P10 as opposed to a
mirror. Very little white in wing. The spot on P10 seems to possibly be a
shared feature in the really dark ones.  I think there is a lot more of
these types out there than we realize.

FYI - on Nantucket ( an expensive place to go unfortunately) large groups
of LBBG stage, not sure if they actually winter here but it would be a
great place to conduct a study, banding radio chips etc. I am hopeful this
fall I will be able to get there and spend a day with them. I am not aware
of anyone who has seriously photographed this group. Where do they come
from? Where are they going? Are they all the same sub-species? So many
questions.
Suzanne Sullivan
Wilmington, MA


On Wed, Apr 8, 2015 at 10:25 PM, Paul Pisano  wrote:

> Like Martin, I’ve seen 1 extremely dark Lesser Black-backed Gull, much too
> dark to be a graellsii, so presumably intermedius, but I wouldn’t try to
> put a subspecific name on it.  This was many years ago, and I never took
> the time to take notes or pictures (didn’t have a camera at the time), nor
> did I submit it to the Maryland/DC Records Committee.  This was at the
> infamous Georgetown Reservoir in Washington, DC (where the first NA
> Yellow-legged Gull was found).  So take that for what it’s worth.
>
> Good birding,
> Paul Pisano
> Arlington, VA
>
> > On Apr 8, 2015, at 4:11 PM, Doug Faulkner  wrote:
> >
> > Hello all:
> >
> > The CO Bird Records Committee is reviewing documentation of an adult
> > intermedius-type LBBG photographed in January 2013.  I would appreciate
> any
> > feedback on whether this bird can be identified to subspecies based on
> the
> > available photos found here:
> >
> > https://www.flickr.com/photos/93340228 AT N02/
> >
> > Also, does anyone have a good idea of how many of these very dark-backed
> > LBBGs have been observed, as well as their geographic distribution, in
> the
> > U.S.?
> >
> > Thank you.
> >
> > Doug Faulkner
> > Colorado, USA
> >
> > Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
>
> Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
>



-- 
Suzanne M. Sullivan
Wilmington, MA
swampy435 AT gmail.com

Be the Voice of the River
http://www.ipswichriver.org

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Re: Phoenix, AZ mystery dove
From: Peter Wilkinson <pjw42 AT WAITROSE.COM>
Date: Thu, 9 Apr 2015 10:10:54 +0100
Noah and All,

I strongly suspect Eurasian Collared x Ringed Turtle-dove (or as we
would call it, Barbary Dove). I saw a range of these in Mallorca and the
Canary Islands some years ago when decaocto first reached them and met
established populations of 'risoria'. They seem to hybridise for a while
until the larger bird outcompetes the smaller, which disappears. The
Phoenix bird, with its mixed characteristics, would certainly not have
been out of place among the hybrids I saw.

Apart from the dark tail tips, of course. There does, however, seem to
be some feather damage associated with the tips and I wonder whether it
has picked up some external staining somewhere. 

Peter

On Thu, 2015-04-09 at 00:34 -0500, Noah Arthur wrote:
> It was too big for Ringed Turtle-dove (same size as Eurasian Collared,
> although perhaps slenderer). Also, the black outer webs at the base of the
> tail is wrong for Ringed Turtle (more like Eurasian Collared, although the
> bird was definitely not pure Collared).
> 
> What I forgot to mention in my first message was the bird's call: a
> two-note coo, similar but not identical to the pet Ringed Turtle-doves I
> used to have -- and unlike Eurasian Collared.
> 
> Noah
> 
> On Wed, Apr 8, 2015 at 10:15 PM, Floyd Hayes  wrote:
> 
> > Noah,
> >
> > Why not a Ringed Turtle-Dove?
> >
> > Floyd
> >
> > Sent from Yahoo Mail for iPhone 
> >
> > At Apr 8, 2015, 6:41:32 PM, Noah Arthur<'semirelicta AT GMAIL.COM'> wrote:
> > A couple weeks ago, while I was in Phoenix for Spring Training baseball
> > games, I found an unusual Streptopelia collared-dove at Phoenix College
> > (near downtown). The bird is very pale but as large as Eurasian
> > Collared-dove, with several odd features including a black tail-tip (!!)
> > and an Iceland Gull-like primary pattern (dark outer webs, pale inner
> > webs).
> > https://www.flickr.com/photos/73989529 AT N02/sets/72157649341522323/
> >
> > The tail pattern seems way off for Eurasian Collared or any North American
> > dove... What do you all think? Some strange escapee?
> >
> > Noah Arthur, Oakland, CA/Lincoln, NE
> >
> > Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
> >
> >
> 
> Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Re: Phoenix, AZ mystery dove
From: Noah Arthur <semirelicta AT GMAIL.COM>
Date: Thu, 9 Apr 2015 00:34:11 -0500
It was too big for Ringed Turtle-dove (same size as Eurasian Collared,
although perhaps slenderer). Also, the black outer webs at the base of the
tail is wrong for Ringed Turtle (more like Eurasian Collared, although the
bird was definitely not pure Collared).

What I forgot to mention in my first message was the bird's call: a
two-note coo, similar but not identical to the pet Ringed Turtle-doves I
used to have -- and unlike Eurasian Collared.

Noah

On Wed, Apr 8, 2015 at 10:15 PM, Floyd Hayes  wrote:

> Noah,
>
> Why not a Ringed Turtle-Dove?
>
> Floyd
>
> Sent from Yahoo Mail for iPhone 
>
> At Apr 8, 2015, 6:41:32 PM, Noah Arthur<'semirelicta AT GMAIL.COM'> wrote:
> A couple weeks ago, while I was in Phoenix for Spring Training baseball
> games, I found an unusual Streptopelia collared-dove at Phoenix College
> (near downtown). The bird is very pale but as large as Eurasian
> Collared-dove, with several odd features including a black tail-tip (!!)
> and an Iceland Gull-like primary pattern (dark outer webs, pale inner
> webs).
> https://www.flickr.com/photos/73989529 AT N02/sets/72157649341522323/
>
> The tail pattern seems way off for Eurasian Collared or any North American
> dove... What do you all think? Some strange escapee?
>
> Noah Arthur, Oakland, CA/Lincoln, NE
>
> Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
>
>

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Re: Colorado intermedius-type Lesser Black-backed Gull
From: Paul Pisano <cheep.paul AT GMAIL.COM>
Date: Wed, 8 Apr 2015 22:25:38 -0400
Like Martin, I’ve seen 1 extremely dark Lesser Black-backed Gull, much too 
dark to be a graellsii, so presumably intermedius, but I wouldn’t try to put 
a subspecific name on it. This was many years ago, and I never took the time to 
take notes or pictures (didn’t have a camera at the time), nor did I submit 
it to the Maryland/DC Records Committee. This was at the infamous Georgetown 
Reservoir in Washington, DC (where the first NA Yellow-legged Gull was found). 
So take that for what it’s worth. 


Good birding,
Paul Pisano
Arlington, VA

> On Apr 8, 2015, at 4:11 PM, Doug Faulkner  wrote:
> 
> Hello all:
> 
> The CO Bird Records Committee is reviewing documentation of an adult
> intermedius-type LBBG photographed in January 2013.  I would appreciate any
> feedback on whether this bird can be identified to subspecies based on the
> available photos found here:
> 
> https://www.flickr.com/photos/93340228 AT N02/
> 
> Also, does anyone have a good idea of how many of these very dark-backed
> LBBGs have been observed, as well as their geographic distribution, in the
> U.S.?
> 
> Thank you.
> 
> Doug Faulkner
> Colorado, USA
> 
> Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Phoenix, AZ mystery dove
From: Noah Arthur <semirelicta AT GMAIL.COM>
Date: Wed, 8 Apr 2015 20:41:32 -0500
A couple weeks ago, while I was in Phoenix for Spring Training baseball
games, I found an unusual Streptopelia collared-dove at Phoenix College
(near downtown). The bird is very pale but as large as Eurasian
Collared-dove, with several odd features including a black tail-tip (!!)
and an Iceland Gull-like primary pattern (dark outer webs, pale inner
webs).
https://www.flickr.com/photos/73989529 AT N02/sets/72157649341522323/

The tail pattern seems way off for Eurasian Collared or any North American
dove... What do you all think? Some strange escapee?

Noah Arthur, Oakland, CA/Lincoln, NE

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Re: Colorado intermedius-type Lesser Black-backed Gull
From: Reid Martin <upupa AT AIRMAIL.NET>
Date: Wed, 8 Apr 2015 20:10:29 -0500
Here in Texas I've seen at least 6 or 7 birds that seem too dark for graellsii 
or even Dutch Intergrades; none have been processed by the TBRC (partly because 
records of this kind are not sought by the TBRC). Most of the LBBGs seen in 
Texas up until a few years ago were notable by being darker than an average 
graellsii, i.e. obviously darker than nearby Laughing Gulls as the same angle. 
However in recent years,as the overall numbers seen in Texas has increased, a 
few paler birds have been found, with some about the same mantle shade as 
Laughing Gull. 

Keep in mind that in a vagrant context, it does not have to merely be dark 
enough to fall within the mantle range of intermedius - it has to be dark 
enough to fall outside the range of the darkest Dutch intergrades... 

BTW regarding the Colorado bird - are these the only two images avaIlable? If 
so, then assessing the actual mantle shade is almost impossible, since the 
angles at which the bird is standing relative to the camera are the angles 
where mantle darkness is exaggerated - indeed the tone looks to be almost black 
in these images.. The true tone could be quite a bit lighter, if seen 
perpendicular to the camera/viewer and in neutral lighting. 

Martin
---
Martin Reid
San Antonio
www.martinreid.com





On Apr 8, 2015, at Apr 8, 3:11 PM, Doug Faulkner wrote:

> Hello all:
> 
> The CO Bird Records Committee is reviewing documentation of an adult
> intermedius-type LBBG photographed in January 2013.  I would appreciate any
> feedback on whether this bird can be identified to subspecies based on the
> available photos found here:
> 
> https://www.flickr.com/photos/93340228 AT N02/
> 
> Also, does anyone have a good idea of how many of these very dark-backed
> LBBGs have been observed, as well as their geographic distribution, in the
> U.S.?
> 
> Thank you.
> 
> Doug Faulkner
> Colorado, USA
> 
> Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html


Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Fw: [BIRDWG01] Colorado intermedius-type Lesser Black-backed Gull
From: Alan Wormington <wormington AT JUNO.COM>
Date: Wed, 8 Apr 2015 20:36:47 GMT
Doug and all,

Unfortunately Point Pelee (Ontario) is not in the United States, so not sure if 
you would be interested in this information per your request below. 


At Point Pelee we have a total of six (6) records of birds that are considered 
to be intermedius, or at least showing the characteristics of that subspecies. 
The first was in 1983. Records are for spring and fall, with one interesting 
record of a bright alternate adult on the relatively late date of May 17, 2010. 


Alan Wormington
Leamington, Ontario






---------- Forwarded Message ----------
From: Doug Faulkner 
To: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
Subject: [BIRDWG01] Colorado intermedius-type Lesser Black-backed Gull
Date: Wed, 8 Apr 2015 15:11:17 -0500

Hello all:

The CO Bird Records Committee is reviewing documentation of an adult
intermedius-type LBBG photographed in January 2013.  I would appreciate any
feedback on whether this bird can be identified to subspecies based on the
available photos found here:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/93340228 AT N02/

Also, does anyone have a good idea of how many of these very dark-backed
LBBGs have been observed, as well as their geographic distribution, in the
U.S.?

Thank you.

Doug Faulkner
Colorado, USA

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Colorado intermedius-type Lesser Black-backed Gull
From: Doug Faulkner <zebrilus AT GMAIL.COM>
Date: Wed, 8 Apr 2015 15:11:17 -0500
Hello all:

The CO Bird Records Committee is reviewing documentation of an adult
intermedius-type LBBG photographed in January 2013.  I would appreciate any
feedback on whether this bird can be identified to subspecies based on the
available photos found here:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/93340228 AT N02/

Also, does anyone have a good idea of how many of these very dark-backed
LBBGs have been observed, as well as their geographic distribution, in the
U.S.?

Thank you.

Doug Faulkner
Colorado, USA

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Re: Goodbye to Hoary (and Lesser) Redpolls
From: "Matthew A. Young" <may6 AT CORNELL.EDU>
Date: Sun, 5 Apr 2015 15:10:22 +0000
Kudos to the authors! As their work still supports though, there are still 
plenty of obvious "looking" Hoary Redpolls. Also, the researchers were quick to 
note, "they still only sampled less than 1% of the total genome." As most 
things in science are, this is an "evolving" story. 


Matt Young
Ithaca, NY

________________________________________
From: NBHC ID-FRONTIERS Frontiers of Field Identification 
 on behalf of Jeff Holbrook  

Sent: Sunday, April 5, 2015 10:50 AM
To: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
Subject: Re: [BIRDWG01] Goodbye to Hoary (and Lesser) Redpolls

There are certainly valid and accepted records of Swainson's Hawks and Oregon 
Juncos. I don't dispute that at all. They are at least valid species. Given 
enough time, each state's list will be similar . :) What I don't like is that 
every time someone sees a dark Red-tailed Hawk (a highly variable species to 
begin with!) or slightly different colored junco in the flocks at their 
feeders, they claim to have a special bird. Trust me, most sightings are 
wishful thinking. Also, just to point out, birds that have been claimed to be 
hoary types and common types have been noted from the same nest since at least 
the 1970's. The hoary thing should have gone away decades ago but no! And just 
to make a point, there have been how many accepted sightings of "hoary" 
Redpolls since the 1970's? Don't make the mistake that just because it's 
accepted that it is correct. Question everything. :) 



Jeff Holbrook
Corning, NY

-----Original Message-----
From: NBHC ID-FRONTIERS Frontiers of Field Identification 
[mailto:BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU] On Behalf Of Paul Guris 

Sent: Friday, April 03, 2015 20:10
To: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
Subject: Re: [BIRDWG01] Goodbye to Hoary (and Lesser) Redpolls

FYI, there have been 42 accepted records of Swainson's Hawks in New Jersey 
since 1996, including several which were banded. They have been nearly annual 
since 2001. 


There have been 13 accepted records of "Oregon" Junco.


-PAG


--







*Paul A. GurisSee Life PaulagicsPO Box 161Green Lane, PA 
18054215-234-6805www.paulagics.com paulagics.com 

 AT gmail.com info AT paulagics.com
*


On Fri, Apr 3, 2015 at 3:46 PM, Tony Leukering  wrote:

> So, how does one explain the call note that I've heard only from Hoary
> Redpoll, despite seeing >100x more Commons?  And, of course, there are
> numerous good records of both Swainson's Hawk and Oregon Junco in the East:
>
>
> Swainson's on the East Coast from just one photographer at a place
> where one cannot walk at that latitude very far east and still keep
> your shoes
> dry:
> https://www.flickr.com/photos/35435397 AT N08/8162747224
> https://www.flickr.com/photos/35435397 AT N08/4125755231
> https://www.flickr.com/photos/35435397 AT N08/8067565416
> https://www.flickr.com/photos/35435397 AT N08/12464100113
>
>
> Oregon:
> https://www.flickr.com/photos/jeff_offermann/6656042027
>
>
> Tony Leukering
> Largo, FL
> http://cowyebird.blogspot.com/
>
> http://www.flickr.com/photos/tony_leukering/
>
> http://aba.org/photoquiz/
>
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Jeff Holbrook 
> To: BIRDWG01 
> Sent: Fri, Apr 3, 2015 12:38 am
> Subject: Re: [BIRDWG01] Goodbye to Hoary (and Lesser) Redpolls
>
>
> Finally! I've been saying this for years! So obvious, but folks are so
> bent on getting more ticks on their list, that nobody would listen!
> BOOM! DONE! I have been putting folks that claim to see HOARYs on a
> special list for decades!
> Seriously! I have a list! Just a fun Aspy trait! Don't get me started
> about Oregon Juncos or Swainson's Hawks in eastern North America.
> LOL You don't want
> to go there! Too funny really. No HOREs just COREs!  :)
>
>
> Jeff
> Holbrook
> Corning, NY
>
>

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Re: Goodbye to Hoary (and Lesser) Redpolls
From: Jeff Holbrook <mycteria AT STNY.RR.COM>
Date: Sun, 5 Apr 2015 10:50:17 -0400
There are certainly valid and accepted records of Swainson's Hawks and Oregon 
Juncos. I don't dispute that at all. They are at least valid species. Given 
enough time, each state's list will be similar . :) What I don't like is that 
every time someone sees a dark Red-tailed Hawk (a highly variable species to 
begin with!) or slightly different colored junco in the flocks at their 
feeders, they claim to have a special bird. Trust me, most sightings are 
wishful thinking. Also, just to point out, birds that have been claimed to be 
hoary types and common types have been noted from the same nest since at least 
the 1970's. The hoary thing should have gone away decades ago but no! And just 
to make a point, there have been how many accepted sightings of "hoary" 
Redpolls since the 1970's? Don't make the mistake that just because it's 
accepted that it is correct. Question everything. :) 



Jeff Holbrook
Corning, NY

-----Original Message-----
From: NBHC ID-FRONTIERS Frontiers of Field Identification 
[mailto:BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU] On Behalf Of Paul Guris 

Sent: Friday, April 03, 2015 20:10
To: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
Subject: Re: [BIRDWG01] Goodbye to Hoary (and Lesser) Redpolls

FYI, there have been 42 accepted records of Swainson's Hawks in New Jersey 
since 1996, including several which were banded. They have been nearly annual 
since 2001. 


There have been 13 accepted records of "Oregon" Junco.


-PAG


-- 







*Paul A. GurisSee Life PaulagicsPO Box 161Green Lane, PA 
18054215-234-6805www.paulagics.com paulagics.com 

 AT gmail.com info AT paulagics.com
*


On Fri, Apr 3, 2015 at 3:46 PM, Tony Leukering  wrote:

> So, how does one explain the call note that I've heard only from Hoary 
> Redpoll, despite seeing >100x more Commons?  And, of course, there are 
> numerous good records of both Swainson's Hawk and Oregon Junco in the East:
>
>
> Swainson's on the East Coast from just one photographer at a place 
> where one cannot walk at that latitude very far east and still keep 
> your shoes
> dry:
> https://www.flickr.com/photos/35435397 AT N08/8162747224
> https://www.flickr.com/photos/35435397 AT N08/4125755231
> https://www.flickr.com/photos/35435397 AT N08/8067565416
> https://www.flickr.com/photos/35435397 AT N08/12464100113
>
>
> Oregon:
> https://www.flickr.com/photos/jeff_offermann/6656042027
>
>
> Tony Leukering
> Largo, FL
> http://cowyebird.blogspot.com/
>
> http://www.flickr.com/photos/tony_leukering/
>
> http://aba.org/photoquiz/
>
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Jeff Holbrook 
> To: BIRDWG01 
> Sent: Fri, Apr 3, 2015 12:38 am
> Subject: Re: [BIRDWG01] Goodbye to Hoary (and Lesser) Redpolls
>
>
> Finally! I've been saying this for years! So obvious, but folks are so 
> bent on getting more ticks on their list, that nobody would listen! 
> BOOM! DONE! I have been putting folks that claim to see HOARYs on a 
> special list for decades!
> Seriously! I have a list! Just a fun Aspy trait! Don't get me started 
> about Oregon Juncos or Swainson's Hawks in eastern North America.
> LOL You don't want
> to go there! Too funny really. No HOREs just COREs!  :)
>
>
> Jeff
> Holbrook
> Corning, NY
>
>

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Re: potential Common Snipe in Newfoundland
From: Jan Jrgensen <birds.jorgensen AT BLIXTMAIL.SE>
Date: Sun, 5 Apr 2015 01:08:51 -0500
Hi all!

Sorry for the wrong name, I meant of course Bruce and nothing else!

JanJ

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Re: potential Common Snipe in Newfoundland
From: Jan Jrgensen <birds.jorgensen AT BLIXTMAIL.SE>
Date: Sat, 4 Apr 2015 09:35:01 -0500
Hi Joseph!

In my eyes it looks good as a Common Snipe.

Some 800 pic of Common Snipe from Sweden here, if you like...

http://svalan.artdata.slu.se/birds/gallery.asp?artid=325

JanJ
Sweden

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Re: Flying small curlew look-alikes?
From: Suzanne Sullivan <swampy435 AT GMAIL.COM>
Date: Sat, 4 Apr 2015 08:05:35 -0400
I wonder how much the drought will impact migration movements? It may throw
the usual stats off course, no pun intended.
Suzanne Sullivan

On Friday, April 3, 2015, Alvaro Jaramillo  wrote:

> Jeff
>
>   I did my grad work near Punta Rasa in Buenos Aires, Argentina. One of the
> estancias I used to survey (for Screaming Cowbirds and Baywings, my study
> species) was the last spot an Eskimo Curlew was found in Argentina. I
> always
> had a dream that I would find them there and quietly switch my grad work to
> study the species. I do think that they may be around, but think that if
> that is the case there are but a few hundred left. I do think it would be
> difficult to find them if they are concentrated in a tiny area, or a single
> field somewhere. They are unlikely to be found in much of the migration as
> they surely had long non-stop flights. Imagine trying to find a Hudsonian
> Godwit if there were only 100 left, you would be hard pressed to do so
> given
> their long non-stop flights.
>     On a similar topic, Upland Sandpiper vagrants have turned up in Chile
> in
> a very small window of time, and they have been in the north of the
> country.
> The window is mid March into April. The thought was that a few got lost on
> the northbound migration and crossed the Andes by mistake. Yet the window
> and concentration (mainly in Antofagasta Region) suggested there was a
> small
> and regular movement of them there. This year while surveying for breeding
> storm petrels in the desert friends of mine heard many flying over at
> night.
> They were able to see some, and once the methodology was figured out one of
> the guys stayed up waiting for them to go by over his yard in Arica (by the
> Peru border) and heard them nightly! So either this is a very weird year,
> or
> there is a consistent and sizeable nocturnal migration of Upland Sandpipers
> over the deserts of northern Chile. We shall see what occurs in 2016, but
> it
> was very exciting to learn this. If a species that is moderately well known
> as Upland Sandpiper can have an entirely unknown migration route, imagine
> 100 Eskimo Curlews.... they could be out there.
>
> Alvaro
>
> Alvaro Jaramillo
> alvaro AT alvarosadventures.com 
> www.alvarosadventures.com
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: NBHC ID-FRONTIERS Frontiers of Field Identification
> [mailto:BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU ] On Behalf Of Jeff
> Gilligan
> Sent: Friday, April 03, 2015 6:54 PM
> To: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU 
> Subject: Re: [BIRDWG01] Flying small curlew look-alikes?
>
> What is the status of Whimbrels in Nebraska?  Few if any would be migrating
> along the Oregon coast at this date.
>
> I don't think anyone, including the observer, would consider this sighting
> as anything approaching proof that Eskimo Curlews still exist, but it gives
> me some hope.  I would suggest that even if there was still  population of
> a
> few hundred that they may have gone undetected all these years.  Their
> (former) winter range in southern South America is extensive, and the
> species flew great distances non-stop in migration.
>
> Jeff Gilligan
> Portland, Oregon
>
>
> On Apr 3, 2015, at 6:16 PM, Jamie Chavez >
> wrote:
>
> > Noah,
> >
> > Along the California coast it is not unheard of to see a runt Whimbrel
> > on rare occasions. These are noticeably smaller birds compared to
> > Whimbrels of standard body mass. I've seen a photo somewhere but I
> > can't for the life of me find one at the moment.
> >
> > Jamie Chavez
> > Santa Maria, CA
> >
> > On Fri, Apr 3, 2015 at 9:04 AM, Noah Arthur  > wrote:
> >
> >> Hi everyone. Yesterday I had an interesting distant fly-by at a field
> >> near Lincoln, NE. When I first saw the bird I thought it was a
> >> pigeon, then I realized it looked too duckish to be a pigeon, and it
> >> appeared to be a small curlew. I didn't have the binoculars ready to
> >> go so I only saw it at a distance in silhouette; couldn't make out
> >> the bill, body shape, etc. But its flight action had the distinctive
> >> smooth, gracefully lumbering look of a curlew.
> >>
> >> Are there any other shorebirds (or other birds of any kind) that can
> >> give off a curlew-like gizz in flight?
> >>
> >> BTW Any small curlew would be a great rarity. Whimbrel shouldn't be
> >> getting to Nebraska until late April. We're right on time for Eskimo,
> >> but there are obvious problems with IDing a distant fly-by as an Eskimo
> Curlew!
> >>
> >> Noah Arthur, Oakland, CA/Lincoln, NE
> >>
> >> Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
> >>
> >
> >
> >
> > --
> > Jamie Chavez
> > Santa Maria, CA
> >
> > Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
>
> Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
>
> Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
>


-- 
Suzanne M. Sullivan
Wilmington, MA
swampy435 AT gmail.com

Be the Voice of the River
http://www.ipswichriver.org

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Eskimo habitat
From: Noah Arthur <semirelicta AT GMAIL.COM>
Date: Fri, 3 Apr 2015 21:49:22 -0500
I hope this isn't too far off-topic... But does anyone know what would be
ideal foraging habitat for migrating Eskimo Curlews? I'm going to spend the
weekend searching historical "staging" areas near York, Nebraska, and would
like to narrow down the likely habitats.

Thanks!

Noah

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Re: Flying small curlew look-alikes?
From: Alvaro Jaramillo <chucao AT COASTSIDE.NET>
Date: Fri, 3 Apr 2015 20:01:40 -0700
Jeff

  I did my grad work near Punta Rasa in Buenos Aires, Argentina. One of the
estancias I used to survey (for Screaming Cowbirds and Baywings, my study
species) was the last spot an Eskimo Curlew was found in Argentina. I always
had a dream that I would find them there and quietly switch my grad work to
study the species. I do think that they may be around, but think that if
that is the case there are but a few hundred left. I do think it would be
difficult to find them if they are concentrated in a tiny area, or a single
field somewhere. They are unlikely to be found in much of the migration as
they surely had long non-stop flights. Imagine trying to find a Hudsonian
Godwit if there were only 100 left, you would be hard pressed to do so given
their long non-stop flights. 
    On a similar topic, Upland Sandpiper vagrants have turned up in Chile in
a very small window of time, and they have been in the north of the country.
The window is mid March into April. The thought was that a few got lost on
the northbound migration and crossed the Andes by mistake. Yet the window
and concentration (mainly in Antofagasta Region) suggested there was a small
and regular movement of them there. This year while surveying for breeding
storm petrels in the desert friends of mine heard many flying over at night.
They were able to see some, and once the methodology was figured out one of
the guys stayed up waiting for them to go by over his yard in Arica (by the
Peru border) and heard them nightly! So either this is a very weird year, or
there is a consistent and sizeable nocturnal migration of Upland Sandpipers
over the deserts of northern Chile. We shall see what occurs in 2016, but it
was very exciting to learn this. If a species that is moderately well known
as Upland Sandpiper can have an entirely unknown migration route, imagine
100 Eskimo Curlews.... they could be out there. 

Alvaro 

Alvaro Jaramillo
alvaro AT alvarosadventures.com
www.alvarosadventures.com

-----Original Message-----
From: NBHC ID-FRONTIERS Frontiers of Field Identification
[mailto:BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU] On Behalf Of Jeff Gilligan
Sent: Friday, April 03, 2015 6:54 PM
To: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
Subject: Re: [BIRDWG01] Flying small curlew look-alikes?

What is the status of Whimbrels in Nebraska?  Few if any would be migrating
along the Oregon coast at this date.  

I don't think anyone, including the observer, would consider this sighting
as anything approaching proof that Eskimo Curlews still exist, but it gives
me some hope.  I would suggest that even if there was still  population of a
few hundred that they may have gone undetected all these years.  Their
(former) winter range in southern South America is extensive, and the
species flew great distances non-stop in migration.  

Jeff Gilligan
Portland, Oregon  


On Apr 3, 2015, at 6:16 PM, Jamie Chavez  wrote:

> Noah,
> 
> Along the California coast it is not unheard of to see a runt Whimbrel 
> on rare occasions. These are noticeably smaller birds compared to 
> Whimbrels of standard body mass. I've seen a photo somewhere but I 
> can't for the life of me find one at the moment.
> 
> Jamie Chavez
> Santa Maria, CA
> 
> On Fri, Apr 3, 2015 at 9:04 AM, Noah Arthur  wrote:
> 
>> Hi everyone. Yesterday I had an interesting distant fly-by at a field 
>> near Lincoln, NE. When I first saw the bird I thought it was a 
>> pigeon, then I realized it looked too duckish to be a pigeon, and it 
>> appeared to be a small curlew. I didn't have the binoculars ready to 
>> go so I only saw it at a distance in silhouette; couldn't make out 
>> the bill, body shape, etc. But its flight action had the distinctive 
>> smooth, gracefully lumbering look of a curlew.
>> 
>> Are there any other shorebirds (or other birds of any kind) that can 
>> give off a curlew-like gizz in flight?
>> 
>> BTW Any small curlew would be a great rarity. Whimbrel shouldn't be 
>> getting to Nebraska until late April. We're right on time for Eskimo, 
>> but there are obvious problems with IDing a distant fly-by as an Eskimo
Curlew!
>> 
>> Noah Arthur, Oakland, CA/Lincoln, NE
>> 
>> Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
>> 
> 
> 
> 
> --
> Jamie Chavez
> Santa Maria, CA
> 
> Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Re: Flying small curlew look-alikes?
From: Alvaro Jaramillo <chucao AT COASTSIDE.NET>
Date: Fri, 3 Apr 2015 19:51:05 -0700
Noah

 Seriously, Eskimo Curlew more likely than Whimbrel? At this point Eskimo 
Curlew is less likely than Whimbrel, anytime and anywhere on earth. And I will 
add that I do believe the curlew still exists, but I am an optimist. 


Alvaro

Alvaro Jaramillo
alvaro AT alvarosadventures.com
www.alvarosadventures.com

-----Original Message-----
From: NBHC ID-FRONTIERS Frontiers of Field Identification 
[mailto:BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU] On Behalf Of Noah Arthur 

Sent: Friday, April 03, 2015 7:36 PM
To: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
Subject: Re: [BIRDWG01] Flying small curlew look-alikes?

Thanks everyone... I'm leaning towards Upland Sandpiper or Hudsonian Godwit at 
the moment, or maybe even a duck or heavy-bodied domestic pigeon breed. I 
couldn't get a good feel for the size (the bird was flying high over 
agricultural land; very hard to judge distance). It didn't necessarily look any 
smaller than a normal Whimbrel, but it did look smaller than a Long-billed 
Curlew. In CA I would have had no problem with it being a Whimbrel, although I 
would have left it unidentified even there. 

However, Whimbrels are rare in NE and there are no records before late April, 
so that species is probably out of the question. 


I think Eskimo is more likely than Whimbrel at this place and date (even given 
the species' supposed extinction -- I agree with Jeff here). But I don't think 
Eskimo is as likely as Upland or Hudsonian. 


I would probably have a diagnostic photo of whatever it was if I hadn't left my 
camera in the car. 


Noah

On Fri, Apr 3, 2015 at 8:54 PM, Jeff Gilligan 
wrote:

> What is the status of Whimbrels in Nebraska?  Few if any would be 
> migrating along the Oregon coast at this date.
>
> I don't think anyone, including the observer, would consider this 
> sighting as anything approaching proof that Eskimo Curlews still 
> exist, but it gives me some hope.  I would suggest that even if there 
> was still  population of a few hundred that they may have gone 
> undetected all these years.  Their
> (former) winter range in southern South America is extensive, and the 
> species flew great distances non-stop in migration.
>
> Jeff Gilligan
> Portland, Oregon
>
>
> On Apr 3, 2015, at 6:16 PM, Jamie Chavez  wrote:
>
> > Noah,
> >
> > Along the California coast it is not unheard of to see a runt 
> > Whimbrel on rare occasions. These are noticeably smaller birds 
> > compared to Whimbrels
> of
> > standard body mass. I've seen a photo somewhere but I can't for the 
> > life
> of
> > me find one at the moment.
> >
> > Jamie Chavez
> > Santa Maria, CA
> >
> > On Fri, Apr 3, 2015 at 9:04 AM, Noah Arthur 
> wrote:
> >
> >> Hi everyone. Yesterday I had an interesting distant fly-by at a 
> >> field
> near
> >> Lincoln, NE. When I first saw the bird I thought it was a pigeon, 
> >> then I realized it looked too duckish to be a pigeon, and it 
> >> appeared to be a small curlew. I didn't have the binoculars ready 
> >> to go so I only saw it
> at
> >> a distance in silhouette; couldn't make out the bill, body shape, etc.
> But
> >> its flight action had the distinctive smooth, gracefully lumbering 
> >> look
> of
> >> a curlew.
> >>
> >> Are there any other shorebirds (or other birds of any kind) that 
> >> can
> give
> >> off a curlew-like gizz in flight?
> >>
> >> BTW Any small curlew would be a great rarity. Whimbrel shouldn't be
> getting
> >> to Nebraska until late April. We're right on time for Eskimo, but 
> >> there
> are
> >> obvious problems with IDing a distant fly-by as an Eskimo Curlew!
> >>
> >> Noah Arthur, Oakland, CA/Lincoln, NE
> >>
> >> Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
> >>
> >
> >
> >
> > --
> > Jamie Chavez
> > Santa Maria, CA
> >
> > Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
>
> Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
>

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Re: Flying small curlew look-alikes?
From: Noah Arthur <semirelicta AT GMAIL.COM>
Date: Fri, 3 Apr 2015 21:36:14 -0500
Thanks everyone... I'm leaning towards Upland Sandpiper or Hudsonian Godwit
at the moment, or maybe even a duck or heavy-bodied domestic pigeon
breed. I couldn't get a good feel for the size (the bird was flying high
over agricultural land; very hard to judge distance). It didn't necessarily
look any smaller than a normal Whimbrel, but it did look smaller than a
Long-billed Curlew. In CA I would have had no problem with it being a
Whimbrel, although I would have left it unidentified even there.
However, Whimbrels are rare in NE and there are no records before late
April, so that species is probably out of the question.

I think Eskimo is more likely than Whimbrel at this place and date (even
given the species' supposed extinction -- I agree with Jeff here). But I
don't think Eskimo is as likely as Upland or Hudsonian.

I would probably have a diagnostic photo of whatever it was if I hadn't
left my camera in the car.

Noah

On Fri, Apr 3, 2015 at 8:54 PM, Jeff Gilligan 
wrote:

> What is the status of Whimbrels in Nebraska?  Few if any would be
> migrating along the Oregon coast at this date.
>
> I don't think anyone, including the observer, would consider this sighting
> as anything approaching proof that Eskimo Curlews still exist, but it gives
> me some hope.  I would suggest that even if there was still  population of
> a few hundred that they may have gone undetected all these years.  Their
> (former) winter range in southern South America is extensive, and the
> species flew great distances non-stop in migration.
>
> Jeff Gilligan
> Portland, Oregon
>
>
> On Apr 3, 2015, at 6:16 PM, Jamie Chavez  wrote:
>
> > Noah,
> >
> > Along the California coast it is not unheard of to see a runt Whimbrel on
> > rare occasions. These are noticeably smaller birds compared to Whimbrels
> of
> > standard body mass. I've seen a photo somewhere but I can't for the life
> of
> > me find one at the moment.
> >
> > Jamie Chavez
> > Santa Maria, CA
> >
> > On Fri, Apr 3, 2015 at 9:04 AM, Noah Arthur 
> wrote:
> >
> >> Hi everyone. Yesterday I had an interesting distant fly-by at a field
> near
> >> Lincoln, NE. When I first saw the bird I thought it was a pigeon, then I
> >> realized it looked too duckish to be a pigeon, and it appeared to be a
> >> small curlew. I didn't have the binoculars ready to go so I only saw it
> at
> >> a distance in silhouette; couldn't make out the bill, body shape, etc.
> But
> >> its flight action had the distinctive smooth, gracefully lumbering look
> of
> >> a curlew.
> >>
> >> Are there any other shorebirds (or other birds of any kind) that can
> give
> >> off a curlew-like gizz in flight?
> >>
> >> BTW Any small curlew would be a great rarity. Whimbrel shouldn't be
> getting
> >> to Nebraska until late April. We're right on time for Eskimo, but there
> are
> >> obvious problems with IDing a distant fly-by as an Eskimo Curlew!
> >>
> >> Noah Arthur, Oakland, CA/Lincoln, NE
> >>
> >> Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
> >>
> >
> >
> >
> > --
> > Jamie Chavez
> > Santa Maria, CA
> >
> > Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
>
> Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
>

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Re: Flying small curlew look-alikes?
From: Jeff Gilligan <jeffgilligan10 AT GMAIL.COM>
Date: Fri, 3 Apr 2015 18:54:14 -0700
What is the status of Whimbrels in Nebraska? Few if any would be migrating 
along the Oregon coast at this date. 


I don't think anyone, including the observer, would consider this sighting as 
anything approaching proof that Eskimo Curlews still exist, but it gives me 
some hope. I would suggest that even if there was still population of a few 
hundred that they may have gone undetected all these years. Their (former) 
winter range in southern South America is extensive, and the species flew great 
distances non-stop in migration. 


Jeff Gilligan
Portland, Oregon  


On Apr 3, 2015, at 6:16 PM, Jamie Chavez  wrote:

> Noah,
> 
> Along the California coast it is not unheard of to see a runt Whimbrel on
> rare occasions. These are noticeably smaller birds compared to Whimbrels of
> standard body mass. I've seen a photo somewhere but I can't for the life of
> me find one at the moment.
> 
> Jamie Chavez
> Santa Maria, CA
> 
> On Fri, Apr 3, 2015 at 9:04 AM, Noah Arthur  wrote:
> 
>> Hi everyone. Yesterday I had an interesting distant fly-by at a field near
>> Lincoln, NE. When I first saw the bird I thought it was a pigeon, then I
>> realized it looked too duckish to be a pigeon, and it appeared to be a
>> small curlew. I didn't have the binoculars ready to go so I only saw it at
>> a distance in silhouette; couldn't make out the bill, body shape, etc. But
>> its flight action had the distinctive smooth, gracefully lumbering look of
>> a curlew.
>> 
>> Are there any other shorebirds (or other birds of any kind) that can give
>> off a curlew-like gizz in flight?
>> 
>> BTW Any small curlew would be a great rarity. Whimbrel shouldn't be getting
>> to Nebraska until late April. We're right on time for Eskimo, but there are
>> obvious problems with IDing a distant fly-by as an Eskimo Curlew!
>> 
>> Noah Arthur, Oakland, CA/Lincoln, NE
>> 
>> Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
>> 
> 
> 
> 
> -- 
> Jamie Chavez
> Santa Maria, CA
> 
> Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Re: Flying small curlew look-alikes?
From: Jamie Chavez <almiyi AT GMAIL.COM>
Date: Fri, 3 Apr 2015 18:16:33 -0700
Noah,

Along the California coast it is not unheard of to see a runt Whimbrel on
rare occasions. These are noticeably smaller birds compared to Whimbrels of
standard body mass. I've seen a photo somewhere but I can't for the life of
me find one at the moment.

Jamie Chavez
Santa Maria, CA

On Fri, Apr 3, 2015 at 9:04 AM, Noah Arthur  wrote:

> Hi everyone. Yesterday I had an interesting distant fly-by at a field near
> Lincoln, NE. When I first saw the bird I thought it was a pigeon, then I
> realized it looked too duckish to be a pigeon, and it appeared to be a
> small curlew. I didn't have the binoculars ready to go so I only saw it at
> a distance in silhouette; couldn't make out the bill, body shape, etc. But
> its flight action had the distinctive smooth, gracefully lumbering look of
> a curlew.
>
> Are there any other shorebirds (or other birds of any kind) that can give
> off a curlew-like gizz in flight?
>
> BTW Any small curlew would be a great rarity. Whimbrel shouldn't be getting
> to Nebraska until late April. We're right on time for Eskimo, but there are
> obvious problems with IDing a distant fly-by as an Eskimo Curlew!
>
> Noah Arthur, Oakland, CA/Lincoln, NE
>
> Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
>



-- 
Jamie Chavez
Santa Maria, CA

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Re: Goodbye to Hoary (and Lesser) Redpolls
From: Paul Guris <paulagics.com AT GMAIL.COM>
Date: Fri, 3 Apr 2015 20:10:27 -0400
FYI, there have been 42 accepted records of Swainson's Hawks in New Jersey
since 1996, including several which were banded.  They have been nearly
annual since 2001.

There have been 13 accepted records of "Oregon" Junco.


-PAG


-- 







*Paul A. GurisSee Life PaulagicsPO Box 161Green Lane, PA
18054215-234-6805www.paulagics.com paulagics.com
 AT gmail.com info AT paulagics.com
*


On Fri, Apr 3, 2015 at 3:46 PM, Tony Leukering  wrote:

> So, how does one explain the call note that I've heard only from Hoary
> Redpoll, despite seeing >100x more Commons?  And, of course, there are
> numerous good records of both Swainson's Hawk and Oregon Junco in the East:
>
>
> Swainson's on the East Coast from just one photographer at a place where
> one cannot walk at that latitude very far east and still keep your shoes
> dry:
> https://www.flickr.com/photos/35435397 AT N08/8162747224
> https://www.flickr.com/photos/35435397 AT N08/4125755231
> https://www.flickr.com/photos/35435397 AT N08/8067565416
> https://www.flickr.com/photos/35435397 AT N08/12464100113
>
>
> Oregon:
> https://www.flickr.com/photos/jeff_offermann/6656042027
>
>
> Tony Leukering
> Largo, FL
> http://cowyebird.blogspot.com/
>
> http://www.flickr.com/photos/tony_leukering/
>
> http://aba.org/photoquiz/
>
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Jeff Holbrook 
> To: BIRDWG01 
> Sent: Fri, Apr 3, 2015 12:38 am
> Subject: Re: [BIRDWG01] Goodbye to Hoary (and Lesser) Redpolls
>
>
> Finally! I've been saying this for years! So obvious, but folks are so bent
> on
> getting more ticks on their list, that nobody would listen! BOOM! DONE! I
> have
> been putting folks that claim to see HOARYs on a special list for
> decades!
> Seriously! I have a list! Just a fun Aspy trait! Don't get me
> started about
> Oregon Juncos or Swainson's Hawks in eastern North America.
> LOL You don't want
> to go there! Too funny really. No HOREs just COREs!  :)
>
>
> Jeff
> Holbrook
> Corning, NY
>
>

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Re: Goodbye to Hoary (and Lesser) Redpolls
From: "Kevin J. McGowan" <kjm2 AT CORNELL.EDU>
Date: Fri, 3 Apr 2015 21:49:53 +0000
Call note? How about a local dialect learned from its parents? I believe in 
eastern records of Oregon Junco and Swainson's Hawk (I've seen one but not the 
other), but mildly different vocal differences among passerines have never been 
very convincing to me. 


Best,

Kevin


-----Original Message-----
From: NBHC ID-FRONTIERS Frontiers of Field Identification 
[mailto:BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU] On Behalf Of Tony Leukering 

Sent: Friday, April 03, 2015 3:46 PM
To: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
Subject: Re: [BIRDWG01] Goodbye to Hoary (and Lesser) Redpolls

So, how does one explain the call note that I've heard only from Hoary Redpoll, 
despite seeing >100x more Commons? And, of course, there are numerous good 
records of both Swainson's Hawk and Oregon Junco in the East: 



Swainson's on the East Coast from just one photographer at a place where one 
cannot walk at that latitude very far east and still keep your shoes dry: 

https://www.flickr.com/photos/35435397 AT N08/8162747224
https://www.flickr.com/photos/35435397 AT N08/4125755231
https://www.flickr.com/photos/35435397 AT N08/8067565416
https://www.flickr.com/photos/35435397 AT N08/12464100113


Oregon:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/jeff_offermann/6656042027


Tony Leukering
Largo, FL
http://cowyebird.blogspot.com/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/tony_leukering/

http://aba.org/photoquiz/



-----Original Message-----
From: Jeff Holbrook 
To: BIRDWG01 
Sent: Fri, Apr 3, 2015 12:38 am
Subject: Re: [BIRDWG01] Goodbye to Hoary (and Lesser) Redpolls


Finally! I've been saying this for years! So obvious, but folks are so bent on 
getting more ticks on their list, that nobody would listen! BOOM! DONE! I have 
been putting folks that claim to see HOARYs on a special list for decades! 

Seriously! I have a list! Just a fun Aspy trait! Don't get me started about 
Oregon Juncos or Swainson's Hawks in eastern North America. 

LOL You don't want
to go there! Too funny really. No HOREs just COREs!  :)


Jeff
Holbrook
Corning, NY

-----Original Message-----
From: NBHC ID-FRONTIERS
Frontiers of Field Identification
[mailto:BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU] On Behalf Of Alvaro Jaramillo
Sent: Wednesday, April 01, 2015 16:32
To:
BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
Subject: Re: [BIRDWG01] Goodbye to Hoary (and Lesser) Redpolls

Dick

 I think you may well be right on many accounts, yet I wanted to put in a plug 
and defense for the AOU model of doing taxonomy :-) 



Regards,
Alvaro 

Alvaro
Jaramillo
alvaro AT alvarosadventures.com
www.alvarosadventures.com

-----Original
Message-----
From: NBHC ID-FRONTIERS Frontiers of Field Identification 
[mailto:BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU] On Behalf Of Dick Newell 

Sent: Wednesday, April 01, 2015 1:07 PM
To:
BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
Subject: Re: [BIRDWG01] Goodbye to Hoary (and Lesser) Redpolls

Hi Alvaro,
I meant no implied criticism in saying that taxonomic decisions are political, 
based upon scientific measurement I was just stating a fact (well, my opinion 
is that is what happens). So much science these days is driven by politics. 


If one applied the same taxonomic principles to human taxonomy as one did to 
large gulls or redpolls, then one would end up with quite a few species of 
humans. The politics dictates that this is not acceptable, no matter what the 
science says. It would not even be acceptable to research or debate human 
taxonomy in this way. 


Anyway I am with Ron, I will
continue to enjoy variation in gulls and redpolls (and humans!), regardless of 
whether they are species or not. 

Dick
Cambridge

On 1 April 2015 at 20:37,
Alvaro Jaramillo  wrote:

> Dick et al
>
>   I am
biased, being a member of a taxonomic committee myself. 
> However, I think the
model used by the AOU both for North America and 
> South America of having a
panel that votes and discusses taxonomic 
> decisions (in a public
> manner)
is a good way to  minimize the effect of politics in taxonomic 
> decisions. In
the AOU committees there is active discussion about the 
> biology and data,
and how to interpret those, but it would be 
> seriously frowned upon if anyone
used the rationale of changing 
> taxonomy for conservation or national pride.
The idea here is that the 
> decisions should be as unbiased and data driven so
that the 
> politicians, conservationists and listers have something solid to
work 
> with. A list that can be defended as objective (within the bounds of

> reason that humans and not machines are making the list!).
>      The
criticism of the AOU committees is often that they are slow, 
> conservative,
don't make changes quickly. Yet I have not heard any 
> critique of the
committees being influenced by politics in making 
> decisions. That is not to
say it does not happen in other lists. It is 
> also a good reason why an
independent scientific body should be 
> creating the lists, and perhaps not a
political, lobbying, 
> conservation, non-profit or other organization which
may be 
> professional, experienced but perhaps more easily swayed by the
>
underlying politics that will be affected by taxonomic changes. In 
> fact the
AOU committee for South America is independent of the North 
> American
committee, and they can come up with differing opinions in 
>
their
taxonomy.
> To some this may be a fault, I think it is a strength. The

> independence of the committee, as well as transparency in their 
> decision
making are important.
>
> Regards
> Alvaro
>
> Alvaro Jaramillo
>
alvaro AT alvarosadventures.com
> www.alvarosadventures.com
>
> -----Original
Message-----
> From: NBHC ID-FRONTIERS Frontiers of Field Identification
>
[mailto:BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU] On Behalf Of Dick Newell
> Sent: Tuesday,
March 31, 2015 10:47 PM
> To: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
> Subject: Re:
[BIRDWG01] Goodbye to Hoary (and Lesser) Redpolls
>
> In many cases, taxonomic
splitting or lumping is a political decision, 
> based upon scientifically
determined differences or incompatabilities 
> between 2 or more putative
forms.
>
> Differences may embrace morphology, behaviour, calls, or DNA to
name a
few.
> And now epigenetics?
>
> Incompatibility includes infertile or
less fit hybrid offspring and 
> asymetric responses to calls.
>
> The
politics may be influenced by keeping the listers happy, national 
> pride,
deciding where conservation money should be spent or the whim 
> of the
taxonomist. Once politics is involved, then why expect logical 
>
consistency.
> Dick Newell
> Cambridge, UK
>
> On 31 March 2015 at 23:41,
JOS GRZYBOWSKI 
> wrote:
>
> > Species concept is
an issue, but part of this relates to 
> > thefundamental purpose of having a
taxonomic system which partitions 
> > organisms intodistinct taxa, when
taxonomy is really the science and 
> > art of drawing linesthrough clines, the
clines not necessarily being
> linear, and the
> > taxonomicunits not
necessarily being discrete.        The fundamental
> > system is a construct
(or constructs).  And the two contrasting 
> > issues of discussion hereare in
how intricately genotype and 
> > epigenetics can moderate phenotype (possibly
isolating a process 
> > that takes some time to mature), and howwe count this
stuff on our 
> > lists; or on how we should keep lists--by the
acceptedstructures of 
> > taxonomic rules, or by morph or phenotype.  Or
whether we just 
> > shouldn't enjoy and studythe variation in nature, and the

> > distribution of these units (at whatever levelwe choose to
> >
distinguish them, or be able to distinguish them accurately 
> >
orreasonably).I have always liked Hoary Redpolls, the few I
> have seen;whether
a species or morph.
> > Enjoy seeing pictures of them and will always give them
the 
> > distinction of being a "cool"taxon.As I have liked Timberline
> >
Sparrow--also on my list of "cool" taxa.
> >
> > CHEERS,                      
JOE Grzybowski
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >      On Tuesday, March 31, 2015 4:53 PM,
"whoffman AT PEAK.ORG" < 
> > whoffman AT PEAK.ORG> wrote:
> >
> >
> >  Hi -
>
>
> > This is a very interesting finding, but I would not immediately call
>
> them conspecific.
> >
> > What it does is highlight a problem with current
applications of the 
> > Biological Species Concept.
> >
> > The essence of
the BSC is the idea that biological populations that 
> > tend to recognize
each other as different for purposes of mate 
> > selection are treated as
separate species, and populations that tend 
> > not to "care" about the
phenotypic differences we recognize should 
> > be
> treated as
conspecific.
> >
> > The problem I am highlighting is that organisms can
potentially 
> > develop methods of discrimination (reproductive isolating
> >
mechanisms) without, or at least before, evolving the kinds of 
> > genetic
signals we have come to associate with species status.
> >
> > A lot of
genetic work on bird species limits has addressed 
> > allopatric populations -
North American vs Eurasian magpies, 
> > three-toed woodpeckers, wrens, etc.
These tend to presume a 
> > speciation model whereby allopatric populations
very gradually 
> > accumulate genetic differences that eventually become
sufficient to 
> > produce genomes differentiated to an extent we associate
with 
> > species
level.
> >
> > Because I have been working with fish in
the past 18 years, it has 
> > become very evident to me that speciation can
also occur rapidly 
> > through selection for isolating mechanisms without much
change of 
> > the rest of the genome. I think that different taxonomic groups
are 
> > more or less susceptible to rapid changes in phenotype that can
> >
serve as isolating mechanisms. Multiple groups of fish have the 
> > ability
(sticklebacks, cichlids, darters, dace,
> > salmonids) to evolve reproductive
isolation and visible reproductive 
> > isolating mechanisms very rapidly (10s
of generations or even less), 
> > while other groups (pike, herring) appear
relatively conservative.
> >
> > My first reaction to this news about redpolls
is that epigenetics - i.e.
> > differential expression of the "same" genes -
might also be a route 
> > to rapid acquisition of reproductive isolating
mechanisms. If this 
> > is the case, we should expect their genomes to
diverge, but perhaps 
> > only at the rates seen in fully allopatric
populations accumulating 
> > supposedly selectively neutral mutations... where
"sister species"
> > are thought to be separated for 1 million years or more.
It makes 
> > more sense to me to recognize reproductively isolated
> >
populations/groups as species even when the genomes lack evidence of 
> >
a
long period of separate evolution.
> >
> > Among birds, the group that
seems to me most likely to have ta 
> > genetic makeup conducive to rapid
speciation is the Fringillidae, 
> > which of course includes redpolls. Within
this family are also the 
> > crossbills, which have evolved reproductive
isolation, apparently 
> > very rapidly, and apparently in sympatry, into
"types" that differ 
> > modestly in calls, size, and bill morphology. The
family also 
> > includes the Hawaiian Honeycreepers and Rosy-finches, which
appear 
> > to differentiated pretty rapidly. It also includes Evening
Grosbeaks 
> > and Pine Grosbeaks both of which have geographic variation that
is 
> > manifested both in morphology and voice. With the redpolls, the
> >
truly important question from the perspective of BSC is whether or 
> > to what
extent Hoary and Common Redpolls interbreed, and what the 
> > outcomes are,
>
if
> they do.
> >
> > Other bird groups that seem to have a genetic makeup
conducive to 
> > rapid differentiation and acquisition of reproductive
isolation 
> > include northern geese, grouse, juncos, and perhaps wood
warblers.
> >
> > Necessarily, taxonomists have been trying to delimit species
without 
> > understanding the precise genetic mechanisms that account for the

> > differences among them. As those mechanisms become apparent, we can
> >
expect some surprises where the mechanisms do not agree with our 
> >
assumptions of how evolution occurs.
> >
> > Wayne Hoffman
> >
> >
> >
From: "Kevin J. McGowan" 
> > To: "BIRDWG01"

> > Sent: Tuesday, March 31, 2015 10:39:48 AM
> >
Subject: [BIRDWG01] Goodbye to Hoary (and Lesser) Redpolls
> >
> > A new paper
published this week by a couple of post-docs at Cornell 
> > shows no genetic
difference among redpolls, despite total genome 
> > sampling. It's an oddly
titled paper for the content this group 
> > would be interested in, so I
thought I'd bring it to the group's
attention.
> >
> > Nicholas A. Mason and
Scott. A. Taylor. Differentially expressed 
> > genes match bill morphology and
plumage despite largely 
> > undifferentiated genomes in a Holarctic
songbird<
> >
>
>
http://cornell.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u=b35ddb671faf4a16c0ce3
>
2406&i
> d=fbec545b1e&e=1bb0e50835>.
> > Molecular Ecology.
> >
> > Although
nowhere in the paper does it actually mention species 
> > status, the upshot
is that there is one circumpolar "genome," which 
> > means one species (they
sampled Lesser Redpolls in Europe, too).
> > Differences in physical appearance
are the result of the expression 
> > of different genes from the entire suit
that all the redpolls possess.
> >
> > As the Lab blog<
> >
http://cornell.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u=b35ddb671faf4a16c0c
> > e3
2406&id=69ccdd311c&e=1bb0e50835> post discussing the study puts 
> > it, "The
new research suggests all the Common-Hoary confusion over 
> > the years may
have been justified."
> >
> > Kevin
> >
> > Kevin J. McGowan, Ph.D.
> >
Project Manager
> > Distance Learning in Bird Biology
> > Cornell Lab of
Ornithology
> > 159 Sapsucker Woods Road
> > Ithaca, NY 14850
> >
kjm2 AT cornell.edu
> > 607-254-2452
> >
> >
> >
> >
Do you know about our other distance-learning opportunities? Visit 
> >
http://www.birds.cornell.edu/courses<
> >
http://cornell.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u=b35ddb671faf4a16c0c
> > e3
2406&id=19023cad4e&e=d3c0712a98> and learn about our 
> > comprehensive Home
Study Course in Bird Biology, our online course 
> > Investigating
> >
Behavior: Courtship and Rivalry in Birds<
> >
http://cornell.us2.list-manage1.com/track/click?u=b35ddb671faf4a16c0
> > ce
>
> 32406&id=d69183921c&e=d3c0712a98>,
> > our Be A Better Birder tutorials<
> >
http://cornell.us2.list-manage1.com/track/click?u=b35ddb671faf4a16c0
> > ce
>
> 32406&id=9969512772&e=d3c0712a98>,
> > and our series of webinars<
> >
>
>
http://cornell.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u=b35ddb671faf4a16c0ce3
>
2406&i
> d=946e880490&e=d3c0712a98>.
> > Purchase the webinars here<
> >
http://cornell.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u=b35ddb671faf4a16c0c
> > e3
>
> 2406&id=d5d44c79f0&e=d3c0712a98
> > >.
> >
> >
> >
> > Archives:
http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
> >
> > Archives:
http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
> >
> >
> >
> > Archives:
http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
> >
>
> Archives:
http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
>
>

Archives:
http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html

Archives:
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Archives:
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Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Re: Goodbye to Hoary (and Lesser) Redpolls
From: Tony Leukering <greatgrayowl AT AOL.COM>
Date: Fri, 3 Apr 2015 15:46:20 -0400
So, how does one explain the call note that I've heard only from Hoary Redpoll, 
despite seeing >100x more Commons? And, of course, there are numerous good 
records of both Swainson's Hawk and Oregon Junco in the East: 



Swainson's on the East Coast from just one photographer at a place where one 
cannot walk at that latitude very far east and still keep your shoes dry: 

https://www.flickr.com/photos/35435397 AT N08/8162747224
https://www.flickr.com/photos/35435397 AT N08/4125755231
https://www.flickr.com/photos/35435397 AT N08/8067565416
https://www.flickr.com/photos/35435397 AT N08/12464100113


Oregon:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/jeff_offermann/6656042027


Tony Leukering
Largo, FL
http://cowyebird.blogspot.com/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/tony_leukering/

http://aba.org/photoquiz/



-----Original Message-----
From: Jeff Holbrook 
To: BIRDWG01 
Sent: Fri, Apr 3, 2015 12:38 am
Subject: Re: [BIRDWG01] Goodbye to Hoary (and Lesser) Redpolls


Finally! I've been saying this for years! So obvious, but folks are so bent
on
getting more ticks on their list, that nobody would listen! BOOM! DONE! I
have
been putting folks that claim to see HOARYs on a special list for
decades!
Seriously! I have a list! Just a fun Aspy trait! Don't get me
started about
Oregon Juncos or Swainson's Hawks in eastern North America.
LOL You don't want
to go there! Too funny really. No HOREs just COREs!  :)


Jeff
Holbrook
Corning, NY

-----Original Message-----
From: NBHC ID-FRONTIERS
Frontiers of Field Identification
[mailto:BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU] On Behalf
Of Alvaro Jaramillo
Sent: Wednesday, April 01, 2015 16:32
To:
BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
Subject: Re: [BIRDWG01] Goodbye to Hoary (and Lesser)
Redpolls

Dick

  I think you may well be right on many accounts, yet I
wanted to put in a
plug and defense for the AOU model of doing taxonomy :-)


Regards,
Alvaro 

Alvaro
Jaramillo
alvaro AT alvarosadventures.com
www.alvarosadventures.com

-----Original
Message-----
From: NBHC ID-FRONTIERS Frontiers of Field
Identification
[mailto:BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU] On Behalf Of Dick
Newell
Sent: Wednesday, April 01, 2015 1:07 PM
To:
BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
Subject: Re: [BIRDWG01] Goodbye to Hoary (and Lesser)
Redpolls

Hi Alvaro,
I meant no implied criticism in saying that taxonomic
decisions are
political, based upon scientific measurement  I was just stating
a fact
(well, my opinion is that is what happens). So much science these days
is
driven by politics.

If one applied the same taxonomic principles to human
taxonomy as one did to
large gulls or redpolls, then one would end up with
quite a few species of
humans. The politics dictates that this is not
acceptable, no matter what
the science says. It would not even be acceptable to
research or debate
human taxonomy in this way.

Anyway I am with Ron, I will
continue to enjoy variation in gulls and
redpolls (and humans!), regardless of
whether they are species or not.
Dick
Cambridge

On 1 April 2015 at 20:37,
Alvaro Jaramillo  wrote:

> Dick et al
>
>   I am
biased, being a member of a taxonomic committee myself. 
> However, I think the
model used by the AOU both for North America and 
> South America of having a
panel that votes and discusses taxonomic 
> decisions (in a public
> manner)
is a good way to  minimize the effect of politics in taxonomic 
> decisions. In
the AOU committees there is active discussion about the 
> biology and data,
and how to interpret those, but it would be 
> seriously frowned upon if anyone
used the rationale of changing 
> taxonomy for conservation or national pride.
The idea here is that the 
> decisions should be as unbiased and data driven so
that the 
> politicians, conservationists and listers have something solid to
work 
> with. A list that can be defended as objective (within the bounds of

> reason that humans and not machines are making the list!).
>      The
criticism of the AOU committees is often that they are slow, 
> conservative,
don't make changes quickly. Yet I have not heard any 
> critique of the
committees being influenced by politics in making 
> decisions. That is not to
say it does not happen in other lists. It is 
> also a good reason why an
independent scientific body should be 
> creating the lists, and perhaps not a
political, lobbying, 
> conservation, non-profit or other organization which
may be 
> professional, experienced but perhaps more easily swayed by the 
>
underlying politics that will be affected by taxonomic changes. In 
> fact the
AOU committee for South America is independent of the North 
> American
committee, and they can come up with differing opinions in 
>
their
taxonomy.
> To some this may be a fault, I think it is a strength. The

> independence of the committee, as well as transparency in their 
> decision
making are important.
>
> Regards
> Alvaro
>
> Alvaro Jaramillo
>
alvaro AT alvarosadventures.com
> www.alvarosadventures.com
>
> -----Original
Message-----
> From: NBHC ID-FRONTIERS Frontiers of Field Identification 
>
[mailto:BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU] On Behalf Of Dick Newell
> Sent: Tuesday,
March 31, 2015 10:47 PM
> To: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
> Subject: Re:
[BIRDWG01] Goodbye to Hoary (and Lesser) Redpolls
>
> In many cases, taxonomic
splitting or lumping is a political decision, 
> based upon scientifically
determined differences or incompatabilities 
> between 2 or more putative
forms.
>
> Differences may embrace morphology, behaviour, calls, or DNA to
name a
few.
> And now epigenetics?
>
> Incompatibility includes infertile or
less fit hybrid offspring and 
> asymetric responses to calls.
>
> The
politics may be influenced by keeping the listers happy, national 
> pride,
deciding where conservation money should be spent or the whim 
> of the
taxonomist. Once politics is involved, then why expect logical 
>
consistency.
> Dick Newell
> Cambridge, UK
>
> On 31 March 2015 at 23:41,
JOS GRZYBOWSKI 
> wrote:
>
> > Species concept is
an issue, but part of this relates to 
> > thefundamental purpose of having a
taxonomic system which partitions 
> > organisms intodistinct taxa, when
taxonomy is really the science and 
> > art of drawing linesthrough clines, the
clines not necessarily being
> linear, and the
> > taxonomicunits not
necessarily being discrete.        The fundamental
> > system is a construct
(or constructs).  And the two contrasting 
> > issues of discussion hereare in
how intricately genotype and 
> > epigenetics can moderate phenotype (possibly
isolating a process 
> > that takes some time to mature), and howwe count this
stuff on our 
> > lists; or on how we should keep lists--by the
acceptedstructures of 
> > taxonomic rules, or by morph or phenotype.  Or
whether we just 
> > shouldn't enjoy and studythe variation in nature, and the

> > distribution of these units (at whatever levelwe choose to 
> >
distinguish them, or be able to distinguish them accurately 
> >
orreasonably).I have always liked Hoary Redpolls, the few I
> have seen;whether
a species or morph.
> > Enjoy seeing pictures of them and will always give them
the 
> > distinction of being a "cool"taxon.As I have liked Timberline 
> >
Sparrow--also on my list of "cool" taxa.
> >
> > CHEERS,                      
JOE Grzybowski
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >      On Tuesday, March 31, 2015 4:53 PM,
"whoffman AT PEAK.ORG" < 
> > whoffman AT PEAK.ORG> wrote:
> >
> >
> >  Hi -
>
>
> > This is a very interesting finding, but I would not immediately call 
>
> them conspecific.
> >
> > What it does is highlight a problem with current
applications of the 
> > Biological Species Concept.
> >
> > The essence of
the BSC is the idea that biological populations that 
> > tend to recognize
each other as different for purposes of mate 
> > selection are treated as
separate species, and populations that tend 
> > not to "care" about the
phenotypic differences we recognize should 
> > be
> treated as
conspecific.
> >
> > The problem I am highlighting is that organisms can
potentially 
> > develop methods of discrimination (reproductive isolating
> >
mechanisms) without, or at least before, evolving the kinds of 
> > genetic
signals we have come to associate with species status.
> >
> > A lot of
genetic work on bird species limits has addressed 
> > allopatric populations -
North American vs Eurasian magpies, 
> > three-toed woodpeckers, wrens, etc.
These tend to presume a 
> > speciation model whereby allopatric populations
very gradually 
> > accumulate genetic differences that eventually become
sufficient to 
> > produce genomes differentiated to an extent we associate
with 
> > species
level.
> >
> > Because I have been working with fish in
the past 18 years, it has 
> > become very evident to me that speciation can
also occur rapidly 
> > through selection for isolating mechanisms without much
change of 
> > the rest of the genome. I think that different taxonomic groups
are 
> > more or less susceptible to rapid changes in phenotype that can 
> >
serve as isolating mechanisms. Multiple groups of fish have the 
> > ability
(sticklebacks, cichlids, darters, dace,
> > salmonids) to evolve reproductive
isolation and visible reproductive 
> > isolating mechanisms very rapidly (10s
of generations or even less), 
> > while other groups (pike, herring) appear
relatively conservative.
> >
> > My first reaction to this news about redpolls
is that epigenetics - i.e.
> > differential expression of the "same" genes -
might also be a route 
> > to rapid acquisition of reproductive isolating
mechanisms. If this 
> > is the case, we should expect their genomes to
diverge, but perhaps 
> > only at the rates seen in fully allopatric
populations accumulating 
> > supposedly selectively neutral mutations... where
"sister species"
> > are thought to be separated for 1 million years or more.
It makes 
> > more sense to me to recognize reproductively isolated 
> >
populations/groups as species even when the genomes lack evidence of 
> >
a
long period of separate evolution.
> >
> > Among birds, the group that
seems to me most likely to have ta 
> > genetic makeup conducive to rapid
speciation is the Fringillidae, 
> > which of course includes redpolls. Within
this family are also the 
> > crossbills, which have evolved reproductive
isolation, apparently 
> > very rapidly, and apparently in sympatry, into
"types" that differ 
> > modestly in calls, size, and bill morphology. The
family also 
> > includes the Hawaiian Honeycreepers and Rosy-finches, which
appear 
> > to differentiated pretty rapidly. It also includes Evening
Grosbeaks 
> > and Pine Grosbeaks both of which have geographic variation that
is 
> > manifested both in morphology and voice. With the redpolls, the 
> >
truly important question from the perspective of BSC is whether or 
> > to what
extent Hoary and Common Redpolls interbreed, and what the 
> > outcomes are,
>
if
> they do.
> >
> > Other bird groups that seem to have a genetic makeup
conducive to 
> > rapid differentiation and acquisition of reproductive
isolation 
> > include northern geese, grouse, juncos, and perhaps wood
warblers.
> >
> > Necessarily, taxonomists have been trying to delimit species
without 
> > understanding the precise genetic mechanisms that account for the

> > differences among them. As those mechanisms become apparent, we can 
> >
expect some surprises where the mechanisms do not agree with our 
> >
assumptions of how evolution occurs.
> >
> > Wayne Hoffman
> >
> >
> >
From: "Kevin J. McGowan" 
> > To: "BIRDWG01"

> > Sent: Tuesday, March 31, 2015 10:39:48 AM
> >
Subject: [BIRDWG01] Goodbye to Hoary (and Lesser) Redpolls
> >
> > A new paper
published this week by a couple of post-docs at Cornell 
> > shows no genetic
difference among redpolls, despite total genome 
> > sampling. It's an oddly
titled paper for the content this group 
> > would be interested in, so I
thought I'd bring it to the group's
attention.
> >
> > Nicholas A. Mason and
Scott. A. Taylor. Differentially expressed 
> > genes match bill morphology and
plumage despite largely 
> > undifferentiated genomes in a Holarctic
songbird<
> >
>
>
http://cornell.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u=b35ddb671faf4a16c0ce3
>
2406&i
> d=fbec545b1e&e=1bb0e50835>.
> > Molecular Ecology.
> >
> > Although
nowhere in the paper does it actually mention species 
> > status, the upshot
is that there is one circumpolar "genome," which 
> > means one species (they
sampled Lesser Redpolls in Europe, too).
> > Differences in physical appearance
are the result of the expression 
> > of different genes from the entire suit
that all the redpolls possess.
> >
> > As the Lab blog<
> >
http://cornell.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u=b35ddb671faf4a16c0c
> > e3
2406&id=69ccdd311c&e=1bb0e50835> post discussing the study puts 
> > it, "The
new research suggests all the Common-Hoary confusion over 
> > the years may
have been justified."
> >
> > Kevin
> >
> > Kevin J. McGowan, Ph.D.
> >
Project Manager
> > Distance Learning in Bird Biology
> > Cornell Lab of
Ornithology
> > 159 Sapsucker Woods Road
> > Ithaca, NY 14850
> >
kjm2 AT cornell.edu
> > 607-254-2452
> >
> >
> >
> >
Do you know about our other distance-learning opportunities? Visit 
> >
http://www.birds.cornell.edu/courses<
> >
http://cornell.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u=b35ddb671faf4a16c0c
> > e3
2406&id=19023cad4e&e=d3c0712a98> and learn about our 
> > comprehensive Home
Study Course in Bird Biology, our online course 
> > Investigating
> >
Behavior: Courtship and Rivalry in Birds<
> >
http://cornell.us2.list-manage1.com/track/click?u=b35ddb671faf4a16c0
> > ce
>
> 32406&id=d69183921c&e=d3c0712a98>,
> > our Be A Better Birder tutorials<
> >
http://cornell.us2.list-manage1.com/track/click?u=b35ddb671faf4a16c0
> > ce
>
> 32406&id=9969512772&e=d3c0712a98>,
> > and our series of webinars<
> >
>
>
http://cornell.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u=b35ddb671faf4a16c0ce3
>
2406&i
> d=946e880490&e=d3c0712a98>.
> > Purchase the webinars here<
> >
http://cornell.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u=b35ddb671faf4a16c0c
> > e3
>
> 2406&id=d5d44c79f0&e=d3c0712a98
> > >.
> >
> >
> >
> > Archives:
http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
> >
> > Archives:
http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
> >
> >
> >
> > Archives:
http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
> >
>
> Archives:
http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
>
>

Archives:
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Subject: Flying small curlew look-alikes?
From: Noah Arthur <semirelicta AT GMAIL.COM>
Date: Fri, 3 Apr 2015 11:04:16 -0500
Hi everyone. Yesterday I had an interesting distant fly-by at a field near
Lincoln, NE. When I first saw the bird I thought it was a pigeon, then I
realized it looked too duckish to be a pigeon, and it appeared to be a
small curlew. I didn't have the binoculars ready to go so I only saw it at
a distance in silhouette; couldn't make out the bill, body shape, etc. But
its flight action had the distinctive smooth, gracefully lumbering look of
a curlew.

Are there any other shorebirds (or other birds of any kind) that can give
off a curlew-like gizz in flight?

BTW Any small curlew would be a great rarity. Whimbrel shouldn't be getting
to Nebraska until late April. We're right on time for Eskimo, but there are
obvious problems with IDing a distant fly-by as an Eskimo Curlew!

Noah Arthur, Oakland, CA/Lincoln, NE

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Strange Gull in Pa
From: Frank Haas <fbhaas AT PTD.NET>
Date: Fri, 3 Apr 2015 07:54:13 -0400
This gull was seen on the Susquehanna River near Harrisburg, 
Pennsylvania yesterday (Unfortunately, not by me).

Photos can be seen at  https://flic.kr/p/rVyEmQ

It has a bill like a Sabines, but is too large, has a gray belly, and 
doesn't match anything I can find in any of my guides (both local and 
worldwide!).

What the heck is it?




Frank Haas   fbhaas AT ptd.net   Churchtown, PA

         "Wisdom begins with putting the right name to a thing."
                 www.FranklinHaas.com

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Re: Goodbye to Hoary (and Lesser) Redpolls
From: Jeff Holbrook <mycteria AT STNY.RR.COM>
Date: Fri, 3 Apr 2015 00:27:04 -0400
Finally! I've been saying this for years! So obvious, but folks are so bent
on getting more ticks on their list, that nobody would listen! BOOM! DONE! I
have been putting folks that claim to see HOARYs on a special list for
decades! Seriously! I have a list! Just a fun Aspy trait! Don't get me
started about Oregon Juncos or Swainson's Hawks in eastern North America.
LOL You don't want to go there! Too funny really. No HOREs just COREs!  :)


Jeff Holbrook
Corning, NY

-----Original Message-----
From: NBHC ID-FRONTIERS Frontiers of Field Identification
[mailto:BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU] On Behalf Of Alvaro Jaramillo
Sent: Wednesday, April 01, 2015 16:32
To: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
Subject: Re: [BIRDWG01] Goodbye to Hoary (and Lesser) Redpolls

Dick

  I think you may well be right on many accounts, yet I wanted to put in a
plug and defense for the AOU model of doing taxonomy :-) 

Regards,
Alvaro 

Alvaro Jaramillo
alvaro AT alvarosadventures.com
www.alvarosadventures.com

-----Original Message-----
From: NBHC ID-FRONTIERS Frontiers of Field Identification
[mailto:BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU] On Behalf Of Dick Newell
Sent: Wednesday, April 01, 2015 1:07 PM
To: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
Subject: Re: [BIRDWG01] Goodbye to Hoary (and Lesser) Redpolls

Hi Alvaro,
I meant no implied criticism in saying that taxonomic decisions are
political, based upon scientific measurement  I was just stating a fact
(well, my opinion is that is what happens). So much science these days is
driven by politics.

If one applied the same taxonomic principles to human taxonomy as one did to
large gulls or redpolls, then one would end up with quite a few species of
humans. The politics dictates that this is not acceptable, no matter what
the science says. It would not even be acceptable to research or debate
human taxonomy in this way.

Anyway I am with Ron, I will continue to enjoy variation in gulls and
redpolls (and humans!), regardless of whether they are species or not.
Dick
Cambridge

On 1 April 2015 at 20:37, Alvaro Jaramillo  wrote:

> Dick et al
>
>   I am biased, being a member of a taxonomic committee myself. 
> However, I think the model used by the AOU both for North America and 
> South America of having a panel that votes and discusses taxonomic 
> decisions (in a public
> manner) is a good way to  minimize the effect of politics in taxonomic 
> decisions. In the AOU committees there is active discussion about the 
> biology and data, and how to interpret those, but it would be 
> seriously frowned upon if anyone used the rationale of changing 
> taxonomy for conservation or national pride. The idea here is that the 
> decisions should be as unbiased and data driven so that the 
> politicians, conservationists and listers have something solid to work 
> with. A list that can be defended as objective (within the bounds of 
> reason that humans and not machines are making the list!).
>      The criticism of the AOU committees is often that they are slow, 
> conservative, don't make changes quickly. Yet I have not heard any 
> critique of the committees being influenced by politics in making 
> decisions. That is not to say it does not happen in other lists. It is 
> also a good reason why an independent scientific body should be 
> creating the lists, and perhaps not a political, lobbying, 
> conservation, non-profit or other organization which may be 
> professional, experienced but perhaps more easily swayed by the 
> underlying politics that will be affected by taxonomic changes. In 
> fact the AOU committee for South America is independent of the North 
> American committee, and they can come up with differing opinions in 
> their
taxonomy.
> To some this may be a fault, I think it is a strength. The 
> independence of the committee, as well as transparency in their 
> decision making are important.
>
> Regards
> Alvaro
>
> Alvaro Jaramillo
> alvaro AT alvarosadventures.com
> www.alvarosadventures.com
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: NBHC ID-FRONTIERS Frontiers of Field Identification 
> [mailto:BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU] On Behalf Of Dick Newell
> Sent: Tuesday, March 31, 2015 10:47 PM
> To: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
> Subject: Re: [BIRDWG01] Goodbye to Hoary (and Lesser) Redpolls
>
> In many cases, taxonomic splitting or lumping is a political decision, 
> based upon scientifically determined differences or incompatabilities 
> between 2 or more putative forms.
>
> Differences may embrace morphology, behaviour, calls, or DNA to name a
few.
> And now epigenetics?
>
> Incompatibility includes infertile or less fit hybrid offspring and 
> asymetric responses to calls.
>
> The politics may be influenced by keeping the listers happy, national 
> pride, deciding where conservation money should be spent or the whim 
> of the taxonomist. Once politics is involved, then why expect logical 
> consistency.
> Dick Newell
> Cambridge, UK
>
> On 31 March 2015 at 23:41, JOS GRZYBOWSKI 
> wrote:
>
> > Species concept is an issue, but part of this relates to 
> > thefundamental purpose of having a taxonomic system which partitions 
> > organisms intodistinct taxa, when taxonomy is really the science and 
> > art of drawing linesthrough clines, the clines not necessarily being
> linear, and the
> > taxonomicunits not necessarily being discrete.        The fundamental
> > system is a construct (or constructs).  And the two contrasting 
> > issues of discussion hereare in how intricately genotype and 
> > epigenetics can moderate phenotype (possibly isolating a process 
> > that takes some time to mature), and howwe count this stuff on our 
> > lists; or on how we should keep lists--by the acceptedstructures of 
> > taxonomic rules, or by morph or phenotype.  Or whether we just 
> > shouldn't enjoy and studythe variation in nature, and the 
> > distribution of these units (at whatever levelwe choose to 
> > distinguish them, or be able to distinguish them accurately 
> > orreasonably).I have always liked Hoary Redpolls, the few I
> have seen;whether a species or morph.
> > Enjoy seeing pictures of them and will always give them the 
> > distinction of being a "cool"taxon.As I have liked Timberline 
> > Sparrow--also on my list of "cool" taxa.
> >
> > CHEERS,                            JOE Grzybowski
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >      On Tuesday, March 31, 2015 4:53 PM, "whoffman AT PEAK.ORG" < 
> > whoffman AT PEAK.ORG> wrote:
> >
> >
> >  Hi -
> >
> > This is a very interesting finding, but I would not immediately call 
> > them conspecific.
> >
> > What it does is highlight a problem with current applications of the 
> > Biological Species Concept.
> >
> > The essence of the BSC is the idea that biological populations that 
> > tend to recognize each other as different for purposes of mate 
> > selection are treated as separate species, and populations that tend 
> > not to "care" about the phenotypic differences we recognize should 
> > be
> treated as conspecific.
> >
> > The problem I am highlighting is that organisms can potentially 
> > develop methods of discrimination (reproductive isolating
> > mechanisms) without, or at least before, evolving the kinds of 
> > genetic signals we have come to associate with species status.
> >
> > A lot of genetic work on bird species limits has addressed 
> > allopatric populations - North American vs Eurasian magpies, 
> > three-toed woodpeckers, wrens, etc. These tend to presume a 
> > speciation model whereby allopatric populations very gradually 
> > accumulate genetic differences that eventually become sufficient to 
> > produce genomes differentiated to an extent we associate with 
> > species
level.
> >
> > Because I have been working with fish in the past 18 years, it has 
> > become very evident to me that speciation can also occur rapidly 
> > through selection for isolating mechanisms without much change of 
> > the rest of the genome. I think that different taxonomic groups are 
> > more or less susceptible to rapid changes in phenotype that can 
> > serve as isolating mechanisms. Multiple groups of fish have the 
> > ability (sticklebacks, cichlids, darters, dace,
> > salmonids) to evolve reproductive isolation and visible reproductive 
> > isolating mechanisms very rapidly (10s of generations or even less), 
> > while other groups (pike, herring) appear relatively conservative.
> >
> > My first reaction to this news about redpolls is that epigenetics - i.e.
> > differential expression of the "same" genes - might also be a route 
> > to rapid acquisition of reproductive isolating mechanisms. If this 
> > is the case, we should expect their genomes to diverge, but perhaps 
> > only at the rates seen in fully allopatric populations accumulating 
> > supposedly selectively neutral mutations... where "sister species"
> > are thought to be separated for 1 million years or more. It makes 
> > more sense to me to recognize reproductively isolated 
> > populations/groups as species even when the genomes lack evidence of 
> > a
long period of separate evolution.
> >
> > Among birds, the group that seems to me most likely to have ta 
> > genetic makeup conducive to rapid speciation is the Fringillidae, 
> > which of course includes redpolls. Within this family are also the 
> > crossbills, which have evolved reproductive isolation, apparently 
> > very rapidly, and apparently in sympatry, into "types" that differ 
> > modestly in calls, size, and bill morphology. The family also 
> > includes the Hawaiian Honeycreepers and Rosy-finches, which appear 
> > to differentiated pretty rapidly. It also includes Evening Grosbeaks 
> > and Pine Grosbeaks both of which have geographic variation that is 
> > manifested both in morphology and voice. With the redpolls, the 
> > truly important question from the perspective of BSC is whether or 
> > to what extent Hoary and Common Redpolls interbreed, and what the 
> > outcomes are,
> if
> they do.
> >
> > Other bird groups that seem to have a genetic makeup conducive to 
> > rapid differentiation and acquisition of reproductive isolation 
> > include northern geese, grouse, juncos, and perhaps wood warblers.
> >
> > Necessarily, taxonomists have been trying to delimit species without 
> > understanding the precise genetic mechanisms that account for the 
> > differences among them. As those mechanisms become apparent, we can 
> > expect some surprises where the mechanisms do not agree with our 
> > assumptions of how evolution occurs.
> >
> > Wayne Hoffman
> >
> >
> > From: "Kevin J. McGowan" 
> > To: "BIRDWG01" 
> > Sent: Tuesday, March 31, 2015 10:39:48 AM
> > Subject: [BIRDWG01] Goodbye to Hoary (and Lesser) Redpolls
> >
> > A new paper published this week by a couple of post-docs at Cornell 
> > shows no genetic difference among redpolls, despite total genome 
> > sampling. It's an oddly titled paper for the content this group 
> > would be interested in, so I thought I'd bring it to the group's
attention.
> >
> > Nicholas A. Mason and Scott. A. Taylor. Differentially expressed 
> > genes match bill morphology and plumage despite largely 
> > undifferentiated genomes in a Holarctic songbird<
> >
>
> http://cornell.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u=b35ddb671faf4a16c0ce3
> 2406&i
> d=fbec545b1e&e=1bb0e50835>.
> > Molecular Ecology.
> >
> > Although nowhere in the paper does it actually mention species 
> > status, the upshot is that there is one circumpolar "genome," which 
> > means one species (they sampled Lesser Redpolls in Europe, too).
> > Differences in physical appearance are the result of the expression 
> > of different genes from the entire suit that all the redpolls possess.
> >
> > As the Lab blog<
> > http://cornell.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u=b35ddb671faf4a16c0c
> > e3 2406&id=69ccdd311c&e=1bb0e50835> post discussing the study puts 
> > it, "The new research suggests all the Common-Hoary confusion over 
> > the years may have been justified."
> >
> > Kevin
> >
> > Kevin J. McGowan, Ph.D.
> > Project Manager
> > Distance Learning in Bird Biology
> > Cornell Lab of Ornithology
> > 159 Sapsucker Woods Road
> > Ithaca, NY 14850
> > kjm2 AT cornell.edu
> > 607-254-2452
> >
> >
> >
> > Do you know about our other distance-learning opportunities? Visit 
> > http://www.birds.cornell.edu/courses<
> > http://cornell.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u=b35ddb671faf4a16c0c
> > e3 2406&id=19023cad4e&e=d3c0712a98> and learn about our 
> > comprehensive Home Study Course in Bird Biology, our online course 
> > Investigating
> > Behavior: Courtship and Rivalry in Birds<
> > http://cornell.us2.list-manage1.com/track/click?u=b35ddb671faf4a16c0
> > ce
> > 32406&id=d69183921c&e=d3c0712a98>,
> > our Be A Better Birder tutorials<
> > http://cornell.us2.list-manage1.com/track/click?u=b35ddb671faf4a16c0
> > ce
> > 32406&id=9969512772&e=d3c0712a98>,
> > and our series of webinars<
> >
>
> http://cornell.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u=b35ddb671faf4a16c0ce3
> 2406&i
> d=946e880490&e=d3c0712a98>.
> > Purchase the webinars here<
> > http://cornell.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u=b35ddb671faf4a16c0c
> > e3
> > 2406&id=d5d44c79f0&e=d3c0712a98
> > >.
> >
> >
> >
> > Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
> >
> > Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
> >
> >
> >
> > Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
> >
>
> Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
>
>

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Subject: Re: Goodbye to Hoary (and Lesser) Redpolls
From: Alvaro Jaramillo <chucao AT COASTSIDE.NET>
Date: Wed, 1 Apr 2015 13:31:57 -0700
Dick

  I think you may well be right on many accounts, yet I wanted to put in a
plug and defense for the AOU model of doing taxonomy :-) 

Regards, 
Alvaro 

Alvaro Jaramillo
alvaro AT alvarosadventures.com
www.alvarosadventures.com

-----Original Message-----
From: NBHC ID-FRONTIERS Frontiers of Field Identification
[mailto:BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU] On Behalf Of Dick Newell
Sent: Wednesday, April 01, 2015 1:07 PM
To: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
Subject: Re: [BIRDWG01] Goodbye to Hoary (and Lesser) Redpolls

Hi Alvaro,
I meant no implied criticism in saying that taxonomic decisions are
political, based upon scientific measurement  I was just stating a fact
(well, my opinion is that is what happens). So much science these days is
driven by politics.

If one applied the same taxonomic principles to human taxonomy as one did to
large gulls or redpolls, then one would end up with quite a few species of
humans. The politics dictates that this is not acceptable, no matter what
the science says. It would not even be acceptable to research or debate
human taxonomy in this way.

Anyway I am with Ron, I will continue to enjoy variation in gulls and
redpolls (and humans!), regardless of whether they are species or not.
Dick
Cambridge

On 1 April 2015 at 20:37, Alvaro Jaramillo  wrote:

> Dick et al
>
>   I am biased, being a member of a taxonomic committee myself. 
> However, I think the model used by the AOU both for North America and 
> South America of having a panel that votes and discusses taxonomic 
> decisions (in a public
> manner) is a good way to  minimize the effect of politics in taxonomic 
> decisions. In the AOU committees there is active discussion about the 
> biology and data, and how to interpret those, but it would be 
> seriously frowned upon if anyone used the rationale of changing 
> taxonomy for conservation or national pride. The idea here is that the 
> decisions should be as unbiased and data driven so that the 
> politicians, conservationists and listers have something solid to work 
> with. A list that can be defended as objective (within the bounds of 
> reason that humans and not machines are making the list!).
>      The criticism of the AOU committees is often that they are slow, 
> conservative, don't make changes quickly. Yet I have not heard any 
> critique of the committees being influenced by politics in making 
> decisions. That is not to say it does not happen in other lists. It is 
> also a good reason why an independent scientific body should be 
> creating the lists, and perhaps not a political, lobbying, 
> conservation, non-profit or other organization which may be 
> professional, experienced but perhaps more easily swayed by the 
> underlying politics that will be affected by taxonomic changes. In 
> fact the AOU committee for South America is independent of the North 
> American committee, and they can come up with differing opinions in their
taxonomy.
> To some this may be a fault, I think it is a strength. The 
> independence of the committee, as well as transparency in their 
> decision making are important.
>
> Regards
> Alvaro
>
> Alvaro Jaramillo
> alvaro AT alvarosadventures.com
> www.alvarosadventures.com
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: NBHC ID-FRONTIERS Frontiers of Field Identification 
> [mailto:BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU] On Behalf Of Dick Newell
> Sent: Tuesday, March 31, 2015 10:47 PM
> To: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
> Subject: Re: [BIRDWG01] Goodbye to Hoary (and Lesser) Redpolls
>
> In many cases, taxonomic splitting or lumping is a political decision, 
> based upon scientifically determined differences or incompatabilities 
> between 2 or more putative forms.
>
> Differences may embrace morphology, behaviour, calls, or DNA to name a
few.
> And now epigenetics?
>
> Incompatibility includes infertile or less fit hybrid offspring and 
> asymetric responses to calls.
>
> The politics may be influenced by keeping the listers happy, national 
> pride, deciding where conservation money should be spent or the whim 
> of the taxonomist. Once politics is involved, then why expect logical 
> consistency.
> Dick Newell
> Cambridge, UK
>
> On 31 March 2015 at 23:41, JOS GRZYBOWSKI 
> wrote:
>
> > Species concept is an issue, but part of this relates to 
> > thefundamental purpose of having a taxonomic system which partitions 
> > organisms intodistinct taxa, when taxonomy is really the science and 
> > art of drawing linesthrough clines, the clines not necessarily being
> linear, and the
> > taxonomicunits not necessarily being discrete.        The fundamental
> > system is a construct (or constructs).  And the two contrasting 
> > issues of discussion hereare in how intricately genotype and 
> > epigenetics can moderate phenotype (possibly isolating a process 
> > that takes some time to mature), and howwe count this stuff on our 
> > lists; or on how we should keep lists--by the acceptedstructures of 
> > taxonomic rules, or by morph or phenotype.  Or whether we just 
> > shouldn't enjoy and studythe variation in nature, and the 
> > distribution of these units (at whatever levelwe choose to 
> > distinguish them, or be able to distinguish them accurately 
> > orreasonably).I have always liked Hoary Redpolls, the few I
> have seen;whether a species or morph.
> > Enjoy seeing pictures of them and will always give them the 
> > distinction of being a "cool"taxon.As I have liked Timberline 
> > Sparrow--also on my list of "cool" taxa.
> >
> > CHEERS,                            JOE Grzybowski
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >      On Tuesday, March 31, 2015 4:53 PM, "whoffman AT PEAK.ORG" < 
> > whoffman AT PEAK.ORG> wrote:
> >
> >
> >  Hi -
> >
> > This is a very interesting finding, but I would not immediately call 
> > them conspecific.
> >
> > What it does is highlight a problem with current applications of the 
> > Biological Species Concept.
> >
> > The essence of the BSC is the idea that biological populations that 
> > tend to recognize each other as different for purposes of mate 
> > selection are treated as separate species, and populations that tend 
> > not to "care" about the phenotypic differences we recognize should 
> > be
> treated as conspecific.
> >
> > The problem I am highlighting is that organisms can potentially 
> > develop methods of discrimination (reproductive isolating 
> > mechanisms) without, or at least before, evolving the kinds of 
> > genetic signals we have come to associate with species status.
> >
> > A lot of genetic work on bird species limits has addressed 
> > allopatric populations - North American vs Eurasian magpies, 
> > three-toed woodpeckers, wrens, etc. These tend to presume a 
> > speciation model whereby allopatric populations very gradually 
> > accumulate genetic differences that eventually become sufficient to 
> > produce genomes differentiated to an extent we associate with species
level.
> >
> > Because I have been working with fish in the past 18 years, it has 
> > become very evident to me that speciation can also occur rapidly 
> > through selection for isolating mechanisms without much change of 
> > the rest of the genome. I think that different taxonomic groups are 
> > more or less susceptible to rapid changes in phenotype that can 
> > serve as isolating mechanisms. Multiple groups of fish have the 
> > ability (sticklebacks, cichlids, darters, dace,
> > salmonids) to evolve reproductive isolation and visible reproductive 
> > isolating mechanisms very rapidly (10s of generations or even less), 
> > while other groups (pike, herring) appear relatively conservative.
> >
> > My first reaction to this news about redpolls is that epigenetics - i.e.
> > differential expression of the "same" genes - might also be a route 
> > to rapid acquisition of reproductive isolating mechanisms. If this 
> > is the case, we should expect their genomes to diverge, but perhaps 
> > only at the rates seen in fully allopatric populations accumulating 
> > supposedly selectively neutral mutations... where "sister species" 
> > are thought to be separated for 1 million years or more. It makes 
> > more sense to me to recognize reproductively isolated 
> > populations/groups as species even when the genomes lack evidence of a
long period of separate evolution.
> >
> > Among birds, the group that seems to me most likely to have ta 
> > genetic makeup conducive to rapid speciation is the Fringillidae, 
> > which of course includes redpolls. Within this family are also the 
> > crossbills, which have evolved reproductive isolation, apparently 
> > very rapidly, and apparently in sympatry, into "types" that differ 
> > modestly in calls, size, and bill morphology. The family also 
> > includes the Hawaiian Honeycreepers and Rosy-finches, which appear 
> > to differentiated pretty rapidly. It also includes Evening Grosbeaks 
> > and Pine Grosbeaks both of which have geographic variation that is 
> > manifested both in morphology and voice. With the redpolls, the 
> > truly important question from the perspective of BSC is whether or 
> > to what extent Hoary and Common Redpolls interbreed, and what the 
> > outcomes are,
> if
> they do.
> >
> > Other bird groups that seem to have a genetic makeup conducive to 
> > rapid differentiation and acquisition of reproductive isolation 
> > include northern geese, grouse, juncos, and perhaps wood warblers.
> >
> > Necessarily, taxonomists have been trying to delimit species without 
> > understanding the precise genetic mechanisms that account for the 
> > differences among them. As those mechanisms become apparent, we can 
> > expect some surprises where the mechanisms do not agree with our 
> > assumptions of how evolution occurs.
> >
> > Wayne Hoffman
> >
> >
> > From: "Kevin J. McGowan" 
> > To: "BIRDWG01" 
> > Sent: Tuesday, March 31, 2015 10:39:48 AM
> > Subject: [BIRDWG01] Goodbye to Hoary (and Lesser) Redpolls
> >
> > A new paper published this week by a couple of post-docs at Cornell 
> > shows no genetic difference among redpolls, despite total genome 
> > sampling. It's an oddly titled paper for the content this group 
> > would be interested in, so I thought I'd bring it to the group's
attention.
> >
> > Nicholas A. Mason and Scott. A. Taylor. Differentially expressed 
> > genes match bill morphology and plumage despite largely 
> > undifferentiated genomes in a Holarctic songbird<
> >
>
> http://cornell.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u=b35ddb671faf4a16c0ce3
> 2406&i
> d=fbec545b1e&e=1bb0e50835>.
> > Molecular Ecology.
> >
> > Although nowhere in the paper does it actually mention species 
> > status, the upshot is that there is one circumpolar "genome," which 
> > means one species (they sampled Lesser Redpolls in Europe, too). 
> > Differences in physical appearance are the result of the expression 
> > of different genes from the entire suit that all the redpolls possess.
> >
> > As the Lab blog<
> > http://cornell.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u=b35ddb671faf4a16c0c
> > e3 2406&id=69ccdd311c&e=1bb0e50835> post discussing the study puts 
> > it, "The new research suggests all the Common-Hoary confusion over 
> > the years may have been justified."
> >
> > Kevin
> >
> > Kevin J. McGowan, Ph.D.
> > Project Manager
> > Distance Learning in Bird Biology
> > Cornell Lab of Ornithology
> > 159 Sapsucker Woods Road
> > Ithaca, NY 14850
> > kjm2 AT cornell.edu
> > 607-254-2452
> >
> >
> >
> > Do you know about our other distance-learning opportunities? Visit 
> > http://www.birds.cornell.edu/courses<
> > http://cornell.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u=b35ddb671faf4a16c0c
> > e3 2406&id=19023cad4e&e=d3c0712a98> and learn about our 
> > comprehensive Home Study Course in Bird Biology, our online course 
> > Investigating
> > Behavior: Courtship and Rivalry in Birds< 
> > http://cornell.us2.list-manage1.com/track/click?u=b35ddb671faf4a16c0
> > ce
> > 32406&id=d69183921c&e=d3c0712a98>,
> > our Be A Better Birder tutorials<
> > http://cornell.us2.list-manage1.com/track/click?u=b35ddb671faf4a16c0
> > ce
> > 32406&id=9969512772&e=d3c0712a98>,
> > and our series of webinars<
> >
>
> http://cornell.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u=b35ddb671faf4a16c0ce3
> 2406&i
> d=946e880490&e=d3c0712a98>.
> > Purchase the webinars here<
> > http://cornell.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u=b35ddb671faf4a16c0c
> > e3
> > 2406&id=d5d44c79f0&e=d3c0712a98
> > >.
> >
> >
> >
> > Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
> >
> > Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
> >
> >
> >
> > Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
> >
>
> Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
>
>

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Re: Goodbye to Hoary (and Lesser) Redpolls
From: JOS GRZYBOWSKI <j_grzybowski AT SBCGLOBAL.NET>
Date: Tue, 31 Mar 2015 22:41:49 +0000
Species concept is an issue, but part of this relates to thefundamental purpose 
of having a taxonomic system which partitions organisms intodistinct taxa, when 
taxonomy is really the science and art of drawing linesthrough clines, the 
clines not necessarily being linear, and the taxonomicunits not necessarily 
being discrete.        The fundamental system is a construct (or 
constructs).  And the two contrasting issues of discussion hereare in how 
intricately genotype and epigenetics can moderate phenotype (possibly isolating 
a process that takes some time to mature), and howwe count this stuff on our 
lists; or on how we should keep lists—by the acceptedstructures of taxonomic 
rules, or by morph or phenotype.  Or whether we just shouldn’t enjoy and 
studythe variation in nature, and the distribution of these units (at whatever 
levelwe choose to distinguish them, or be able to distinguish them accurately 
orreasonably).I have always liked Hoary Redpolls, the few I have seen;whether a 
species or morph.  Enjoy seeing pictures of them and will always give them the 
distinction of being a “cool”taxon.As I have liked Timberline Sparrow--also 
on my list of "cool" taxa. 


CHEERS,                            JOE Grzybowski
 



 On Tuesday, March 31, 2015 4:53 PM, "whoffman AT PEAK.ORG"  
wrote: 

   

 Hi - 

This is a very interesting finding, but I would not immediately call them 
conspecific. 


What it does is highlight a problem with current applications of the Biological 
Species Concept. 


The essence of the BSC is the idea that biological populations that tend to 
recognize each other as different for purposes of mate selection are treated as 
separate species, and populations that tend not to "care" about the phenotypic 
differences we recognize should be treated as conspecific. 


The problem I am highlighting is that organisms can potentially develop methods 
of discrimination (reproductive isolating mechanisms) without, or at least 
before, evolving the kinds of genetic signals we have come to associate with 
species status. 


A lot of genetic work on bird species limits has addressed allopatric 
populations - North American vs Eurasian magpies, three-toed woodpeckers, 
wrens, etc. These tend to presume a speciation model whereby allopatric 
populations very gradually accumulate genetic differences that eventually 
become sufficient to produce genomes differentiated to an extent we associate 
with species level. 


Because I have been working with fish in the past 18 years, it has become very 
evident to me that speciation can also occur rapidly through selection for 
isolating mechanisms without much change of the rest of the genome. I think 
that different taxonomic groups are more or less susceptible to rapid changes 
in phenotype that can serve as isolating mechanisms. Multiple groups of fish 
have the ability (sticklebacks, cichlids, darters, dace, salmonids) to evolve 
reproductive isolation and visible reproductive isolating mechanisms very 
rapidly (10s of generations or even less), while other groups (pike, herring) 
appear relatively conservative. 


My first reaction to this news about redpolls is that epigenetics - i.e. 
differential expression of the "same" genes - might also be a route to rapid 
acquisition of reproductive isolating mechanisms. If this is the case, we 
should expect their genomes to diverge, but perhaps only at the rates seen in 
fully allopatric populations accumulating supposedly selectively neutral 
mutations... where "sister species" are thought to be separated for 1 million 
years or more. It makes more sense to me to recognize reproductively isolated 
populations/groups as species even when the genomes lack evidence of a long 
period of separate evolution. 


Among birds, the group that seems to me most likely to have ta genetic makeup 
conducive to rapid speciation is the Fringillidae, which of course includes 
redpolls. Within this family are also the crossbills, which have evolved 
reproductive isolation, apparently very rapidly, and apparently in sympatry, 
into "types" that differ modestly in calls, size, and bill morphology. The 
family also includes the Hawaiian Honeycreepers and Rosy-finches, which appear 
to differentiated pretty rapidly. It also includes Evening Grosbeaks and Pine 
Grosbeaks both of which have geographic variation that is manifested both in 
morphology and voice. With the redpolls, the truly important question from the 
perspective of BSC is whether or to what extent Hoary and Common Redpolls 
interbreed, and what the outcomes are, if they do. 


Other bird groups that seem to have a genetic makeup conducive to rapid 
differentiation and acquisition of reproductive isolation include northern 
geese, grouse, juncos, and perhaps wood warblers. 


Necessarily, taxonomists have been trying to delimit species without 
understanding the precise genetic mechanisms that account for the differences 
among them. As those mechanisms become apparent, we can expect some surprises 
where the mechanisms do not agree with our assumptions of how evolution occurs. 


Wayne Hoffman 


From: "Kevin J. McGowan"  
To: "BIRDWG01"  
Sent: Tuesday, March 31, 2015 10:39:48 AM 
Subject: [BIRDWG01] Goodbye to Hoary (and Lesser) Redpolls 

A new paper published this week by a couple of post-docs at Cornell shows no 
genetic difference among redpolls, despite total genome sampling. It's an oddly 
titled paper for the content this group would be interested in, so I thought 
I'd bring it to the group's attention. 


Nicholas A. Mason and Scott. A. Taylor. Differentially expressed genes match 
bill morphology and plumage despite largely undifferentiated genomes in a 
Holarctic 
songbird. 
Molecular Ecology. 


Although nowhere in the paper does it actually mention species status, the 
upshot is that there is one circumpolar "genome," which means one species (they 
sampled Lesser Redpolls in Europe, too). Differences in physical appearance are 
the result of the expression of different genes from the entire suit that all 
the redpolls possess. 


As the Lab 
blog 
post discussing the study puts it, "The new research suggests all the 
Common-Hoary confusion over the years may have been justified." 


Kevin 

Kevin J. McGowan, Ph.D. 
Project Manager 
Distance Learning in Bird Biology 
Cornell Lab of Ornithology 
159 Sapsucker Woods Road 
Ithaca, NY 14850 
kjm2 AT cornell.edu 
607-254-2452 



Do you know about our other distance-learning opportunities? Visit 
http://www.birds.cornell.edu/courses 
and learn about our comprehensive Home Study Course in Bird Biology, our online 
course Investigating Behavior: Courtship and Rivalry in 
Birds, 
our Be A Better Birder 
tutorials, 
and our series of 
webinars. 
Purchase the webinars 
here. 




Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html 

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html


  
Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Re: Goodbye to Hoary (and Lesser) Redpolls
From: whoffman AT PEAK.ORG
Date: Tue, 31 Mar 2015 14:15:05 -0700
Hi - 

This is a very interesting finding, but I would not immediately call them 
conspecific. 


What it does is highlight a problem with current applications of the Biological 
Species Concept. 


The essence of the BSC is the idea that biological populations that tend to 
recognize each other as different for purposes of mate selection are treated as 
separate species, and populations that tend not to "care" about the phenotypic 
differences we recognize should be treated as conspecific. 


The problem I am highlighting is that organisms can potentially develop methods 
of discrimination (reproductive isolating mechanisms) without, or at least 
before, evolving the kinds of genetic signals we have come to associate with 
species status. 


A lot of genetic work on bird species limits has addressed allopatric 
populations - North American vs Eurasian magpies, three-toed woodpeckers, 
wrens, etc. These tend to presume a speciation model whereby allopatric 
populations very gradually accumulate genetic differences that eventually 
become sufficient to produce genomes differentiated to an extent we associate 
with species level. 


Because I have been working with fish in the past 18 years, it has become very 
evident to me that speciation can also occur rapidly through selection for 
isolating mechanisms without much change of the rest of the genome. I think 
that different taxonomic groups are more or less susceptible to rapid changes 
in phenotype that can serve as isolating mechanisms. Multiple groups of fish 
have the ability (sticklebacks, cichlids, darters, dace, salmonids) to evolve 
reproductive isolation and visible reproductive isolating mechanisms very 
rapidly (10s of generations or even less), while other groups (pike, herring) 
appear relatively conservative. 


My first reaction to this news about redpolls is that epigenetics - i.e. 
differential expression of the "same" genes - might also be a route to rapid 
acquisition of reproductive isolating mechanisms. If this is the case, we 
should expect their genomes to diverge, but perhaps only at the rates seen in 
fully allopatric populations accumulating supposedly selectively neutral 
mutations... where "sister species" are thought to be separated for 1 million 
years or more. It makes more sense to me to recognize reproductively isolated 
populations/groups as species even when the genomes lack evidence of a long 
period of separate evolution. 


Among birds, the group that seems to me most likely to have ta genetic makeup 
conducive to rapid speciation is the Fringillidae, which of course includes 
redpolls. Within this family are also the crossbills, which have evolved 
reproductive isolation, apparently very rapidly, and apparently in sympatry, 
into "types" that differ modestly in calls, size, and bill morphology. The 
family also includes the Hawaiian Honeycreepers and Rosy-finches, which appear 
to differentiated pretty rapidly. It also includes Evening Grosbeaks and Pine 
Grosbeaks both of which have geographic variation that is manifested both in 
morphology and voice. With the redpolls, the truly important question from the 
perspective of BSC is whether or to what extent Hoary and Common Redpolls 
interbreed, and what the outcomes are, if they do. 


Other bird groups that seem to have a genetic makeup conducive to rapid 
differentiation and acquisition of reproductive isolation include northern 
geese, grouse, juncos, and perhaps wood warblers. 


Necessarily, taxonomists have been trying to delimit species without 
understanding the precise genetic mechanisms that account for the differences 
among them. As those mechanisms become apparent, we can expect some surprises 
where the mechanisms do not agree with our assumptions of how evolution occurs. 


Wayne Hoffman 


From: "Kevin J. McGowan"  
To: "BIRDWG01"  
Sent: Tuesday, March 31, 2015 10:39:48 AM 
Subject: [BIRDWG01] Goodbye to Hoary (and Lesser) Redpolls 

A new paper published this week by a couple of post-docs at Cornell shows no 
genetic difference among redpolls, despite total genome sampling. It's an oddly 
titled paper for the content this group would be interested in, so I thought 
I'd bring it to the group's attention. 


Nicholas A. Mason and Scott. A. Taylor. Differentially expressed genes match 
bill morphology and plumage despite largely undifferentiated genomes in a 
Holarctic 
songbird. 
Molecular Ecology. 


Although nowhere in the paper does it actually mention species status, the 
upshot is that there is one circumpolar "genome," which means one species (they 
sampled Lesser Redpolls in Europe, too). Differences in physical appearance are 
the result of the expression of different genes from the entire suit that all 
the redpolls possess. 


As the Lab 
blog 
post discussing the study puts it, "The new research suggests all the 
Common-Hoary confusion over the years may have been justified." 


Kevin 

Kevin J. McGowan, Ph.D. 
Project Manager 
Distance Learning in Bird Biology 
Cornell Lab of Ornithology 
159 Sapsucker Woods Road 
Ithaca, NY 14850 
kjm2 AT cornell.edu 
607-254-2452 



Do you know about our other distance-learning opportunities? Visit 
http://www.birds.cornell.edu/courses 
and learn about our comprehensive Home Study Course in Bird Biology, our online 
course Investigating Behavior: Courtship and Rivalry in 
Birds, 
our Be A Better Birder 
tutorials, 
and our series of 
webinars. 
Purchase the webinars 
here. 




Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html 

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Re: Goodbye to Hoary (and Lesser) Redpolls
From: Dick Newell <dick.newell AT GMAIL.COM>
Date: Wed, 1 Apr 2015 21:06:43 +0100
Hi Alvaro,
I meant no implied criticism in saying that taxonomic decisions are
political, based upon scientific measurement  I was just stating a fact
(well, my opinion is that is what happens). So much science these days is
driven by politics.

If one applied the same taxonomic principles to human taxonomy as one did
to large gulls or redpolls, then one would end up with quite a few species
of humans. The politics dictates that this is not acceptable, no matter
what the science says. It would not even be acceptable to research or
debate human taxonomy in this way.

Anyway I am with Ron, I will continue to enjoy variation in gulls and
redpolls (and humans!), regardless of whether they are species or not.
Dick
Cambridge

On 1 April 2015 at 20:37, Alvaro Jaramillo  wrote:

> Dick et al
>
>   I am biased, being a member of a taxonomic committee myself. However, I
> think the model used by the AOU both for North America and South America of
> having a panel that votes and discusses taxonomic decisions (in a public
> manner) is a good way to  minimize the effect of politics in taxonomic
> decisions. In the AOU committees there is active discussion about the
> biology and data, and how to interpret those, but it would be seriously
> frowned upon if anyone used the rationale of changing taxonomy for
> conservation or national pride. The idea here is that the decisions should
> be as unbiased and data driven so that the politicians, conservationists
> and
> listers have something solid to work with. A list that can be defended as
> objective (within the bounds of reason that humans and not machines are
> making the list!).
>      The criticism of the AOU committees is often that they are slow,
> conservative, don't make changes quickly. Yet I have not heard any critique
> of the committees being influenced by politics in making decisions. That is
> not to say it does not happen in other lists. It is also a good reason why
> an independent scientific body should be creating the lists, and perhaps
> not
> a political, lobbying, conservation, non-profit or other organization which
> may be professional, experienced but perhaps more easily swayed by the
> underlying politics that will be affected by taxonomic changes. In fact the
> AOU committee for South America is independent of the North American
> committee, and they can come up with differing opinions in their taxonomy.
> To some this may be a fault, I think it is a strength. The independence of
> the committee, as well as transparency in their decision making are
> important.
>
> Regards
> Alvaro
>
> Alvaro Jaramillo
> alvaro AT alvarosadventures.com
> www.alvarosadventures.com
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: NBHC ID-FRONTIERS Frontiers of Field Identification
> [mailto:BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU] On Behalf Of Dick Newell
> Sent: Tuesday, March 31, 2015 10:47 PM
> To: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
> Subject: Re: [BIRDWG01] Goodbye to Hoary (and Lesser) Redpolls
>
> In many cases, taxonomic splitting or lumping is a political decision,
> based
> upon scientifically determined differences or incompatabilities between 2
> or
> more putative forms.
>
> Differences may embrace morphology, behaviour, calls, or DNA to name a few.
> And now epigenetics?
>
> Incompatibility includes infertile or less fit hybrid offspring and
> asymetric responses to calls.
>
> The politics may be influenced by keeping the listers happy, national
> pride,
> deciding where conservation money should be spent or the whim of the
> taxonomist. Once politics is involved, then why expect logical consistency.
> Dick Newell
> Cambridge, UK
>
> On 31 March 2015 at 23:41, JOS GRZYBOWSKI 
> wrote:
>
> > Species concept is an issue, but part of this relates to
> > thefundamental purpose of having a taxonomic system which partitions
> > organisms intodistinct taxa, when taxonomy is really the science and
> > art of drawing linesthrough clines, the clines not necessarily being
> linear, and the
> > taxonomicunits not necessarily being discrete.        The fundamental
> > system is a construct (or constructs).  And the two contrasting issues
> > of discussion hereare in how intricately genotype and epigenetics can
> > moderate phenotype (possibly isolating a process that takes some time
> > to mature), and howwe count this stuff on our lists; or on how we
> > should keep lists--by the acceptedstructures of taxonomic rules, or by
> > morph or phenotype.  Or whether we just shouldn't enjoy and studythe
> > variation in nature, and the distribution of these units (at whatever
> > levelwe choose to distinguish them, or be able to distinguish them
> > accurately orreasonably).I have always liked Hoary Redpolls, the few I
> have seen;whether a species or morph.
> > Enjoy seeing pictures of them and will always give them the
> > distinction of being a "cool"taxon.As I have liked Timberline
> > Sparrow--also on my list of "cool" taxa.
> >
> > CHEERS,                            JOE Grzybowski
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >      On Tuesday, March 31, 2015 4:53 PM, "whoffman AT PEAK.ORG" <
> > whoffman AT PEAK.ORG> wrote:
> >
> >
> >  Hi -
> >
> > This is a very interesting finding, but I would not immediately call
> > them conspecific.
> >
> > What it does is highlight a problem with current applications of the
> > Biological Species Concept.
> >
> > The essence of the BSC is the idea that biological populations that
> > tend to recognize each other as different for purposes of mate
> > selection are treated as separate species, and populations that tend
> > not to "care" about the phenotypic differences we recognize should be
> treated as conspecific.
> >
> > The problem I am highlighting is that organisms can potentially
> > develop methods of discrimination (reproductive isolating mechanisms)
> > without, or at least before, evolving the kinds of genetic signals we
> > have come to associate with species status.
> >
> > A lot of genetic work on bird species limits has addressed allopatric
> > populations - North American vs Eurasian magpies, three-toed
> > woodpeckers, wrens, etc. These tend to presume a speciation model
> > whereby allopatric populations very gradually accumulate genetic
> > differences that eventually become sufficient to produce genomes
> > differentiated to an extent we associate with species level.
> >
> > Because I have been working with fish in the past 18 years, it has
> > become very evident to me that speciation can also occur rapidly
> > through selection for isolating mechanisms without much change of the
> > rest of the genome. I think that different taxonomic groups are more
> > or less susceptible to rapid changes in phenotype that can serve as
> > isolating mechanisms. Multiple groups of fish have the ability
> > (sticklebacks, cichlids, darters, dace,
> > salmonids) to evolve reproductive isolation and visible reproductive
> > isolating mechanisms very rapidly (10s of generations or even less),
> > while other groups (pike, herring) appear relatively conservative.
> >
> > My first reaction to this news about redpolls is that epigenetics - i.e.
> > differential expression of the "same" genes - might also be a route to
> > rapid acquisition of reproductive isolating mechanisms. If this is the
> > case, we should expect their genomes to diverge, but perhaps only at
> > the rates seen in fully allopatric populations accumulating supposedly
> > selectively neutral mutations... where "sister species" are thought to
> > be separated for 1 million years or more. It makes more sense to me to
> > recognize reproductively isolated populations/groups as species even
> > when the genomes lack evidence of a long period of separate evolution.
> >
> > Among birds, the group that seems to me most likely to have ta genetic
> > makeup conducive to rapid speciation is the Fringillidae, which of
> > course includes redpolls. Within this family are also the crossbills,
> > which have evolved reproductive isolation, apparently very rapidly,
> > and apparently in sympatry, into "types" that differ modestly in
> > calls, size, and bill morphology. The family also includes the
> > Hawaiian Honeycreepers and Rosy-finches, which appear to
> > differentiated pretty rapidly. It also includes Evening Grosbeaks and
> > Pine Grosbeaks both of which have geographic variation that is
> > manifested both in morphology and voice. With the redpolls, the truly
> > important question from the perspective of BSC is whether or to what
> > extent Hoary and Common Redpolls interbreed, and what the outcomes are,
> if
> they do.
> >
> > Other bird groups that seem to have a genetic makeup conducive to
> > rapid differentiation and acquisition of reproductive isolation
> > include northern geese, grouse, juncos, and perhaps wood warblers.
> >
> > Necessarily, taxonomists have been trying to delimit species without
> > understanding the precise genetic mechanisms that account for the
> > differences among them. As those mechanisms become apparent, we can
> > expect some surprises where the mechanisms do not agree with our
> > assumptions of how evolution occurs.
> >
> > Wayne Hoffman
> >
> >
> > From: "Kevin J. McGowan" 
> > To: "BIRDWG01" 
> > Sent: Tuesday, March 31, 2015 10:39:48 AM
> > Subject: [BIRDWG01] Goodbye to Hoary (and Lesser) Redpolls
> >
> > A new paper published this week by a couple of post-docs at Cornell
> > shows no genetic difference among redpolls, despite total genome
> > sampling. It's an oddly titled paper for the content this group would
> > be interested in, so I thought I'd bring it to the group's attention.
> >
> > Nicholas A. Mason and Scott. A. Taylor. Differentially expressed genes
> > match bill morphology and plumage despite largely undifferentiated
> > genomes in a Holarctic songbird<
> >
>
> http://cornell.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u=b35ddb671faf4a16c0ce32406&i
> d=fbec545b1e&e=1bb0e50835>.
> > Molecular Ecology.
> >
> > Although nowhere in the paper does it actually mention species status,
> > the upshot is that there is one circumpolar "genome," which means one
> > species (they sampled Lesser Redpolls in Europe, too). Differences in
> > physical appearance are the result of the expression of different
> > genes from the entire suit that all the redpolls possess.
> >
> > As the Lab blog<
> > http://cornell.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u=b35ddb671faf4a16c0ce3
> > 2406&id=69ccdd311c&e=1bb0e50835> post discussing the study puts it,
> > "The new research suggests all the Common-Hoary confusion over the
> > years may have been justified."
> >
> > Kevin
> >
> > Kevin J. McGowan, Ph.D.
> > Project Manager
> > Distance Learning in Bird Biology
> > Cornell Lab of Ornithology
> > 159 Sapsucker Woods Road
> > Ithaca, NY 14850
> > kjm2 AT cornell.edu
> > 607-254-2452
> >
> >
> >
> > Do you know about our other distance-learning opportunities? Visit
> > http://www.birds.cornell.edu/courses<
> > http://cornell.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u=b35ddb671faf4a16c0ce3
> > 2406&id=19023cad4e&e=d3c0712a98> and learn about our comprehensive
> > Home Study Course in Bird Biology, our online course Investigating
> > Behavior: Courtship and Rivalry in Birds<
> > http://cornell.us2.list-manage1.com/track/click?u=b35ddb671faf4a16c0ce
> > 32406&id=d69183921c&e=d3c0712a98>,
> > our Be A Better Birder tutorials<
> > http://cornell.us2.list-manage1.com/track/click?u=b35ddb671faf4a16c0ce
> > 32406&id=9969512772&e=d3c0712a98>,
> > and our series of webinars<
> >
>
> http://cornell.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u=b35ddb671faf4a16c0ce32406&i
> d=946e880490&e=d3c0712a98>.
> > Purchase the webinars here<
> > http://cornell.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u=b35ddb671faf4a16c0ce3
> > 2406&id=d5d44c79f0&e=d3c0712a98
> > >.
> >
> >
> >
> > Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
> >
> > Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
> >
> >
> >
> > Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
> >
>
> Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
>
>

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Re: Goodbye to Hoary (and Lesser) Redpolls
From: Cliff and Lisa Weisse <CliffandLisa AT OCTOBERSETTERS.COM>
Date: Tue, 31 Mar 2015 13:02:23 -0600
Put another way, can epigenetic differences delineate species? Perhaps 
the epigenome is the next frontier in evolutionary biology?

Cliff

On 03/31/2015 12:00 PM, Blake Mathys wrote:
> Very interesting result, and leads to an interesting question: if populations 
are in fact genetically identical (well, as identical as different individuals 
can be), but different genes are consistently expressed in two or more groups 
resulting in predictably different phenotypes, would those be considered 
different species? Would it be possible to have groups that fall into perfectly 
delineated categories with no phenotypic overlap but in fact would be 
considered the same species by genetic analyses? 

>
> I know, I know...the same old question: what is a species?
>
> Blake Mathys
> ---------------------------------
> http://blakemathys.com/
> ---------------------------------
>
>> Date: Tue, 31 Mar 2015 17:39:48 +0000
>> From: kjm2 AT CORNELL.EDU
>> Subject: [BIRDWG01] Goodbye to Hoary (and Lesser) Redpolls
>> A new paper published this week by a couple of post-docs at Cornell shows no 
genetic difference among redpolls, despite total genome sampling. It's an oddly 
titled paper for the content this group would be interested in, so I thought 
I'd bring it to the group's attention. 

>>
>> Nicholas A. Mason and Scott. A. Taylor. Differentially expressed genes match 
bill morphology and plumage despite largely undifferentiated genomes in a 
Holarctic 
songbird. 
Molecular Ecology. 

>>
>> Although nowhere in the paper does it actually mention species status, the 
upshot is that there is one circumpolar "genome," which means one species (they 
sampled Lesser Redpolls in Europe, too). Differences in physical appearance are 
the result of the expression of different genes from the entire suit that all 
the redpolls possess. 

>>
>> As the Lab 
blog 
post discussing the study puts it, "The new research suggests all the 
Common-Hoary confusion over the years may have been justified." 

>>
>> Kevin
>>
>> Kevin J. McGowan, Ph.D.
>> Project Manager
>> Distance Learning in Bird Biology
>> Cornell Lab of Ornithology
>> 159 Sapsucker Woods Road
>> Ithaca, NY 14850
>> kjm2 AT cornell.edu
>> 607-254-2452
>   		 	   		
> Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
>
>

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Goodbye to Hoary (and Lesser) Redpolls
From: "Kevin J. McGowan" <kjm2 AT CORNELL.EDU>
Date: Tue, 31 Mar 2015 17:39:48 +0000
A new paper published this week by a couple of post-docs at Cornell shows no 
genetic difference among redpolls, despite total genome sampling. It's an oddly 
titled paper for the content this group would be interested in, so I thought 
I'd bring it to the group's attention. 


Nicholas A. Mason and Scott. A. Taylor. Differentially expressed genes match 
bill morphology and plumage despite largely undifferentiated genomes in a 
Holarctic 
songbird. 
Molecular Ecology. 


Although nowhere in the paper does it actually mention species status, the 
upshot is that there is one circumpolar "genome," which means one species (they 
sampled Lesser Redpolls in Europe, too). Differences in physical appearance are 
the result of the expression of different genes from the entire suit that all 
the redpolls possess. 


As the Lab 
blog 
post discussing the study puts it, "The new research suggests all the 
Common-Hoary confusion over the years may have been justified." 


Kevin

Kevin J. McGowan, Ph.D.
Project Manager
Distance Learning in Bird Biology
Cornell Lab of Ornithology
159 Sapsucker Woods Road
Ithaca, NY 14850
kjm2 AT cornell.edu
607-254-2452



Do you know about our other distance-learning opportunities? Visit 
http://www.birds.cornell.edu/courses 
and learn about our comprehensive Home Study Course in Bird Biology, our online 
course Investigating Behavior: Courtship and Rivalry in 
Birds, 
our Be A Better Birder 
tutorials, 
and our series of 
webinars. 
Purchase the webinars 
here. 




Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Re: Goodbye to Hoary (and Lesser) Redpolls
From: "Kevin J. McGowan" <kjm2 AT CORNELL.EDU>
Date: Tue, 31 Mar 2015 19:06:36 +0000
Good question. My understanding from talking to the authors is that they 
consider this like a common garden experiment, where the phenotypes are 
environmentally induced. If you live in a sunny place, your melanin-producing 
genes get turned on. Not enough to change the color of your skin drastically, 
necessarily, but tan in one place pale in another (people of my ancestry, 
anyway). Take a New Yorker to Florida and those genes get activated. Take a 
spruce tree to the top of a mountain and its growth genes don't get fully 
activated. 


What, indeed is a species? I've always said that it depends on what your 
question is; there is no one answer. For an even MORE confusing situation, 
again using total genome sampling, look at the study in Science last year 
examining the Hooded/Carrion Crow hybrid zone in Europe. What, if anything, is 
a species? 


Kevin

-----Original Message-----
From: NBHC ID-FRONTIERS Frontiers of Field Identification 
[mailto:BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU] On Behalf Of Blake Mathys 

Sent: Tuesday, March 31, 2015 2:01 PM
To: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
Subject: Re: [BIRDWG01] Goodbye to Hoary (and Lesser) Redpolls

Very interesting result, and leads to an interesting question: if populations 
are in fact genetically identical (well, as identical as different individuals 
can be), but different genes are consistently expressed in two or more groups 
resulting in predictably different phenotypes, would those be considered 
different species? Would it be possible to have groups that fall into perfectly 
delineated categories with no phenotypic overlap but in fact would be 
considered the same species by genetic analyses? 


I know, I know...the same old question: what is a species?

Blake Mathys
---------------------------------
http://blakemathys.com/
---------------------------------

> Date: Tue, 31 Mar 2015 17:39:48 +0000
> From: kjm2 AT CORNELL.EDU
> Subject: [BIRDWG01] Goodbye to Hoary (and Lesser) Redpolls A new paper 
> published this week by a couple of post-docs at Cornell shows no genetic 
difference among redpolls, despite total genome sampling. It's an oddly titled 
paper for the content this group would be interested in, so I thought I'd bring 
it to the group's attention. 

> 
> Nicholas A. Mason and Scott. A. Taylor. Differentially expressed genes match 
bill morphology and plumage despite largely undifferentiated genomes in a 
Holarctic 
songbird. 
Molecular Ecology. 

> 
> Although nowhere in the paper does it actually mention species status, the 
upshot is that there is one circumpolar "genome," which means one species (they 
sampled Lesser Redpolls in Europe, too). Differences in physical appearance are 
the result of the expression of different genes from the entire suit that all 
the redpolls possess. 

> 
> As the Lab 
blog 
post discussing the study puts it, "The new research suggests all the 
Common-Hoary confusion over the years may have been justified." 

> 
> Kevin
> 
> Kevin J. McGowan, Ph.D.
> Project Manager
> Distance Learning in Bird Biology
> Cornell Lab of Ornithology
> 159 Sapsucker Woods Road
> Ithaca, NY 14850
> kjm2 AT cornell.edu
> 607-254-2452
 		 	   		  
Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Paul R Wood/UK/TLS/PwC is out of the office.
From: Paul Wood <paul.r.wood AT UK.PWC.COM>
Date: Wed, 1 Apr 2015 06:37:42 +0100
I will be out of the office from 30/03/2015 until 07/04/2015.

I will respond to your message when I return.




Note: This is an automated response to your message BIRDWG01 Digest - 26
Mar 2015 to 31 Mar 2015 (#2015-40) sent on 01/04/2015 06:02:22. This is the
only notification you will receive while this person is away.

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Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Re: Goodbye to Hoary (and Lesser) Redpolls
From: Norman Jenson <onegoodmove AT MAC.COM>
Date: Tue, 31 Mar 2015 15:23:54 -0600
So if twins get up in the morning and forgo their matching outfits are they no 
longer twins. 


Norm

Sent from my iPhone
801-635-0597

> On Mar 31, 2015, at 13:02, Cliff and Lisa Weisse 
 wrote: 

> 
> Put another way, can epigenetic differences delineate species? Perhaps the 
epigenome is the next frontier in evolutionary biology? 

> 
> Cliff
> 
>> On 03/31/2015 12:00 PM, Blake Mathys wrote:
>> Very interesting result, and leads to an interesting question: if 
populations are in fact genetically identical (well, as identical as different 
individuals can be), but different genes are consistently expressed in two or 
more groups resulting in predictably different phenotypes, would those be 
considered different species? Would it be possible to have groups that fall 
into perfectly delineated categories with no phenotypic overlap but in fact 
would be considered the same species by genetic analyses? 

>> 
>> I know, I know...the same old question: what is a species?
>> 
>> Blake Mathys
>> ---------------------------------
>> http://blakemathys.com/
>> ---------------------------------
>> 
>>> Date: Tue, 31 Mar 2015 17:39:48 +0000
>>> From: kjm2 AT CORNELL.EDU
>>> Subject: [BIRDWG01] Goodbye to Hoary (and Lesser) Redpolls
>>> A new paper published this week by a couple of post-docs at Cornell shows 
no genetic difference among redpolls, despite total genome sampling. It's an 
oddly titled paper for the content this group would be interested in, so I 
thought I'd bring it to the group's attention. 

>>> 
>>> Nicholas A. Mason and Scott. A. Taylor. Differentially expressed genes 
match bill morphology and plumage despite largely undifferentiated genomes in a 
Holarctic 
songbird. 
Molecular Ecology. 

>>> 
>>> Although nowhere in the paper does it actually mention species status, the 
upshot is that there is one circumpolar "genome," which means one species (they 
sampled Lesser Redpolls in Europe, too). Differences in physical appearance are 
the result of the expression of different genes from the entire suit that all 
the redpolls possess. 

>>> 
>>> As the Lab 
blog 
post discussing the study puts it, "The new research suggests all the 
Common-Hoary confusion over the years may have been justified." 

>>> 
>>> Kevin
>>> 
>>> Kevin J. McGowan, Ph.D.
>>> Project Manager
>>> Distance Learning in Bird Biology
>>> Cornell Lab of Ornithology
>>> 159 Sapsucker Woods Road
>>> Ithaca, NY 14850
>>> kjm2 AT cornell.edu
>>> 607-254-2452
>>                         
>> Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
> 
> Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Re: Goodbye to Hoary (and Lesser) Redpolls
From: Dick Newell <dick.newell AT GMAIL.COM>
Date: Wed, 1 Apr 2015 06:46:40 +0100
In many cases, taxonomic splitting or lumping is a political decision,
based upon scientifically determined differences or incompatabilities
between 2 or more putative forms.

Differences may embrace morphology, behaviour, calls, or DNA to name a few.
And now epigenetics?

Incompatibility includes infertile or less fit hybrid offspring and
asymetric responses to calls.

The politics may be influenced by keeping the listers happy, national
pride, deciding where conservation money should be spent or the whim of the
taxonomist. Once politics is involved, then why expect logical consistency.
Dick Newell
Cambridge, UK

On 31 March 2015 at 23:41, JOS GRZYBOWSKI 
wrote:

> Species concept is an issue, but part of this relates to thefundamental
> purpose of having a taxonomic system which partitions organisms
> intodistinct taxa, when taxonomy is really the science and art of drawing
> linesthrough clines, the clines not necessarily being linear, and the
> taxonomicunits not necessarily being discrete.        The fundamental
> system is a construct (or constructs).  And the two contrasting issues of
> discussion hereare in how intricately genotype and epigenetics can moderate
> phenotype (possibly isolating a process that takes some time to mature),
> and howwe count this stuff on our lists; or on how we should keep lists--by
> the acceptedstructures of taxonomic rules, or by morph or phenotype.  Or
> whether we just shouldn't enjoy and studythe variation in nature, and the
> distribution of these units (at whatever levelwe choose to distinguish
> them, or be able to distinguish them accurately orreasonably).I have always
> liked Hoary Redpolls, the few I have seen;whether a species or morph.
> Enjoy seeing pictures of them and will always give them the distinction of
> being a "cool"taxon.As I have liked Timberline Sparrow--also on my list of
> "cool" taxa.
>
> CHEERS,                            JOE Grzybowski
>
>
>
>
>      On Tuesday, March 31, 2015 4:53 PM, "whoffman AT PEAK.ORG" <
> whoffman AT PEAK.ORG> wrote:
>
>
>  Hi -
>
> This is a very interesting finding, but I would not immediately call them
> conspecific.
>
> What it does is highlight a problem with current applications of the
> Biological Species Concept.
>
> The essence of the BSC is the idea that biological populations that tend
> to recognize each other as different for purposes of mate selection are
> treated as separate species, and populations that tend not to "care" about
> the phenotypic differences we recognize should be treated as conspecific.
>
> The problem I am highlighting is that organisms can potentially develop
> methods of discrimination (reproductive isolating mechanisms) without, or
> at least before, evolving the kinds of genetic signals we have come to
> associate with species status.
>
> A lot of genetic work on bird species limits has addressed allopatric
> populations - North American vs Eurasian magpies, three-toed woodpeckers,
> wrens, etc. These tend to presume a speciation model whereby allopatric
> populations very gradually accumulate genetic differences that eventually
> become sufficient to produce genomes differentiated to an extent we
> associate with species level.
>
> Because I have been working with fish in the past 18 years, it has become
> very evident to me that speciation can also occur rapidly through selection
> for isolating mechanisms without much change of the rest of the genome. I
> think that different taxonomic groups are more or less susceptible to rapid
> changes in phenotype that can serve as isolating mechanisms. Multiple
> groups of fish have the ability (sticklebacks, cichlids, darters, dace,
> salmonids) to evolve reproductive isolation and visible reproductive
> isolating mechanisms very rapidly (10s of generations or even less), while
> other groups (pike, herring) appear relatively conservative.
>
> My first reaction to this news about redpolls is that epigenetics - i.e.
> differential expression of the "same" genes - might also be a route to
> rapid acquisition of reproductive isolating mechanisms. If this is the
> case, we should expect their genomes to diverge, but perhaps only at the
> rates seen in fully allopatric populations accumulating supposedly
> selectively neutral mutations... where "sister species" are thought to be
> separated for 1 million years or more. It makes more sense to me to
> recognize reproductively isolated populations/groups as species even when
> the genomes lack evidence of a long period of separate evolution.
>
> Among birds, the group that seems to me most likely to have ta genetic
> makeup conducive to rapid speciation is the Fringillidae, which of course
> includes redpolls. Within this family are also the crossbills, which have
> evolved reproductive isolation, apparently very rapidly, and apparently in
> sympatry, into "types" that differ modestly in calls, size, and bill
> morphology. The family also includes the Hawaiian Honeycreepers and
> Rosy-finches, which appear to differentiated pretty rapidly. It also
> includes Evening Grosbeaks and Pine Grosbeaks both of which have geographic
> variation that is manifested both in morphology and voice. With the
> redpolls, the truly important question from the perspective of BSC is
> whether or to what extent Hoary and Common Redpolls interbreed, and what
> the outcomes are, if they do.
>
> Other bird groups that seem to have a genetic makeup conducive to rapid
> differentiation and acquisition of reproductive isolation include northern
> geese, grouse, juncos, and perhaps wood warblers.
>
> Necessarily, taxonomists have been trying to delimit species without
> understanding the precise genetic mechanisms that account for the
> differences among them. As those mechanisms become apparent, we can expect
> some surprises where the mechanisms do not agree with our assumptions of
> how evolution occurs.
>
> Wayne Hoffman
>
>
> From: "Kevin J. McGowan" 
> To: "BIRDWG01" 
> Sent: Tuesday, March 31, 2015 10:39:48 AM
> Subject: [BIRDWG01] Goodbye to Hoary (and Lesser) Redpolls
>
> A new paper published this week by a couple of post-docs at Cornell shows
> no genetic difference among redpolls, despite total genome sampling. It's
> an oddly titled paper for the content this group would be interested in, so
> I thought I'd bring it to the group's attention.
>
> Nicholas A. Mason and Scott. A. Taylor. Differentially expressed genes
> match bill morphology and plumage despite largely undifferentiated genomes
> in a Holarctic songbird<
> 
http://cornell.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u=b35ddb671faf4a16c0ce32406&id=fbec545b1e&e=1bb0e50835>. 

> Molecular Ecology.
>
> Although nowhere in the paper does it actually mention species status, the
> upshot is that there is one circumpolar "genome," which means one species
> (they sampled Lesser Redpolls in Europe, too). Differences in physical
> appearance are the result of the expression of different genes from the
> entire suit that all the redpolls possess.
>
> As the Lab blog<
> 
http://cornell.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u=b35ddb671faf4a16c0ce32406&id=69ccdd311c&e=1bb0e50835> 

> post discussing the study puts it, "The new research suggests all the
> Common-Hoary confusion over the years may have been justified."
>
> Kevin
>
> Kevin J. McGowan, Ph.D.
> Project Manager
> Distance Learning in Bird Biology
> Cornell Lab of Ornithology
> 159 Sapsucker Woods Road
> Ithaca, NY 14850
> kjm2 AT cornell.edu
> 607-254-2452
>
>
>
> Do you know about our other distance-learning opportunities? Visit
> http://www.birds.cornell.edu/courses<
> 
http://cornell.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u=b35ddb671faf4a16c0ce32406&id=19023cad4e&e=d3c0712a98> 

> and learn about our comprehensive Home Study Course in Bird Biology, our
> online course Investigating Behavior: Courtship and Rivalry in Birds<
> 
http://cornell.us2.list-manage1.com/track/click?u=b35ddb671faf4a16c0ce32406&id=d69183921c&e=d3c0712a98>, 

> our Be A Better Birder tutorials<
> 
http://cornell.us2.list-manage1.com/track/click?u=b35ddb671faf4a16c0ce32406&id=9969512772&e=d3c0712a98>, 

> and our series of webinars<
> 
http://cornell.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u=b35ddb671faf4a16c0ce32406&id=946e880490&e=d3c0712a98>. 

> Purchase the webinars here<
> 
http://cornell.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u=b35ddb671faf4a16c0ce32406&id=d5d44c79f0&e=d3c0712a98 

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Subject: Re: Goodbye to Hoary (and Lesser) Redpolls
From: Jean Iron <jeaniron AT SYMPATICO.CA>
Date: Wed, 1 Apr 2015 12:25:29 -0400
The AOU will have difficulty lumping Common and Hoary Redpolls because of
the distinctiveness and very limited hybridization between the two
northernmost redpoll taxa: i.e. "Greater" Common Redpoll and "Hornemann's"
Hoary Redpoll (nominate hornemanni). Both breed in northern Nunavut (Canada)
and in Greenland. There are no reports of hybrids in Nunavut. In Greenland,
Salomonsen (1952) in The Birds of Greenland reported very limited
hybridization. He considered rostrata and nominate hornemanni as
conspecific, but this was at a time when limited hybridization justified a
lump. Today the AOU applies a more sensible interpretation of the biological
species concept than in the past. Studies are also needed about how these
two northern taxa remain separate on the breeding grounds - songs/calls,
behavior, nesting, habitat, etc. This may be the key to species
distinctiveness. 

Regardless of species status, there are still four identifiable forms of
redpolls to enjoy in North America. Please see photos of Common and Hoary
Redpolls and their subspecies in North America.
http://jeaniron.ca/2015/redpollsRP.htm

Ron Pittaway and Jean Iron
Toronto, Ontario



-----Original Message-----
From: NBHC ID-FRONTIERS Frontiers of Field Identification
[mailto:BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU] On Behalf Of Dick Newell
Sent: Wednesday, April 01, 2015 1:47 AM
To: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
Subject: Re: [BIRDWG01] Goodbye to Hoary (and Lesser) Redpolls

In many cases, taxonomic splitting or lumping is a political decision, based
upon scientifically determined differences or incompatabilities between 2 or
more putative forms.

Differences may embrace morphology, behaviour, calls, or DNA to name a few.
And now epigenetics?

Incompatibility includes infertile or less fit hybrid offspring and
asymetric responses to calls.

The politics may be influenced by keeping the listers happy, national pride,
deciding where conservation money should be spent or the whim of the
taxonomist. Once politics is involved, then why expect logical consistency.
Dick Newell
Cambridge, UK

On 31 March 2015 at 23:41, JOS GRZYBOWSKI 
wrote:

> Species concept is an issue, but part of this relates to 
> thefundamental purpose of having a taxonomic system which partitions 
> organisms intodistinct taxa, when taxonomy is really the science and 
> art of drawing linesthrough clines, the clines not necessarily being
linear, and the
> taxonomicunits not necessarily being discrete.        The fundamental
> system is a construct (or constructs).  And the two contrasting issues 
> of discussion hereare in how intricately genotype and epigenetics can 
> moderate phenotype (possibly isolating a process that takes some time 
> to mature), and howwe count this stuff on our lists; or on how we 
> should keep lists--by the acceptedstructures of taxonomic rules, or by 
> morph or phenotype.  Or whether we just shouldn't enjoy and studythe 
> variation in nature, and the distribution of these units (at whatever 
> levelwe choose to distinguish them, or be able to distinguish them 
> accurately orreasonably).I have always liked Hoary Redpolls, the few I
have seen;whether a species or morph.
> Enjoy seeing pictures of them and will always give them the 
> distinction of being a "cool"taxon.As I have liked Timberline 
> Sparrow--also on my list of "cool" taxa.
>
> CHEERS,                            JOE Grzybowski
>
>
>
>
>      On Tuesday, March 31, 2015 4:53 PM, "whoffman AT PEAK.ORG" < 
> whoffman AT PEAK.ORG> wrote:
>
>
>  Hi -
>
> This is a very interesting finding, but I would not immediately call 
> them conspecific.
>
> What it does is highlight a problem with current applications of the 
> Biological Species Concept.
>
> The essence of the BSC is the idea that biological populations that 
> tend to recognize each other as different for purposes of mate 
> selection are treated as separate species, and populations that tend 
> not to "care" about the phenotypic differences we recognize should be
treated as conspecific.
>
> The problem I am highlighting is that organisms can potentially 
> develop methods of discrimination (reproductive isolating mechanisms) 
> without, or at least before, evolving the kinds of genetic signals we 
> have come to associate with species status.
>
> A lot of genetic work on bird species limits has addressed allopatric 
> populations - North American vs Eurasian magpies, three-toed 
> woodpeckers, wrens, etc. These tend to presume a speciation model 
> whereby allopatric populations very gradually accumulate genetic 
> differences that eventually become sufficient to produce genomes 
> differentiated to an extent we associate with species level.
>
> Because I have been working with fish in the past 18 years, it has 
> become very evident to me that speciation can also occur rapidly 
> through selection for isolating mechanisms without much change of the 
> rest of the genome. I think that different taxonomic groups are more 
> or less susceptible to rapid changes in phenotype that can serve as 
> isolating mechanisms. Multiple groups of fish have the ability 
> (sticklebacks, cichlids, darters, dace,
> salmonids) to evolve reproductive isolation and visible reproductive 
> isolating mechanisms very rapidly (10s of generations or even less), 
> while other groups (pike, herring) appear relatively conservative.
>
> My first reaction to this news about redpolls is that epigenetics - i.e.
> differential expression of the "same" genes - might also be a route to 
> rapid acquisition of reproductive isolating mechanisms. If this is the 
> case, we should expect their genomes to diverge, but perhaps only at 
> the rates seen in fully allopatric populations accumulating supposedly 
> selectively neutral mutations... where "sister species" are thought to 
> be separated for 1 million years or more. It makes more sense to me to 
> recognize reproductively isolated populations/groups as species even 
> when the genomes lack evidence of a long period of separate evolution.
>
> Among birds, the group that seems to me most likely to have ta genetic 
> makeup conducive to rapid speciation is the Fringillidae, which of 
> course includes redpolls. Within this family are also the crossbills, 
> which have evolved reproductive isolation, apparently very rapidly, 
> and apparently in sympatry, into "types" that differ modestly in 
> calls, size, and bill morphology. The family also includes the 
> Hawaiian Honeycreepers and Rosy-finches, which appear to 
> differentiated pretty rapidly. It also includes Evening Grosbeaks and 
> Pine Grosbeaks both of which have geographic variation that is 
> manifested both in morphology and voice. With the redpolls, the truly 
> important question from the perspective of BSC is whether or to what 
> extent Hoary and Common Redpolls interbreed, and what the outcomes are, if
they do.
>
> Other bird groups that seem to have a genetic makeup conducive to 
> rapid differentiation and acquisition of reproductive isolation 
> include northern geese, grouse, juncos, and perhaps wood warblers.
>
> Necessarily, taxonomists have been trying to delimit species without 
> understanding the precise genetic mechanisms that account for the 
> differences among them. As those mechanisms become apparent, we can 
> expect some surprises where the mechanisms do not agree with our 
> assumptions of how evolution occurs.
>
> Wayne Hoffman
>
>
> From: "Kevin J. McGowan" 
> To: "BIRDWG01" 
> Sent: Tuesday, March 31, 2015 10:39:48 AM
> Subject: [BIRDWG01] Goodbye to Hoary (and Lesser) Redpolls
>
> A new paper published this week by a couple of post-docs at Cornell 
> shows no genetic difference among redpolls, despite total genome 
> sampling. It's an oddly titled paper for the content this group would 
> be interested in, so I thought I'd bring it to the group's attention.
>
> Nicholas A. Mason and Scott. A. Taylor. Differentially expressed genes 
> match bill morphology and plumage despite largely undifferentiated 
> genomes in a Holarctic songbird< 
>
http://cornell.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u=b35ddb671faf4a16c0ce32406&i
d=fbec545b1e&e=1bb0e50835>.
> Molecular Ecology.
>
> Although nowhere in the paper does it actually mention species status, 
> the upshot is that there is one circumpolar "genome," which means one 
> species (they sampled Lesser Redpolls in Europe, too). Differences in 
> physical appearance are the result of the expression of different 
> genes from the entire suit that all the redpolls possess.
>
> As the Lab blog<
> http://cornell.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u=b35ddb671faf4a16c0ce3
> 2406&id=69ccdd311c&e=1bb0e50835> post discussing the study puts it, 
> "The new research suggests all the Common-Hoary confusion over the 
> years may have been justified."
>
> Kevin
>
> Kevin J. McGowan, Ph.D.
> Project Manager
> Distance Learning in Bird Biology
> Cornell Lab of Ornithology
> 159 Sapsucker Woods Road
> Ithaca, NY 14850
> kjm2 AT cornell.edu
> 607-254-2452
>
>
>
> Do you know about our other distance-learning opportunities? Visit 
> http://www.birds.cornell.edu/courses<
> http://cornell.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u=b35ddb671faf4a16c0ce3
> 2406&id=19023cad4e&e=d3c0712a98> and learn about our comprehensive 
> Home Study Course in Bird Biology, our online course Investigating 
> Behavior: Courtship and Rivalry in Birds< 
> http://cornell.us2.list-manage1.com/track/click?u=b35ddb671faf4a16c0ce
> 32406&id=d69183921c&e=d3c0712a98>,
> our Be A Better Birder tutorials<
> http://cornell.us2.list-manage1.com/track/click?u=b35ddb671faf4a16c0ce
> 32406&id=9969512772&e=d3c0712a98>,
> and our series of webinars<
>
http://cornell.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u=b35ddb671faf4a16c0ce32406&i
d=946e880490&e=d3c0712a98>.
> Purchase the webinars here<
> http://cornell.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u=b35ddb671faf4a16c0ce3
> 2406&id=d5d44c79f0&e=d3c0712a98
> >.
>
>
>
> Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
>
> Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
>
>
>
> Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
>

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Re: Goodbye to Hoary (and Lesser) Redpolls
From: Blake Mathys <blakemathys AT HOTMAIL.COM>
Date: Tue, 31 Mar 2015 14:00:50 -0400
Very interesting result, and leads to an interesting question: if populations 
are in fact genetically identical (well, as identical as different individuals 
can be), but different genes are consistently expressed in two or more groups 
resulting in predictably different phenotypes, would those be considered 
different species? Would it be possible to have groups that fall into perfectly 
delineated categories with no phenotypic overlap but in fact would be 
considered the same species by genetic analyses? 


I know, I know...the same old question: what is a species?

Blake Mathys
---------------------------------
http://blakemathys.com/
---------------------------------

> Date: Tue, 31 Mar 2015 17:39:48 +0000
> From: kjm2 AT CORNELL.EDU
> Subject: [BIRDWG01] Goodbye to Hoary (and Lesser) Redpolls
> A new paper published this week by a couple of post-docs at Cornell shows no 
genetic difference among redpolls, despite total genome sampling. It's an oddly 
titled paper for the content this group would be interested in, so I thought 
I'd bring it to the group's attention. 

> 
> Nicholas A. Mason and Scott. A. Taylor. Differentially expressed genes match 
bill morphology and plumage despite largely undifferentiated genomes in a 
Holarctic 
songbird. 
Molecular Ecology. 

> 
> Although nowhere in the paper does it actually mention species status, the 
upshot is that there is one circumpolar "genome," which means one species (they 
sampled Lesser Redpolls in Europe, too). Differences in physical appearance are 
the result of the expression of different genes from the entire suit that all 
the redpolls possess. 

> 
> As the Lab 
blog 
post discussing the study puts it, "The new research suggests all the 
Common-Hoary confusion over the years may have been justified." 

> 
> Kevin
> 
> Kevin J. McGowan, Ph.D.
> Project Manager
> Distance Learning in Bird Biology
> Cornell Lab of Ornithology
> 159 Sapsucker Woods Road
> Ithaca, NY 14850
> kjm2 AT cornell.edu
> 607-254-2452
 		 	   		  
Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Re: Goodbye to Hoary (and Lesser) Redpolls
From: Alvaro Jaramillo <chucao AT COASTSIDE.NET>
Date: Wed, 1 Apr 2015 12:37:39 -0700
Dick et al

  I am biased, being a member of a taxonomic committee myself. However, I
think the model used by the AOU both for North America and South America of
having a panel that votes and discusses taxonomic decisions (in a public
manner) is a good way to  minimize the effect of politics in taxonomic
decisions. In the AOU committees there is active discussion about the
biology and data, and how to interpret those, but it would be seriously
frowned upon if anyone used the rationale of changing taxonomy for
conservation or national pride. The idea here is that the decisions should
be as unbiased and data driven so that the politicians, conservationists and
listers have something solid to work with. A list that can be defended as
objective (within the bounds of reason that humans and not machines are
making the list!). 
     The criticism of the AOU committees is often that they are slow,
conservative, don't make changes quickly. Yet I have not heard any critique
of the committees being influenced by politics in making decisions. That is
not to say it does not happen in other lists. It is also a good reason why
an independent scientific body should be creating the lists, and perhaps not
a political, lobbying, conservation, non-profit or other organization which
may be professional, experienced but perhaps more easily swayed by the
underlying politics that will be affected by taxonomic changes. In fact the
AOU committee for South America is independent of the North American
committee, and they can come up with differing opinions in their taxonomy.
To some this may be a fault, I think it is a strength. The independence of
the committee, as well as transparency in their decision making are
important. 

Regards
Alvaro 

Alvaro Jaramillo
alvaro AT alvarosadventures.com
www.alvarosadventures.com

-----Original Message-----
From: NBHC ID-FRONTIERS Frontiers of Field Identification
[mailto:BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU] On Behalf Of Dick Newell
Sent: Tuesday, March 31, 2015 10:47 PM
To: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
Subject: Re: [BIRDWG01] Goodbye to Hoary (and Lesser) Redpolls

In many cases, taxonomic splitting or lumping is a political decision, based
upon scientifically determined differences or incompatabilities between 2 or
more putative forms.

Differences may embrace morphology, behaviour, calls, or DNA to name a few.
And now epigenetics?

Incompatibility includes infertile or less fit hybrid offspring and
asymetric responses to calls.

The politics may be influenced by keeping the listers happy, national pride,
deciding where conservation money should be spent or the whim of the
taxonomist. Once politics is involved, then why expect logical consistency.
Dick Newell
Cambridge, UK

On 31 March 2015 at 23:41, JOS GRZYBOWSKI 
wrote:

> Species concept is an issue, but part of this relates to 
> thefundamental purpose of having a taxonomic system which partitions 
> organisms intodistinct taxa, when taxonomy is really the science and 
> art of drawing linesthrough clines, the clines not necessarily being
linear, and the
> taxonomicunits not necessarily being discrete.        The fundamental
> system is a construct (or constructs).  And the two contrasting issues 
> of discussion hereare in how intricately genotype and epigenetics can 
> moderate phenotype (possibly isolating a process that takes some time 
> to mature), and howwe count this stuff on our lists; or on how we 
> should keep lists--by the acceptedstructures of taxonomic rules, or by 
> morph or phenotype.  Or whether we just shouldn't enjoy and studythe 
> variation in nature, and the distribution of these units (at whatever 
> levelwe choose to distinguish them, or be able to distinguish them 
> accurately orreasonably).I have always liked Hoary Redpolls, the few I
have seen;whether a species or morph.
> Enjoy seeing pictures of them and will always give them the 
> distinction of being a "cool"taxon.As I have liked Timberline 
> Sparrow--also on my list of "cool" taxa.
>
> CHEERS,                            JOE Grzybowski
>
>
>
>
>      On Tuesday, March 31, 2015 4:53 PM, "whoffman AT PEAK.ORG" < 
> whoffman AT PEAK.ORG> wrote:
>
>
>  Hi -
>
> This is a very interesting finding, but I would not immediately call 
> them conspecific.
>
> What it does is highlight a problem with current applications of the 
> Biological Species Concept.
>
> The essence of the BSC is the idea that biological populations that 
> tend to recognize each other as different for purposes of mate 
> selection are treated as separate species, and populations that tend 
> not to "care" about the phenotypic differences we recognize should be
treated as conspecific.
>
> The problem I am highlighting is that organisms can potentially 
> develop methods of discrimination (reproductive isolating mechanisms) 
> without, or at least before, evolving the kinds of genetic signals we 
> have come to associate with species status.
>
> A lot of genetic work on bird species limits has addressed allopatric 
> populations - North American vs Eurasian magpies, three-toed 
> woodpeckers, wrens, etc. These tend to presume a speciation model 
> whereby allopatric populations very gradually accumulate genetic 
> differences that eventually become sufficient to produce genomes 
> differentiated to an extent we associate with species level.
>
> Because I have been working with fish in the past 18 years, it has 
> become very evident to me that speciation can also occur rapidly 
> through selection for isolating mechanisms without much change of the 
> rest of the genome. I think that different taxonomic groups are more 
> or less susceptible to rapid changes in phenotype that can serve as 
> isolating mechanisms. Multiple groups of fish have the ability 
> (sticklebacks, cichlids, darters, dace,
> salmonids) to evolve reproductive isolation and visible reproductive 
> isolating mechanisms very rapidly (10s of generations or even less), 
> while other groups (pike, herring) appear relatively conservative.
>
> My first reaction to this news about redpolls is that epigenetics - i.e.
> differential expression of the "same" genes - might also be a route to 
> rapid acquisition of reproductive isolating mechanisms. If this is the 
> case, we should expect their genomes to diverge, but perhaps only at 
> the rates seen in fully allopatric populations accumulating supposedly 
> selectively neutral mutations... where "sister species" are thought to 
> be separated for 1 million years or more. It makes more sense to me to 
> recognize reproductively isolated populations/groups as species even 
> when the genomes lack evidence of a long period of separate evolution.
>
> Among birds, the group that seems to me most likely to have ta genetic 
> makeup conducive to rapid speciation is the Fringillidae, which of 
> course includes redpolls. Within this family are also the crossbills, 
> which have evolved reproductive isolation, apparently very rapidly, 
> and apparently in sympatry, into "types" that differ modestly in 
> calls, size, and bill morphology. The family also includes the 
> Hawaiian Honeycreepers and Rosy-finches, which appear to 
> differentiated pretty rapidly. It also includes Evening Grosbeaks and 
> Pine Grosbeaks both of which have geographic variation that is 
> manifested both in morphology and voice. With the redpolls, the truly 
> important question from the perspective of BSC is whether or to what 
> extent Hoary and Common Redpolls interbreed, and what the outcomes are, if
they do.
>
> Other bird groups that seem to have a genetic makeup conducive to 
> rapid differentiation and acquisition of reproductive isolation 
> include northern geese, grouse, juncos, and perhaps wood warblers.
>
> Necessarily, taxonomists have been trying to delimit species without 
> understanding the precise genetic mechanisms that account for the 
> differences among them. As those mechanisms become apparent, we can 
> expect some surprises where the mechanisms do not agree with our 
> assumptions of how evolution occurs.
>
> Wayne Hoffman
>
>
> From: "Kevin J. McGowan" 
> To: "BIRDWG01" 
> Sent: Tuesday, March 31, 2015 10:39:48 AM
> Subject: [BIRDWG01] Goodbye to Hoary (and Lesser) Redpolls
>
> A new paper published this week by a couple of post-docs at Cornell 
> shows no genetic difference among redpolls, despite total genome 
> sampling. It's an oddly titled paper for the content this group would 
> be interested in, so I thought I'd bring it to the group's attention.
>
> Nicholas A. Mason and Scott. A. Taylor. Differentially expressed genes 
> match bill morphology and plumage despite largely undifferentiated 
> genomes in a Holarctic songbird< 
>
http://cornell.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u=b35ddb671faf4a16c0ce32406&i
d=fbec545b1e&e=1bb0e50835>.
> Molecular Ecology.
>
> Although nowhere in the paper does it actually mention species status, 
> the upshot is that there is one circumpolar "genome," which means one 
> species (they sampled Lesser Redpolls in Europe, too). Differences in 
> physical appearance are the result of the expression of different 
> genes from the entire suit that all the redpolls possess.
>
> As the Lab blog<
> http://cornell.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u=b35ddb671faf4a16c0ce3
> 2406&id=69ccdd311c&e=1bb0e50835> post discussing the study puts it, 
> "The new research suggests all the Common-Hoary confusion over the 
> years may have been justified."
>
> Kevin
>
> Kevin J. McGowan, Ph.D.
> Project Manager
> Distance Learning in Bird Biology
> Cornell Lab of Ornithology
> 159 Sapsucker Woods Road
> Ithaca, NY 14850
> kjm2 AT cornell.edu
> 607-254-2452
>
>
>
> Do you know about our other distance-learning opportunities? Visit 
> http://www.birds.cornell.edu/courses<
> http://cornell.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u=b35ddb671faf4a16c0ce3
> 2406&id=19023cad4e&e=d3c0712a98> and learn about our comprehensive 
> Home Study Course in Bird Biology, our online course Investigating 
> Behavior: Courtship and Rivalry in Birds< 
> http://cornell.us2.list-manage1.com/track/click?u=b35ddb671faf4a16c0ce
> 32406&id=d69183921c&e=d3c0712a98>,
> our Be A Better Birder tutorials<
> http://cornell.us2.list-manage1.com/track/click?u=b35ddb671faf4a16c0ce
> 32406&id=9969512772&e=d3c0712a98>,
> and our series of webinars<
>
http://cornell.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u=b35ddb671faf4a16c0ce32406&i
d=946e880490&e=d3c0712a98>.
> Purchase the webinars here<
> http://cornell.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u=b35ddb671faf4a16c0ce3
> 2406&id=d5d44c79f0&e=d3c0712a98
> >.
>
>
>
> Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
>
> Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
>
>
>
> Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
>

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Paul R Wood/UK/TLS/PwC is out of the office.
From: Paul Wood <paul.r.wood AT UK.PWC.COM>
Date: Sat, 7 Mar 2015 06:26:33 +0000
I will be out of the office from 06/03/2015 until 09/03/2015.

I will respond to your message when I return.




Note: This is an automated response to your message BIRDWG01 Digest - 5 Mar
2015 to 6 Mar 2015 (#2015-33) sent on 07/03/2015 06:00:21. This is the only
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Subject: Re: Columbus, Ohio Towhee
From: David Irons <llsdirons AT MSN.COM>
Date: Fri, 6 Mar 2015 07:53:21 +0000
Paul,

I don't see anything about this bird that suggests to me that it might be a 
hybrid. I think that the age of the bird is a contributing factor as far as the 
suggestion of excess white at the base of the primaries. To my eye, this bird 
appears to be second-year (SY), as it appears to have faded brown retained 
juvenile flight feathers. The newer white-tipped coverts are perhaps a bit more 
eye-catching, but I don't see anything in the pattern of white that seems out 
of the ordinary for a Spotted Towhee. 


One thing that catches my eye is the buffy edges to the scaps. We get at least 
two and perhaps three different subspecies that occur in Oregon, with the 
coastal form P. m. oregonusthe least spotted of all the Spotted Towheesbeing 
the resident subspecies west of the Cascades Range. East of the Cascades the 
far more heavily spotted P. m. curtatus is the presumed local breeder, but most 
sources suggest that the entire population of curtatus leaves Oregon during the 
winter months. That said, we do get a few heavily-spotted towhees that show up 
west of the Cascades during the winter months and birds of similar appearance 
(perhaps P. m. montanus) are fairly common east of the Cascades during the 
winter. I have photos of all of these forms and none of them show buffy-edged 
scaps. They all show white-edged scaps. I also have a photos of an SY bird 
photographed in the Rio Grande Valley in Feburary 2012. It does have 
buffy-edged scaps and shows molt limits. It is not a great photo, but I will 
happily send it to you privately if needed. 


The closest match that I can find to the Ohio bird appears in the 
"Identification Photos" gallery for Spotted Towhee in the BirdFellow Online 
Field Guide (link below). I curate the content for the BirdFellow website and 
my goal with the ID galleries is to show the full gamut of geographic variation 
for birds like Spotted Towhee. Image #10 in the gallery shows an apparent after 
second-year bird (ASY) that was photographed in Colorado during February by 
Steven Mlodinow. The mantle and covert pattern is virtually identical to the 
Ohio bird and it shows similar contrast between the rich burnt orange flanks 
and the paler, wash-out yellow-orange undertail. The Colorado bird shows 
buffy-edged scaps just like the Ohio bird. If you are looking for a subspecific 
match, this would seem to be a good candidate. I know that Steve follows 
ID-Frontiers and that he has an interest in Spotted Towhee variation. He may 
have other photos of Colorado towhees that he can share for comparison. 


http://www.birdfellow.com/birds/spotted-towhee-pipilo-maculatus

After clicking on the link above, Look for the red text that reads 
"Identification Photos" below the 

feature image. Click on this and then go to image #10 in the gallery. If you 
click on that image, the gallery switches over to a thumbnail format, with the 
selected image being the larger image to the right. You can click on that image 
a second time to see the full-sized file. 


Dave Irons
Portland, OR  


 		 	   		  
Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Re: Columbus, Ohio Towhee
From: Tony Leukering <greatgrayowl AT AOL.COM>
Date: Thu, 5 Mar 2015 13:37:11 -0500
Paul:


First off, the bird looks and sounds like a Spotted Towhee to me. If there's 
any mixing of species genes in this individual, it seems pretty minimal to me. 
Secondly, the bird is a first-cycle male (with its obvious juvenile remiges), 
so assessment of subspecies is somewhat hampered by the bird's age. 



The most likely subspecies of SPTO to occur in the east, in my opinion (and in 
the existing occurrence record), are the three easterly forms of Pyle's 
"Interior" group. The fourth of those has just too small and distant a range to 
be likely, while the Pacific races have either small ranges in which they are 
resident or larger ranges but are fairly short-distance migrants (see Pyle 
1997). Of these, arcticus, eBird's Plains Spotted Towhee, seems the most 
likely, both in proximity and overall migration length and considering that 
there is a Florida record for the subspecies. The two subspecies subsumed in 
eBird's Rocky Mountains Spotted Towhee, montanus and curtatus, are also of 
reasonable possibility, especially the latter, due to its northerly 
distribution and its relatively longer-distance migration; many montanus are 
resident, even at the northern extremity of the breeding range in Colorado. 
Additionally, though not noted as occurring in Colorado by Bailey and Niedrach 
(1965), the currently-named Denver Museum of Nature and Science (DMNS) houses 
3-4 specimens of SPTO taken in Colorado (one as far east as Denver) that Allan 
R. Phillips had penciled "curtatus" on the labels. Chris Wood and I examined 
all the specimens of the species in that museum (which include breeding-season 
specimens from within the range of curtatus), and we agreed with ARP's IDs (see 
below). 



From Pyle (1997), montanus sports the largest scapular spots (see Fig. 285, pg. 
537), and the Ohio bird seems to show very large scapular spotting, indeed. 
However, these sorts of features noted in Pyle (1997) need to be considered, at 
best, guides, not authoritative identification features. Both arcticus (27-42 
mm) and montanus (25-40 mm) have very large rectrix spots that occupy a fairly 
large percentage of the individual rectrix lengths, considering that tail 
measurements of males are 89-104 mm and 96-112 mm, respectively. As comparison, 
curtatus shows smaller rectrix spots (22-35 mm), but on a slightly shorter tail 
(90-101 mm). However, considering that the r6s are the shortest rectrices in 
Pipilo, the Ohio bird's tail spots seem to be very large and I suggest that 
they are outside the range of that of curtatus. Additionally, both Chris Wood 
and I considered, at least, adult males of curtatus to show a gray cast to the 
black plumage (certainly, all of the specimens at DMNS collected from within 
the known range of that form did, as did the very few male Colorado-collected 
specimens, unlike all of the montanus specimens in the same museum). 



So, my initial thought is that the Ohio bird is probably referable to arcticus, 
but I don't know that I can rule out montanus on plumage alone. However, I took 
a short jaunt through Xeno-Canto because I wondered about the calls of the Ohio 
bird and how they compared to those of the various possible subspecies. Though 
my sample size for each of the three subspecies was the magic n=1, there was an 
obvious difference to my ear of the call of montanus versus that of arcticus 
and curtatus, which sounded more similar to each other than to montanus. My eye 
also saw an obvious difference in the sonograms, and those differences ran 
along the very same lines, with both arcticus and curtatus exhibiting an 
upslur, while montanus exhibited an overslur (terminology from Pieplow 2007 and 
from that author's earbirding.com blog; 
http://earbirding.com/blog/specs/pitch-and-inflection). 



arcticus call:  http://www.xeno-canto.org/104526
 sonogram: 
http://www.xeno-canto.org/sounds/uploaded/OJMFAOUBDU/ffts/XC104526-full.png 



curtatus call:  http://www.xeno-canto.org/127009
 sonogram: 
http://www.xeno-canto.org/sounds/uploaded/KZYUWIRZVH/ffts/XC127009-full.png 



montanus call:  http://www.xeno-canto.org/14843
 sonogram: 
http://www.xeno-canto.org/sounds/uploaded/CDTGHVBGZP/ffts/XC14843-full.png 



So, I suggest that someone with more capability than me to analyze the Ohio's 
birds calls in this context. 



Literature Cited


Bailey, A. M. and R. J. Niedrach. 1965. Birds of Colorado. Denver Museum of 
Natural History, Denver. 

Pieplow, N. D. 2007. Describing bird sounds in words. Birding 39:48-54.
Pyle, P. 1997. Identification Guide to North American Birds, part I. Slate 
Creek Press, Bolinas, CA. 





Sincerely,


Tony


Tony Leukering
Largo, FL
http://cowyebird.blogspot.com/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/tony_leukering/

http://aba.org/photoquiz/



-----Original Message-----
From: Paul Gardner 
To: BIRDWG01 
Sent: Thu, Mar 5, 2015 12:13 pm
Subject: [BIRDWG01] Columbus, Ohio Towhee


A Spotted Towhee visited Columbus, Ohio for a few days in February 2015. In a
discussion on the Central Ohio Birding Facebook Group, some people raised the
question of hybridization with Eastern Towhee, seemingly based on a small 
amount 

of white at the base of the primaries. Others think it is within the normal
range of variation for Spotted Towhee, but are unsure about which subspecies is
the best fit. The bird was well photographed, and there is even 15 second video
that includes a
call.


https://www.flickr.com/photos/18975581 AT N02/sets/72157650770191220/



All insights are welcome.

Paul Gardner 
Secretary, Ohio Bird Records
Committee 
Columbus, OH

Archives:
http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html

 


Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Columbus, Ohio Towhee
From: Paul Gardner <godwit AT SBCGLOBAL.NET>
Date: Thu, 5 Mar 2015 08:55:11 -0800
A Spotted Towhee visited Columbus, Ohio for a few days in February 2015. In a 
discussion on the Central Ohio Birding Facebook Group, some people raised the 
question of hybridization with Eastern Towhee, seemingly based on a small 
amount of white at the base of the primaries. Others think it is within the 
normal range of variation for Spotted Towhee, but are unsure about which 
subspecies is the best fit. The bird was well photographed, and there is even 
15 second video that includes a call. 



https://www.flickr.com/photos/18975581 AT N02/sets/72157650770191220/

 
All insights are welcome.

Paul Gardner 
Secretary, Ohio Bird Records Committee 
Columbus, OH

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Re: Fw: Blackbird link
From: Allen Chartier <amazilia3 AT GMAIL.COM>
Date: Wed, 4 Mar 2015 16:16:00 -0500
Mark,

Interesting to see these photos. There was a very black Rusty Blackbird at
a feeder in Macomb County, Michigan that I went to see on January 9, and
its appearance most closely matched photo 3, and 26-32 in your series. In
other words, very little rusty edging present on that early date.
Unfortunately, failing light meant my photos are pretty poor. Any Rusty
Blackbird is very rare in winter this far north, and Brewer's is even less
likely.

Allen T. Chartier
Inkster, Michigan
Email: amazilia3 AT gmail.com
Photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mihummingbirdguy/collections/
Website: www.amazilia.net
Blog: http://mihummingbirdguy.blogspot.com/

On Wed, Mar 4, 2015 at 3:13 PM, Mark Szantyr  wrote:

> http://birddog55.zenfolio.com/p613906400
>
> This is just an FYI but after having shared these recent images with Dave
> Irons, he suggested that I might share these with the rest of the folks
> involved in this very interesting discussion.  There Rusty Blackbird
> images  were taken on 6 February 2015 in Connecticut.
>
> Mark
>
> Mark Szantyr
>
> On Wed, Mar 4, 2015 at 2:40 AM, David Irons  wrote:
>
> > As Peter Pyle indicates, Brewer's and Rusty Blackbirds have a limited
> > prealternate molt, which is contrary to quite a bit of literature that
> says
> > they have no prealternate molt. In some of Rob's photos, there appears to
> > be evidence of this, with unopened white feather sheaths evident on the
> > side of head and neck. We watched a first-winter male Rusty Blackbird
> > molting last March here in Oregon. I took photos of the bird on
> successive
> > weekends that clearly showed similar white feather sheaths. That bird's
> > head pattern changed considerably in just a week's time.
> >
> > Dave Irons
> > Portland, OR
> >
> > > Date: Tue, 3 Mar 2015 19:03:20 -0800
> > > From: ppyle AT BIRDPOP.ORG
> > > Subject: Re: [BIRDWG01] Fw: Blackbird link
> > > To: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
> > >
> > > So, the rust fringe to the feathers in Rusty and Brewer's Blackbirds
> > > occurs on fresh basic and formative feathers in fall, and the
> > > fringing largely wears (or breaks) off during winter in spring. The
> > > rate at which the fringing wears off varies individually, resulting
> > > in birds becoming "all black" at various times over the winter. I
> > > don't know specifics but would guess that, by early March, about half
> > > look pretty black. Most to all November-December birds, by contrast,
> > > are moderately to heavily fringed rust. The point is that it's not an
> > > either/or but a gradually changing situation within the population.
> > >
> > > Rusty Blackbirds also have a prealternate molt, in which some of the
> > > head feathers get replaced in March-April, and this also contributes
> > > to some of the change, but not all of it.
> > >
> > > Brewer's differs in that the first-year males have a lot more
> > > fringing than adults. As recently confirmed in photos by Dave Irons,
> > > they also have a limited prealternate molt of head feathers but,
> > > again, most of the change toward black plumage occurs due to wear.
> > >
> > > All of this will be in an upcoming paper by Lukas Musher et al. in
> > > Western Birds.
> > >
> > > Peter
> > >
> > > At 04:07 PM 3/3/2015, Rob Parsons wrote:
> > > >Kevin,
> > > >
> > > >With all due respect, I have to firmly and utterly disagree with:
> > > >"all [Rusty Blackbirds]...in winter show obvious rust color to their
> > > >plumage." This statement is, to put it as tactfully as I can, not
> > > >helpful with certain problematic individual birds.
> > > >
> > > >If only it were that simple.  I have seen at least three totally
> > > >all-black males in winter (December) and two of them were
> > > >photographed and then identified (by structure) by knowledgeable
> > > >birders as Rusty Blackbirds.  I think I still have photos of one of
> > > >them if you'd care to see it. Relying on plumage alone--subject to
> > > >anomalies in molt--is risky.
> > > >
> > > >As an aside, this particular bird was not one of those "problematic"
> > > >birds--everyone (including me) who saw the photos identified it as a
> > > >Brewer's.  I only posted it to this list at the request of Bob
> > > >Luterbach, who also thought it was a Brewer's but sought more
> > > >input.  Thank you to everyone who responded.
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >Cheers,
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >Rob Parsons
> > > >Winnipeg, MB
> > > >CANADA
> > > >parsons8 AT mts.net
> > > >
> > > >Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
> > >
> > > Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
> >
> > Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
> >
>
>
>
> --
> Mark S. Szantyr
> 56 Maple Road
> Storrs Mansfield, CT 06268
>
> 860-429-2641
>
> Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
>

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Re: Fw: Blackbird link
From: Mark Szantyr <birddog55 AT CHARTER.NET>
Date: Wed, 4 Mar 2015 15:13:14 -0500
http://birddog55.zenfolio.com/p613906400

This is just an FYI but after having shared these recent images with Dave
Irons, he suggested that I might share these with the rest of the folks
involved in this very interesting discussion.  There Rusty Blackbird
images  were taken on 6 February 2015 in Connecticut.

Mark

Mark Szantyr

On Wed, Mar 4, 2015 at 2:40 AM, David Irons  wrote:

> As Peter Pyle indicates, Brewer's and Rusty Blackbirds have a limited
> prealternate molt, which is contrary to quite a bit of literature that says
> they have no prealternate molt. In some of Rob's photos, there appears to
> be evidence of this, with unopened white feather sheaths evident on the
> side of head and neck. We watched a first-winter male Rusty Blackbird
> molting last March here in Oregon. I took photos of the bird on successive
> weekends that clearly showed similar white feather sheaths. That bird's
> head pattern changed considerably in just a week's time.
>
> Dave Irons
> Portland, OR
>
> > Date: Tue, 3 Mar 2015 19:03:20 -0800
> > From: ppyle AT BIRDPOP.ORG
> > Subject: Re: [BIRDWG01] Fw: Blackbird link
> > To: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
> >
> > So, the rust fringe to the feathers in Rusty and Brewer's Blackbirds
> > occurs on fresh basic and formative feathers in fall, and the
> > fringing largely wears (or breaks) off during winter in spring. The
> > rate at which the fringing wears off varies individually, resulting
> > in birds becoming "all black" at various times over the winter. I
> > don't know specifics but would guess that, by early March, about half
> > look pretty black. Most to all November-December birds, by contrast,
> > are moderately to heavily fringed rust. The point is that it's not an
> > either/or but a gradually changing situation within the population.
> >
> > Rusty Blackbirds also have a prealternate molt, in which some of the
> > head feathers get replaced in March-April, and this also contributes
> > to some of the change, but not all of it.
> >
> > Brewer's differs in that the first-year males have a lot more
> > fringing than adults. As recently confirmed in photos by Dave Irons,
> > they also have a limited prealternate molt of head feathers but,
> > again, most of the change toward black plumage occurs due to wear.
> >
> > All of this will be in an upcoming paper by Lukas Musher et al. in
> > Western Birds.
> >
> > Peter
> >
> > At 04:07 PM 3/3/2015, Rob Parsons wrote:
> > >Kevin,
> > >
> > >With all due respect, I have to firmly and utterly disagree with:
> > >"all [Rusty Blackbirds]...in winter show obvious rust color to their
> > >plumage." This statement is, to put it as tactfully as I can, not
> > >helpful with certain problematic individual birds.
> > >
> > >If only it were that simple.  I have seen at least three totally
> > >all-black males in winter (December) and two of them were
> > >photographed and then identified (by structure) by knowledgeable
> > >birders as Rusty Blackbirds.  I think I still have photos of one of
> > >them if you'd care to see it. Relying on plumage alone--subject to
> > >anomalies in molt--is risky.
> > >
> > >As an aside, this particular bird was not one of those "problematic"
> > >birds--everyone (including me) who saw the photos identified it as a
> > >Brewer's.  I only posted it to this list at the request of Bob
> > >Luterbach, who also thought it was a Brewer's but sought more
> > >input.  Thank you to everyone who responded.
> > >
> > >
> > >Cheers,
> > >
> > >
> > >Rob Parsons
> > >Winnipeg, MB
> > >CANADA
> > >parsons8 AT mts.net
> > >
> > >Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
> >
> > Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
>
> Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
>



-- 
Mark S. Szantyr
56 Maple Road
Storrs Mansfield, CT 06268

860-429-2641

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Re: Fw: Blackbird link
From: David Irons <llsdirons AT MSN.COM>
Date: Wed, 4 Mar 2015 07:40:23 +0000
As Peter Pyle indicates, Brewer's and Rusty Blackbirds have a limited 
prealternate molt, which is contrary to quite a bit of literature that says 
they have no prealternate molt. In some of Rob's photos, there appears to be 
evidence of this, with unopened white feather sheaths evident on the side of 
head and neck. We watched a first-winter male Rusty Blackbird molting last 
March here in Oregon. I took photos of the bird on successive weekends that 
clearly showed similar white feather sheaths. That bird's head pattern changed 
considerably in just a week's time. 


Dave Irons
Portland, OR 

> Date: Tue, 3 Mar 2015 19:03:20 -0800
> From: ppyle AT BIRDPOP.ORG
> Subject: Re: [BIRDWG01] Fw: Blackbird link
> To: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
> 
> So, the rust fringe to the feathers in Rusty and Brewer's Blackbirds 
> occurs on fresh basic and formative feathers in fall, and the 
> fringing largely wears (or breaks) off during winter in spring. The 
> rate at which the fringing wears off varies individually, resulting 
> in birds becoming "all black" at various times over the winter. I 
> don't know specifics but would guess that, by early March, about half 
> look pretty black. Most to all November-December birds, by contrast, 
> are moderately to heavily fringed rust. The point is that it's not an 
> either/or but a gradually changing situation within the population.
> 
> Rusty Blackbirds also have a prealternate molt, in which some of the 
> head feathers get replaced in March-April, and this also contributes 
> to some of the change, but not all of it.
> 
> Brewer's differs in that the first-year males have a lot more 
> fringing than adults. As recently confirmed in photos by Dave Irons, 
> they also have a limited prealternate molt of head feathers but, 
> again, most of the change toward black plumage occurs due to wear.
> 
> All of this will be in an upcoming paper by Lukas Musher et al. in 
> Western Birds.
> 
> Peter
> 
> At 04:07 PM 3/3/2015, Rob Parsons wrote:
> >Kevin,
> >
> >With all due respect, I have to firmly and utterly disagree with: 
> >"all [Rusty Blackbirds]...in winter show obvious rust color to their 
> >plumage." This statement is, to put it as tactfully as I can, not 
> >helpful with certain problematic individual birds.
> >
> >If only it were that simple.  I have seen at least three totally 
> >all-black males in winter (December) and two of them were 
> >photographed and then identified (by structure) by knowledgeable 
> >birders as Rusty Blackbirds.  I think I still have photos of one of 
> >them if you'd care to see it. Relying on plumage alone--subject to 
> >anomalies in molt--is risky.
> >
> >As an aside, this particular bird was not one of those "problematic" 
> >birds--everyone (including me) who saw the photos identified it as a 
> >Brewer's.  I only posted it to this list at the request of Bob 
> >Luterbach, who also thought it was a Brewer's but sought more 
> >input.  Thank you to everyone who responded.
> >
> >
> >Cheers,
> >
> >
> >Rob Parsons
> >Winnipeg, MB
> >CANADA
> >parsons8 AT mts.net
> >
> >Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
> 
> Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
 		 	   		  
Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Re: Fw: Blackbird link
From: Alvaro Jaramillo <chucao AT COASTSIDE.NET>
Date: Tue, 3 Mar 2015 19:35:26 -0800
Rob et al. 

 I know what you mean. The plumage issue is an interesting one in this 
blackbird, and others...and starlings for that matter. The "breeding" plumage 
is acquired by the wear of feather tips in Euphagus, so it is dependent on the 
width of feather edging, as well as the environment that the feathers find 
themselves in. Both of those are variable. So indeed some Rusty Blackbirds can 
look black way too early, and some young male Brewer's can be way too rusty 
tipped, enough to make you look twice. It is a bit more subtle and variable 
than a change of appearance due to molt. I do wonder if the feather tips on 
Euphagus are also particularly easily worn, sort of like the sub terminal parts 
of tail feathers on motmots, so that by the time the breeding season arrives 
essentially all of the birds are black and shiny? 

 Finally, people ignore blackbirds. How many folks actually take the time to 
figure out how to identify Tricolored vs. Red-winged Blackbirds in California? 
Most do not, they just look for the obvious ones in the flock and there you go. 
I am guilty of this much of the time myself, but realize it is not the most 
informative way to be identifying these guys. There is a Birding article from 
way back when on the subject, not sure it made any impact :-) 


Regards, 
Alvaro 

Alvaro Jaramillo
alvaro AT alvarosadventures.com
www.alvarosadventures.com

-----Original Message-----
From: NBHC ID-FRONTIERS Frontiers of Field Identification 
[mailto:BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU] On Behalf Of Rob Parsons 

Sent: Tuesday, March 03, 2015 4:08 PM
To: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
Subject: Re: [BIRDWG01] Fw: Blackbird link

Kevin,

With all due respect, I have to firmly and utterly disagree with: "all [Rusty 
Blackbirds]...in winter show obvious rust color to their plumage." 

This statement is, to put it as tactfully as I can, not helpful with certain 
problematic individual birds. 


If only it were that simple. I have seen at least three totally all-black males 
in winter (December) and two of them were photographed and then identified (by 
structure) by knowledgeable birders as Rusty Blackbirds. I think I still have 
photos of one of them if you'd care to see it. Relying on plumage 
alone--subject to anomalies in molt--is risky. 


As an aside, this particular bird was not one of those "problematic" 
birds--everyone (including me) who saw the photos identified it as a Brewer's. 
I only posted it to this list at the request of Bob Luterbach, who also thought 
it was a Brewer's but sought more input. Thank you to everyone who responded. 



Cheers,


Rob Parsons
Winnipeg, MB
CANADA
parsons8 AT mts.net

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Re: Fw: Blackbird link
From: Peter Pyle <ppyle AT BIRDPOP.ORG>
Date: Tue, 3 Mar 2015 19:03:20 -0800
So, the rust fringe to the feathers in Rusty and Brewer's Blackbirds 
occurs on fresh basic and formative feathers in fall, and the 
fringing largely wears (or breaks) off during winter in spring. The 
rate at which the fringing wears off varies individually, resulting 
in birds becoming "all black" at various times over the winter. I 
don't know specifics but would guess that, by early March, about half 
look pretty black. Most to all November-December birds, by contrast, 
are moderately to heavily fringed rust. The point is that it's not an 
either/or but a gradually changing situation within the population.

Rusty Blackbirds also have a prealternate molt, in which some of the 
head feathers get replaced in March-April, and this also contributes 
to some of the change, but not all of it.

Brewer's differs in that the first-year males have a lot more 
fringing than adults. As recently confirmed in photos by Dave Irons, 
they also have a limited prealternate molt of head feathers but, 
again, most of the change toward black plumage occurs due to wear.

All of this will be in an upcoming paper by Lukas Musher et al. in 
Western Birds.

Peter

At 04:07 PM 3/3/2015, Rob Parsons wrote:
>Kevin,
>
>With all due respect, I have to firmly and utterly disagree with: 
>"all [Rusty Blackbirds]...in winter show obvious rust color to their 
>plumage." This statement is, to put it as tactfully as I can, not 
>helpful with certain problematic individual birds.
>
>If only it were that simple.  I have seen at least three totally 
>all-black males in winter (December) and two of them were 
>photographed and then identified (by structure) by knowledgeable 
>birders as Rusty Blackbirds.  I think I still have photos of one of 
>them if you'd care to see it. Relying on plumage alone--subject to 
>anomalies in molt--is risky.
>
>As an aside, this particular bird was not one of those "problematic" 
>birds--everyone (including me) who saw the photos identified it as a 
>Brewer's.  I only posted it to this list at the request of Bob 
>Luterbach, who also thought it was a Brewer's but sought more 
>input.  Thank you to everyone who responded.
>
>
>Cheers,
>
>
>Rob Parsons
>Winnipeg, MB
>CANADA
>parsons8 AT mts.net
>
>Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Re: Fw: Blackbird link
From: Rob Parsons <parsons8 AT MYMTS.NET>
Date: Tue, 3 Mar 2015 18:07:57 -0600
Kevin,

With all due respect, I have to firmly and utterly disagree with: "all 
[Rusty Blackbirds]...in winter show obvious rust color to their plumage." 
This statement is, to put it as tactfully as I can, not helpful with certain 
problematic individual birds.

If only it were that simple.  I have seen at least three totally all-black 
males in winter (December) and two of them were photographed and then 
identified (by structure) by knowledgeable birders as Rusty Blackbirds.  I 
think I still have photos of one of them if you'd care to see it. Relying on 
plumage alone--subject to anomalies in molt--is risky.

As an aside, this particular bird was not one of those "problematic" 
birds--everyone (including me) who saw the photos identified it as a 
Brewer's.  I only posted it to this list at the request of Bob Luterbach, 
who also thought it was a Brewer's but sought more input.  Thank you to 
everyone who responded.


Cheers,


Rob Parsons
Winnipeg, MB
CANADA
parsons8 AT mts.net

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