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Updated on Monday, May 2 at 06:59 PM EST
The most recently received Mail is at the top.


Oriental Bay Owl,©BirdQuest

2 May Re: NYC: Central Park mystery warbler with Hermit appearance, BTGreen song [David Irons ]
2 May Re: NYC: Central Park mystery warbler with Hermit appearance, BTGreen song []
1 May NYC: Central Park mystery warbler with Hermit appearance, BTGreen song [Karen Fung ]
26 Apr Re: Song Sparrow Subspecies identification [Steve Hampton ]
26 Apr Song Sparrow Subspecies identification [Dan A ]
25 Apr Re: hawk question [Steve Hampton ]
25 Apr Re: hawk question [Brian Sullivan ]
25 Apr hawk question [Steve Hampton ]
20 Apr RFI: Audio recording of Myrtle Warbler in Britain [Ted Floyd ]
15 Apr Odd Harrier in Nebraska [Noah Arthur ]
11 Apr Gestalt Keys - A Possible Solution to Gestalt from Digital Images [Mike O'Keeffe ]
26 Mar Re: Techniques for assessing gestalt from photos [Mike O'Keeffe ]
15 Mar Re: "Interesting" juvenile Petrochelidon Swallow in Nebraska []
12 Mar Techniques for assessing gestalt from photos ["Mike O'Keeffe" ]
10 Mar West Virginia white goose identification [Terry Bronson ]
7 Mar Re: Ross's Goose or hybrid? [David Irons ]
7 Mar Re: Dark-eyed Junco with white wing-bars [David Irons ]
6 Mar Ross's Goose or hybrid? [Terry Bronson ]
6 Mar Re: Dark-eyed Junco with white wing-bars [Tony Leukering ]
6 Mar Dark-eyed Junco with white wing-bars ["Heveran ." ]
23 Feb Thank you [Peter Post ]
21 Feb Re: Fwd: NY GOOSE [Declan Troy ]
20 Feb Re: Fwd: NY GOOSE [Ardith Bondi ]
20 Feb Re: Fwd: NY GOOSE [David Irons ]
19 Feb Re: Fwd: [nwcalbird] Bear River Ridge Raptor ID [Elias Elias ]
19 Feb Re: Fwd: [nwcalbird] Bear River Ridge Raptor ID [Tristan McKee ]
19 Feb Re: Fwd: NY GOOSE [Alvaro Jaramillo ]
19 Feb Fwd: [nwcalbird] Bear River Ridge Raptor ID [John Sterling ]
19 Feb Fwd: NY GOOSE [Tony Leukering ]
19 Feb Re: Dark juvenile Buteos []
19 Feb Re: Dark juvenile Buteos [Tony Leukering ]
19 Feb Re: Dark juvenile Buteos [Tristan McKee ]
19 Feb Re: Dark juvenile Buteos [Cathy Sheeter ]
19 Feb Re: Dark juvenile Buteos [Tristan McKee ]
19 Feb Re: Dark juvenile Buteos [Tristan McKee ]
19 Feb Re: Dark juvenile Buteos [Cathy Sheeter ]
18 Feb Re: Dark juvenile Buteos [Tristan McKee ]
18 Feb Re: Dark juvenile Buteos [Brian Sullivan ]
18 Feb Re: Dark juvenile Buteos [Tristan McKee ]
18 Feb Re: Dark juvenile Buteos [Rob Parsons ]
18 Feb Re: Dark juvenile Buteos [Brian Sullivan ]
18 Feb Dark juvenile Buteos [Tristan McKee ]
18 Feb Re: the Lesser Canada--Cackling mess [Paul Guris ]
18 Feb the Lesser Canada--Cackling mess [Paul Lehman ]
17 Feb Re: goose ID []
17 Feb Re: goose ID [Alvaro Jaramillo ]
17 Feb Re: goose ID [Bruce Deuel ]
17 Feb Re: goose ID [David Irons ]
17 Feb Re: goose ID [David Sibley ]
16 Feb Re: Painted Bunting plumage variation? [Peter Pyle ]
16 Feb More on the Central Park Goose [Peter Post ]
16 Feb Painted Bunting plumage variation? [Bill and Nancy LaFramboise ]
16 Feb Comments solicited - Cape Verde Shearwater (Maryland - 2006) [Phil Davis ]
16 Feb Comments solicited - Cape Verde Shearwater (Maryland - 2006) [Phil Davis ]
15 Feb Re: sand plover images [Alex Lees ]
15 Feb sand plover images [Alex Lees ]
15 Feb Re: goose ID []
15 Feb Re: Brazilian sand plover [Alex Lees ]
14 Feb goose ID [Peter Post ]
10 Feb Martin Garner [Phil Davis ]
5 Feb No Subject [phil barnett ]
5 Feb No Subject [phil barnett ]
5 Feb Greater White-fronted Goose identification [phil barnett ]
4 Feb Sexing Northern Shrikes in the Field? [Jon Ruddy ]
4 Feb Re: "Interesting" juvenile Petrochelidon Swallow in Nebraska [Sam Manning ]
4 Feb Re: "Interesting" juvenile Petrochelidon Swallow in Nebraska [Ross Silcock ]
4 Feb Re: "Interesting" juvenile Petrochelidon Swallow in Nebraska [Tony Leukering ]
4 Feb Re: "Interesting" juvenile Petrochelidon Swallow in Nebraska [David Sibley ]
3 Feb "Interesting" juvenile Petrochelidon Swallow in Nebraska [Sam Manning ]
3 Feb Re: Burrowing Owl subspecies ID [Phil Davis ]
3 Feb Re: Burrowing Owl subspecies ID [David Sibley ]
3 Feb Re: Burrowing Owl subspecies ID [Wayne Hoffman ]
3 Feb Re: Burrowing Owl subspecies ID [Rex Rowan ]
3 Feb Re: Burrowing Owl subspecies ID [Tony Leukering ]
3 Feb Re: Burrowing Owl subspecies ID [Terry Bronson ]
3 Feb Re: Burrowing Owl subspecies ID [Tony Leukering ]

Subject: Re: NYC: Central Park mystery warbler with Hermit appearance, BTGreen song
From: David Irons <llsdirons AT MSN.COM>
Date: Mon, 2 May 2016 16:54:30 -0700
The traditional description of a Black-throated Green song could also describe 
many local dialects of the Hermit Warbler song, which is comprised of a 
sequence fast "zee" notes and concludes with an emphatic up slurred two-note 
phrase that often sounds like the"zoo-zee" ending of a BT Green. This bird 
looks like a pure Hermit with no obvious indications of hybridization. 
Geographic variation in the songs of Hermit, BT Gray and Townsend's are well 
known and persist in confounding even the the most experienced western birders 
at times. I don't think that vocalization similarity can be used as an 
indicator of hybridization within this species complex. Unless there are 
intermediate plumage characteristics, this warbler should be presumed to be a 
non-hybrid. As Kevin Karlson indicated, male Hermits can show some dark 
feathering in the auriculars. 


Dave Irons
Portland, OR

Sent from my iPhone

> On May 1, 2016, at 8:44 PM, Karen Fung  wrote:
> 
> Four photos from this morning (1 May 2016) are in this gallery:
> 
> http://www.birdsiviews.com/Birds/Warblers/
> 
> Appearance points to Hermit Warbler based on the yellow head, dark
> upperparts, dark nape, neat black triangular bib, white underparts with no
> yellow and almost no streaking, lack of yellow in the vent.  The bird had a
> yellow eye-ring, but some folks are saying that the auricular patch looks
> little dark for a Hermit with a solid black bib like this one.
> 
> The bird occasionally sang the Zee-Zee-Zee-Zoo-Zee song of the
> Black-throated Green, or some song very close to it.
> 
> I apologize for the quality of the pics, which are blurry and heavily
> cropped, but am hoping that someone who has expertise in Hermit and
> Townsend's can weigh in on whether a Hermit Warbler vocalizations ever
> approach this particular BTGreen song and if not, whether this is some sort
> of hybrid.  Hermits and BTGreens do not overlap in their breeding ranges
> and this warbler did not really show any Townsend's features, so what
> scenarios might lead to this result?  One person suggested that perhaps a
> Hermit showed up in the East during breeding season last year, which seems
> like a plausible explanation.
> 
> More info on the discovery of this bird can be found in Anthony Collerton's
> blog:
> 
> http://welshbirder.blogspot.com/
> 
> Many thanks,
> 
> Karen Fung
> NYC
> 
> Archives: https://listserv.ksu.edu/birdwg01.html

Archives: https://listserv.ksu.edu/birdwg01.html
Subject: Re: NYC: Central Park mystery warbler with Hermit appearance, BTGreen song
From: karlson3 AT COMCAST.NET
Date: Mon, 2 May 2016 23:08:44 +0000
Karen,female or young male Hermit Warblers have dark markings on the cheek,but 
the complete black throat and bold mostly yellow face suggests a male, plus it 
was singing,so probably a male.I am not familiar with Hermit song variations, 
but nothing in the photos suggests a hybrid. Looks like a good Hermit Warbler. 
Congratulations on the good photos. Kevin Karlson 

----- Original Message -----
From: Karen Fung 
To: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
Sent: Mon, 02 May 2016 03:34:20 -0000 (UTC)
Subject: [BIRDWG01] NYC: Central Park mystery warbler with Hermit appearance, 
BTGreen song 


Four photos from this morning (1 May 2016) are in this gallery:

http://www.birdsiviews.com/Birds/Warblers/

Appearance points to Hermit Warbler based on the yellow head, dark
upperparts, dark nape, neat black triangular bib, white underparts with no
yellow and almost no streaking, lack of yellow in the vent.  The bird had a
yellow eye-ring, but some folks are saying that the auricular patch looks
little dark for a Hermit with a solid black bib like this one.

The bird occasionally sang the Zee-Zee-Zee-Zoo-Zee song of the
Black-throated Green, or some song very close to it.

I apologize for the quality of the pics, which are blurry and heavily
cropped, but am hoping that someone who has expertise in Hermit and
Townsend's can weigh in on whether a Hermit Warbler vocalizations ever
approach this particular BTGreen song and if not, whether this is some sort
of hybrid.  Hermits and BTGreens do not overlap in their breeding ranges
and this warbler did not really show any Townsend's features, so what
scenarios might lead to this result?  One person suggested that perhaps a
Hermit showed up in the East during breeding season last year, which seems
like a plausible explanation.

More info on the discovery of this bird can be found in Anthony Collerton's
blog:

http://welshbirder.blogspot.com/

Many thanks,

Karen Fung
NYC

Archives: https://listserv.ksu.edu/birdwg01.html

Archives: https://listserv.ksu.edu/birdwg01.html
Subject: NYC: Central Park mystery warbler with Hermit appearance, BTGreen song
From: Karen Fung <easternbluebird AT GMAIL.COM>
Date: Sun, 1 May 2016 23:34:20 -0400
Four photos from this morning (1 May 2016) are in this gallery:

http://www.birdsiviews.com/Birds/Warblers/

Appearance points to Hermit Warbler based on the yellow head, dark
upperparts, dark nape, neat black triangular bib, white underparts with no
yellow and almost no streaking, lack of yellow in the vent.  The bird had a
yellow eye-ring, but some folks are saying that the auricular patch looks
little dark for a Hermit with a solid black bib like this one.

The bird occasionally sang the Zee-Zee-Zee-Zoo-Zee song of the
Black-throated Green, or some song very close to it.

I apologize for the quality of the pics, which are blurry and heavily
cropped, but am hoping that someone who has expertise in Hermit and
Townsend's can weigh in on whether a Hermit Warbler vocalizations ever
approach this particular BTGreen song and if not, whether this is some sort
of hybrid.  Hermits and BTGreens do not overlap in their breeding ranges
and this warbler did not really show any Townsend's features, so what
scenarios might lead to this result?  One person suggested that perhaps a
Hermit showed up in the East during breeding season last year, which seems
like a plausible explanation.

More info on the discovery of this bird can be found in Anthony Collerton's
blog:

http://welshbirder.blogspot.com/

Many thanks,

Karen Fung
NYC

Archives: https://listserv.ksu.edu/birdwg01.html
Subject: Re: Song Sparrow Subspecies identification
From: Steve Hampton <stevechampton AT GMAIL.COM>
Date: Tue, 26 Apr 2016 12:12:50 -0700
I want to make people aware of a Facebook group dedicated to sharing Song
Sparrow photos and discussing subspecific id at
https://www.facebook.com/groups/489482811234717/

There's also a Fox Sparrow Facebook group at
https://www.facebook.com/groups/447117322159681/



On Tue, Apr 26, 2016 at 11:05 AM, Dan A  wrote:

> Good day, all!
> As a long-time lurker, I've followed many a discussion on the listserv
> with great interest and learned a lot. I finally have a bird to submit for
> subspecies identification. This Song Sparrow was photographed at Frank
> Lake, in southern Alberta, Canada in early March, and managed to
> successfully overwinter in our extremely temperate cold season at a water
> outflow channel, and was observed by several birders throughout the season.
> What caught my eye was the overall grayish and reddish-brown tones to the
> bird, which is more typical of the western subspecies complex, rather than
> the eastern Melospiza melodia montana subspecies, which is much paler and
> browner overall.
> I've got a few ideas of what subspecies this bird belongs to, but I look
> forward to your expert opinions!
> Photo 1:https://flic.kr/p/E3MXk6
> Photo 2:https://flic.kr/p/Ey3S5E
> Photo 3:https://flic.kr/p/F1aUFB
> Daniel Arndt
>
> Cell: (403) 836-7405
>
> bowvalleytours.com
>
> Flickr.com/photos/ubermoogle
>
> www.birdscalgary.com
> Archives: https://listserv.ksu.edu/birdwg01.html
>



-- 
Steve Hampton
Davis, CA

Archives: https://listserv.ksu.edu/birdwg01.html
Subject: Song Sparrow Subspecies identification
From: Dan A <danielarndt AT HOTMAIL.COM>
Date: Tue, 26 Apr 2016 12:05:41 -0600
Good day, all!
As a long-time lurker, I've followed many a discussion on the listserv with 
great interest and learned a lot. I finally have a bird to submit for 
subspecies identification. This Song Sparrow was photographed at Frank Lake, in 
southern Alberta, Canada in early March, and managed to successfully overwinter 
in our extremely temperate cold season at a water outflow channel, and was 
observed by several birders throughout the season. 

What caught my eye was the overall grayish and reddish-brown tones to the bird, 
which is more typical of the western subspecies complex, rather than the 
eastern Melospiza melodia montana subspecies, which is much paler and browner 
overall. 

I've got a few ideas of what subspecies this bird belongs to, but I look 
forward to your expert opinions! 

Photo 1:https://flic.kr/p/E3MXk6
Photo 2:https://flic.kr/p/Ey3S5E
Photo 3:https://flic.kr/p/F1aUFB
Daniel Arndt

Cell: (403) 836-7405

bowvalleytours.com

Flickr.com/photos/ubermoogle

www.birdscalgary.com 		 	   		  
Archives: https://listserv.ksu.edu/birdwg01.html
Subject: Re: hawk question
From: Steve Hampton <stevechampton AT GMAIL.COM>
Date: Mon, 25 Apr 2016 15:25:14 -0700
Thanks all.  A wide variety of answers (Broad-winged, Swainson's, and
possible hybrid) but the consensus is over-exposed Swainson's in the wind,
based on the a combination of plumage features.

Here is the most detailed and informative response, from Louis Bevier:

This is a Swainson’s Hawk. The fine barring in the remiges is too narrow
for Broad-winged of any age. It’s an adult by virtue of the dark band along
the trailing edge of those remiges, and adult Broad-wings have a few pale
bars in the emarginated tips of P9-8. Swainson’s shows all dark in those
“fingers” as you can see in the photo.

Also, if an adult, then the tail is obviously wrong for Broad-winged, and
you don’t see 1st year Broad-wings ever showing the dark breast like an
adult yet with wings of an adult and tail of juvenile. Moreover the
spotting below the breast is typical of Swainson’s Hawk. An adult-ish
(looking) Broad-wing has dark spade-shaped marks or bars down there and on
the leg feathers.

I think the wings are pulled up and away from the plane of the camera,
making it look short winged (and that may have been an impression enhanced
by the wind). Everything else fits adult Swainson’s.

On Mon, Apr 25, 2016 at 11:15 AM, Brian Sullivan 
wrote:

> Hi Steve et al.
>
> This bird is consistent with an adult Swainson's Hawk, likely female given
> the uniform brown head and breast. The strong light, and wind, are
> affecting how we perceive both its plumage and shape.
>
> Thanks
>
> Brian
>
> On Mon, Apr 25, 2016 at 9:45 AM, Steve Hampton 
> wrote:
>
>> All,
>>
>> This hawk was photographed April 16 near Davis, CA by Mark Sawyer.
>>
>> Expected species in this area are Swainson's and Red-tailed.
>>
>> This hawk was thought to be a possible Broad-winged, as it seemed smaller
>> than adjacent Swainson's and with widespread primaries (although it was
>> windy at the time).
>>
>> https://flic.kr/p/Gx1bY2
>>
>> Comments are welcome.
>>
>> thanks,
>>
>>
>> --
>> Steve Hampton
>> Davis, CA
>>
>> Archives: https://listserv.ksu.edu/birdwg01.html
>>
>
>
>
> --
> ===========
>
>
> *Brian L. SullivaneBird Project Leader *
> www.ebird.org
>
> *Photo Editor*
> Birds of North America Online
> http://bna.birds.cornell.edu/BNA
> -------------------------------
>



-- 
Steve Hampton
Davis, CA

Archives: https://listserv.ksu.edu/birdwg01.html
Subject: Re: hawk question
From: Brian Sullivan <heraldpetrel AT GMAIL.COM>
Date: Mon, 25 Apr 2016 11:15:22 -0700
Hi Steve et al.

This bird is consistent with an adult Swainson's Hawk, likely female given
the uniform brown head and breast. The strong light, and wind, are
affecting how we perceive both its plumage and shape.

Thanks

Brian

On Mon, Apr 25, 2016 at 9:45 AM, Steve Hampton 
wrote:

> All,
>
> This hawk was photographed April 16 near Davis, CA by Mark Sawyer.
>
> Expected species in this area are Swainson's and Red-tailed.
>
> This hawk was thought to be a possible Broad-winged, as it seemed smaller
> than adjacent Swainson's and with widespread primaries (although it was
> windy at the time).
>
> https://flic.kr/p/Gx1bY2
>
> Comments are welcome.
>
> thanks,
>
>
> --
> Steve Hampton
> Davis, CA
>
> Archives: https://listserv.ksu.edu/birdwg01.html
>



-- 
===========


*Brian L. SullivaneBird Project Leader *
www.ebird.org

*Photo Editor*
Birds of North America Online
http://bna.birds.cornell.edu/BNA
-------------------------------

Archives: https://listserv.ksu.edu/birdwg01.html
Subject: hawk question
From: Steve Hampton <stevechampton AT GMAIL.COM>
Date: Mon, 25 Apr 2016 09:45:01 -0700
All,

This hawk was photographed April 16 near Davis, CA by Mark Sawyer.

Expected species in this area are Swainson's and Red-tailed.

This hawk was thought to be a possible Broad-winged, as it seemed smaller
than adjacent Swainson's and with widespread primaries (although it was
windy at the time).

https://flic.kr/p/Gx1bY2

Comments are welcome.

thanks,


-- 
Steve Hampton
Davis, CA

Archives: https://listserv.ksu.edu/birdwg01.html
Subject: RFI: Audio recording of Myrtle Warbler in Britain
From: Ted Floyd <tedfloyd57 AT HOTMAIL.COM>
Date: Wed, 20 Apr 2016 19:34:52 +0000
Hi, Everybody.


Just a quick request: Can anybody point me to a sound recording of a Myrtle 
[Yellow-rumped] Warbler, Setophaga coronata, from Britain? (Or anywhere else in 
the Palearctic.) 



Many thanks,


Ted Floyd

Boulder County, Colorado, USA

Archives: https://listserv.ksu.edu/birdwg01.html
Subject: Odd Harrier in Nebraska
From: Noah Arthur <semirelicta AT GMAIL.COM>
Date: Fri, 15 Apr 2016 17:50:29 -0500
Hey everyone! Potential vagrants are few and far between in Nebraska spring
migration (unlike winter), but there was an interesting harrier at Waco
Waterfowl Area in Waco, NE, on April 1st.

The underwing of this female/immature harrier strikes me as having
unusually thick, widely-spaced dark bars on the primaries, and it looks
like there are only 4 bars on each primary -- potentially characteristic of
Eurasian Hen Harrier. And the wings also look a little bit large, long and
narrow to me.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/73989529 AT N02/sets/72157666826712212

Am I (as usual) freaking out over nothing, or could this be a (state
first) Hen Harrier?

Noah Arthur
Lincoln, NE/Oakland, CA
semirelicta AT gmail.com

Archives: https://listserv.ksu.edu/birdwg01.html
Subject: Gestalt Keys - A Possible Solution to Gestalt from Digital Images
From: Mike O'Keeffe <okeeffeml AT EIRCOM.NET>
Date: Mon, 11 Apr 2016 20:06:29 +0100
Hi,

 

As everyone knows gestalt or ‘jizz’ is very hard to describe and even 
harder to nail down, especially from still digital images. I have come up with 
a solution which I think will vastly improve the accuracy of measurements 
currently taken from digital images including such standard ones as primary 
projection, bill-eye ratio, tibia-tarsus ratio and structural angle measurement 
such as the gular pouch angle used for identifying Cormorants by race in Europe 
or the Dowitcher Loral Angle used in North America. 


 

The concept is simple enough – a mask or stencil is placed over an image and 
scaled/rotated into position. Provided certain key ‘loci’ match up with 
their position on the subject image an accurate measurement is possible. If 
there is no alignment then the image us unsuitable for the test. So in that way 
the gestalt key serves not only to encourage accurate measurement but also to 
educate about the fundamental requirements and nature of the measurement 
itself. 


 

I have produced a couple of simple prototype Gestalt Keys which I have 
incorporated in the introductory post. I hope to produce better keys and make 
them freely available through the blog for people to test and critique in time. 
Hope people here find this useful. 


 


http://birdingimagequalitytool.blogspot.ie/2016/04/gestalt-gestalt-keys-introduction.html 


 

Regards

 

Mike O’Keeffe

Ireland 


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Archives: https://listserv.ksu.edu/birdwg01.html
Subject: Re: Techniques for assessing gestalt from photos
From: Mike O'Keeffe <okeeffeml AT EIRCOM.NET>
Date: Sat, 26 Mar 2016 15:00:06 +0000
All,

 

Further thought on these techniques and also final thoughts on that incredibly 
challenging Dublin Bay Swift. 


 


http://www.birdingimagequalitytool.blogspot.ie/2016/03/gestalt-limitations-of-cpa-and-3d.html 


 

Regards

 

Mike

 

From: Mike O'Keeffe [mailto:okeeffeml AT eircom.net] 
Sent: 12 March 2016 21:05
To: 'BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU'; 'Irish Bird Network'
Subject: Techniques for assessing gestalt from photos

 

Hi all,

 

We all use jizz or gestalt as part of our everyday bird identification toolbag. 
It includes elements of movement and behaviour as well as a bird’s 
distinctive size and shape characteristics. A photo freezes not only a bird’s 
fieldmarks but also it’s gestalt. Whereas we are all accustomed to readily 
identifying a bird in a photo from its fieldmarks, most however would consider 
any attempt to study gestalt through the analysis of individual digital images 
as a pretty futile exercise. Even something as apparently simple as taking 
accurate size measurements from photographs is extremely difficult due to the 
fact an image is a two-dimensional projection of the three-dimensional world. 
We cannot simply recreate that third dimension. All that data has been 
compressed and is irretrievable. We may not be able to completely unlock 
gestalt from still images but are there ways of unlocking more information from 
images than we normally appreciate? I have been trying to address this question 
in a couple of recent postings on the blog. Hope you find some of this of 
interest. 


 

Comparative Photographic Analysis (CPA)


http://www.birdingimagequalitytool.blogspot.ie/2016/02/gestalt-comparative-photographic.html 


 

3D Modelling


http://www.birdingimagequalitytool.blogspot.ie/2016/03/gestalt-3d-modelling.html 


 

Regards

 

Mike O’Keeffe

Ireland

 

 

This email has been scanned by BullGuard antivirus protection.

For more info visit www.bullguard.com 
 



This email has been scanned by BullGuard antivirus protection.
For more info visit www.bullguard.com 
 


Archives: https://listserv.ksu.edu/birdwg01.html
Subject: Re: "Interesting" juvenile Petrochelidon Swallow in Nebraska
From: mitch AT UTOPIANATURE.COM
Date: Tue, 15 Mar 2016 20:37:18 -0700
Hi all,

Sorry to be sooo slow on this.  Had to mine some pix
and whip a page together...  Nothing to add regarding
the original bird in question, but below is a link to
photos and discussion of some hybrid Petrochelidon.

http://www.utopianature.com/CLAVE.html

happy hybrids,

Mitch Heindel
Utopia, Texas

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Techniques for assessing gestalt from photos
From: "Mike O'Keeffe" <okeeffeml AT EIRCOM.NET>
Date: Sat, 12 Mar 2016 21:05:09 +0000
Hi all,

 

We all use jizz or gestalt as part of our everyday bird identification toolbag. 
It includes elements of movement and behaviour as well as a bird’s 
distinctive size and shape characteristics. A photo freezes not only a bird’s 
fieldmarks but also it’s gestalt. Whereas we are all accustomed to readily 
identifying a bird in a photo from its fieldmarks, most however would consider 
any attempt to study gestalt through the analysis of individual digital images 
as a pretty futile exercise. Even something as apparently simple as taking 
accurate size measurements from photographs is extremely difficult due to the 
fact an image is a two-dimensional projection of the three-dimensional world. 
We cannot simply recreate that third dimension. All that data has been 
compressed and is irretrievable. We may not be able to completely unlock 
gestalt from still images but are there ways of unlocking more information from 
images than we normally appreciate? I have been trying to address this question 
in a couple of recent postings on the blog. Hope you find some of this of 
interest. 


 

Comparative Photographic Analysis (CPA)


http://www.birdingimagequalitytool.blogspot.ie/2016/02/gestalt-comparative-photographic.html 


 

3D Modelling


http://www.birdingimagequalitytool.blogspot.ie/2016/03/gestalt-3d-modelling.html 


 

Regards

 

Mike O’Keeffe

Ireland


This email has been scanned by BullGuard antivirus protection.
For more info visit www.bullguard.com 
 


Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: West Virginia white goose identification
From: Terry Bronson <bronsonwv AT GMAIL.COM>
Date: Thu, 10 Mar 2016 06:54:24 -0500
I received 7 comments in response to my recent query, with 6 out of the 7
seeing the bird as a pure Ross's Goose, so I have validated it as such.
Thanks to all for their input.

-- 
Terry Bronson
Morgantown, WV
WV eBird reviewer

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Re: Ross's Goose or hybrid?
From: David Irons <llsdirons AT MSN.COM>
Date: Mon, 7 Mar 2016 03:04:56 +0000
Hi Terry,

I really see nothing about this bird that suggests it's a hybrid. The bill may 
be on the long end of the spectrum for a Ross's, some of which have extremely 
stubby, steep-sloped bills. That said, I have photos of a number of Ross's with 
very similar bill lengths. Here in Oregon, there have been a couple of out of 
place Ross's this winter with similar bill length (with only Cackling Geese for 
comparison). Some observers who saw them were trying to call these birds 
hybrids. Contrary to what some think, Ross's can show a slight gap along the 
cutting edge of the bill where the mandible and maxilla meet. It is nothing 
like the "grin patch" of a Snow Goose. However, when seen, this slight gap on a 
longer-billed Ross's may lead some to think hybrid. When identifying a hybrid, 
there should be more than one intermediate feature and I don't see any on this 
bird. To my eye, this bird is small-headed and has a very rounded or domed 
crown profile. The bill length seems only slightly longer than its height at 
the base and the overall shape is still suggestive of a right triangle. The 
line where the feathering meets the base of the bill is quite straight and 
almost perfectly vertical. Finally, the base of the bill is grayish pink. All 
of these features point to pure Ross's in my opinion. 


In addition to the grin patch, Snow Geese have a much flatter crown profile, a 
bill that is considerably longer than it is tall (thus not suggestive of right 
triangle in shape), and a curved line where the feathering meets the base of 
the bill. The head and bill shape and features of Ross's X Snow are usually 
intermediate. 


Dave Irons
Portland, OR

> Date: Sun, 6 Mar 2016 17:24:54 -0500
> From: bronsonwv AT GMAIL.COM
> Subject: [BIRDWG01] Ross's Goose or hybrid?
> To: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
> 
> On Feb. 27, a white goose was reported in Hardy County, WV in the eastern
> part of the state. The observer reported it as a Ross's Goose. As eBird
> reviewer for WV, I had doubts and solicited the views of other WV birders.
> The only 2 that responded thought it was a Snow X Ross's hybrid. The
> observer agreed to change it to a hybrid, but reported that an
> ornithologist from Alabama thought it was a Ross's. On Mar. 5, a very
> experienced VA birder who frequently birds in WV saw the bird and also
> reported it as a Ross's.
> 
> Because of this disagreement, I am soliciting other opinions. Ross's Goose
> is quite rare in WV, being well to the east of its normal range, but there
> have been several birds reported in recent years, as well as Snow X Ross's
> hybrids, including one a couple of months ago.
> 
> The observer posted 15 photos at the following link. There are some
> intervening non-bird photos, so just skip past them. Included are a few
> with Canada Geese in the frame for comparison.
> 
> https://www.flickr.com/photos/89922350 AT N06/24717068813/in/dateposted-public/
> 
> I will note the following:
> 
> In the photos with the Canada Geese, the bird, to me at least, appears
> greater than half the size of the Canadas. A Ross's should be about half
> the size, unless the Canada is a real runt.
> 
> In some photos, the head appears rounded; in others more sloping.
> 
> Although the base of the bill is basically vertical, favoring Ross's, the
> top noticeably extends backward towards the eyes, which is more
> characteristic of Snow Geese.
> 
> The size of the bill appears in some photos to be larger than I would
> expect from a Ross's, being almost half as long as the distance from the
> bill's base to the nape. The Sibley Guide to Birds shows a more petite bill
> that looks be somewhat shorter than half that distance.
> 
> Some of us see a small grin patch, while others don't. There is clearly
> some blue-gray color near the base of the bill.
> 
> The neck does appear somewhat thick.
> 
> I'd appreciate any opinions from those with much more experience with
> Ross's and its hybrids.
> 
> -- 
> Terry Bronson
> Morgantown, WV
> 
> Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
 		 	   		  
Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Re: Dark-eyed Junco with white wing-bars
From: David Irons <llsdirons AT MSN.COM>
Date: Mon, 7 Mar 2016 02:43:33 +0000
Hi Paul,

Have you considered Slate-colored Dark-eyed Junco X White-throated Sparrow? 
This cross occurs with some regularity in the northeast. My friend Mark 
Szantyr, who lives in CT., has documented a couple of these. A few years back 
he wrote an informative article on this topic for www.birdfellow.com, for which 
I am the contend editor. The color and pattern in the wing of your bird, along 
with the rather bold wingbars (which are suggestive of a Zonotrichia wing 
pattern) do not fit any form of "pure" junco. Here is a link to the article, 
which includes some photos. The art in the junco plate is Mark's. He is as 
studied on the topic of junco variation as anyone I know. 



http://www.birdfellow.com/journal/2009/09/06/probable_dark_eyed_junco_x_white_throated_sparrow_hybrids 


Dave Irons
Portland, OR

> Date: Sun, 6 Mar 2016 16:25:20 -0500
> From: hheveran AT HOTMAIL.COM
> Subject: [BIRDWG01] Dark-eyed Junco with white wing-bars
> To: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
> 
> Hello ID Experts,
> I observed a Dark-eyed Junco with white wing-bars at my eastern Pennsylvania 
feeders from November 13th to November 14th, 2015 (last year). I took several 
poor-to-average photos and consulted with a few experienced birders in my area. 
Their consensus was that there was not enough evidence to point to either a 
"Slate-colored" Junco with white wing-bars or a "White-winged" Junco. My Sibley 
guide says that one in 200 "Slate-colored" Juncos show prominent wing-bars. 
I'll start by mentioning the traits that point to "White-winged" Junco and then 
the traits that point against it. 

> 
> This junco was observed on the same day that the Franklin's Gull invasion 
occured, and a few other Western birds were seen in the East. The bird was seen 
the afternoon of the 13th, briefly the next morning, and has not been seen 
since. Perhaps it would have been seen regularly if it were a local bird. In my 
photos I have included a normal "Slate-colored" Junco (the first photo) for 
comparison. The bird in question seems to have a longer/larger bill than the 
junco included for comparison. This bird also seems to show a good amount of 
white in the tail, but that can't be confirmed unless I had a picture of its 
tail while in flight (which I don't have, unfortunately). 

> While observing this junco, I didn't think it was unusually large or pale 
compared to the other juncos. I don't have any side-by-side comparison photos, 
as juncos are very territorial at my feeders and prefer one at a time. A photo 
of its tail in flight would have been extremely valuable. 

> All opinions on this bird are welcome. I'm fine with an undecided answer, 
too. I am just looking for more opinions. 

> Here are the photos on Flickr:
> https://flic.kr/s/aHskpExua8
> Thank you very much in advance!
> Sincerely,
> Paul Heveran 		 	   		  
> Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
 		 	   		  
Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Ross's Goose or hybrid?
From: Terry Bronson <bronsonwv AT GMAIL.COM>
Date: Sun, 6 Mar 2016 17:24:54 -0500
On Feb. 27, a white goose was reported in Hardy County, WV in the eastern
part of the state. The observer reported it as a Ross's Goose. As eBird
reviewer for WV, I had doubts and solicited the views of other WV birders.
The only 2 that responded thought it was a Snow X Ross's hybrid. The
observer agreed to change it to a hybrid, but reported that an
ornithologist from Alabama thought it was a Ross's. On Mar. 5, a very
experienced VA birder who frequently birds in WV saw the bird and also
reported it as a Ross's.

Because of this disagreement, I am soliciting other opinions. Ross's Goose
is quite rare in WV, being well to the east of its normal range, but there
have been several birds reported in recent years, as well as Snow X Ross's
hybrids, including one a couple of months ago.

The observer posted 15 photos at the following link. There are some
intervening non-bird photos, so just skip past them. Included are a few
with Canada Geese in the frame for comparison.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/89922350 AT N06/24717068813/in/dateposted-public/

I will note the following:

In the photos with the Canada Geese, the bird, to me at least, appears
greater than half the size of the Canadas. A Ross's should be about half
the size, unless the Canada is a real runt.

In some photos, the head appears rounded; in others more sloping.

Although the base of the bill is basically vertical, favoring Ross's, the
top noticeably extends backward towards the eyes, which is more
characteristic of Snow Geese.

The size of the bill appears in some photos to be larger than I would
expect from a Ross's, being almost half as long as the distance from the
bill's base to the nape. The Sibley Guide to Birds shows a more petite bill
that looks be somewhat shorter than half that distance.

Some of us see a small grin patch, while others don't. There is clearly
some blue-gray color near the base of the bill.

The neck does appear somewhat thick.

I'd appreciate any opinions from those with much more experience with
Ross's and its hybrids.

-- 
Terry Bronson
Morgantown, WV

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Re: Dark-eyed Junco with white wing-bars
From: Tony Leukering <greatgrayowl AT AOL.COM>
Date: Sun, 6 Mar 2016 16:51:26 -0500
 Hi Paul:

While I agree that the bird looks a bit big-billed, I would ID the bird as a 
Slate-colored Junco with white wing bars. The lack of a black mask contrasting 
with a paler gray head points away from White-winged. Note that the appearance 
of black in the lores presented by the second and third pictures is typical of 
all juncos facing toward the observer, but that this apparent black is absent 
from pictures in which the head is in profile (as is typical of Slate-colored). 
Had the pictures been sharp enough, the tail pattern may have been discernible, 
but I find it not so (as you noted). 


Enjoy,

Tony

 


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

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

http://aba.org/photoquiz/

 

 

-----Original Message-----
From: Heveran . 
To: BIRDWG01 
Sent: Sun, Mar 6, 2016 4:37 pm
Subject: [BIRDWG01] Dark-eyed Junco with white wing-bars

Hello ID Experts,
I observed a Dark-eyed Junco with white wing-bars at my eastern Pennsylvania 
feeders from November 13th to November 14th, 2015 (last year). I took several 
poor-to-average photos and consulted with a few experienced birders in my area. 
Their consensus was that there was not enough evidence to point to either a 
"Slate-colored" Junco with white wing-bars or a "White-winged" Junco. My Sibley 
guide says that one in 200 "Slate-colored" Juncos show prominent wing-bars. 
I'll start by mentioning the traits that point to "White-winged" Junco and then 
the traits that point against it. 


This junco was observed on the same day that the Franklin's Gull invasion 
occured, and a few other Western birds were seen in the East. The bird was seen 
the afternoon of the 13th, briefly the next morning, and has not been seen 
since. Perhaps it would have been seen regularly if it were a local bird. In my 
photos I have included a normal "Slate-colored" Junco (the first photo) for 
comparison. The bird in question seems to have a longer/larger bill than the 
junco included for comparison. This bird also seems to show a good amount of 
white in the tail, but that can't be confirmed unless I had a picture of its 
tail while in flight (which I don't have, unfortunately). 

While observing this junco, I didn't think it was unusually large or pale 
compared to the other juncos. I don't have any side-by-side comparison photos, 
as juncos are very territorial at my feeders and prefer one at a time. A photo 
of its tail in flight would have been extremely valuable. 

All opinions on this bird are welcome. I'm fine with an undecided answer, too. 
I am just looking for more opinions. 

Here are the photos on Flickr:
https://flic.kr/s/aHskpExua8
Thank you very much in advance!
Sincerely,
Paul Heveran 		 	   		  
Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html


Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Dark-eyed Junco with white wing-bars
From: "Heveran ." <hheveran AT HOTMAIL.COM>
Date: Sun, 6 Mar 2016 16:25:20 -0500
Hello ID Experts,
I observed a Dark-eyed Junco with white wing-bars at my eastern Pennsylvania 
feeders from November 13th to November 14th, 2015 (last year). I took several 
poor-to-average photos and consulted with a few experienced birders in my area. 
Their consensus was that there was not enough evidence to point to either a 
"Slate-colored" Junco with white wing-bars or a "White-winged" Junco. My Sibley 
guide says that one in 200 "Slate-colored" Juncos show prominent wing-bars. 
I'll start by mentioning the traits that point to "White-winged" Junco and then 
the traits that point against it. 


This junco was observed on the same day that the Franklin's Gull invasion 
occured, and a few other Western birds were seen in the East. The bird was seen 
the afternoon of the 13th, briefly the next morning, and has not been seen 
since. Perhaps it would have been seen regularly if it were a local bird. In my 
photos I have included a normal "Slate-colored" Junco (the first photo) for 
comparison. The bird in question seems to have a longer/larger bill than the 
junco included for comparison. This bird also seems to show a good amount of 
white in the tail, but that can't be confirmed unless I had a picture of its 
tail while in flight (which I don't have, unfortunately). 

While observing this junco, I didn't think it was unusually large or pale 
compared to the other juncos. I don't have any side-by-side comparison photos, 
as juncos are very territorial at my feeders and prefer one at a time. A photo 
of its tail in flight would have been extremely valuable. 

All opinions on this bird are welcome. I'm fine with an undecided answer, too. 
I am just looking for more opinions. 

Here are the photos on Flickr:
https://flic.kr/s/aHskpExua8
Thank you very much in advance!
Sincerely,
Paul Heveran 		 	   		  
Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Thank you
From: Peter Post <pwpost AT NYC.RR.COM>
Date: Tue, 23 Feb 2016 10:48:31 -0500
Many thanks to all those who gave of their time and expertise to  
reply to my enquiry concerning the ID of the Central Park goose.

Peter Post

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Re: Fwd: NY GOOSE
From: Declan Troy <declan.troy AT GMAIL.COM>
Date: Sun, 21 Feb 2016 13:45:13 -0900
There  is good reason you may see some similarity between the Anchorage
geese and  Dusky Canada Geese. The genetic evidence shows good demarcation
between large and small white-cheeked geese (aka Canada and Cackling
groups) but little support for recognized subspecies, especially among
versions of Canadas among which there is considerable overlap among
neighboring populations. In the case of southern Alaska there is overlap
among the Anchorage "parvipes," Duskies, and even fulva. For more detail
check out (or recheck):

Scribner, K.T., Talbot, SL, Pearce, JM, Pierson, BJ, Bollinger, KS, &
Derksen, DV. 2003 Phylogeography of Canada Geese (Branta canadensis) in
western North America. Auk 120(3):889-907.


As to hybridization along Hudson Bay the evidence shows a narrow zone of
overlaps where most individuals are readily assigned to species based on
morphology and genetics but for which there is some genetic evidence of
limited historical introgression.  See:

Leafloor, J.O., Jennifer A. Moore and Kim T. Scribner. 2013 A hybrid zone
between Canada Geese (Branta canadensis) and Cackling Geese (B.
hutchinsii).  Auk 130 (3): 487-500


Declan


On Fri, Feb 19, 2016 at 4:19 PM, Alvaro Jaramillo 
wrote:

> I am now even more confused:
>
> Steve M. said :
> 4) Who knows what the Anchorage birds are. Hybrids seem ever the better
> answer, especially as we know that there is a hybrid swarm of Richy x Bc
> interior on w. slope of Hudson Bay. The Anchorage birds likely account for
> some of the confusing "West Coast parvipes" as well as tweeners (Tav vs
> parvipes) seen in w. coast wintering grounds.
>
> How does a population of geese (in Anchorage) that looks like Dusky Canada
> Goose, become "tweener" Taverners vs Lesser? That makes absolutely no sense
> to me, was Steve mixing up what is going on in Nome with what is going in
> Anchorage.
>
> 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 Tony Leukering
> Sent: Friday, February 19, 2016 11:06 AM
> To: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
> Subject: [BIRDWG01] Fwd: NY GOOSE
>
>  All:
>
> I have forwarded Steve Mlodinow's thoughts on this goose.  For those bits
> about which I have strong experience, I agree with Steve's comments.  (I
> have cleaned up spelling and formatting problems, but in no way changed any
> substantive comments.)
>
> I have one comment to add, myself, about movement of goose populations,
> relative to movement of individually marked geese, a feature brought up in
> this discussion by others.  While there may not be any evidence of
> banded/collared "Lesser" Canadas moving as far east as the East Coast, that
> does not prove that none occur there, it simply suggests that either most
> don't or the the majority of the population where banding/collaring takes
> place don't.
>
> It seems odd that birders are perfectly fine accepting some medium- or
> long-distance migrant species as long-distance vagrants, yet not others.
> Considering the distance that Lesser Canadas travel to reach Colorado (or
> Texas), having one wind up in Michigan or Kentucky or New York is not at
> all outlandish.
>
> Note:  For clarity's sake, I here provide a glossary of terms.
>
> Canada Goose (Branta canadensis; CANG) subspecies mentioned (currently
> "accepted" taxonomy and nomenclature):
>      Lesser Canada Goose -- B. c. parvipes
>      Interior Canada Goose -- B. c. interior
>      Canada Canada Goose (for lack of a better name) -- B. c. canadensis
> Cackling Goose (Branta hutchinsii; CACG) subspecies mentioned (see comment
> above):
>      Richardson's Cackling Goose -- B. h. hutchinsii -- "Richy"
>      Taverner's Cackling Goose -- B. h. taverneri -- "Tav"
>      Ridgway's Cackling Goose -- B. h. minima
>      Aleutian Cackling Goose -- B. h. leucopareia
>
> Sincerely,
>
> Tony
>
>
>
>
> Tony Leukering
> Largo, FL
> http://cowyebird.blogspot.com/
>
> http://www.flickr.com/photos/tony_leukering/
>
> http://aba.org/photoquiz/
>
>
>
>
>
>
> 1) There is (mtDNA) genetic evidence that some of the geese breeding on
> the n. slope of AK (i.e., CACG not CANG habitat) are Canadas. Probably this
> should be confirmed by additional studies. However, radio-collared young
> from these nests all migrated to winter on the Great Plains to the Rockies
> (e.g., CO, NE, KS). Since this is a moderately long-distance migration to
> the southeast, the occurrence of these birds (whatever you wanna label 'em,
> but they are not Cacklers) might occasionally stray farther east. True,
> these north-slope breeding Canadas might be Moffitt's, but it seems rather
> unlikely.
>
>
> 2) There is a wintering population of small Canada Geese in Washington's
> Columbia Basin and, presumably, the Klamath Basin. These birds are very
> similar to the birds called parvipes in Colorado. I don't know if anyone
> knows where these things breed. There is a population of small-bodied,
> taiga-breeding geese in The Yukon that have been labelled parvipes, and
> perhaps these are the source of the e. WA birds. Also, Whistling Swans from
> the Seward Pen migrate through the Columbia Basin and Klamath, so perhaps
> any parvipes that breed in/near the Seward Pen might be the source.
>
>
> 3) Some of the "parvipes" in w. WA are like the ones in e. WA, but there
> are  these weird dark things that are small and shape like parvipes. They
> are ????. We've been labeling them parvipes for lack of a better term.
>
>
> 4) Who knows what the Anchorage birds are. Hybrids seem ever the better
> answer, especially as we know that there is a hybrid swarm of Richy x Bc
> interior on w. slope of Hudson Bay. The Anchorage birds likely account for
> some of the confusing "West Coast parvipes" as well as tweeners (Tav vs
> parvipes) seen in w. coast wintering grounds.
>
>
> 5) What the heck is a Taverner's Goose? The discussion on Frontiers seems
> to focus on the lack of cohesion in Lesser Canada (parvipes). The same lack
> of cohesion exists in Taverner's. Though "Tavs" breeding in w. AK are
> structurally similar to those breeding in n. AK (from what I can tell),
> though they are colored very differently and have totally different
> migrations and wintering grounds. Indeed, I doubt the two ever meet except
> for occasional vagrants.
>
>
> 6) What the heck is Taverner's Goose? The closer one looks at flocks of
> Cackling Geese in CO, the more birds one sees that look intermediate
> between Tav and Richy. Since Tav and Richy seem to breed in the same
> habitat, I am guessing that there is a continuum of phenotypes from east to
> west, and that these two "subspecies" are not... subspecies... but the same
> thing. I don't know what to do with the w. AK taverneri. There is
> absolutely no consensus on where Tav ends and Richy begins on the n. slope
> of N America.
>
>
> 7) Hybrids. While waterfowl aren't gulls, they do hybridize a lot.
> Leafloor uncovered a several hundred km long (if I remember the size
> correctly) hybrid zone between Richys and Bc interior along the w. shore of
> Hudson Bay (note that Leafloor lumps Bc interior and Bc canadensis, so that
> the article refers to the Canadas involved as Bc canadensis). This most
> likely explains the birds that in Colorado that look, well, like hybrid
> Canada x Cacklings. The presence of this large hybrid population (with
> hybrid measurements ranging from "normal" Richy to "normal" Bc interior)
> should scare the Hell out of all of us. Leafloor seems to think bill shape
> is irrelevant (not bill length). So, bill length:height was never measured.
> Therefore, we are at a loss as to the phenotypical variation of these
> hybrids. Since this hybrid zone appears to have been present for a very
> long time (as I recall, at least 100s of years), I suspect genotypic
> hybrids might look like a typical Richy, a typical !
>  interior, and everything in between (much as is true with Glaucous-winged
> and Western Gulls). I think the easiest way to suss a hybrid, if possible
> for a given individual, would be bill shape. In any case, one of the
> conclusions one can draw from Leafloor's work is that any given bird that
> looks like a Richardson's Goose could be a hybrid. You just can't tell.
>
>
> 8) Hybrids. If Bc interior breeds with Bh hutchinsii, then why not Bc
> parvipes with Bh taverneri (using current terminology) on the n. slope??
> And why not in w. AK??  That's more to be afraid of.  The pics that I've
> seen from the n. slope include birds that look, well, like hybrids. Not
> surprised now, was then.
>
>
> 9) And just think about the miscegenation between what we call parvipes
> and interior....
>
>
> 10) The NY bird. I love Tweit's analysis, can't improve upon it much. That
> bird is not a Cackling.
>
>
> I don't like the back shape mark some alluded to for separating Cackling
> from Canada.  Cathy Sheeter did some further digging into images, and she
> also does not like that mark. I am not at all certain whence it arises. The
> relative wing length ... I think is proportional to size, not dependent on
> taxon directly.
>
>
> So, if the NY bird is not a Cackling Goose, then what?  Hybrid is
> possible, but the bill looks well within range of normal Canada. Cathy
> Sheeter mentioned the possibility of a "runt" Canada.
>
>
> Ahhh. The NY Bird is distinctly on the dark side (coloration wise, not
> referring to an allegiance to messrs Voldemort or Vader). Why would a
> hybrid be dark? For that matter, why would a parvipes be dark (the ones in
> Colorado are no darker on average than the Richys). However, the interior
> that breed on islands in s. Hudson Bay (or is it James Bay?) are known to
> be smaller and darker than those that breed on the adjacent coast (btw,
> these differences have been proven by Leafloor to be entirely due to diet:
> amount and content). This bird is small and dark.
>
>
> So, the answer is unknowable in my mind. I would lean toward, in order, a
> small, dark Bc interior; parvipes, CANG x CACG. Those are my guesses. The
> one thing that I feel confident of is that this is NOT a Cackling Goose.
>
>
> OTHER MUSINGS
> Not only is parvipes a confused taxon needing reconsideration, the
> entirety of Canada Goose is in need of such scrutiny. The more southerly
> breeding Canadas almost certainly were less fragmented by the ice ages,
> causing less differentiation. Add to that the amount of mixing caused by
> human "re-introductions" of subspecies far away from point of origin,
> Canada Goose taxonomy is an utter mess. The whole thing needs to be looked
> at with fresh eyes, and I doubt that there are more than 2-3 "good"
> subspecies:  fulva/occidentalis (together or separate, since life style is
> quite different, even if appearance isn't) and then ????
>
>
> Cackling Geese are far better separated by phenotype and habitat, with
> better separated breeding and wintering zones. I would think that there are
> three taxa here: minima, leucopareia, and taverneri/hutchinsii. These three
> groupings tend to be rather distinctive visually, and there is anecdotal
> evidence that mixing between minima and taverneri is limited where they
> meet, and they like different habitats. Nuclear DNA analysis using recent
> techniques might be quite illuminating here.
>
>
> This was written quickly and somewhat off the cuff, so there might be some
> mis-statements, certainly misspellings.
>
>
> Best Wishes
> Steve Mlodinow
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> 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: Fwd: NY GOOSE
From: Ardith Bondi <ardbon AT EARTHLINK.NET>
Date: Sat, 20 Feb 2016 21:38:47 -0500
FWIW, there are two pictures in my website of a small Canada Goose that 
I photographed in Anchorage in June, 2009. If I recall correctly, it was 
part of an isolated pair. I called it Cackling because it was very small 
and I didn't know better. 
http://www.ardithbondi.com/pictures/slide1882.jpg and 
http://www.ardithbondi.com/pictures/slide1881.jpg

Any ideas about where it would fit in your nomenclature?

Ardith Bondi

On 2/19/16 11:55 PM, David Irons wrote:
> Greetings All,
>
> One of the issues that I consistently run into in trying to find images of 
Lesser Canada Geese is that most of what is labeled as such is either totally 
misidentified, or the birds are ambiguous in appearance and more suggestive of 
what we typically call Taverner's Cackling Goose here in the PNW. 

>
> If any of you have photos of birds that you think/know/believe to be Lessers, 
I would love to have a look at them. Simply send them to me as jpgs. Yesterday 
I sent Bruce Deuel a group of 10 photos of birds found here in w. Oregon. Some 
seem to be pretty straight forward Taverner's, while others may have bills that 
are long enough and thin enough to bring Lesser into the discussion. Bruce felt 
most were Tavs and was on the fence about a couple others. 

>
> Dave Irons
> Portland, OR
>
>
>
>
>> Date: Fri, 19 Feb 2016 17:19:15 -0800
>> From: chucao AT COASTSIDE.NET
>> Subject: Re: [BIRDWG01] Fwd: NY GOOSE
>> To: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
>>
>> I am now even more confused:
>>
>> Steve M. said :
>> 4) Who knows what the Anchorage birds are. Hybrids seem ever the better 
answer, especially as we know that there is a hybrid swarm of Richy x Bc 
interior on w. slope of Hudson Bay. The Anchorage birds likely account for some 
of the confusing "West Coast parvipes" as well as tweeners (Tav vs parvipes) 
seen in w. coast wintering grounds. 

>>
>> How does a population of geese (in Anchorage) that looks like Dusky Canada 
Goose, become "tweener" Taverners vs Lesser? That makes absolutely no sense to 
me, was Steve mixing up what is going on in Nome with what is going in 
Anchorage. 

>>
>> 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 Tony Leukering 

>> Sent: Friday, February 19, 2016 11:06 AM
>> To: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
>> Subject: [BIRDWG01] Fwd: NY GOOSE
>>
>>   All:
>>
>> I have forwarded Steve Mlodinow's thoughts on this goose. For those bits 
about which I have strong experience, I agree with Steve's comments. (I have 
cleaned up spelling and formatting problems, but in no way changed any 
substantive comments.) 

>>
>> I have one comment to add, myself, about movement of goose populations, 
relative to movement of individually marked geese, a feature brought up in this 
discussion by others. While there may not be any evidence of banded/collared 
"Lesser" Canadas moving as far east as the East Coast, that does not prove that 
none occur there, it simply suggests that either most don't or the the majority 
of the population where banding/collaring takes place don't. 

>>
>> It seems odd that birders are perfectly fine accepting some medium- or 
long-distance migrant species as long-distance vagrants, yet not others. 
Considering the distance that Lesser Canadas travel to reach Colorado (or 
Texas), having one wind up in Michigan or Kentucky or New York is not at all 
outlandish. 

>>
>> Note:  For clarity's sake, I here provide a glossary of terms.
>>
>> Canada Goose (Branta canadensis; CANG) subspecies mentioned (currently 
"accepted" taxonomy and nomenclature): 

>>       Lesser Canada Goose -- B. c. parvipes
>>       Interior Canada Goose -- B. c. interior
>> Canada Canada Goose (for lack of a better name) -- B. c. canadensis Cackling 
Goose (Branta hutchinsii; CACG) subspecies mentioned (see comment above): 

>>       Richardson's Cackling Goose -- B. h. hutchinsii -- "Richy"
>>       Taverner's Cackling Goose -- B. h. taverneri -- "Tav"
>>       Ridgway's Cackling Goose -- B. h. minima
>>       Aleutian Cackling Goose -- B. h. leucopareia
>>
>> Sincerely,
>>
>> Tony
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> Tony Leukering
>> Largo, FL
>> http://cowyebird.blogspot.com/
>>
>> http://www.flickr.com/photos/tony_leukering/
>>
>> http://aba.org/photoquiz/
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> 1) There is (mtDNA) genetic evidence that some of the geese breeding on the 
n. slope of AK (i.e., CACG not CANG habitat) are Canadas. Probably this should 
be confirmed by additional studies. However, radio-collared young from these 
nests all migrated to winter on the Great Plains to the Rockies (e.g., CO, NE, 
KS). Since this is a moderately long-distance migration to the southeast, the 
occurrence of these birds (whatever you wanna label 'em, but they are not 
Cacklers) might occasionally stray farther east. True, these north-slope 
breeding Canadas might be Moffitt's, but it seems rather unlikely. 

>>
>>
>> 2) There is a wintering population of small Canada Geese in Washington's 
Columbia Basin and, presumably, the Klamath Basin. These birds are very similar 
to the birds called parvipes in Colorado. I don't know if anyone knows where 
these things breed. There is a population of small-bodied, taiga-breeding geese 
in The Yukon that have been labelled parvipes, and perhaps these are the source 
of the e. WA birds. Also, Whistling Swans from the Seward Pen migrate through 
the Columbia Basin and Klamath, so perhaps any parvipes that breed in/near the 
Seward Pen might be the source. 

>>
>>
>> 3) Some of the "parvipes" in w. WA are like the ones in e. WA, but there are 
these weird dark things that are small and shape like parvipes. They are ????. 
We've been labeling them parvipes for lack of a better term. 

>>
>>
>> 4) Who knows what the Anchorage birds are. Hybrids seem ever the better 
answer, especially as we know that there is a hybrid swarm of Richy x Bc 
interior on w. slope of Hudson Bay. The Anchorage birds likely account for some 
of the confusing "West Coast parvipes" as well as tweeners (Tav vs parvipes) 
seen in w. coast wintering grounds. 

>>
>>
>> 5) What the heck is a Taverner's Goose? The discussion on Frontiers seems to 
focus on the lack of cohesion in Lesser Canada (parvipes). The same lack of 
cohesion exists in Taverner's. Though "Tavs" breeding in w. AK are structurally 
similar to those breeding in n. AK (from what I can tell), though they are 
colored very differently and have totally different migrations and wintering 
grounds. Indeed, I doubt the two ever meet except for occasional vagrants. 

>>
>>
>> 6) What the heck is Taverner's Goose? The closer one looks at flocks of 
Cackling Geese in CO, the more birds one sees that look intermediate between 
Tav and Richy. Since Tav and Richy seem to breed in the same habitat, I am 
guessing that there is a continuum of phenotypes from east to west, and that 
these two "subspecies" are not... subspecies... but the same thing. I don't 
know what to do with the w. AK taverneri. There is absolutely no consensus on 
where Tav ends and Richy begins on the n. slope of N America. 

>>
>>
>> 7) Hybrids. While waterfowl aren't gulls, they do hybridize a lot. Leafloor 
uncovered a several hundred km long (if I remember the size correctly) hybrid 
zone between Richys and Bc interior along the w. shore of Hudson Bay (note that 
Leafloor lumps Bc interior and Bc canadensis, so that the article refers to the 
Canadas involved as Bc canadensis). This most likely explains the birds that in 
Colorado that look, well, like hybrid Canada x Cacklings. The presence of this 
large hybrid population (with hybrid measurements ranging from "normal" Richy 
to "normal" Bc interior) should scare the Hell out of all of us. Leafloor seems 
to think bill shape is irrelevant (not bill length). So, bill length:height was 
never measured. Therefore, we are at a loss as to the phenotypical variation of 
these hybrids. Since this hybrid zone appears to have been present for a very 
long time (as I recall, at least 100s of years), I suspect genotypic hybrids 
might look like a typical Richy, a typic! 

 al !
>> interior, and everything in between (much as is true with Glaucous-winged 
and Western Gulls). I think the easiest way to suss a hybrid, if possible for a 
given individual, would be bill shape. In any case, one of the conclusions one 
can draw from Leafloor's work is that any given bird that looks like a 
Richardson's Goose could be a hybrid. You just can't tell. 

>>
>>
>> 8) Hybrids. If Bc interior breeds with Bh hutchinsii, then why not Bc 
parvipes with Bh taverneri (using current terminology) on the n. slope?? And 
why not in w. AK?? That's more to be afraid of. The pics that I've seen from 
the n. slope include birds that look, well, like hybrids. Not surprised now, 
was then. 

>>
>>
>> 9) And just think about the miscegenation between what we call parvipes and 
interior.... 

>>
>>
>> 10) The NY bird. I love Tweit's analysis, can't improve upon it much. That 
bird is not a Cackling. 

>>
>>
>> I don't like the back shape mark some alluded to for separating Cackling 
from Canada. Cathy Sheeter did some further digging into images, and she also 
does not like that mark. I am not at all certain whence it arises. The relative 
wing length ... I think is proportional to size, not dependent on taxon 
directly. 

>>
>>
>> So, if the NY bird is not a Cackling Goose, then what? Hybrid is possible, 
but the bill looks well within range of normal Canada. Cathy Sheeter mentioned 
the possibility of a "runt" Canada. 

>>
>>
>> Ahhh. The NY Bird is distinctly on the dark side (coloration wise, not 
referring to an allegiance to messrs Voldemort or Vader). Why would a hybrid be 
dark? For that matter, why would a parvipes be dark (the ones in Colorado are 
no darker on average than the Richys). However, the interior that breed on 
islands in s. Hudson Bay (or is it James Bay?) are known to be smaller and 
darker than those that breed on the adjacent coast (btw, these differences have 
been proven by Leafloor to be entirely due to diet: amount and content). This 
bird is small and dark. 

>>
>>
>> So, the answer is unknowable in my mind. I would lean toward, in order, a 
small, dark Bc interior; parvipes, CANG x CACG. Those are my guesses. The one 
thing that I feel confident of is that this is NOT a Cackling Goose. 

>>
>>
>> OTHER MUSINGS
>> Not only is parvipes a confused taxon needing reconsideration, the entirety 
of Canada Goose is in need of such scrutiny. The more southerly breeding 
Canadas almost certainly were less fragmented by the ice ages, causing less 
differentiation. Add to that the amount of mixing caused by human 
"re-introductions" of subspecies far away from point of origin, Canada Goose 
taxonomy is an utter mess. The whole thing needs to be looked at with fresh 
eyes, and I doubt that there are more than 2-3 "good" subspecies: 
fulva/occidentalis (together or separate, since life style is quite different, 
even if appearance isn't) and then ???? 

>>
>>
>> Cackling Geese are far better separated by phenotype and habitat, with 
better separated breeding and wintering zones. I would think that there are 
three taxa here: minima, leucopareia, and taverneri/hutchinsii. These three 
groupings tend to be rather distinctive visually, and there is anecdotal 
evidence that mixing between minima and taverneri is limited where they meet, 
and they like different habitats. Nuclear DNA analysis using recent techniques 
might be quite illuminating here. 

>>
>>
>> This was written quickly and somewhat off the cuff, so there might be some 
mis-statements, certainly misspellings. 

>>
>>
>> Best Wishes
>> Steve Mlodinow
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> 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: Fwd: NY GOOSE
From: David Irons <llsdirons AT MSN.COM>
Date: Sat, 20 Feb 2016 04:55:35 +0000
Greetings All,

One of the issues that I consistently run into in trying to find images of 
Lesser Canada Geese is that most of what is labeled as such is either totally 
misidentified, or the birds are ambiguous in appearance and more suggestive of 
what we typically call Taverner's Cackling Goose here in the PNW. 


If any of you have photos of birds that you think/know/believe to be Lessers, I 
would love to have a look at them. Simply send them to me as jpgs. Yesterday I 
sent Bruce Deuel a group of 10 photos of birds found here in w. Oregon. Some 
seem to be pretty straight forward Taverner's, while others may have bills that 
are long enough and thin enough to bring Lesser into the discussion. Bruce felt 
most were Tavs and was on the fence about a couple others. 


Dave Irons
Portland, OR




> Date: Fri, 19 Feb 2016 17:19:15 -0800
> From: chucao AT COASTSIDE.NET
> Subject: Re: [BIRDWG01] Fwd: NY GOOSE
> To: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
> 
> I am now even more confused: 
> 
> Steve M. said : 
> 4) Who knows what the Anchorage birds are. Hybrids seem ever the better 
answer, especially as we know that there is a hybrid swarm of Richy x Bc 
interior on w. slope of Hudson Bay. The Anchorage birds likely account for some 
of the confusing "West Coast parvipes" as well as tweeners (Tav vs parvipes) 
seen in w. coast wintering grounds. 

> 
> How does a population of geese (in Anchorage) that looks like Dusky Canada 
Goose, become "tweener" Taverners vs Lesser? That makes absolutely no sense to 
me, was Steve mixing up what is going on in Nome with what is going in 
Anchorage. 

> 
> 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 Tony Leukering 

> Sent: Friday, February 19, 2016 11:06 AM
> To: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
> Subject: [BIRDWG01] Fwd: NY GOOSE
> 
>  All:
> 
> I have forwarded Steve Mlodinow's thoughts on this goose. For those bits 
about which I have strong experience, I agree with Steve's comments. (I have 
cleaned up spelling and formatting problems, but in no way changed any 
substantive comments.) 

> 
> I have one comment to add, myself, about movement of goose populations, 
relative to movement of individually marked geese, a feature brought up in this 
discussion by others. While there may not be any evidence of banded/collared 
"Lesser" Canadas moving as far east as the East Coast, that does not prove that 
none occur there, it simply suggests that either most don't or the the majority 
of the population where banding/collaring takes place don't. 

> 
> It seems odd that birders are perfectly fine accepting some medium- or 
long-distance migrant species as long-distance vagrants, yet not others. 
Considering the distance that Lesser Canadas travel to reach Colorado (or 
Texas), having one wind up in Michigan or Kentucky or New York is not at all 
outlandish. 

> 
> Note:  For clarity's sake, I here provide a glossary of terms.
> 
> Canada Goose (Branta canadensis; CANG) subspecies mentioned (currently 
"accepted" taxonomy and nomenclature): 

>      Lesser Canada Goose -- B. c. parvipes
>      Interior Canada Goose -- B. c. interior
> Canada Canada Goose (for lack of a better name) -- B. c. canadensis Cackling 
Goose (Branta hutchinsii; CACG) subspecies mentioned (see comment above): 

>      Richardson's Cackling Goose -- B. h. hutchinsii -- "Richy"
>      Taverner's Cackling Goose -- B. h. taverneri -- "Tav"
>      Ridgway's Cackling Goose -- B. h. minima
>      Aleutian Cackling Goose -- B. h. leucopareia     
> 
> Sincerely,
> 
> Tony
> 
>  
> 
> 
> Tony Leukering
> Largo, FL
> http://cowyebird.blogspot.com/
> 
> http://www.flickr.com/photos/tony_leukering/
> 
> http://aba.org/photoquiz/
> 
>  
> 
>  
> 
> 
> 1) There is (mtDNA) genetic evidence that some of the geese breeding on the 
n. slope of AK (i.e., CACG not CANG habitat) are Canadas. Probably this should 
be confirmed by additional studies. However, radio-collared young from these 
nests all migrated to winter on the Great Plains to the Rockies (e.g., CO, NE, 
KS). Since this is a moderately long-distance migration to the southeast, the 
occurrence of these birds (whatever you wanna label 'em, but they are not 
Cacklers) might occasionally stray farther east. True, these north-slope 
breeding Canadas might be Moffitt's, but it seems rather unlikely. 

> 
> 
> 2) There is a wintering population of small Canada Geese in Washington's 
Columbia Basin and, presumably, the Klamath Basin. These birds are very similar 
to the birds called parvipes in Colorado. I don't know if anyone knows where 
these things breed. There is a population of small-bodied, taiga-breeding geese 
in The Yukon that have been labelled parvipes, and perhaps these are the source 
of the e. WA birds. Also, Whistling Swans from the Seward Pen migrate through 
the Columbia Basin and Klamath, so perhaps any parvipes that breed in/near the 
Seward Pen might be the source. 

> 
> 
> 3) Some of the "parvipes" in w. WA are like the ones in e. WA, but there are 
these weird dark things that are small and shape like parvipes. They are ????. 
We've been labeling them parvipes for lack of a better term. 

> 
> 
> 4) Who knows what the Anchorage birds are. Hybrids seem ever the better 
answer, especially as we know that there is a hybrid swarm of Richy x Bc 
interior on w. slope of Hudson Bay. The Anchorage birds likely account for some 
of the confusing "West Coast parvipes" as well as tweeners (Tav vs parvipes) 
seen in w. coast wintering grounds. 

> 
> 
> 5) What the heck is a Taverner's Goose? The discussion on Frontiers seems to 
focus on the lack of cohesion in Lesser Canada (parvipes). The same lack of 
cohesion exists in Taverner's. Though "Tavs" breeding in w. AK are structurally 
similar to those breeding in n. AK (from what I can tell), though they are 
colored very differently and have totally different migrations and wintering 
grounds. Indeed, I doubt the two ever meet except for occasional vagrants. 

> 
> 
> 6) What the heck is Taverner's Goose? The closer one looks at flocks of 
Cackling Geese in CO, the more birds one sees that look intermediate between 
Tav and Richy. Since Tav and Richy seem to breed in the same habitat, I am 
guessing that there is a continuum of phenotypes from east to west, and that 
these two "subspecies" are not... subspecies... but the same thing. I don't 
know what to do with the w. AK taverneri. There is absolutely no consensus on 
where Tav ends and Richy begins on the n. slope of N America. 

> 
> 
> 7) Hybrids. While waterfowl aren't gulls, they do hybridize a lot. Leafloor 
uncovered a several hundred km long (if I remember the size correctly) hybrid 
zone between Richys and Bc interior along the w. shore of Hudson Bay (note that 
Leafloor lumps Bc interior and Bc canadensis, so that the article refers to the 
Canadas involved as Bc canadensis). This most likely explains the birds that in 
Colorado that look, well, like hybrid Canada x Cacklings. The presence of this 
large hybrid population (with hybrid measurements ranging from "normal" Richy 
to "normal" Bc interior) should scare the Hell out of all of us. Leafloor seems 
to think bill shape is irrelevant (not bill length). So, bill length:height was 
never measured. Therefore, we are at a loss as to the phenotypical variation of 
these hybrids. Since this hybrid zone appears to have been present for a very 
long time (as I recall, at least 100s of years), I suspect genotypic hybrids 
might look like a typical Richy, a typical ! 

> interior, and everything in between (much as is true with Glaucous-winged and 
Western Gulls). I think the easiest way to suss a hybrid, if possible for a 
given individual, would be bill shape. In any case, one of the conclusions one 
can draw from Leafloor's work is that any given bird that looks like a 
Richardson's Goose could be a hybrid. You just can't tell. 

> 
> 
> 8) Hybrids. If Bc interior breeds with Bh hutchinsii, then why not Bc 
parvipes with Bh taverneri (using current terminology) on the n. slope?? And 
why not in w. AK?? That's more to be afraid of. The pics that I've seen from 
the n. slope include birds that look, well, like hybrids. Not surprised now, 
was then. 

> 
> 
> 9) And just think about the miscegenation between what we call parvipes and 
interior.... 

> 
> 
> 10) The NY bird. I love Tweit's analysis, can't improve upon it much. That 
bird is not a Cackling. 

> 
> 
> I don't like the back shape mark some alluded to for separating Cackling from 
Canada. Cathy Sheeter did some further digging into images, and she also does 
not like that mark. I am not at all certain whence it arises. The relative wing 
length ... I think is proportional to size, not dependent on taxon directly. 

> 
> 
> So, if the NY bird is not a Cackling Goose, then what? Hybrid is possible, 
but the bill looks well within range of normal Canada. Cathy Sheeter mentioned 
the possibility of a "runt" Canada. 

> 
> 
> Ahhh. The NY Bird is distinctly on the dark side (coloration wise, not 
referring to an allegiance to messrs Voldemort or Vader). Why would a hybrid be 
dark? For that matter, why would a parvipes be dark (the ones in Colorado are 
no darker on average than the Richys). However, the interior that breed on 
islands in s. Hudson Bay (or is it James Bay?) are known to be smaller and 
darker than those that breed on the adjacent coast (btw, these differences have 
been proven by Leafloor to be entirely due to diet: amount and content). This 
bird is small and dark. 

> 
> 
> So, the answer is unknowable in my mind. I would lean toward, in order, a 
small, dark Bc interior; parvipes, CANG x CACG. Those are my guesses. The one 
thing that I feel confident of is that this is NOT a Cackling Goose. 

> 
> 
> OTHER MUSINGS
> Not only is parvipes a confused taxon needing reconsideration, the entirety 
of Canada Goose is in need of such scrutiny. The more southerly breeding 
Canadas almost certainly were less fragmented by the ice ages, causing less 
differentiation. Add to that the amount of mixing caused by human 
"re-introductions" of subspecies far away from point of origin, Canada Goose 
taxonomy is an utter mess. The whole thing needs to be looked at with fresh 
eyes, and I doubt that there are more than 2-3 "good" subspecies: 
fulva/occidentalis (together or separate, since life style is quite different, 
even if appearance isn't) and then ???? 

> 
> 
> Cackling Geese are far better separated by phenotype and habitat, with better 
separated breeding and wintering zones. I would think that there are three taxa 
here: minima, leucopareia, and taverneri/hutchinsii. These three groupings tend 
to be rather distinctive visually, and there is anecdotal evidence that mixing 
between minima and taverneri is limited where they meet, and they like 
different habitats. Nuclear DNA analysis using recent techniques might be quite 
illuminating here. 

> 
> 
> This was written quickly and somewhat off the cuff, so there might be some 
mis-statements, certainly misspellings. 

> 
> 
> Best Wishes
> Steve Mlodinow
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 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: Fwd: [nwcalbird] Bear River Ridge Raptor ID
From: Elias Elias <fabflockfinder AT GMAIL.COM>
Date: Fri, 19 Feb 2016 19:15:08 -0800
Hi John,

Whether Tristan is totally correct, partially correct or completely off
base, his arguments are novel and based in logic and I think deserve to be
given some thought by the larger birding community. I, at least, have a
sympathetic ear. In part, because I think hybrid swarms are incredibly
fascinating.





Flock on!

Elias Elias
Arcata CA/San Diego CA
walkie-talkie primero 707-633-8833
last ditch alternate 559-433-7254

On Fri, Feb 19, 2016 at 2:26 PM, John Sterling 
wrote:

> I disagree with Tristan’s assessment below of the “discussion” on ID
> Frontiers that he posted to NW CA Birds after moving the thread from that
> forum to ID Frontiers.
>
> John Sterling
> VVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVV
>
> 26 Palm Ave
> Woodland, CA 95695
> 530 908-3836
> jsterling AT wavecable.com
> www.sterlingbirds.com
>
>
>
> > Begin forwarded message:
> >
> > From: "Tristan McKee atmckee AT gmail.com [nwcalbird]" <
> nwcalbird-noreply AT yahoogroups.com>
> > Subject: Re: [nwcalbird] Bear River Ridge Raptor ID
> > Date: February 19, 2016 at 11:25:43 AM PST
> > To: "nwcalbird AT yahoogroups.com" 
> > Reply-To: Tristan McKee 
> >
> >
> > Hi folks,
> >
> > I just wanted to let you all know that the Bear River Ridge Raptor has
> been an interesting topic of discussion on ID-Frontiers:
> >
> > http://birding.aba.org/maillist/IDF  >
> >
> > I have learned several things:
> >
> > --Nobody thinks wrist-crescents, patagial bars, or primary windows have
> any significance whatsoever.
> >
> > --Jerry Liguori has beautiful photos of Red-tailed x Ferruginous hybrids
> from Utah.
> >
> > --It is considered normal nowadays to call juvenile birds with petite
> proportions and dark flight-feathers Ferruginous Hawks, despite all the
> traditional assertions in the literature that they are massive with very
> pale flight feathers.
> >
> > Cathy Sheeter was kind enough to collect some Ferruginous Hawk images to
> illustrate that the Humboldt bird, and the Utah bird from the Cornell site
> I mentioned earlier, fit in well with other Ferruginous Hawks in terms of
> structure.
> >
> > https://www.flickr.com/photos/aphelionart/24760908089/ <
> https://www.flickr.com/photos/aphelionart/24760908089/>
> >
> > Unfortunately, the Humboldt bird is not at a comparative angle and its
> overall size is inflated compared to the other silhouettes (measuring
> bill-tail length); she corrected for the latter issue but the bird's
> bill-tail length is still significantly longer than any of the others--I
> don't understand why she does not just make it to scale. But that is beside
> the point. What is much more interesting to me is that one of the other
> birds stands out as clearly different in proportions than the others--it
> has shorter wings with bulging secondaries and rounded wingtips and a
> shorter tail. I.e., it's a Red-tail. It turns out that this is the Utah
> bird I had concluded was a Red-tailed or hybrid, but which Sullivan and
> Sheeter consider a "typical" Ferruginous. I repeatedly asked for examples
> of petite, identifiable, light-morph Ferruginous Hawks, but these requests
> were completely ignored.
> >
> > This Utah bird seems to have set the precedent that allows folks to call
> dainty birds with dark flight feathers Ferruginous Hawks. At least, there
> are no other photos of similar "Ferruginous Hawks" on the web.
> >
> > This all has much more wide-ranging implications than just field ID of
> odd birds. Ferruginous is specialist that is very sensitive to human
> disturbance. Red-tailed is a generalist that loves habitat fragmentation.
> Sound familiar? We are losing the Spotted Owl as a species because we made
> a societal choice to allow the Barred Owl to genetically swamp it. The best
> way to repeat this mistake with another magnificent raptor is to turn a
> blind eye to it. When a newer generation of birders is willing to call a
> dark, petite creature with Red-tailed traits--which the older generation
> views with suspicion--a "pure Ferruginous Hawk", we have just made the
> first step toward accepting that the magnificent hawks which fully deserved
> the name regalis are in fact going to go extinct at our hand--and it is
> okay, because we still have these small, dark creatures with some
> Ferruginous traits.
> >
> > Many thanks for a truly stimulating discussion, which I hope will
> continue on and be further fueled by more photos of the Bear River Ridge
> bird.
> >
> > Best,
> > Tristan
> >
> > On Thu, Feb 18, 2016 at 11:54 AM, Tristan McKee  > wrote:
> > Thanks for keeping the great discussion alive, Chris! A few issues:
> >
> > On Wed, Feb 17, 2016 at 8:03 PM, Chris Heys <
> kingletkingfisherkingbird AT yahoo.com  kingletkingfisherkingbird AT yahoo.com>> wrote:
> >
> > I feel like only one photo depicts a small head:
> >
> >
> >
> > This one. The others show adequate head size for FEHA. Am I wrong?
> >
> > Yes, I'm afraid so. All the photos depict a head too small for
> Ferruginous, and it looks especially striking in the last one of it on the
> ground. There is only one bird here, right? Then it only has one head size.
> The skeletal structure of birds is not wildly variable like plumage in
> raptors. No Ferruginous has a head this small, and they always show a
> distinct eagle-like "brow".
> >
> > This photo:
> >
> >
> > Shows the classic Ferruginous 'window' in the primaries. Granted,
> Harlans Hawk has some varying levels of white in the upper parts of their
> wings, it's usually more irregular and much less extensive than what we see
> here, and more commonly in my experience up nearer to the shoulder.
> >
> > I agree about the typical pattern of Harlan's. Remember though that
> Rough-legged shows the same pattern as Ferruginous. I have received a
> couple of private replies from experts that think the bird is a
> Rough-legged.
> >
> >  This photo and one other show the narrow white crescent which dark
> morph FEHA's have on the under sides of their wrists:
> >
> >
> > The reliance on this trait appears to be a big part of the problem here.
> Here's a Harlan's with even bolder crescents than our bird:
> >
> >
> 
http://www.birdphotographers.net/forums/showthread.php/51519-Juvenile-Harlan-s-Dark-Morph-Red-tailed-Hawk 

> <
> 
http://www.birdphotographers.net/forums/showthread.php/51519-Juvenile-Harlan-s-Dark-Morph-Red-tailed-Hawk 

> >
> >
> > I wonder how much this photo on the Cornell site influences people's
> willingness to call our bird a Ferruginous?
> >
> > https://www.allaboutbirds.org/  >guide/Ferruginous_Hawk/id
> >
> > Think about your field experience with dark Ferrugs. Does the Cornell
> bird match? How many dark Ferrugs have you seen that have obviously darker
> patagial bars and a classic juvenile RTHA wing shape and tail pattern,
> along with a smallish head and bill? This bird is a mislabeled Red-tail or,
> based again on the white crescents at the wrist, perhaps a Red-tailed x
> Ferruginous hybrid.
> >
> > I feel the problem here is that folks are typing "dark Ferrruginous
> Hawk" into Google and then thinking they are looking at a bunch of dark
> Ferruginous Hawks. This is a lot like typing "Thayer's Gull" in Google. Try
> that for fun sometime! Less than 50% of the first hits are Thayer's Gulls.
> >
> > There is a strange admixturephobia within the raptor world which ignores
> that 10% of bird species are KNOWN to hybridize (Grant and Grant 1992:
> Hybridization of bird species), hybridization has been practiced by
> falconers for many centuries, and there are numerous examples of e.g.,
> Red-tailed x Red-shouldered hybrids in the wild. And we all know how picky
> vagrant black-hawks are in choosing their mates... there are black-hawk x
> Red-shouldered hybrids wandering around in Northern California.
> >
> > >Lastly, this photo documents the deep yellow 'gape', or smile as
> someone earlier has nicely described it, of a FEHA:
> >
> > I agree that this is a good trait in adults, but all juvenile birds show
> a more prominent gape.
> >
> > Conconsus is nice, three major issues loom over this ID:
> >
> > 1) Despite mixed traits, hybridization is being ignored as a possibility.
> >
> > 2) Rough-legged has been tossed aside with no one clearly addressing why
> it isn't one.
> >
> > 3) No one has provided any clear evidence that Ferruginous can appear
> this small-headed or dark in the flight feathers (ignoring the Cornell
> photo until someone can explain the patagial bars and wing shape of that
> bird).
> >
> > I don't see how we can be satisfied with this bird's ID until at least
> those three issues are addressed.
> >
> > Better yet, let's get more photos!
> >
> > Tristan
> >
> >
> > On Feb 17, 2016, at 6:19 PM, Tristan McKee atmckee AT gmail.com  atmckee AT gmail.com> [nwcalbird]  nwcalbird-noreply AT yahoogroups.com>> wrote:
> >
> >>
> >>
> >> Chris,
> >>
> >> I very much appreciate your email, and it stood out in that you backed
> up your identification with a solid analysis.
> >>
> >> Trying to keep to that spirit, I believe the arguments for a juvenile
> Harlan's Hawk or Harlan's x calurus intergrade are even stronger. This was
> my initial thought upon viewing the photos because of the very small head,
> but I quickly dismissed it because juvenile Harlan's is a one-trick pony,
> traditionally: it either has bars towards the primary tips or it doesn't,
> right? Wrong. This trait is variable, and this bird is ambiguous on second
> glance, in terms of that trait, due to the very low lighting. But
> everything else actually fits, even down to a little white mottling on the
> breast and the thick wavy barring on the flight feathers. White patches on
> the uppersides of the flight feathers are also regular in Harlan's (
> https://sora.unm.edu/sites/default/files/journals/wb/v06n02/p0055-p0062.pdf
> <
> https://sora.unm.edu/sites/default/files/journals/wb/v06n02/p0055-p0062.pdf>
> ). That small head and bill are among the most notable things I have picked
> up on in the small handful of adult Harlan's and the one juvenile I've seen
> in California. I must say I still disagree with the assertions that this
> bird has feathered tarsi: at the very least, we'd might best dismiss that
> trait because we are perceiving it so differently. Look at how far the
> tibia feathers extend down on this Harlan's (plus a shadow makes one leg
> look dark):
> >>
> >> http://raptorsoftherockies.blogspot.com/2014_10_01_archive.html <
> http://raptorsoftherockies.blogspot.com/2014_10_01_archive.html>
> >>
> >> How often does a given mysterious Buteo turn out to be a Red-tail?
> Almost always.
> >>
> >> How many times have each of us been momentarily tricked into thinking a
> juvie Red-tail was something else because of the differences between adult
> and juvenile structural traits? Countless times, surely.
> >>
> >> Why did Lucas and Rob state that it was a Red-tail? Because it is. ;-)
> >>
> >> Tristan
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >> On Tue, Feb 16, 2016 at 8:52 PM, Chris Heys <
> kingletkingfisherkingbird AT yahoo.com  kingletkingfisherkingbird AT yahoo.com>> wrote:
> >> feel that we are looking at a dark ferruginous hawk. Tristan, I see
> where you are coming from as a couple of the photos, one in particular
> makes this bird appear to have a proportionally small head, but, I believe,
> when comparing it to the other photos posted of this bird, I think it's
> possible that it's apparent head size is an effect of a combination of
> posture and perspective. The third photo posted in particular shows the
> bird in flight with an adequately large head for FEHA.
> >>
> >> I think similar could be said about the appearance of wing tips in the
> photo of the bird on the ground which don't meet the tail tip. The posture
> of the bird, movement of the bird and perspective could very well account
> for this.
> >>
> >> Also, thin legs could easily be an illusion caused by a bright
> background and a low profile, dark subject. And while it's tough to tell,
> there is a distinct color difference and nearly discernible textural
> difference between tarsi and feet.
> >>
> >> Primary windows, flight posture and wing shape, on the other hand, are
> pretty well documented in these photos and point directly towards FEHA.
> >>
> >> Take my input with a grain of salt, please, I have fewer years on this
> earth than most of you but I've been waiting all day for a moment to chime
> in.
> >>
> >> Chris Heys
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >> On Feb 16, 2016, at 8:20 PM, Rob Fowler migratoriusfwlr AT gmail.com
>  [nwcalbird] <
> nwcalbird-noreply AT yahoogroups.com  nwcalbird-noreply AT yahoogroups.com>> wrote:
> >>
> >>>
> >>>
> >>> I shared these photos with Jerry Ligouri and Brian Sullivan, some of
> the most respected raptor ID experts in North America. Jerry has replied so
> far and says it is a juvenile Ferruginous Hawk. I think I will take his
> opinion.
> >>>
> >>> The Mendocino shrike is very different from this bird, Ken. There is
> nothing to make anybody think it is a hybrid.
> >>>
> >>> Thanks,
> >>>
> >>> Rob Fowler
> >>>
> >>> Sent from my iPhone
> >>>
> >>> On Feb 16, 2016, at 7:49 PM, 'Ken Burton' shrikethree AT gmail.com
>  [nwcalbird] <
> nwcalbird-noreply AT yahoogroups.com  nwcalbird-noreply AT yahoogroups.com>> wrote:
> >>>
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>> Not agreeing or disagreeing with anyone at this point, but the
> Mendocino shrike got me thinking about hybrid vagrancy, and it makes sense
> to me that hybrids, while usually relatively rare, might be
> disproportionately prone to vagrancy.  A dark-morph FEHA could be
> considered a vagrant here, but of course if it is a hybrid, the dark part
> could’ve come from the other parent.
> >>>>
> >>>> Ken Burton
> >>>> Arcata
> >>>>
> >>>> From: mailto:nwcalbird-noreply AT yahoogroups.com  nwcalbird-noreply AT yahoogroups.com>
> >>>> Sent: Tuesday, February 16, 2016 6:52 PM
> >>>> To: nwcalbird AT yahoogroups.com 
> >>>> Subject: Re: [nwcalbird] Bear River Ridge Raptor ID
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>> I agree that the wing shape resembles Ferruginous strongly (as it
> does in Long-legged), although Ferruginous typically does not look this
> long and narrow-winged, and the outer two primaries are unusually long on
> this bird; but the small head and relatively long, thin bill are not even
> close, and the long, thin tarsi and small feet are all wrong. I wouldn't
> count out, say, a Red-tailed x Ferruginous hybrid. As I have learned all to
> often, looking perfect for a species on account of one or a handful of
> traits does not always make an identification correct.
> >>>>
> >>>> Compare this dark-morph Ferruginous Hawk, especially the massive
> head, short, heavy bill, shorter tail, and very pale bases to the flight
> feathers:
> >>>>
> >>>> https://www.flickr.com/photos/36042017 AT N06/11484331123 <
> https://www.flickr.com/photos/36042017 AT N06/11484331123>
> >>>>
> >>>> Another dark immature; note again the bull-headed appearance,
> shorter, broader wings, and much paler flight feathers:
> >>>>
> >>>> https://www.flickr.com/photos/ned_harris/12171521963/sizes/l <
> https://www.flickr.com/photos/ned_harris/12171521963/sizes/l>
> >>>>
> >>>> I certainly don't know what this bird is, but having seen quite a
> decent number of dark morph Ferruginous Hawks of various ages at communal
> roosts, I am confident that it is not a (pure) Ferruginous. My experience
> pretty much agrees with Sibley in that Ferruginous "Always has very pale
> flight feathers with very small dark tips." His illustration shows a
> typical dark-morph juvenile, with boldly white bases to the flight feathers
> (although the tail is not always that white).
> >>>>
> >>>> Thanks for keeping the discussion going,
> >>>> Tristan
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>> On Tue, Feb 16, 2016 at 2:41 PM, John Sterling <
> jsterling AT wavecable.com > wrote:
> >>>> The shape in flight is perfect for Ferruginous.  I see no reason to
> doubt that it is that species.
> >>>>
> >>>> John Sterling
> >>>> VVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVV
> >>>>
> >>>> 26 Palm Ave
> >>>> Woodland, CA 95695
> >>>> 530 908-3836 
> >>>> jsterling AT wavecable.com 
> >>>> www.sterlingbirds.com 
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>>> On Feb 16, 2016, at 2:31 PM, Tristan McKee atmckee AT gmail.com
>  [nwcalbird]  > wrote:
> >>>>>
> >>>>>
> >>>>> Revisiting the raptor:
> >>>>>
> >>>>> https://www.flickr.com/photos/44858774 AT N00/sets/72157664682598225 <
> https://www.flickr.com/photos/44858774 AT N00/sets/72157664682598225>
> >>>>>
> >>>>> As Elias suggested, let's keep this discussion going. If there's one
> thing I feel comfortable saying about Ferruginous, it's that they have a
> huge head. They look like eagles. Also, the wingtips should extend at least
> to the tail tip in Ferruginous, and both Ferruginous and Rough-legged
> should have obviously "furry"-looking tarsi.
> >>>>>
> >>>>> Compare the dark-morph Ferruginous Greg photographed in Ferndale:
> >>>>>
> >>>>> https://www.flickr.com/photos/20378246 AT N02/albums/72157664016881119
> 
> >>>>>
> >>>>> Structurally, the BRR bird is unlike any raptor I have ever seen. I
> seriously considered Swainson's for a minute, to throw a fourth species
> into the mix! But it's not one, and it's not a Red-tail. I'm pretty sure
> it's not a Rough-legged. I don't know what it is. When this happens with
> raptors, even in the absence of jesses, it is good to keep in mind exotic
> species kept by falconers, as well as hybrids. The bird's strangely small
> head, long tarsi, "interesting" wing shape, big gape, and the fact that the
> wingtips do not appear to reach the tail tip, along with the barred
> under-primaries and tail, all give it an uncanny resemblance to a
> dark-morph Long-legged Buzzard; e.g.,
> >>>>>
> >>>>>
> http://ibc.lynxeds.com/photo/long-legged-buzzard-buteo-rufinus/dark-morph-0
> <
> http://ibc.lynxeds.com/photo/long-legged-buzzard-buteo-rufinus/dark-morph-0
> >
> >>>>>
> >>>>> or
> >>>>>
> >>>>> https://www.flickr.com/photos/rashed11112/3151200791/ <
> https://www.flickr.com/photos/rashed11112/3151200791/>
> >>>>>
> >>>>> Tristan
> >>>>>
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>> This email has been sent from a virus-free computer protected by
> Avast.
> >>>> www.avast.com 
> >>>>
> >>>
> >>>
> >>
> >>
> >
> >
> >
> > __._,_.___
> > Posted by: Tristan McKee >
> > Reply via web post <
> 
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> • Reply to group 
 

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Subject: Re: Fwd: [nwcalbird] Bear River Ridge Raptor ID
From: Tristan McKee <atmckee AT GMAIL.COM>
Date: Fri, 19 Feb 2016 18:29:59 -0800
John,

Please do elaborate.

Tristan

On Fri, Feb 19, 2016 at 2:26 PM, John Sterling 
wrote:

> I disagree with Tristan’s assessment below of the “discussion” on ID
> Frontiers that he posted to NW CA Birds after moving the thread from that
> forum to ID Frontiers.
>
> John Sterling
> VVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVV
>
> 26 Palm Ave
> Woodland, CA 95695
> 530 908-3836
> jsterling AT wavecable.com
> www.sterlingbirds.com
>
>
>
> > Begin forwarded message:
> >
> > From: "Tristan McKee atmckee AT gmail.com [nwcalbird]" <
> nwcalbird-noreply AT yahoogroups.com>
> > Subject: Re: [nwcalbird] Bear River Ridge Raptor ID
> > Date: February 19, 2016 at 11:25:43 AM PST
> > To: "nwcalbird AT yahoogroups.com" 
> > Reply-To: Tristan McKee 
> >
> >
> > Hi folks,
> >
> > I just wanted to let you all know that the Bear River Ridge Raptor has
> been an interesting topic of discussion on ID-Frontiers:
> >
> > http://birding.aba.org/maillist/IDF  >
> >
> > I have learned several things:
> >
> > --Nobody thinks wrist-crescents, patagial bars, or primary windows have
> any significance whatsoever.
> >
> > --Jerry Liguori has beautiful photos of Red-tailed x Ferruginous hybrids
> from Utah.
> >
> > --It is considered normal nowadays to call juvenile birds with petite
> proportions and dark flight-feathers Ferruginous Hawks, despite all the
> traditional assertions in the literature that they are massive with very
> pale flight feathers.
> >
> > Cathy Sheeter was kind enough to collect some Ferruginous Hawk images to
> illustrate that the Humboldt bird, and the Utah bird from the Cornell site
> I mentioned earlier, fit in well with other Ferruginous Hawks in terms of
> structure.
> >
> > https://www.flickr.com/photos/aphelionart/24760908089/ <
> https://www.flickr.com/photos/aphelionart/24760908089/>
> >
> > Unfortunately, the Humboldt bird is not at a comparative angle and its
> overall size is inflated compared to the other silhouettes (measuring
> bill-tail length); she corrected for the latter issue but the bird's
> bill-tail length is still significantly longer than any of the others--I
> don't understand why she does not just make it to scale. But that is beside
> the point. What is much more interesting to me is that one of the other
> birds stands out as clearly different in proportions than the others--it
> has shorter wings with bulging secondaries and rounded wingtips and a
> shorter tail. I.e., it's a Red-tail. It turns out that this is the Utah
> bird I had concluded was a Red-tailed or hybrid, but which Sullivan and
> Sheeter consider a "typical" Ferruginous. I repeatedly asked for examples
> of petite, identifiable, light-morph Ferruginous Hawks, but these requests
> were completely ignored.
> >
> > This Utah bird seems to have set the precedent that allows folks to call
> dainty birds with dark flight feathers Ferruginous Hawks. At least, there
> are no other photos of similar "Ferruginous Hawks" on the web.
> >
> > This all has much more wide-ranging implications than just field ID of
> odd birds. Ferruginous is specialist that is very sensitive to human
> disturbance. Red-tailed is a generalist that loves habitat fragmentation.
> Sound familiar? We are losing the Spotted Owl as a species because we made
> a societal choice to allow the Barred Owl to genetically swamp it. The best
> way to repeat this mistake with another magnificent raptor is to turn a
> blind eye to it. When a newer generation of birders is willing to call a
> dark, petite creature with Red-tailed traits--which the older generation
> views with suspicion--a "pure Ferruginous Hawk", we have just made the
> first step toward accepting that the magnificent hawks which fully deserved
> the name regalis are in fact going to go extinct at our hand--and it is
> okay, because we still have these small, dark creatures with some
> Ferruginous traits.
> >
> > Many thanks for a truly stimulating discussion, which I hope will
> continue on and be further fueled by more photos of the Bear River Ridge
> bird.
> >
> > Best,
> > Tristan
> >
> > On Thu, Feb 18, 2016 at 11:54 AM, Tristan McKee  > wrote:
> > Thanks for keeping the great discussion alive, Chris! A few issues:
> >
> > On Wed, Feb 17, 2016 at 8:03 PM, Chris Heys <
> kingletkingfisherkingbird AT yahoo.com  kingletkingfisherkingbird AT yahoo.com>> wrote:
> >
> > I feel like only one photo depicts a small head:
> >
> >
> >
> > This one. The others show adequate head size for FEHA. Am I wrong?
> >
> > Yes, I'm afraid so. All the photos depict a head too small for
> Ferruginous, and it looks especially striking in the last one of it on the
> ground. There is only one bird here, right? Then it only has one head size.
> The skeletal structure of birds is not wildly variable like plumage in
> raptors. No Ferruginous has a head this small, and they always show a
> distinct eagle-like "brow".
> >
> > This photo:
> >
> >
> > Shows the classic Ferruginous 'window' in the primaries. Granted,
> Harlans Hawk has some varying levels of white in the upper parts of their
> wings, it's usually more irregular and much less extensive than what we see
> here, and more commonly in my experience up nearer to the shoulder.
> >
> > I agree about the typical pattern of Harlan's. Remember though that
> Rough-legged shows the same pattern as Ferruginous. I have received a
> couple of private replies from experts that think the bird is a
> Rough-legged.
> >
> >  This photo and one other show the narrow white crescent which dark
> morph FEHA's have on the under sides of their wrists:
> >
> >
> > The reliance on this trait appears to be a big part of the problem here.
> Here's a Harlan's with even bolder crescents than our bird:
> >
> >
> 
http://www.birdphotographers.net/forums/showthread.php/51519-Juvenile-Harlan-s-Dark-Morph-Red-tailed-Hawk 

> <
> 
http://www.birdphotographers.net/forums/showthread.php/51519-Juvenile-Harlan-s-Dark-Morph-Red-tailed-Hawk 

> >
> >
> > I wonder how much this photo on the Cornell site influences people's
> willingness to call our bird a Ferruginous?
> >
> > https://www.allaboutbirds.org/  >guide/Ferruginous_Hawk/id
> >
> > Think about your field experience with dark Ferrugs. Does the Cornell
> bird match? How many dark Ferrugs have you seen that have obviously darker
> patagial bars and a classic juvenile RTHA wing shape and tail pattern,
> along with a smallish head and bill? This bird is a mislabeled Red-tail or,
> based again on the white crescents at the wrist, perhaps a Red-tailed x
> Ferruginous hybrid.
> >
> > I feel the problem here is that folks are typing "dark Ferrruginous
> Hawk" into Google and then thinking they are looking at a bunch of dark
> Ferruginous Hawks. This is a lot like typing "Thayer's Gull" in Google. Try
> that for fun sometime! Less than 50% of the first hits are Thayer's Gulls.
> >
> > There is a strange admixturephobia within the raptor world which ignores
> that 10% of bird species are KNOWN to hybridize (Grant and Grant 1992:
> Hybridization of bird species), hybridization has been practiced by
> falconers for many centuries, and there are numerous examples of e.g.,
> Red-tailed x Red-shouldered hybrids in the wild. And we all know how picky
> vagrant black-hawks are in choosing their mates... there are black-hawk x
> Red-shouldered hybrids wandering around in Northern California.
> >
> > >Lastly, this photo documents the deep yellow 'gape', or smile as
> someone earlier has nicely described it, of a FEHA:
> >
> > I agree that this is a good trait in adults, but all juvenile birds show
> a more prominent gape.
> >
> > Conconsus is nice, three major issues loom over this ID:
> >
> > 1) Despite mixed traits, hybridization is being ignored as a possibility.
> >
> > 2) Rough-legged has been tossed aside with no one clearly addressing why
> it isn't one.
> >
> > 3) No one has provided any clear evidence that Ferruginous can appear
> this small-headed or dark in the flight feathers (ignoring the Cornell
> photo until someone can explain the patagial bars and wing shape of that
> bird).
> >
> > I don't see how we can be satisfied with this bird's ID until at least
> those three issues are addressed.
> >
> > Better yet, let's get more photos!
> >
> > Tristan
> >
> >
> > On Feb 17, 2016, at 6:19 PM, Tristan McKee atmckee AT gmail.com  atmckee AT gmail.com> [nwcalbird]  nwcalbird-noreply AT yahoogroups.com>> wrote:
> >
> >>
> >>
> >> Chris,
> >>
> >> I very much appreciate your email, and it stood out in that you backed
> up your identification with a solid analysis.
> >>
> >> Trying to keep to that spirit, I believe the arguments for a juvenile
> Harlan's Hawk or Harlan's x calurus intergrade are even stronger. This was
> my initial thought upon viewing the photos because of the very small head,
> but I quickly dismissed it because juvenile Harlan's is a one-trick pony,
> traditionally: it either has bars towards the primary tips or it doesn't,
> right? Wrong. This trait is variable, and this bird is ambiguous on second
> glance, in terms of that trait, due to the very low lighting. But
> everything else actually fits, even down to a little white mottling on the
> breast and the thick wavy barring on the flight feathers. White patches on
> the uppersides of the flight feathers are also regular in Harlan's (
> https://sora.unm.edu/sites/default/files/journals/wb/v06n02/p0055-p0062.pdf
> <
> https://sora.unm.edu/sites/default/files/journals/wb/v06n02/p0055-p0062.pdf>
> ). That small head and bill are among the most notable things I have picked
> up on in the small handful of adult Harlan's and the one juvenile I've seen
> in California. I must say I still disagree with the assertions that this
> bird has feathered tarsi: at the very least, we'd might best dismiss that
> trait because we are perceiving it so differently. Look at how far the
> tibia feathers extend down on this Harlan's (plus a shadow makes one leg
> look dark):
> >>
> >> http://raptorsoftherockies.blogspot.com/2014_10_01_archive.html <
> http://raptorsoftherockies.blogspot.com/2014_10_01_archive.html>
> >>
> >> How often does a given mysterious Buteo turn out to be a Red-tail?
> Almost always.
> >>
> >> How many times have each of us been momentarily tricked into thinking a
> juvie Red-tail was something else because of the differences between adult
> and juvenile structural traits? Countless times, surely.
> >>
> >> Why did Lucas and Rob state that it was a Red-tail? Because it is. ;-)
> >>
> >> Tristan
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >> On Tue, Feb 16, 2016 at 8:52 PM, Chris Heys <
> kingletkingfisherkingbird AT yahoo.com  kingletkingfisherkingbird AT yahoo.com>> wrote:
> >> feel that we are looking at a dark ferruginous hawk. Tristan, I see
> where you are coming from as a couple of the photos, one in particular
> makes this bird appear to have a proportionally small head, but, I believe,
> when comparing it to the other photos posted of this bird, I think it's
> possible that it's apparent head size is an effect of a combination of
> posture and perspective. The third photo posted in particular shows the
> bird in flight with an adequately large head for FEHA.
> >>
> >> I think similar could be said about the appearance of wing tips in the
> photo of the bird on the ground which don't meet the tail tip. The posture
> of the bird, movement of the bird and perspective could very well account
> for this.
> >>
> >> Also, thin legs could easily be an illusion caused by a bright
> background and a low profile, dark subject. And while it's tough to tell,
> there is a distinct color difference and nearly discernible textural
> difference between tarsi and feet.
> >>
> >> Primary windows, flight posture and wing shape, on the other hand, are
> pretty well documented in these photos and point directly towards FEHA.
> >>
> >> Take my input with a grain of salt, please, I have fewer years on this
> earth than most of you but I've been waiting all day for a moment to chime
> in.
> >>
> >> Chris Heys
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >> On Feb 16, 2016, at 8:20 PM, Rob Fowler migratoriusfwlr AT gmail.com
>  [nwcalbird] <
> nwcalbird-noreply AT yahoogroups.com  nwcalbird-noreply AT yahoogroups.com>> wrote:
> >>
> >>>
> >>>
> >>> I shared these photos with Jerry Ligouri and Brian Sullivan, some of
> the most respected raptor ID experts in North America. Jerry has replied so
> far and says it is a juvenile Ferruginous Hawk. I think I will take his
> opinion.
> >>>
> >>> The Mendocino shrike is very different from this bird, Ken. There is
> nothing to make anybody think it is a hybrid.
> >>>
> >>> Thanks,
> >>>
> >>> Rob Fowler
> >>>
> >>> Sent from my iPhone
> >>>
> >>> On Feb 16, 2016, at 7:49 PM, 'Ken Burton' shrikethree AT gmail.com
>  [nwcalbird] <
> nwcalbird-noreply AT yahoogroups.com  nwcalbird-noreply AT yahoogroups.com>> wrote:
> >>>
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>> Not agreeing or disagreeing with anyone at this point, but the
> Mendocino shrike got me thinking about hybrid vagrancy, and it makes sense
> to me that hybrids, while usually relatively rare, might be
> disproportionately prone to vagrancy.  A dark-morph FEHA could be
> considered a vagrant here, but of course if it is a hybrid, the dark part
> could’ve come from the other parent.
> >>>>
> >>>> Ken Burton
> >>>> Arcata
> >>>>
> >>>> From: mailto:nwcalbird-noreply AT yahoogroups.com  nwcalbird-noreply AT yahoogroups.com>
> >>>> Sent: Tuesday, February 16, 2016 6:52 PM
> >>>> To: nwcalbird AT yahoogroups.com 
> >>>> Subject: Re: [nwcalbird] Bear River Ridge Raptor ID
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>> I agree that the wing shape resembles Ferruginous strongly (as it
> does in Long-legged), although Ferruginous typically does not look this
> long and narrow-winged, and the outer two primaries are unusually long on
> this bird; but the small head and relatively long, thin bill are not even
> close, and the long, thin tarsi and small feet are all wrong. I wouldn't
> count out, say, a Red-tailed x Ferruginous hybrid. As I have learned all to
> often, looking perfect for a species on account of one or a handful of
> traits does not always make an identification correct.
> >>>>
> >>>> Compare this dark-morph Ferruginous Hawk, especially the massive
> head, short, heavy bill, shorter tail, and very pale bases to the flight
> feathers:
> >>>>
> >>>> https://www.flickr.com/photos/36042017 AT N06/11484331123 <
> https://www.flickr.com/photos/36042017 AT N06/11484331123>
> >>>>
> >>>> Another dark immature; note again the bull-headed appearance,
> shorter, broader wings, and much paler flight feathers:
> >>>>
> >>>> https://www.flickr.com/photos/ned_harris/12171521963/sizes/l <
> https://www.flickr.com/photos/ned_harris/12171521963/sizes/l>
> >>>>
> >>>> I certainly don't know what this bird is, but having seen quite a
> decent number of dark morph Ferruginous Hawks of various ages at communal
> roosts, I am confident that it is not a (pure) Ferruginous. My experience
> pretty much agrees with Sibley in that Ferruginous "Always has very pale
> flight feathers with very small dark tips." His illustration shows a
> typical dark-morph juvenile, with boldly white bases to the flight feathers
> (although the tail is not always that white).
> >>>>
> >>>> Thanks for keeping the discussion going,
> >>>> Tristan
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>> On Tue, Feb 16, 2016 at 2:41 PM, John Sterling <
> jsterling AT wavecable.com > wrote:
> >>>> The shape in flight is perfect for Ferruginous.  I see no reason to
> doubt that it is that species.
> >>>>
> >>>> John Sterling
> >>>> VVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVV
> >>>>
> >>>> 26 Palm Ave
> >>>> Woodland, CA 95695
> >>>> 530 908-3836 
> >>>> jsterling AT wavecable.com 
> >>>> www.sterlingbirds.com 
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>>> On Feb 16, 2016, at 2:31 PM, Tristan McKee atmckee AT gmail.com
>  [nwcalbird]  > wrote:
> >>>>>
> >>>>>
> >>>>> Revisiting the raptor:
> >>>>>
> >>>>> https://www.flickr.com/photos/44858774 AT N00/sets/72157664682598225 <
> https://www.flickr.com/photos/44858774 AT N00/sets/72157664682598225>
> >>>>>
> >>>>> As Elias suggested, let's keep this discussion going. If there's one
> thing I feel comfortable saying about Ferruginous, it's that they have a
> huge head. They look like eagles. Also, the wingtips should extend at least
> to the tail tip in Ferruginous, and both Ferruginous and Rough-legged
> should have obviously "furry"-looking tarsi.
> >>>>>
> >>>>> Compare the dark-morph Ferruginous Greg photographed in Ferndale:
> >>>>>
> >>>>> https://www.flickr.com/photos/20378246 AT N02/albums/72157664016881119
> 
> >>>>>
> >>>>> Structurally, the BRR bird is unlike any raptor I have ever seen. I
> seriously considered Swainson's for a minute, to throw a fourth species
> into the mix! But it's not one, and it's not a Red-tail. I'm pretty sure
> it's not a Rough-legged. I don't know what it is. When this happens with
> raptors, even in the absence of jesses, it is good to keep in mind exotic
> species kept by falconers, as well as hybrids. The bird's strangely small
> head, long tarsi, "interesting" wing shape, big gape, and the fact that the
> wingtips do not appear to reach the tail tip, along with the barred
> under-primaries and tail, all give it an uncanny resemblance to a
> dark-morph Long-legged Buzzard; e.g.,
> >>>>>
> >>>>>
> http://ibc.lynxeds.com/photo/long-legged-buzzard-buteo-rufinus/dark-morph-0
> <
> http://ibc.lynxeds.com/photo/long-legged-buzzard-buteo-rufinus/dark-morph-0
> >
> >>>>>
> >>>>> or
> >>>>>
> >>>>> https://www.flickr.com/photos/rashed11112/3151200791/ <
> https://www.flickr.com/photos/rashed11112/3151200791/>
> >>>>>
> >>>>> Tristan
> >>>>>
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>> This email has been sent from a virus-free computer protected by
> Avast.
> >>>> www.avast.com 
> >>>>
> >>>
> >>>
> >>
> >>
> >
> >
> >
> > __._,_.___
> > Posted by: Tristan McKee >
> > Reply via web post <
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Subject: Re: Fwd: NY GOOSE
From: Alvaro Jaramillo <chucao AT COASTSIDE.NET>
Date: Fri, 19 Feb 2016 17:19:15 -0800
I am now even more confused: 

Steve M. said : 
4) Who knows what the Anchorage birds are. Hybrids seem ever the better answer, 
especially as we know that there is a hybrid swarm of Richy x Bc interior on w. 
slope of Hudson Bay. The Anchorage birds likely account for some of the 
confusing "West Coast parvipes" as well as tweeners (Tav vs parvipes) seen in 
w. coast wintering grounds. 


How does a population of geese (in Anchorage) that looks like Dusky Canada 
Goose, become "tweener" Taverners vs Lesser? That makes absolutely no sense to 
me, was Steve mixing up what is going on in Nome with what is going in 
Anchorage. 


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 Tony Leukering 

Sent: Friday, February 19, 2016 11:06 AM
To: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
Subject: [BIRDWG01] Fwd: NY GOOSE

 All:

I have forwarded Steve Mlodinow's thoughts on this goose. For those bits about 
which I have strong experience, I agree with Steve's comments. (I have cleaned 
up spelling and formatting problems, but in no way changed any substantive 
comments.) 


I have one comment to add, myself, about movement of goose populations, 
relative to movement of individually marked geese, a feature brought up in this 
discussion by others. While there may not be any evidence of banded/collared 
"Lesser" Canadas moving as far east as the East Coast, that does not prove that 
none occur there, it simply suggests that either most don't or the the majority 
of the population where banding/collaring takes place don't. 


It seems odd that birders are perfectly fine accepting some medium- or 
long-distance migrant species as long-distance vagrants, yet not others. 
Considering the distance that Lesser Canadas travel to reach Colorado (or 
Texas), having one wind up in Michigan or Kentucky or New York is not at all 
outlandish. 


Note:  For clarity's sake, I here provide a glossary of terms.

Canada Goose (Branta canadensis; CANG) subspecies mentioned (currently 
"accepted" taxonomy and nomenclature): 

     Lesser Canada Goose -- B. c. parvipes
     Interior Canada Goose -- B. c. interior
 Canada Canada Goose (for lack of a better name) -- B. c. canadensis Cackling 
Goose (Branta hutchinsii; CACG) subspecies mentioned (see comment above): 

     Richardson's Cackling Goose -- B. h. hutchinsii -- "Richy"
     Taverner's Cackling Goose -- B. h. taverneri -- "Tav"
     Ridgway's Cackling Goose -- B. h. minima
     Aleutian Cackling Goose -- B. h. leucopareia     

Sincerely,

Tony

 


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

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

http://aba.org/photoquiz/

 

 


1) There is (mtDNA) genetic evidence that some of the geese breeding on the n. 
slope of AK (i.e., CACG not CANG habitat) are Canadas. Probably this should be 
confirmed by additional studies. However, radio-collared young from these nests 
all migrated to winter on the Great Plains to the Rockies (e.g., CO, NE, KS). 
Since this is a moderately long-distance migration to the southeast, the 
occurrence of these birds (whatever you wanna label 'em, but they are not 
Cacklers) might occasionally stray farther east. True, these north-slope 
breeding Canadas might be Moffitt's, but it seems rather unlikely. 



2) There is a wintering population of small Canada Geese in Washington's 
Columbia Basin and, presumably, the Klamath Basin. These birds are very similar 
to the birds called parvipes in Colorado. I don't know if anyone knows where 
these things breed. There is a population of small-bodied, taiga-breeding geese 
in The Yukon that have been labelled parvipes, and perhaps these are the source 
of the e. WA birds. Also, Whistling Swans from the Seward Pen migrate through 
the Columbia Basin and Klamath, so perhaps any parvipes that breed in/near the 
Seward Pen might be the source. 



3) Some of the "parvipes" in w. WA are like the ones in e. WA, but there are 
these weird dark things that are small and shape like parvipes. They are ????. 
We've been labeling them parvipes for lack of a better term. 



4) Who knows what the Anchorage birds are. Hybrids seem ever the better answer, 
especially as we know that there is a hybrid swarm of Richy x Bc interior on w. 
slope of Hudson Bay. The Anchorage birds likely account for some of the 
confusing "West Coast parvipes" as well as tweeners (Tav vs parvipes) seen in 
w. coast wintering grounds. 



5) What the heck is a Taverner's Goose? The discussion on Frontiers seems to 
focus on the lack of cohesion in Lesser Canada (parvipes). The same lack of 
cohesion exists in Taverner's. Though "Tavs" breeding in w. AK are structurally 
similar to those breeding in n. AK (from what I can tell), though they are 
colored very differently and have totally different migrations and wintering 
grounds. Indeed, I doubt the two ever meet except for occasional vagrants. 



6) What the heck is Taverner's Goose? The closer one looks at flocks of 
Cackling Geese in CO, the more birds one sees that look intermediate between 
Tav and Richy. Since Tav and Richy seem to breed in the same habitat, I am 
guessing that there is a continuum of phenotypes from east to west, and that 
these two "subspecies" are not... subspecies... but the same thing. I don't 
know what to do with the w. AK taverneri. There is absolutely no consensus on 
where Tav ends and Richy begins on the n. slope of N America. 



7) Hybrids. While waterfowl aren't gulls, they do hybridize a lot. Leafloor 
uncovered a several hundred km long (if I remember the size correctly) hybrid 
zone between Richys and Bc interior along the w. shore of Hudson Bay (note that 
Leafloor lumps Bc interior and Bc canadensis, so that the article refers to the 
Canadas involved as Bc canadensis). This most likely explains the birds that in 
Colorado that look, well, like hybrid Canada x Cacklings. The presence of this 
large hybrid population (with hybrid measurements ranging from "normal" Richy 
to "normal" Bc interior) should scare the Hell out of all of us. Leafloor seems 
to think bill shape is irrelevant (not bill length). So, bill length:height was 
never measured. Therefore, we are at a loss as to the phenotypical variation of 
these hybrids. Since this hybrid zone appears to have been present for a very 
long time (as I recall, at least 100s of years), I suspect genotypic hybrids 
might look like a typical Richy, a typical ! 

 interior, and everything in between (much as is true with Glaucous-winged and 
Western Gulls). I think the easiest way to suss a hybrid, if possible for a 
given individual, would be bill shape. In any case, one of the conclusions one 
can draw from Leafloor's work is that any given bird that looks like a 
Richardson's Goose could be a hybrid. You just can't tell. 



8) Hybrids. If Bc interior breeds with Bh hutchinsii, then why not Bc parvipes 
with Bh taverneri (using current terminology) on the n. slope?? And why not in 
w. AK?? That's more to be afraid of. The pics that I've seen from the n. slope 
include birds that look, well, like hybrids. Not surprised now, was then. 



9) And just think about the miscegenation between what we call parvipes and 
interior.... 



10) The NY bird. I love Tweit's analysis, can't improve upon it much. That bird 
is not a Cackling. 



I don't like the back shape mark some alluded to for separating Cackling from 
Canada. Cathy Sheeter did some further digging into images, and she also does 
not like that mark. I am not at all certain whence it arises. The relative wing 
length ... I think is proportional to size, not dependent on taxon directly. 



So, if the NY bird is not a Cackling Goose, then what? Hybrid is possible, but 
the bill looks well within range of normal Canada. Cathy Sheeter mentioned the 
possibility of a "runt" Canada. 



Ahhh. The NY Bird is distinctly on the dark side (coloration wise, not 
referring to an allegiance to messrs Voldemort or Vader). Why would a hybrid be 
dark? For that matter, why would a parvipes be dark (the ones in Colorado are 
no darker on average than the Richys). However, the interior that breed on 
islands in s. Hudson Bay (or is it James Bay?) are known to be smaller and 
darker than those that breed on the adjacent coast (btw, these differences have 
been proven by Leafloor to be entirely due to diet: amount and content). This 
bird is small and dark. 



So, the answer is unknowable in my mind. I would lean toward, in order, a 
small, dark Bc interior; parvipes, CANG x CACG. Those are my guesses. The one 
thing that I feel confident of is that this is NOT a Cackling Goose. 



OTHER MUSINGS
Not only is parvipes a confused taxon needing reconsideration, the entirety of 
Canada Goose is in need of such scrutiny. The more southerly breeding Canadas 
almost certainly were less fragmented by the ice ages, causing less 
differentiation. Add to that the amount of mixing caused by human 
"re-introductions" of subspecies far away from point of origin, Canada Goose 
taxonomy is an utter mess. The whole thing needs to be looked at with fresh 
eyes, and I doubt that there are more than 2-3 "good" subspecies: 
fulva/occidentalis (together or separate, since life style is quite different, 
even if appearance isn't) and then ???? 



Cackling Geese are far better separated by phenotype and habitat, with better 
separated breeding and wintering zones. I would think that there are three taxa 
here: minima, leucopareia, and taverneri/hutchinsii. These three groupings tend 
to be rather distinctive visually, and there is anecdotal evidence that mixing 
between minima and taverneri is limited where they meet, and they like 
different habitats. Nuclear DNA analysis using recent techniques might be quite 
illuminating here. 



This was written quickly and somewhat off the cuff, so there might be some 
mis-statements, certainly misspellings. 



Best Wishes
Steve Mlodinow
























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Subject: Fwd: [nwcalbird] Bear River Ridge Raptor ID
From: John Sterling <jsterling AT WAVECABLE.COM>
Date: Fri, 19 Feb 2016 14:26:33 -0800
I disagree with Tristan’s assessment below of the “discussion” on ID 
Frontiers that he posted to NW CA Birds after moving the thread from that forum 
to ID Frontiers. 


John Sterling
VVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVV

26 Palm Ave
Woodland, CA 95695
530 908-3836
jsterling AT wavecable.com
www.sterlingbirds.com



> Begin forwarded message:
> 
> From: "Tristan McKee atmckee AT gmail.com [nwcalbird]" 
 

> Subject: Re: [nwcalbird] Bear River Ridge Raptor ID
> Date: February 19, 2016 at 11:25:43 AM PST
> To: "nwcalbird AT yahoogroups.com" 
> Reply-To: Tristan McKee 
> 
> 
> Hi folks,
> 
> I just wanted to let you all know that the Bear River Ridge Raptor has been 
an interesting topic of discussion on ID-Frontiers: 

> 
> http://birding.aba.org/maillist/IDF 
> 
> I have learned several things:
> 
> --Nobody thinks wrist-crescents, patagial bars, or primary windows have any 
significance whatsoever. 

> 
> --Jerry Liguori has beautiful photos of Red-tailed x Ferruginous hybrids from 
Utah. 

> 
> --It is considered normal nowadays to call juvenile birds with petite 
proportions and dark flight-feathers Ferruginous Hawks, despite all the 
traditional assertions in the literature that they are massive with very pale 
flight feathers. 

> 
> Cathy Sheeter was kind enough to collect some Ferruginous Hawk images to 
illustrate that the Humboldt bird, and the Utah bird from the Cornell site I 
mentioned earlier, fit in well with other Ferruginous Hawks in terms of 
structure. 

> 
> https://www.flickr.com/photos/aphelionart/24760908089/ 
 

> 
> Unfortunately, the Humboldt bird is not at a comparative angle and its 
overall size is inflated compared to the other silhouettes (measuring bill-tail 
length); she corrected for the latter issue but the bird's bill-tail length is 
still significantly longer than any of the others--I don't understand why she 
does not just make it to scale. But that is beside the point. What is much more 
interesting to me is that one of the other birds stands out as clearly 
different in proportions than the others--it has shorter wings with bulging 
secondaries and rounded wingtips and a shorter tail. I.e., it's a Red-tail. It 
turns out that this is the Utah bird I had concluded was a Red-tailed or 
hybrid, but which Sullivan and Sheeter consider a "typical" Ferruginous. I 
repeatedly asked for examples of petite, identifiable, light-morph Ferruginous 
Hawks, but these requests were completely ignored. 

> 
> This Utah bird seems to have set the precedent that allows folks to call 
dainty birds with dark flight feathers Ferruginous Hawks. At least, there are 
no other photos of similar "Ferruginous Hawks" on the web. 

> 
> This all has much more wide-ranging implications than just field ID of odd 
birds. Ferruginous is specialist that is very sensitive to human disturbance. 
Red-tailed is a generalist that loves habitat fragmentation. Sound familiar? We 
are losing the Spotted Owl as a species because we made a societal choice to 
allow the Barred Owl to genetically swamp it. The best way to repeat this 
mistake with another magnificent raptor is to turn a blind eye to it. When a 
newer generation of birders is willing to call a dark, petite creature with 
Red-tailed traits--which the older generation views with suspicion--a "pure 
Ferruginous Hawk", we have just made the first step toward accepting that the 
magnificent hawks which fully deserved the name regalis are in fact going to go 
extinct at our hand--and it is okay, because we still have these small, dark 
creatures with some Ferruginous traits. 

> 
> Many thanks for a truly stimulating discussion, which I hope will continue on 
and be further fueled by more photos of the Bear River Ridge bird. 

> 
> Best,
> Tristan
> 
> On Thu, Feb 18, 2016 at 11:54 AM, Tristan McKee > wrote: 

> Thanks for keeping the great discussion alive, Chris! A few issues:
> 
> On Wed, Feb 17, 2016 at 8:03 PM, Chris Heys 
> wrote: 

> 
> I feel like only one photo depicts a small head:
> 
> 
> 
> This one. The others show adequate head size for FEHA. Am I wrong?
> 
> Yes, I'm afraid so. All the photos depict a head too small for Ferruginous, 
and it looks especially striking in the last one of it on the ground. There is 
only one bird here, right? Then it only has one head size. The skeletal 
structure of birds is not wildly variable like plumage in raptors. No 
Ferruginous has a head this small, and they always show a distinct eagle-like 
"brow". 

> 
> This photo:
> 
> 
> Shows the classic Ferruginous 'window' in the primaries. Granted, Harlans 
Hawk has some varying levels of white in the upper parts of their wings, it's 
usually more irregular and much less extensive than what we see here, and more 
commonly in my experience up nearer to the shoulder. 

> 
> I agree about the typical pattern of Harlan's. Remember though that 
Rough-legged shows the same pattern as Ferruginous. I have received a couple of 
private replies from experts that think the bird is a Rough-legged. 

> 
> This photo and one other show the narrow white crescent which dark morph 
FEHA's have on the under sides of their wrists: 

> 
>  
> The reliance on this trait appears to be a big part of the problem here. 
Here's a Harlan's with even bolder crescents than our bird: 

> 
> 
http://www.birdphotographers.net/forums/showthread.php/51519-Juvenile-Harlan-s-Dark-Morph-Red-tailed-Hawk 
 

> 
> I wonder how much this photo on the Cornell site influences people's 
willingness to call our bird a Ferruginous? 

> 
> https://www.allaboutbirds.org/ 
guide/Ferruginous_Hawk/id 

> 
> Think about your field experience with dark Ferrugs. Does the Cornell bird 
match? How many dark Ferrugs have you seen that have obviously darker patagial 
bars and a classic juvenile RTHA wing shape and tail pattern, along with a 
smallish head and bill? This bird is a mislabeled Red-tail or, based again on 
the white crescents at the wrist, perhaps a Red-tailed x Ferruginous hybrid. 

> 
> I feel the problem here is that folks are typing "dark Ferrruginous Hawk" 
into Google and then thinking they are looking at a bunch of dark Ferruginous 
Hawks. This is a lot like typing "Thayer's Gull" in Google. Try that for fun 
sometime! Less than 50% of the first hits are Thayer's Gulls. 

> 
> There is a strange admixturephobia within the raptor world which ignores that 
10% of bird species are KNOWN to hybridize (Grant and Grant 1992: Hybridization 
of bird species), hybridization has been practiced by falconers for many 
centuries, and there are numerous examples of e.g., Red-tailed x Red-shouldered 
hybrids in the wild. And we all know how picky vagrant black-hawks are in 
choosing their mates... there are black-hawk x Red-shouldered hybrids wandering 
around in Northern California. 

> 
> >Lastly, this photo documents the deep yellow 'gape', or smile as someone 
earlier has nicely described it, of a FEHA: 

> 
> I agree that this is a good trait in adults, but all juvenile birds show a 
more prominent gape. 

> 
> Conconsus is nice, three major issues loom over this ID:
> 
> 1) Despite mixed traits, hybridization is being ignored as a possibility.
> 
> 2) Rough-legged has been tossed aside with no one clearly addressing why it 
isn't one. 

> 
> 3) No one has provided any clear evidence that Ferruginous can appear this 
small-headed or dark in the flight feathers (ignoring the Cornell photo until 
someone can explain the patagial bars and wing shape of that bird). 

> 
> I don't see how we can be satisfied with this bird's ID until at least those 
three issues are addressed. 

> 
> Better yet, let's get more photos!
> 
> Tristan
> 
> 
> On Feb 17, 2016, at 6:19 PM, Tristan McKee atmckee AT gmail.com 
 [nwcalbird] > wrote: 

> 
>>  
>> 
>> Chris,
>> 
>> I very much appreciate your email, and it stood out in that you backed up 
your identification with a solid analysis. 

>> 
>> Trying to keep to that spirit, I believe the arguments for a juvenile 
Harlan's Hawk or Harlan's x calurus intergrade are even stronger. This was my 
initial thought upon viewing the photos because of the very small head, but I 
quickly dismissed it because juvenile Harlan's is a one-trick pony, 
traditionally: it either has bars towards the primary tips or it doesn't, 
right? Wrong. This trait is variable, and this bird is ambiguous on second 
glance, in terms of that trait, due to the very low lighting. But everything 
else actually fits, even down to a little white mottling on the breast and the 
thick wavy barring on the flight feathers. White patches on the uppersides of 
the flight feathers are also regular in Harlan's ( 
https://sora.unm.edu/sites/default/files/journals/wb/v06n02/p0055-p0062.pdf 
 
). That small head and bill are among the most notable things I have picked up 
on in the small handful of adult Harlan's and the one juvenile I've seen in 
California. I must say I still disagree with the assertions that this bird has 
feathered tarsi: at the very least, we'd might best dismiss that trait because 
we are perceiving it so differently. Look at how far the tibia feathers extend 
down on this Harlan's (plus a shadow makes one leg look dark): 

>> 
>> http://raptorsoftherockies.blogspot.com/2014_10_01_archive.html 
 

>> 
>> How often does a given mysterious Buteo turn out to be a Red-tail? Almost 
always. 

>> 
>> How many times have each of us been momentarily tricked into thinking a 
juvie Red-tail was something else because of the differences between adult and 
juvenile structural traits? Countless times, surely. 

>> 
>> Why did Lucas and Rob state that it was a Red-tail? Because it is. ;-)
>> 
>> Tristan
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> On Tue, Feb 16, 2016 at 8:52 PM, Chris Heys 
> wrote: 

>> feel that we are looking at a dark ferruginous hawk. Tristan, I see where 
you are coming from as a couple of the photos, one in particular makes this 
bird appear to have a proportionally small head, but, I believe, when comparing 
it to the other photos posted of this bird, I think it's possible that it's 
apparent head size is an effect of a combination of posture and perspective. 
The third photo posted in particular shows the bird in flight with an 
adequately large head for FEHA. 

>> 
>> I think similar could be said about the appearance of wing tips in the photo 
of the bird on the ground which don't meet the tail tip. The posture of the 
bird, movement of the bird and perspective could very well account for this. 

>> 
>> Also, thin legs could easily be an illusion caused by a bright background 
and a low profile, dark subject. And while it's tough to tell, there is a 
distinct color difference and nearly discernible textural difference between 
tarsi and feet. 

>> 
>> Primary windows, flight posture and wing shape, on the other hand, are 
pretty well documented in these photos and point directly towards FEHA. 

>> 
>> Take my input with a grain of salt, please, I have fewer years on this earth 
than most of you but I've been waiting all day for a moment to chime in. 

>> 
>> Chris Heys
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> On Feb 16, 2016, at 8:20 PM, Rob Fowler migratoriusfwlr AT gmail.com 
 [nwcalbird] 
> 
wrote: 

>> 
>>>  
>>> 
>>> I shared these photos with Jerry Ligouri and Brian Sullivan, some of the 
most respected raptor ID experts in North America. Jerry has replied so far and 
says it is a juvenile Ferruginous Hawk. I think I will take his opinion. 

>>> 
>>> The Mendocino shrike is very different from this bird, Ken. There is 
nothing to make anybody think it is a hybrid. 

>>> 
>>> Thanks,
>>> 
>>> Rob Fowler
>>> 
>>> Sent from my iPhone
>>> 
>>> On Feb 16, 2016, at 7:49 PM, 'Ken Burton' shrikethree AT gmail.com 
 [nwcalbird] > wrote: 

>>> 
>>>>  
>>>> 
>>>> Not agreeing or disagreeing with anyone at this point, but the Mendocino 
shrike got me thinking about hybrid vagrancy, and it makes sense to me that 
hybrids, while usually relatively rare, might be disproportionately prone to 
vagrancy. A dark-morph FEHA could be considered a vagrant here, but of course 
if it is a hybrid, the dark part could’ve come from the other parent. 

>>>>  
>>>> Ken Burton
>>>> Arcata
>>>>  
>>>> From: mailto:nwcalbird-noreply AT yahoogroups.com 
 

>>>> Sent: Tuesday, February 16, 2016 6:52 PM
>>>> To: nwcalbird AT yahoogroups.com 
>>>> Subject: Re: [nwcalbird] Bear River Ridge Raptor ID
>>>>  
>>>>  
>>>> 
>>>> I agree that the wing shape resembles Ferruginous strongly (as it does in 
Long-legged), although Ferruginous typically does not look this long and 
narrow-winged, and the outer two primaries are unusually long on this bird; but 
the small head and relatively long, thin bill are not even close, and the long, 
thin tarsi and small feet are all wrong. I wouldn't count out, say, a 
Red-tailed x Ferruginous hybrid. As I have learned all to often, looking 
perfect for a species on account of one or a handful of traits does not always 
make an identification correct. 

>>>>  
>>>> Compare this dark-morph Ferruginous Hawk, especially the massive head, 
short, heavy bill, shorter tail, and very pale bases to the flight feathers: 

>>>>  
>>>> https://www.flickr.com/photos/36042017 AT N06/11484331123 
 

>>>>  
>>>> Another dark immature; note again the bull-headed appearance, shorter, 
broader wings, and much paler flight feathers: 

>>>>  
>>>> https://www.flickr.com/photos/ned_harris/12171521963/sizes/l 
 

>>>>  
>>>> I certainly don't know what this bird is, but having seen quite a decent 
number of dark morph Ferruginous Hawks of various ages at communal roosts, I am 
confident that it is not a (pure) Ferruginous. My experience pretty much agrees 
with Sibley in that Ferruginous "Always has very pale flight feathers with very 
small dark tips." His illustration shows a typical dark-morph juvenile, with 
boldly white bases to the flight feathers (although the tail is not always that 
white). 

>>>>  
>>>> Thanks for keeping the discussion going,
>>>> Tristan
>>>>  
>>>>  
>>>>  
>>>> On Tue, Feb 16, 2016 at 2:41 PM, John Sterling > wrote: 

>>>> The shape in flight is perfect for Ferruginous. I see no reason to doubt 
that it is that species. 

>>>>  
>>>> John Sterling
>>>> VVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVV
>>>> 
>>>> 26 Palm Ave
>>>> Woodland, CA 95695
>>>> 530 908-3836 
>>>> jsterling AT wavecable.com 
>>>> www.sterlingbirds.com 
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>>  
>>>>> On Feb 16, 2016, at 2:31 PM, Tristan McKee atmckee AT gmail.com 
 [nwcalbird] > wrote: 

>>>>>  
>>>>>  
>>>>> Revisiting the raptor:
>>>>>  
>>>>> https://www.flickr.com/photos/44858774 AT N00/sets/72157664682598225 
 

>>>>>  
>>>>> As Elias suggested, let's keep this discussion going. If there's one 
thing I feel comfortable saying about Ferruginous, it's that they have a huge 
head. They look like eagles. Also, the wingtips should extend at least to the 
tail tip in Ferruginous, and both Ferruginous and Rough-legged should have 
obviously "furry"-looking tarsi. 

>>>>>  
>>>>> Compare the dark-morph Ferruginous Greg photographed in Ferndale:
>>>>>  
>>>>> https://www.flickr.com/photos/20378246 AT N02/albums/72157664016881119 
 

>>>>>  
>>>>> Structurally, the BRR bird is unlike any raptor I have ever seen. I 
seriously considered Swainson's for a minute, to throw a fourth species into 
the mix! But it's not one, and it's not a Red-tail. I'm pretty sure it's not a 
Rough-legged. I don't know what it is. When this happens with raptors, even in 
the absence of jesses, it is good to keep in mind exotic species kept by 
falconers, as well as hybrids. The bird's strangely small head, long tarsi, 
"interesting" wing shape, big gape, and the fact that the wingtips do not 
appear to reach the tail tip, along with the barred under-primaries and tail, 
all give it an uncanny resemblance to a dark-morph Long-legged Buzzard; e.g., 

>>>>>  
>>>>> 
http://ibc.lynxeds.com/photo/long-legged-buzzard-buteo-rufinus/dark-morph-0 
 

>>>>>  
>>>>> or
>>>>>  
>>>>> https://www.flickr.com/photos/rashed11112/3151200791/ 
 

>>>>>  
>>>>> Tristan
>>>>>  
>>>> 
>>>>  
>>>>  
>>>> 
>>>> This email has been sent from a virus-free computer protected by Avast. 
>>>> www.avast.com 
>>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>> 
>> 
> 
> 
> 
> __._,_.___
> Posted by: Tristan McKee > 
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Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Fwd: NY GOOSE
From: Tony Leukering <greatgrayowl AT AOL.COM>
Date: Fri, 19 Feb 2016 14:05:36 -0500
 All:

I have forwarded Steve Mlodinow's thoughts on this goose. For those bits about 
which I have strong experience, I agree with Steve's comments. (I have cleaned 
up spelling and formatting problems, but in no way changed any substantive 
comments.) 


I have one comment to add, myself, about movement of goose populations, 
relative to movement of individually marked geese, a feature brought up in this 
discussion by others. While there may not be any evidence of banded/collared 
"Lesser" Canadas moving as far east as the East Coast, that does not prove that 
none occur there, it simply suggests that either most don't or the the majority 
of the population where banding/collaring takes place don't. 


It seems odd that birders are perfectly fine accepting some medium- or 
long-distance migrant species as long-distance vagrants, yet not others. 
Considering the distance that Lesser Canadas travel to reach Colorado (or 
Texas), having one wind up in Michigan or Kentucky or New York is not at all 
outlandish. 


Note:  For clarity's sake, I here provide a glossary of terms.

Canada Goose (Branta canadensis; CANG) subspecies mentioned (currently 
"accepted" taxonomy and nomenclature): 

     Lesser Canada Goose -- B. c. parvipes
     Interior Canada Goose -- B. c. interior
     Canada Canada Goose (for lack of a better name) -- B. c. canadensis
Cackling Goose (Branta hutchinsii; CACG) subspecies mentioned (see comment 
above): 

     Richardson's Cackling Goose -- B. h. hutchinsii -- "Richy"
     Taverner's Cackling Goose -- B. h. taverneri -- "Tav"
     Ridgway's Cackling Goose -- B. h. minima
     Aleutian Cackling Goose -- B. h. leucopareia     

Sincerely,

Tony

 


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

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

http://aba.org/photoquiz/

 

 


1) There is (mtDNA) genetic evidence that some of the geese breeding on the n. 
slope of AK (i.e., CACG not CANG habitat) are Canadas. Probably this should be 
confirmed by additional studies. However, radio-collared young from these nests 
all migrated to winter on the Great Plains to the Rockies (e.g., CO, NE, KS). 
Since this is a moderately long-distance migration to the southeast, the 
occurrence of these birds (whatever you wanna label 'em, but they are not 
Cacklers) might occasionally stray farther east. True, these north-slope 
breeding Canadas might be Moffitt's, but it seems rather unlikely. 



2) There is a wintering population of small Canada Geese in Washington's 
Columbia Basin and, presumably, the Klamath Basin. These birds are very similar 
to the birds called parvipes in Colorado. I don't know if anyone knows where 
these things breed. There is a population of small-bodied, taiga-breeding geese 
in The Yukon that have been labelled parvipes, and perhaps these are the source 
of the e. WA birds. Also, Whistling Swans from the Seward Pen migrate through 
the Columbia Basin and Klamath, so perhaps any parvipes that breed in/near the 
Seward Pen might be the source. 



3) Some of the "parvipes" in w. WA are like the ones in e. WA, but there are 
these weird dark things that are small and shape like parvipes. They are ????. 
We've been labeling them parvipes for lack of a better term. 



4) Who knows what the Anchorage birds are. Hybrids seem ever the better answer, 
especially as we know that there is a hybrid swarm of Richy x Bc interior on w. 
slope of Hudson Bay. The Anchorage birds likely account for some of the 
confusing "West Coast parvipes" as well as tweeners (Tav vs parvipes) seen in 
w. coast wintering grounds. 



5) What the heck is a Taverner's Goose? The discussion on Frontiers seems to 
focus on the lack of cohesion in Lesser Canada (parvipes). The same lack of 
cohesion exists in Taverner's. Though "Tavs" breeding in w. AK are structurally 
similar to those breeding in n. AK (from what I can tell), though they are 
colored very differently and have totally different migrations and wintering 
grounds. Indeed, I doubt the two ever meet except for occasional vagrants. 



6) What the heck is Taverner's Goose? The closer one looks at flocks of 
Cackling Geese in CO, the more birds one sees that look intermediate between 
Tav and Richy. Since Tav and Richy seem to breed in the same habitat, I am 
guessing that there is a continuum of phenotypes from east to west, and that 
these two "subspecies" are not... subspecies... but the same thing. I don't 
know what to do with the w. AK taverneri. There is absolutely no consensus on 
where Tav ends and Richy begins on the n. slope of N America. 



7) Hybrids. While waterfowl aren't gulls, they do hybridize a lot. Leafloor 
uncovered a several hundred km long (if I remember the size correctly) hybrid 
zone between Richys and Bc interior along the w. shore of Hudson Bay (note that 
Leafloor lumps Bc interior and Bc canadensis, so that the article refers to the 
Canadas involved as Bc canadensis). This most likely explains the birds that in 
Colorado that look, well, like hybrid Canada x Cacklings. The presence of this 
large hybrid population (with hybrid measurements ranging from "normal" Richy 
to "normal" Bc interior) should scare the Hell out of all of us. Leafloor seems 
to think bill shape is irrelevant (not bill length). So, bill length:height was 
never measured. Therefore, we are at a loss as to the phenotypical variation of 
these hybrids. Since this hybrid zone appears to have been present for a very 
long time (as I recall, at least 100s of years), I suspect genotypic hybrids 
might look like a typical Richy, a typical interior, and everything in between 
(much as is true with Glaucous-winged and Western Gulls). I think the easiest 
way to suss a hybrid, if possible for a given individual, would be bill shape. 
In any case, one of the conclusions one can draw from Leafloor's work is that 
any given bird that looks like a Richardson's Goose could be a hybrid. You just 
can't tell. 



8) Hybrids. If Bc interior breeds with Bh hutchinsii, then why not Bc parvipes 
with Bh taverneri (using current terminology) on the n. slope?? And why not in 
w. AK?? That's more to be afraid of. The pics that I've seen from the n. slope 
include birds that look, well, like hybrids. Not surprised now, was then. 



9) And just think about the miscegenation between what we call parvipes and 
interior.... 



10) The NY bird. I love Tweit's analysis, can't improve upon it much. That bird 
is not a Cackling. 



I don't like the back shape mark some alluded to for separating Cackling from 
Canada. Cathy Sheeter did some further digging into images, and she also does 
not like that mark. I am not at all certain whence it arises. The relative wing 
length ... I think is proportional to size, not dependent on taxon directly. 



So, if the NY bird is not a Cackling Goose, then what? Hybrid is possible, but 
the bill looks well within range of normal Canada. Cathy Sheeter mentioned the 
possibility of a "runt" Canada. 



Ahhh. The NY Bird is distinctly on the dark side (coloration wise, not 
referring to an allegiance to messrs Voldemort or Vader). Why would a hybrid be 
dark? For that matter, why would a parvipes be dark (the ones in Colorado are 
no darker on average than the Richys). However, the interior that breed on 
islands in s. Hudson Bay (or is it James Bay?) are known to be smaller and 
darker than those that breed on the adjacent coast (btw, these differences have 
been proven by Leafloor to be entirely due to diet: amount and content). This 
bird is small and dark. 



So, the answer is unknowable in my mind. I would lean toward, in order, a 
small, dark Bc interior; parvipes, CANG x CACG. Those are my guesses. The one 
thing that I feel confident of is that this is NOT a Cackling Goose. 



OTHER MUSINGS
Not only is parvipes a confused taxon needing reconsideration, the entirety of 
Canada Goose is in need of such scrutiny. The more southerly breeding Canadas 
almost certainly were less fragmented by the ice ages, causing less 
differentiation. Add to that the amount of mixing caused by human 
"re-introductions" of subspecies far away from point of origin, Canada Goose 
taxonomy is an utter mess. The whole thing needs to be looked at with fresh 
eyes, and I doubt that there are more than 2-3 "good" subspecies: 
fulva/occidentalis (together or separate, since life style is quite different, 
even if appearance isn't) and then ???? 



Cackling Geese are far better separated by phenotype and habitat, with better 
separated breeding and wintering zones. I would think that there are three taxa 
here: minima, leucopareia, and taverneri/hutchinsii. These three groupings tend 
to be rather distinctive visually, and there is anecdotal evidence that mixing 
between minima and taverneri is limited where they meet, and they like 
different habitats. Nuclear DNA analysis using recent techniques might be quite 
illuminating here. 



This was written quickly and somewhat off the cuff, so there might be some 
mis-statements, certainly misspellings. 



Best Wishes
Steve Mlodinow
























Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Re: Dark juvenile Buteos
From: whoffman AT PEAK.ORG
Date: Fri, 19 Feb 2016 11:02:36 -0800
Hi - 

One thing that strikes me whenever I see Ferruginous Hawks is their head shape. 
To me, they look flat-crowned and broad, with much less "dome" above the eyes 
than Red-tails. The view is not ideal for judging this, but the first photo 
seems to show this flat-crowned shape. 


Wayne 


From: "Tristan McKee"  
To: "BIRDWG01"  
Sent: Thursday, February 18, 2016 4:51:45 PM 
Subject: [BIRDWG01] Dark juvenile Buteos 

Identification of dark juvenile Buteos has traditionally been considered 
very difficult, but tremendous confidence often underlies the 
identification of photographed birds these days. I'd like to initiate some 
discussion of these two birds, both widely regarded as juvenile dark-morph 
Ferruginous Hawks. The first is from Utah: 

https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/PHOTO/LARGE/ferghawk_rognan.jpg 

This is the first bird that pops up when Googling "dark Ferruginous Hawk" 
and probably greatly influences birders' perceptions of this species. It 
shows obviously darker patagial bars, dark flight feathers, a classic 
juvenile Red-tailed Hawk wing shape and tail pattern, a fairly small head 
and bill, and small feet. Having spent many years birding and surveying 
raptors in the core of the Ferruginous' wintering range, I feel comfortable 
saying that Ferruginous Hawks consistently have large, eagle-like heads, 
strong brows, and powerful legs and feet. There is only an expected amount 
of sexual dimorphism, nothing to suggest that a Ferruginous can look 
decidedly dainty and small-headed with petite feet. In my experience they 
also have very pale flight feathers in all ages and morphs, as the Sibley 
Guide asserts. The white crescents on the wrists of Ferruginous can be 
shared by some Red-tails, especially Harlan's Hawks: 

http://www.birdphotographers.net/forums/showthread.php/ 
51519-Juvenile-Harlan-s-Dark-Morph-Red-tailed-Hawk 

and: 

https://www.flickr.com/photos/ned_harris/6584515095 

The second "Ferruginous Hawk", this month in NW California, also has many 
Red-tailed traits: 


https://www.flickr.com/photos/44858774 AT N00/sets/72157664682598225/with/24906145512/ 


Despite its small head, thin bill, thin legs and feet, and dark flight 
feathers, the presence of wrist-crescents and upper-primary windows have 
satisfied most that it is a Ferruginous Hawk. But primary-windows can also 
be shared by Harlan's and are typical of Rough-legged. Structurally many of 
us feel this latter bird is closer to Rough-legged. Can a juvenile 
Rough-legged ever have a tail this dark? 

There is considerable debate about whether these latter photos actually 
show feathered tarsi. 

Hybridization has been practiced in falconry for centuries, and there are 
plenty of examples in the field as well (e.g., Common Black x 
Red-shouldered here in California), so it strikes me as odd that mysterious 
dark raptors are so boldly pigeonholed into species categories. To me, both 
the birds above would better be described as possible Ferruginous x 
Red-tailed hybrids than pure Ferruginous Hawks. Better yet, why are they 
not just Red-tailed Hawks, either harlani, alascensis, or intergrades with 
calurus? 

Many thanks, 

Tristan McKee 
Arcata, CA 

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

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Re: Dark juvenile Buteos
From: Tony Leukering <greatgrayowl AT AOL.COM>
Date: Fri, 19 Feb 2016 10:39:26 -0500
All:

I'm staying out of this one, except that I wanted to make one very minor point. 
Well, two, actually. No, three. [Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!] 


1) Primary formula in Red-tailed and Ferruginous hawks is exceedingly similar, 
with Pyle (2008) reporting Red-tailed as 


"usually p7>p6>p8>p9>p5>p4>p10≈p3"


and Ferruginous as


"usually p8≈p7>p6>p9>p5>p4>p10≈p3"


Of course, that says nothing about the secondaries, so this fact has not all 
that much bearing on the question in hand when considering the strength of 
secondary bulges. 




2) Wing shape in buteos is often quite different between adults and juveniles 
of the same species, with juveniles tending to have longer, more-pointed, and 
narrower wings than do adults. This is certainly and obviously so in Red-tailed 
Hawk, somewhat less so in Ferruginous, in my experience, primarily because 
Ferruginous starts with a relatively narrower wing. 



3) Dark-morph Ferruginous are much darker in various plumage features than are 
light-morph Ferruginous, including flight feathers: they have darker tails and 
darker remiges, in general. 

 

 


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

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

http://aba.org/photoquiz/

 

 

-----Original Message-----
From: Tristan McKee 
To: BIRDWG01 
Sent: Thu, Feb 18, 2016 10:36 pm
Subject: Re: [BIRDWG01] Dark juvenile Buteos

Brain Sullivan wrote:


> The legs appear to be feathered to the toes on this bird.
>>
>
 Hi Brian,

The legs are clearly tucked in on this bird. They are not visible.

Gapes are far more prominent on all juvenile birds, but this does look good
for Ferruginous.

However, pointing out Ferruginous traits does not really address the
question of hybridization. I was not so much looking for impressions of
what these species look like, but rather actual photographic evidence that
known Ferruginous Hawks can appear dainty in the head, bill and feet.

I also thought the patagial bar was a strong indicator of Red-tailed. Is
this really of no significance?

You've described the wing shape of Ferruginous very well, and this bird
does not have it at all, from my perspective. We should be able to agree
that this is somewhat subjective, since I see this as a typical juvenile
Red-tailed wing shape. Unless you want to go into primary formula... which
in terms of p9 and p10 length appears slightly closer to Red-tailed in this
case (Ferruginous has especially short p9 and p10).


 It also appears smallish-headed in flight due to the bulk of the chest and
>> shoulders.
>>
>
I have never heard Ferruginous described as smallish-headed:

https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5702/23191382423_ecf6731e55_b.jpg


> We do have a few known cases of Ferruginous hybridizing in the wild with
>> Red-tailed Hawk. Jerry Liguori has some amazing photos of an adult from
>> Utah. That said, nothing here suggests hybrid on these two birds--at least
>> not to me.
>>
>
So we know they hybridize in Utah, yet birds with patagial bars and dainty
appearances are still considered pure Ferruginous Hawks. It seems to me
that we are expanding the known range of Ferruginous variation with
absolutely no evidence that we have excluded hybrids from our sample. This
would certainly never fly with gulls or ducks or any other group well-known
to hybridize.

It would be silly to debate who knows this species best--I assume you have
seen the better part of the world's population, as I have. I agree that
these birds have Ferruginous traits. To move forward we need to examine the
actual evidence that these traits are within the range of variation of pure
Ferruginous Hawks. Saying that they are within the range of variation of
birds we have personally IDed as Ferruginous does not help if we are saying
"don't go there" with hybrids--we have just inadvertently included all the
hybrids in our sample.

Tristan McKee
Arcata, CA

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



Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Re: Dark juvenile Buteos
From: Tristan McKee <atmckee AT GMAIL.COM>
Date: Fri, 19 Feb 2016 07:26:57 -0800
Cathy, sorry to be critical--I'm really enjoying sitting back and looking
at this collage. I see a kettle of Ferruginous Hawks with two other birds.
One has a shorter tail, and shorter wings with rounded tips and bulging
secondaries--it looks like a Red-tail. I assume this is the Utah bird. The
other is the California bird, and I am totally mystified. Dropping all
prior impressions, it looks kind of like a Zone-tailed Hawk...

On Fri, Feb 19, 2016 at 7:19 AM, Tristan McKee  wrote:

> I took another look in hopes of figuring it out. Why is the California
> bird's length (bill-tail) much longer than any other bird's? It is not to
> scale with the others at all, so I agree that it's head is much bigger...
>
> Thanks again,
> Tristan
>
> On Fri, Feb 19, 2016 at 7:13 AM, Tristan McKee  wrote:
>
>> Cathy, thanks for taking the time. This is a comparison of the depth of
>> one bird's head (CA) to the width of a bunch of other ones.
>>
>> I don't really understand why you would not choose photos demonstrating
>> Ferruginous at the same angle as the California bird. Are you suggesting
>> that (height of head) is linearly correlated with (width of head) over
>> multiple species of Buteos? This is the same as saying that head structure
>> and shape are equal in all Buteo species. We already know that is untrue.
>>
>> Thanks for any clarification,
>> Tristan McKee
>> Arcata, CA
>>
>> On Fri, Feb 19, 2016 at 6:53 AM, Cathy Sheeter 
>> wrote:
>>
>>> Out of curiosity, (as I am really struggling to see anything abnormal
>>> about the two birds that Tristan had linked to for juvi Ferrug) I decided
>>> to to see if these birds did in fact look unusually small headed.  I
>>> grabbed a bunch of photos off of Flickr of juvi Ferrug and turned them all
>>> into silhouettes.  The sampling was based on only three criteria 1)
>>> juvenile birds (both color morphs are included in the collage) 2) that the
>>> photo had a clean blue background (as those are the ones easy to turn to
>>> silhouettes) and 3) flight image from underneath so that the perspective
>>> was somewhat similar (though we don't have a photo from that angle of the
>>> CA bird).  The birds were holding their heads in a variety of ways, as one
>>> would expect.  No preference was given for a bird's head size...pretty much
>>> the first photos I found meeting those above criteria, so these silhouettes
>>> should represent an average sampling of birds.  Both the Cornell bird and
>>> California bird are included in this collage and all silhouettes represent
>>> different birds.  This was the end result: https://flic.kr/p/DJ38jr .
>>> I think it also shows no abnormality in structure of the wings or body to
>>> suggest anything other than FEHA.
>>>
>>> I know I couldn't say that any one (or two) of these birds appear
>>> 'smaller headed' than any of the others.  Actually the CA bird appears
>>> larger headed, due to the perspective.
>>>
>>> I will erase this off of my Flickr within a week, as most of the images
>>> I used to create it are not ones I took and are only being used for
>>> educational purposes, but I think it perhaps helps see that these birds are
>>> well within the norm for Ferruginous Hawks.
>>>
>>> Good birding!
>>>
>>> Cathy Sheeter
>>> Oradell, NJ (previously of CO)
>>>
>>
>>
>

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Re: Dark juvenile Buteos
From: Cathy Sheeter <hawkcall AT HOTMAIL.COM>
Date: Fri, 19 Feb 2016 07:26:37 -0800
Frankly I was too lazy to try and find a bunch of birds all at the same angle 
as the CA bird, so opted to go with the easier and more photographed angle that 
the Cornell bird was at, since you felt it too was small headed and possibly a 
hybrid. I thought there was a shot of the CA bird from more underneath when I 
was compiling this, but there is not. I, in fact, pointed out that the CA bird 
was at a different angle than the rest, if you read what I wrote. Perhaps 
someone else will feel inclined to put together a better composite with the CA 
bird, but I lack the time to go further on this topic, since to me neither of 
those birds looks abnormal to me whatsoever. 

 
Good day-
 
Cathy
 
> Date: Fri, 19 Feb 2016 07:13:10 -0800
> From: atmckee AT GMAIL.COM
> Subject: Re: [BIRDWG01] Dark juvenile Buteos
> To: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
> 
> Cathy, thanks for taking the time. This is a comparison of the depth of one
> bird's head (CA) to the width of a bunch of other ones.
> 
> I don't really understand why you would not choose photos demonstrating
> Ferruginous at the same angle as the California bird. Are you suggesting
> that (height of head) is linearly correlated with (width of head) over
> multiple species of Buteos? This is the same as saying that head structure
> and shape are equal in all Buteo species. We already know that is untrue.
> 
> Thanks for any clarification,
> Tristan McKee
> Arcata, CA
> 
> On Fri, Feb 19, 2016 at 6:53 AM, Cathy Sheeter  wrote:
> 
> > Out of curiosity, (as I am really struggling to see anything abnormal
> > about the two birds that Tristan had linked to for juvi Ferrug) I decided
> > to to see if these birds did in fact look unusually small headed.  I
> > grabbed a bunch of photos off of Flickr of juvi Ferrug and turned them all
> > into silhouettes.  The sampling was based on only three criteria 1)
> > juvenile birds (both color morphs are included in the collage) 2) that the
> > photo had a clean blue background (as those are the ones easy to turn to
> > silhouettes) and 3) flight image from underneath so that the perspective
> > was somewhat similar (though we don't have a photo from that angle of the
> > CA bird).  The birds were holding their heads in a variety of ways, as one
> > would expect.  No preference was given for a bird's head size...pretty much
> > the first photos I found meeting those above criteria, so these silhouettes
> > should represent an average sampling of birds.  Both the Cornell bird and
> > California bird are included in this collage and all silhouettes represent
> > different birds.  This was the end result: https://flic.kr/p/DJ38jr .  I
> > think it also shows no abnormality in structure of the wings or body to
> > suggest anything other than FEHA.
> >
> > I know I couldn't say that any one (or two) of these birds appear 'smaller
> > headed' than any of the others.  Actually the CA bird appears larger
> > headed, due to the perspective.
> >
> > I will erase this off of my Flickr within a week, as most of the images I
> > used to create it are not ones I took and are only being used for
> > educational purposes, but I think it perhaps helps see that these birds are
> > well within the norm for Ferruginous Hawks.
> >
> > Good birding!
> >
> > Cathy Sheeter
> > Oradell, NJ (previously of CO)
> >
> 
> Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
 		 	   		  
Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Re: Dark juvenile Buteos
From: Tristan McKee <atmckee AT GMAIL.COM>
Date: Fri, 19 Feb 2016 07:19:10 -0800
I took another look in hopes of figuring it out. Why is the California
bird's length (bill-tail) much longer than any other bird's? It is not to
scale with the others at all, so I agree that it's head is much bigger...

Thanks again,
Tristan

On Fri, Feb 19, 2016 at 7:13 AM, Tristan McKee  wrote:

> Cathy, thanks for taking the time. This is a comparison of the depth of
> one bird's head (CA) to the width of a bunch of other ones.
>
> I don't really understand why you would not choose photos demonstrating
> Ferruginous at the same angle as the California bird. Are you suggesting
> that (height of head) is linearly correlated with (width of head) over
> multiple species of Buteos? This is the same as saying that head structure
> and shape are equal in all Buteo species. We already know that is untrue.
>
> Thanks for any clarification,
> Tristan McKee
> Arcata, CA
>
> On Fri, Feb 19, 2016 at 6:53 AM, Cathy Sheeter 
> wrote:
>
>> Out of curiosity, (as I am really struggling to see anything abnormal
>> about the two birds that Tristan had linked to for juvi Ferrug) I decided
>> to to see if these birds did in fact look unusually small headed.  I
>> grabbed a bunch of photos off of Flickr of juvi Ferrug and turned them all
>> into silhouettes.  The sampling was based on only three criteria 1)
>> juvenile birds (both color morphs are included in the collage) 2) that the
>> photo had a clean blue background (as those are the ones easy to turn to
>> silhouettes) and 3) flight image from underneath so that the perspective
>> was somewhat similar (though we don't have a photo from that angle of the
>> CA bird).  The birds were holding their heads in a variety of ways, as one
>> would expect.  No preference was given for a bird's head size...pretty much
>> the first photos I found meeting those above criteria, so these silhouettes
>> should represent an average sampling of birds.  Both the Cornell bird and
>> California bird are included in this collage and all silhouettes represent
>> different birds.  This was the end result: https://flic.kr/p/DJ38jr .  I
>> think it also shows no abnormality in structure of the wings or body to
>> suggest anything other than FEHA.
>>
>> I know I couldn't say that any one (or two) of these birds appear
>> 'smaller headed' than any of the others.  Actually the CA bird appears
>> larger headed, due to the perspective.
>>
>> I will erase this off of my Flickr within a week, as most of the images I
>> used to create it are not ones I took and are only being used for
>> educational purposes, but I think it perhaps helps see that these birds are
>> well within the norm for Ferruginous Hawks.
>>
>> Good birding!
>>
>> Cathy Sheeter
>> Oradell, NJ (previously of CO)
>>
>
>

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Re: Dark juvenile Buteos
From: Tristan McKee <atmckee AT GMAIL.COM>
Date: Fri, 19 Feb 2016 07:13:10 -0800
Cathy, thanks for taking the time. This is a comparison of the depth of one
bird's head (CA) to the width of a bunch of other ones.

I don't really understand why you would not choose photos demonstrating
Ferruginous at the same angle as the California bird. Are you suggesting
that (height of head) is linearly correlated with (width of head) over
multiple species of Buteos? This is the same as saying that head structure
and shape are equal in all Buteo species. We already know that is untrue.

Thanks for any clarification,
Tristan McKee
Arcata, CA

On Fri, Feb 19, 2016 at 6:53 AM, Cathy Sheeter  wrote:

> Out of curiosity, (as I am really struggling to see anything abnormal
> about the two birds that Tristan had linked to for juvi Ferrug) I decided
> to to see if these birds did in fact look unusually small headed.  I
> grabbed a bunch of photos off of Flickr of juvi Ferrug and turned them all
> into silhouettes.  The sampling was based on only three criteria 1)
> juvenile birds (both color morphs are included in the collage) 2) that the
> photo had a clean blue background (as those are the ones easy to turn to
> silhouettes) and 3) flight image from underneath so that the perspective
> was somewhat similar (though we don't have a photo from that angle of the
> CA bird).  The birds were holding their heads in a variety of ways, as one
> would expect.  No preference was given for a bird's head size...pretty much
> the first photos I found meeting those above criteria, so these silhouettes
> should represent an average sampling of birds.  Both the Cornell bird and
> California bird are included in this collage and all silhouettes represent
> different birds.  This was the end result: https://flic.kr/p/DJ38jr .  I
> think it also shows no abnormality in structure of the wings or body to
> suggest anything other than FEHA.
>
> I know I couldn't say that any one (or two) of these birds appear 'smaller
> headed' than any of the others.  Actually the CA bird appears larger
> headed, due to the perspective.
>
> I will erase this off of my Flickr within a week, as most of the images I
> used to create it are not ones I took and are only being used for
> educational purposes, but I think it perhaps helps see that these birds are
> well within the norm for Ferruginous Hawks.
>
> Good birding!
>
> Cathy Sheeter
> Oradell, NJ (previously of CO)
>

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Re: Dark juvenile Buteos
From: Cathy Sheeter <hawkcall AT HOTMAIL.COM>
Date: Fri, 19 Feb 2016 06:53:28 -0800
Out of curiosity, (as I am really struggling to see anything abnormal about the 
two birds that Tristan had linked to for juvi Ferrug) I decided to to see if 
these birds did in fact look unusually small headed. I grabbed a bunch of 
photos off of Flickr of juvi Ferrug and turned them all into silhouettes. The 
sampling was based on only three criteria 1) juvenile birds (both color morphs 
are included in the collage) 2) that the photo had a clean blue background (as 
those are the ones easy to turn to silhouettes) and 3) flight image from 
underneath so that the perspective was somewhat similar (though we don't have a 
photo from that angle of the CA bird). The birds were holding their heads in a 
variety of ways, as one would expect. No preference was given for a bird's head 
size...pretty much the first photos I found meeting those above criteria, so 
these silhouettes should represent an average sampling of birds. Both the 
Cornell bird and California bird are included in this collage and all 
silhouettes represent different birds. This was the end result: 
https://flic.kr/p/DJ38jr . I think it also shows no abnormality in structure of 
the wings or body to suggest anything other than FEHA. 

 
I know I couldn't say that any one (or two) of these birds appear 'smaller 
headed' than any of the others. Actually the CA bird appears larger headed, due 
to the perspective. 

 
I will erase this off of my Flickr within a week, as most of the images I used 
to create it are not ones I took and are only being used for educational 
purposes, but I think it perhaps helps see that these birds are well within the 
norm for Ferruginous Hawks. 

 
Good birding!
 
Cathy Sheeter
Oradell, NJ (previously of CO)
 		 	   		  
Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Re: Dark juvenile Buteos
From: Tristan McKee <atmckee AT GMAIL.COM>
Date: Thu, 18 Feb 2016 20:59:11 -0800
Hi Brain -

I thought we were discussing dark-morph juveniles, but I concede that
patagials are probably as unreliable as wrist-crescents and primary-windows.

It would be impossible to detect atypical characters if you are
categorizing all hybrids as pure birds.

Having looked through all my photos and every one available in my books and
on flickr and Google, I have not found a single "dainty" bird considered a
Ferruginous Hawk, except for these few birds that also have very dark
flight feathers. Why the apparent correlation?

Again, if we are to argue that these birds are pure, we should be able to
find typical (i.e., light-morph) birds that are similarly dainty and
petite. I'm still not seeing that evidence anywhere.

Thanks and best,

Tristan McKee
Arcata, CA

On Thu, Feb 18, 2016 at 8:28 PM, Brian Sullivan 
wrote:

> Hi Tristan
>
> I'm not sure why you're suggesting that dark patagials is an unusual field
> mark for 'pure' Ferruginous Hawks. Many Ferruginous Hawks show this. I
> happened to be looking at quite a few today, and most of the more heavily
> marked adults show this. Red-tailed Hawks aren't the only buteos to show
> dark patagials.
>
> Here's one example of an adult light morph from this afternoon:
>
> https://www.flickr.com/photos/oceanites/24489884984/in/dateposted-public/
>
> Not sure what else to say here. I don't typically think about ruling out
> hybrids when I don't see any characters that are atypical on a bird. In the
> case of these two buteos, both are well within the typical range of both
> plumage and shape for juvenile Ferruginous Hawk.
>
> It's always great to look for other opinions, but for me, these are
> typical Ferruginous Hawks.
>
> Thanks
>
> Brian
>
> On Thu, Feb 18, 2016 at 7:35 PM, Tristan McKee  wrote:
>
>> Brain Sullivan wrote:
>>
>>
>>> The legs appear to be feathered to the toes on this bird.
>>>>
>>>
>>  Hi Brian,
>>
>> The legs are clearly tucked in on this bird. They are not visible.
>>
>> Gapes are far more prominent on all juvenile birds, but this does look
>> good for Ferruginous.
>>
>> However, pointing out Ferruginous traits does not really address the
>> question of hybridization. I was not so much looking for impressions of
>> what these species look like, but rather actual photographic evidence that
>> known Ferruginous Hawks can appear dainty in the head, bill and feet.
>>
>> I also thought the patagial bar was a strong indicator of Red-tailed. Is
>> this really of no significance?
>>
>> You've described the wing shape of Ferruginous very well, and this bird
>> does not have it at all, from my perspective. We should be able to agree
>> that this is somewhat subjective, since I see this as a typical juvenile
>> Red-tailed wing shape. Unless you want to go into primary formula... which
>> in terms of p9 and p10 length appears slightly closer to Red-tailed in this
>> case (Ferruginous has especially short p9 and p10).
>>
>>
>>  It also appears smallish-headed in flight due to the bulk of the chest
>>>> and shoulders.
>>>>
>>>
>> I have never heard Ferruginous described as smallish-headed:
>>
>> https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5702/23191382423_ecf6731e55_b.jpg
>>
>>
>>> We do have a few known cases of Ferruginous hybridizing in the wild with
>>>> Red-tailed Hawk. Jerry Liguori has some amazing photos of an adult from
>>>> Utah. That said, nothing here suggests hybrid on these two birds--at least
>>>> not to me.
>>>>
>>>
>> So we know they hybridize in Utah, yet birds with patagial bars and
>> dainty appearances are still considered pure Ferruginous Hawks. It seems to
>> me that we are expanding the known range of Ferruginous variation with
>> absolutely no evidence that we have excluded hybrids from our sample. This
>> would certainly never fly with gulls or ducks or any other group well-known
>> to hybridize.
>>
>> It would be silly to debate who knows this species best--I assume you
>> have seen the better part of the world's population, as I have. I agree
>> that these birds have Ferruginous traits. To move forward we need to
>> examine the actual evidence that these traits are within the range of
>> variation of pure Ferruginous Hawks. Saying that they are within the range
>> of variation of birds we have personally IDed as Ferruginous does not help
>> if we are saying "don't go there" with hybrids--we have just inadvertently
>> included all the hybrids in our sample.
>>
>> Tristan McKee
>> Arcata, CA
>>
>
>
>
> --
> ===========
>
>
> *Brian L. SullivaneBird Project Leader *
> www.ebird.org
>
> *Photo Editor*
> Birds of North America Online
> http://bna.birds.cornell.edu/BNA
> -------------------------------
>

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Re: Dark juvenile Buteos
From: Brian Sullivan <heraldpetrel AT GMAIL.COM>
Date: Thu, 18 Feb 2016 20:28:10 -0800
Hi Tristan

I'm not sure why you're suggesting that dark patagials is an unusual field
mark for 'pure' Ferruginous Hawks. Many Ferruginous Hawks show this. I
happened to be looking at quite a few today, and most of the more heavily
marked adults show this. Red-tailed Hawks aren't the only buteos to show
dark patagials.

Here's one example of an adult light morph from this afternoon:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/oceanites/24489884984/in/dateposted-public/

Not sure what else to say here. I don't typically think about ruling out
hybrids when I don't see any characters that are atypical on a bird. In the
case of these two buteos, both are well within the typical range of both
plumage and shape for juvenile Ferruginous Hawk.

It's always great to look for other opinions, but for me, these are typical
Ferruginous Hawks.

Thanks

Brian

On Thu, Feb 18, 2016 at 7:35 PM, Tristan McKee  wrote:

> Brain Sullivan wrote:
>
>
>> The legs appear to be feathered to the toes on this bird.
>>>
>>
>  Hi Brian,
>
> The legs are clearly tucked in on this bird. They are not visible.
>
> Gapes are far more prominent on all juvenile birds, but this does look
> good for Ferruginous.
>
> However, pointing out Ferruginous traits does not really address the
> question of hybridization. I was not so much looking for impressions of
> what these species look like, but rather actual photographic evidence that
> known Ferruginous Hawks can appear dainty in the head, bill and feet.
>
> I also thought the patagial bar was a strong indicator of Red-tailed. Is
> this really of no significance?
>
> You've described the wing shape of Ferruginous very well, and this bird
> does not have it at all, from my perspective. We should be able to agree
> that this is somewhat subjective, since I see this as a typical juvenile
> Red-tailed wing shape. Unless you want to go into primary formula... which
> in terms of p9 and p10 length appears slightly closer to Red-tailed in this
> case (Ferruginous has especially short p9 and p10).
>
>
>  It also appears smallish-headed in flight due to the bulk of the chest
>>> and shoulders.
>>>
>>
> I have never heard Ferruginous described as smallish-headed:
>
> https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5702/23191382423_ecf6731e55_b.jpg
>
>
>> We do have a few known cases of Ferruginous hybridizing in the wild with
>>> Red-tailed Hawk. Jerry Liguori has some amazing photos of an adult from
>>> Utah. That said, nothing here suggests hybrid on these two birds--at least
>>> not to me.
>>>
>>
> So we know they hybridize in Utah, yet birds with patagial bars and dainty
> appearances are still considered pure Ferruginous Hawks. It seems to me
> that we are expanding the known range of Ferruginous variation with
> absolutely no evidence that we have excluded hybrids from our sample. This
> would certainly never fly with gulls or ducks or any other group well-known
> to hybridize.
>
> It would be silly to debate who knows this species best--I assume you have
> seen the better part of the world's population, as I have. I agree that
> these birds have Ferruginous traits. To move forward we need to examine the
> actual evidence that these traits are within the range of variation of pure
> Ferruginous Hawks. Saying that they are within the range of variation of
> birds we have personally IDed as Ferruginous does not help if we are saying
> "don't go there" with hybrids--we have just inadvertently included all the
> hybrids in our sample.
>
> Tristan McKee
> Arcata, CA
>



-- 
===========


*Brian L. SullivaneBird Project Leader *
www.ebird.org

*Photo Editor*
Birds of North America Online
http://bna.birds.cornell.edu/BNA
-------------------------------

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Re: Dark juvenile Buteos
From: Tristan McKee <atmckee AT GMAIL.COM>
Date: Thu, 18 Feb 2016 19:35:20 -0800
Brain Sullivan wrote:


> The legs appear to be feathered to the toes on this bird.
>>
>
 Hi Brian,

The legs are clearly tucked in on this bird. They are not visible.

Gapes are far more prominent on all juvenile birds, but this does look good
for Ferruginous.

However, pointing out Ferruginous traits does not really address the
question of hybridization. I was not so much looking for impressions of
what these species look like, but rather actual photographic evidence that
known Ferruginous Hawks can appear dainty in the head, bill and feet.

I also thought the patagial bar was a strong indicator of Red-tailed. Is
this really of no significance?

You've described the wing shape of Ferruginous very well, and this bird
does not have it at all, from my perspective. We should be able to agree
that this is somewhat subjective, since I see this as a typical juvenile
Red-tailed wing shape. Unless you want to go into primary formula... which
in terms of p9 and p10 length appears slightly closer to Red-tailed in this
case (Ferruginous has especially short p9 and p10).


 It also appears smallish-headed in flight due to the bulk of the chest and
>> shoulders.
>>
>
I have never heard Ferruginous described as smallish-headed:

https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5702/23191382423_ecf6731e55_b.jpg


> We do have a few known cases of Ferruginous hybridizing in the wild with
>> Red-tailed Hawk. Jerry Liguori has some amazing photos of an adult from
>> Utah. That said, nothing here suggests hybrid on these two birds--at least
>> not to me.
>>
>
So we know they hybridize in Utah, yet birds with patagial bars and dainty
appearances are still considered pure Ferruginous Hawks. It seems to me
that we are expanding the known range of Ferruginous variation with
absolutely no evidence that we have excluded hybrids from our sample. This
would certainly never fly with gulls or ducks or any other group well-known
to hybridize.

It would be silly to debate who knows this species best--I assume you have
seen the better part of the world's population, as I have. I agree that
these birds have Ferruginous traits. To move forward we need to examine the
actual evidence that these traits are within the range of variation of pure
Ferruginous Hawks. Saying that they are within the range of variation of
birds we have personally IDed as Ferruginous does not help if we are saying
"don't go there" with hybrids--we have just inadvertently included all the
hybrids in our sample.

Tristan McKee
Arcata, CA

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Re: Dark juvenile Buteos
From: Rob Parsons <parsons8 AT MYMTS.NET>
Date: Thu, 18 Feb 2016 19:55:52 -0600
Hi all,

Doesn't the NW California bird show the extended gape of a Ferruginous Hawk? 
I'm looking primarily at the second last photo:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/44858774 AT N00/24393570854/in/album-72157664682598225/ 

(The one of the bird in flight against the green grassy background.)
If so, that points away from Rough-legged Hawk.

This photo also makes it look as though the bird has feathered tarsi, 
although I admit they aren't as clear as I'd like them to be in order to 
swear to it.

Cheers,


Rob Parsons
Winnipeg, MB
CANADA
parsons8 AT mts.net

-----Original Message----- 
From: Tristan McKee
Sent: Thursday, February 18, 2016 6:51 PM
To: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
Subject: [BIRDWG01] Dark juvenile Buteos

Identification of dark juvenile Buteos has traditionally been considered
very difficult, but tremendous confidence often underlies the
identification of photographed birds these days. I'd like to initiate some
discussion of these two birds, both widely regarded as juvenile dark-morph
Ferruginous Hawks. The first is from Utah:

https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/PHOTO/LARGE/ferghawk_rognan.jpg

This is the first bird that pops up when Googling "dark Ferruginous Hawk"
and probably greatly influences birders' perceptions of this species. It
shows obviously darker patagial bars, dark flight feathers, a classic
juvenile Red-tailed Hawk wing shape and tail pattern, a fairly small head
and bill, and small feet. Having spent many years birding and surveying
raptors in the core of the Ferruginous' wintering range, I feel comfortable
saying that Ferruginous Hawks consistently have large, eagle-like heads,
strong brows, and powerful legs and feet. There is only an expected amount
of sexual dimorphism, nothing to suggest that a Ferruginous can look
decidedly dainty and small-headed with petite feet. In my experience they
also have very pale flight feathers in all ages and morphs, as the Sibley
Guide asserts. The white crescents on the wrists of Ferruginous can be
shared by some Red-tails, especially Harlan's Hawks:

http://www.birdphotographers.net/forums/showthread.php/
51519-Juvenile-Harlan-s-Dark-Morph-Red-tailed-Hawk

and:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/ned_harris/6584515095

The second "Ferruginous Hawk", this month in NW California, also has many
Red-tailed traits:


https://www.flickr.com/photos/44858774 AT N00/sets/72157664682598225/with/24906145512/ 


Despite its small head, thin bill, thin legs and feet, and dark flight
feathers, the presence of wrist-crescents and upper-primary windows have
satisfied most that it is a Ferruginous Hawk. But primary-windows can also
be shared by Harlan's and are typical of Rough-legged. Structurally many of
us feel this latter bird is closer to Rough-legged. Can a juvenile
Rough-legged ever have a tail this dark?

There is considerable debate about whether these latter photos actually
show feathered tarsi.

Hybridization has been practiced in falconry for centuries, and there are
plenty of examples in the field as well (e.g., Common Black x
Red-shouldered here in California), so it strikes me as odd that mysterious
dark raptors are so boldly pigeonholed into species categories. To me, both
the birds above would better be described as possible Ferruginous x
Red-tailed hybrids than pure Ferruginous Hawks. Better yet, why are they
not just Red-tailed Hawks, either harlani, alascensis, or intergrades with
calurus?

Many thanks,

Tristan McKee
Arcata, CA

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

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Re: Dark juvenile Buteos
From: Brian Sullivan <heraldpetrel AT GMAIL.COM>
Date: Thu, 18 Feb 2016 17:45:44 -0800
Hi Tristan et al.

Juvenile dark-morph buteos can certainly be tricky and worthy of close
scrutiny, but in both of the birds you've pointed out, I don't see anything
out of the ordinary. Each looks fine for juvenile dark-morph Ferruginous
Hawk, in both shape and plumage. The All About Birds individual's flight
feathers are perfect for juvenile dark-morph Ferruginous in being largely
pale with sparse banding, and mostly white primaries with just the tips
darker (a good distinction from juv dark Rough-legged Hawk). Tail pattern
on this bird is typical for juvenile dark Ferrug in being pale with
widely-spaced dusky bands (I can't think of any subspecies of Red-tailed
Hawk where juvs show this pattern). The legs appear to be feathered to the
toes on this bird. The NW California bird likewise shows characters
completely consistent with Ferruginous, and wrong for Rough-legged. The
flight shots are underexposed, but when lightened-up in Photoshop this bird
shows the same typical flight feather pattern of Ferruginous, as well as
the prominent long gape of that species.

Ferruginous is quite broad-winged, but with more tapered wingtips that
Red-tailed and Rough-legged. It also appears smallish-headed in flight due
to the bulk of the chest and shoulders. Having studied this species a lot,
I just don't see anything amiss here on either bird.

We do have a few known cases of Ferruginous hybridizing in the wild with
Red-tailed Hawk. Jerry Liguori has some amazing photos of an adult from
Utah. That said, nothing here suggests hybrid on these two birds--at least
not to me.

Thanks

Brian

On Thu, Feb 18, 2016 at 4:51 PM, Tristan McKee  wrote:

> Identification of dark juvenile Buteos has traditionally been considered
> very difficult, but tremendous confidence often underlies the
> identification of photographed birds these days. I'd like to initiate some
> discussion of these two birds, both widely regarded as juvenile dark-morph
> Ferruginous Hawks. The first is from Utah:
>
> https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/PHOTO/LARGE/ferghawk_rognan.jpg
>
> This is the first bird that pops up when Googling "dark Ferruginous Hawk"
> and probably greatly influences birders' perceptions of this species. It
> shows obviously darker patagial bars, dark flight feathers, a classic
> juvenile Red-tailed Hawk wing shape and tail pattern, a fairly small head
> and bill, and small feet. Having spent many years birding and surveying
> raptors in the core of the Ferruginous' wintering range, I feel comfortable
> saying that Ferruginous Hawks consistently have large, eagle-like heads,
> strong brows, and powerful legs and feet. There is only an expected amount
> of sexual dimorphism, nothing to suggest that a Ferruginous can look
> decidedly dainty and small-headed with petite feet. In my experience they
> also have very pale flight feathers in all ages and morphs, as the Sibley
> Guide asserts. The white crescents on the wrists of Ferruginous can be
> shared by some Red-tails, especially Harlan's Hawks:
>
> http://www.birdphotographers.net/forums/showthread.php/
> 51519-Juvenile-Harlan-s-Dark-Morph-Red-tailed-Hawk
>
> and:
>
> https://www.flickr.com/photos/ned_harris/6584515095
>
> The second "Ferruginous Hawk", this month in NW California, also has many
> Red-tailed traits:
>
>
> 
https://www.flickr.com/photos/44858774 AT N00/sets/72157664682598225/with/24906145512/ 

>
> Despite its small head, thin bill, thin legs and feet, and dark flight
> feathers, the presence of wrist-crescents and upper-primary windows have
> satisfied most that it is a Ferruginous Hawk. But primary-windows can also
> be shared by Harlan's and are typical of Rough-legged. Structurally many of
> us feel this latter bird is closer to Rough-legged. Can a juvenile
> Rough-legged ever have a tail this dark?
>
> There is considerable debate about whether these latter photos actually
> show feathered tarsi.
>
> Hybridization has been practiced in falconry for centuries, and there are
> plenty of examples in the field as well (e.g., Common Black x
> Red-shouldered here in California), so it strikes me as odd that mysterious
> dark raptors are so boldly pigeonholed into species categories. To me, both
> the birds above would better be described as possible Ferruginous x
> Red-tailed hybrids than pure Ferruginous Hawks. Better yet, why are they
> not just Red-tailed Hawks, either harlani, alascensis, or intergrades with
> calurus?
>
> Many thanks,
>
> Tristan McKee
> Arcata, CA
>
> Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
>



-- 
===========


*Brian L. SullivaneBird Project Leader *
www.ebird.org

*Photo Editor*
Birds of North America Online
http://bna.birds.cornell.edu/BNA
-------------------------------

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Dark juvenile Buteos
From: Tristan McKee <atmckee AT GMAIL.COM>
Date: Thu, 18 Feb 2016 16:51:45 -0800
Identification of dark juvenile Buteos has traditionally been considered
very difficult, but tremendous confidence often underlies the
identification of photographed birds these days. I'd like to initiate some
discussion of these two birds, both widely regarded as juvenile dark-morph
Ferruginous Hawks. The first is from Utah:

https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/PHOTO/LARGE/ferghawk_rognan.jpg

This is the first bird that pops up when Googling "dark Ferruginous Hawk"
and probably greatly influences birders' perceptions of this species. It
shows obviously darker patagial bars, dark flight feathers, a classic
juvenile Red-tailed Hawk wing shape and tail pattern, a fairly small head
and bill, and small feet. Having spent many years birding and surveying
raptors in the core of the Ferruginous' wintering range, I feel comfortable
saying that Ferruginous Hawks consistently have large, eagle-like heads,
strong brows, and powerful legs and feet. There is only an expected amount
of sexual dimorphism, nothing to suggest that a Ferruginous can look
decidedly dainty and small-headed with petite feet. In my experience they
also have very pale flight feathers in all ages and morphs, as the Sibley
Guide asserts. The white crescents on the wrists of Ferruginous can be
shared by some Red-tails, especially Harlan's Hawks:

http://www.birdphotographers.net/forums/showthread.php/
51519-Juvenile-Harlan-s-Dark-Morph-Red-tailed-Hawk

and:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/ned_harris/6584515095

The second "Ferruginous Hawk", this month in NW California, also has many
Red-tailed traits:


https://www.flickr.com/photos/44858774 AT N00/sets/72157664682598225/with/24906145512/ 


Despite its small head, thin bill, thin legs and feet, and dark flight
feathers, the presence of wrist-crescents and upper-primary windows have
satisfied most that it is a Ferruginous Hawk. But primary-windows can also
be shared by Harlan's and are typical of Rough-legged. Structurally many of
us feel this latter bird is closer to Rough-legged. Can a juvenile
Rough-legged ever have a tail this dark?

There is considerable debate about whether these latter photos actually
show feathered tarsi.

Hybridization has been practiced in falconry for centuries, and there are
plenty of examples in the field as well (e.g., Common Black x
Red-shouldered here in California), so it strikes me as odd that mysterious
dark raptors are so boldly pigeonholed into species categories. To me, both
the birds above would better be described as possible Ferruginous x
Red-tailed hybrids than pure Ferruginous Hawks. Better yet, why are they
not just Red-tailed Hawks, either harlani, alascensis, or intergrades with
calurus?

Many thanks,

Tristan McKee
Arcata, CA

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Re: the Lesser Canada--Cackling mess
From: Paul Guris <paulagics.com AT GMAIL.COM>
Date: Thu, 18 Feb 2016 12:29:10 -0500
*"BUT, I would also add that there seem to be at least a very small number
of valid records of true minima Cacklings (which breed only in sw AK) from
the East (I once saw such a tiny, very dark pinky-brown-breasted bird in
DE, for example), so IF that subspecies can legitimately occur all the way
to the East Coast, then why not parvipes?"*

I'd just like to add one caution on the potential of escaped or released
Canada / Cackling Geese.  Years ago I did some research for some record or
another for the NJ Bird Records Committee.  I stumbled onto a waterfowl
breeder who sold (or claimed to be selling) 6 or 7 different Canada /
Cackling subspecies including *parvipes*.  It stuck in my head because I
thought it was an absolutely insane thing to do, but I guess some people
just like to collect the whole set.  I remember that *minima* Cackling
(then Canada) Geese were available at several farms as well.  The
availability of waterfowl is kind of nuts, and the prices are generally
pretty cheap.

FYI, while there seem to be fewer waterfowl farms online today there are
still some interesting things you can buy.  If you have $400 burning a hole
in your pocket and a pond, one site I just saw has a pair of Smews up for
sale for the bargain price (I guess) of just $400.  Same price for a pair
of Baikal Teal.  Be the first on your block to own a pair!  Interestingly
"Cackler Geese" go for just $200/pair but "Pacific Brant" run $1,500/pair!


-PAG


On Thu, Feb 18, 2016 at 11:49 AM, Paul Lehman 
wrote:

> As alluded to by others, and known by virtually all, indeed the situation
> with parvipes (Lesser) Canada Geese and taverneri Cackling Geese in w.
> Alaska and elsewhere is pretty much a mess. And as stated by Alvaro, nobody
> really agrees on what they are seeing in the Nome area, for example. It
> seems most of us identify almost all (or all) birds there as taverneri,
> with some folks also reporting small numbers of parvipes as well. Some of
> these folks are VERY knowledgeable about geese, and many are not. I am also
> the eBird reviewer for the Nome region, so I get to deal with many these
> reports!  And what do I do??  So far I have pretty much punted on all of
> them, and virtually all of the parvipes eBird reports are still languishing
> in the queue!
>
> Given the western Alaska breeding range of parvipes, and the apparent
> variation possible in hutchinsii (Richardson's) Cackling Geese, a number of
> people have suggested that most or almost all of the rare-but-routine
> reports of parvipes in the East are incorrect and are the result of faulty
> conventional wisdom. They may well be largely or entirely correct. Though,
> when I formerly lived on the East Coast, I and others did think we saw
> parvipes on several occasions in NJ and se. PA, for example--though I am
> hardly going to strongly defend those records today.  BUT, I would also add
> that there seem to be at least a very small number of valid records of true
> minima Cacklings (which breed only in sw AK) from the East (I once saw such
> a tiny, very dark pinky-brown-breasted bird in DE, for example), so IF that
> subspecies can legitimately occur all the way to the East Coast, then why
> not parvipes?
>
> And lastly, it might seem an easy way to differentiate Canada ssp.'s from
> Cacklings on the breeding grounds might be that Canadas are forest and
> taiga breeders and that Cacklings are tundra breeders. But that doesn't
> seem to work, either, given the tundra situation in the Nome region and
> also locally farther east in the Canadian Arctic. AND it seems as though
> the fairly recent spread of nesting white-chinned geese to western
> GREENLAND actually involves Canada Geese, even though on the face of it it
> would seem that it "should" involve eastward spreading hutchinsii
> Cacklings.  That is, if the ID is correct....
>
> --Paul Lehman,  San Diego
>
> Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
>



-- 







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

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: the Lesser Canada--Cackling mess
From: Paul Lehman <lehman.paul1 AT VERIZON.NET>
Date: Thu, 18 Feb 2016 08:49:06 -0800
As alluded to by others, and known by virtually all, indeed the 
situation with parvipes (Lesser) Canada Geese and taverneri Cackling 
Geese in w. Alaska and elsewhere is pretty much a mess. And as stated by 
Alvaro, nobody really agrees on what they are seeing in the Nome area, 
for example. It seems most of us identify almost all (or all) birds 
there as taverneri, with some folks also reporting small numbers of 
parvipes as well. Some of these folks are VERY knowledgeable about 
geese, and many are not. I am also the eBird reviewer for the Nome 
region, so I get to deal with many these reports!  And what do I do??  
So far I have pretty much punted on all of them, and virtually all of 
the parvipes eBird reports are still languishing in the queue!

Given the western Alaska breeding range of parvipes, and the apparent 
variation possible in hutchinsii (Richardson's) Cackling Geese, a number 
of people have suggested that most or almost all of the rare-but-routine 
reports of parvipes in the East are incorrect and are the result of 
faulty conventional wisdom. They may well be largely or entirely 
correct. Though, when I formerly lived on the East Coast, I and others 
did think we saw parvipes on several occasions in NJ and se. PA, for 
example--though I am hardly going to strongly defend those records 
today.  BUT, I would also add that there seem to be at least a very 
small number of valid records of true minima Cacklings (which breed only 
in sw AK) from the East (I once saw such a tiny, very dark 
pinky-brown-breasted bird in DE, for example), so IF that subspecies can 
legitimately occur all the way to the East Coast, then why not parvipes?

And lastly, it might seem an easy way to differentiate Canada ssp.'s 
from Cacklings on the breeding grounds might be that Canadas are forest 
and taiga breeders and that Cacklings are tundra breeders. But that 
doesn't seem to work, either, given the tundra situation in the Nome 
region and also locally farther east in the Canadian Arctic. AND it 
seems as though the fairly recent spread of nesting white-chinned geese 
to western GREENLAND actually involves Canada Geese, even though on the 
face of it it would seem that it "should" involve eastward spreading 
hutchinsii Cacklings.  That is, if the ID is correct....

--Paul Lehman,  San Diego

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Re: goose ID
From: whoffman AT PEAK.ORG
Date: Wed, 17 Feb 2016 20:14:41 -0800
Hi - 

I sent a private email to David Irons, but now I think it makes sense to 
discuss this with the whole community, and in greater depth. When the AOU split 
the white-cheeked geese from 2 species into 3, they suggested that further 
splits might happen. I had already been of the opinion that at least one more 
was appropriate. It has been reported by multiple observers, and dating back at 
least into the 1930s that form minima ,which has a small breeding range on the 
Bering Sea Coast of Alaska, nests in close proximity to a somewhat larger (but 
still small) form of goose, without evidence of interbreeding. I think the 
neighboring geese would now be considered taverneri . True "Cackling" Geese 
(i.e. minima ) differ in a variety of ways from the other forms now included in 
the broader-sense Cackling Goose, Branta hutchinsii . Besides being the 
smallest and most compact, they differ in voice, as David pointed out. If I 
remember correctly, they are more colonial in nesting habits than most 
white-cheeked geese - more like Chen . In winter flocks they consistently form 
tighter groups while feeding, enough so that their flocks are recognizable at 
great distance from flocks of other forms wintering in the Willamette Valley 


I believe that minima should be recognized as separate from the rest of the 
mainland forms currently included in hutchinsii . The rub comes in deciding 
what to do with AleutianGeese - Are they closer to minima , or to the remainder 
of hutchinsii ? or are they different enough to be called yet another species? 
[By rules of priority a species including minima + Aleutian Geese would be 
called Branta leucopareia .] 


One important thing to understand about the White-cheeked Geese is that much of 
the range now occupied by the various distinguishable breeding populations was 
glaciated as little as 15,000 years ago. So, evolution of the differences among 
them, whether you recognize them as multiple species or not, has been very 
rapid compared to most other birds. Therefore the molecular criteria that work 
for defining species in most bird groups likely will not be adequate for 
separating biological species here. This is also the case with a few other bird 
groups, including prairie grouse and crossbills. So with these geese we could 
have non-interbreeding, morphologically differentiated populations (i.e. 
biological species) whose genomic separation is as yet unimpressive. 


In the case of these geese, I think the factors that allow this rapid 
evolutionary differentiation are 1) body size and proportions, including wing 
loading, and relative neck length and bill shape are very responsive to 
selection that is related to differences in their food plants in their breeding 
habitat, and also length of breeding season at different latitudes; 2) 
multi-year monogamous pair bonds; 3) the behavior of migrating and wintering in 
flocks that are composed of family units, migrating with neighbor family units, 
and 4) pair formation largely within these wintering flocks of relative 
neighbors. Together, I think these factors facilitate rapid local adaptation of 
size and proportions, and evolution of behavioral isolating mechanisms. 


Wayne Hoffman 


From: "Alvaro Jaramillo"  
To: "BIRDWG01"  
Sent: Wednesday, February 17, 2016 7:15:45 PM 
Subject: Re: [BIRDWG01] goose ID 

David et al. 
A fresh nomenclatural start is a good idea. There are other issues that require 
some work to sort out what is going on. These two have bugged me for some time 
1) Canada Geese in Anchorage, are listed as "Lesser" Canada Geese. Yet they are 
pretty darn dark on the breast and underparts. I have wondered exactly what 
makes these NOT Dusky Canada Geese, or a northern, paler version (cline?) of 
Dusky Canada Geese. I googled for some images, this newspaper article actually 
has some good photos for you all to see what I am talking about. 
http://www.adn.com/article/20140914/too-many-waterfowl-too-much-foul-water-anchorage 

2) What are the geese in Nome? Those birds look indeterminate to me, Cackling 
or Lesser. What are they? Are these the real Lesser? Are they hybrids? Are they 
the real Taverner's? The answer has never been clear to me, and there seems to 
be many opinions out there, and an annual assortment of tour guide leaders who 
do not know what to do with them. Any thoughts someone? 

Googled some images from Nome, here are some to look at 
http://www.birdspix.com/north-america/ducks-geese-and-swans-anatidae/geese/cackling-goose-2 


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 David Sibley 

Sent: Wednesday, February 17, 2016 2:55 PM 
To: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU 
Subject: Re: [BIRDWG01] goose ID 

I agree with the comments by Ken Abraham and Shai Mitra about the difficulty of 
identifying the Central Park goose, and would only add that there's no way to 
rule out the possibility of a Cackling Goose X Canada Goose hybrid. 


I also wanted to emphasize and expand on the point made by Ken Abraham, that 
"Lesser" Canada Goose simply doesn't exist outside of the westernmost states 
and provinces. This is contrary to virtually all published references 
(including the Sibley Guide to Birds, ahem, but changed in the forthcoming 
revised Eastern and Western guides). The latest evidence suggests that the 
breeding white-cheeked geese of north-central Canada are simply Canada Goose 
(subspecies *interior*) and Cackling Goose (*hutchinsii*), both showing a cline 
of size slightly larger in the south and smaller in the north, and with some 
amount of interbreeding where they meet. There is apparently no widespread and 
uniform population of medium-sized geese in central Canada. 


Geese that are genetically Canada and as small as "Lesser" have been found 
breeding only in central and southern Alaska, wintering in the Pacific states, 
although it sounds like there has been little study of geese in northwestern 
Canada. Unanswered questions (as far as I know) include where and how, or if, 
these small Canada Geese interact with neighboring populations, especially with 
*taverneri* Cackling Goose to the north or larger Canada Geese to the east. 


I don't know enough about the rules of nomenclature to know what this means for 
the name *parvipes*, which is based on a specimen from Veracruz, Mexico, but 
certainly in the birding world and discussions like this one it sounds like the 
whole concept of "Lesser Canada Goose, *B. c. parvipes*" 

should be retired, and the Alaska population should get a new name and a fresh 
start. 


Best, 
David Sibley 
Concord, MA 
sibleyguides AT gmail.com 
www.sibleyguides.com 

On Sun, Feb 14, 2016 at 11:28 AM, Peter Post  wrote: 

> I photographed this goose, yesterday, 13 February, on the Central 
> Park Reservoir, New York City. I would appreciate comments concerning 
> ID. I'm leaning toward B. canadensis parvipes. Thanks. 
> 
> Photos can be found here: 
> http://www.ardithbondi.com/page127.html 
> 
> Peter Post 
> New York City, 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 

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Re: goose ID
From: Alvaro Jaramillo <chucao AT COASTSIDE.NET>
Date: Wed, 17 Feb 2016 19:15:45 -0800
David et al. 
 A fresh nomenclatural start is a good idea. There are other issues that 
require some work to sort out what is going on. These two have bugged me for 
some time 1) Canada Geese in Anchorage, are listed as "Lesser" Canada Geese. 
Yet they are pretty darn dark on the breast and underparts. I have wondered 
exactly what makes these NOT Dusky Canada Geese, or a northern, paler version 
(cline?) of Dusky Canada Geese. I googled for some images, this newspaper 
article actually has some good photos for you all to see what I am talking 
about. 
http://www.adn.com/article/20140914/too-many-waterfowl-too-much-foul-water-anchorage 

2) What are the geese in Nome? Those birds look indeterminate to me, Cackling 
or Lesser. What are they? Are these the real Lesser? Are they hybrids? Are they 
the real Taverner's? The answer has never been clear to me, and there seems to 
be many opinions out there, and an annual assortment of tour guide leaders who 
do not know what to do with them. Any thoughts someone? 

Googled some images from Nome, here are some to look at 
http://www.birdspix.com/north-america/ducks-geese-and-swans-anatidae/geese/cackling-goose-2 


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 David Sibley 

Sent: Wednesday, February 17, 2016 2:55 PM
To: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
Subject: Re: [BIRDWG01] goose ID

I agree with the comments by Ken Abraham and Shai Mitra about the difficulty of 
identifying the Central Park goose, and would only add that there's no way to 
rule out the possibility of a Cackling Goose X Canada Goose hybrid. 


I also wanted to emphasize and expand on the point made by Ken Abraham, that 
"Lesser" Canada Goose simply doesn't exist outside of the westernmost states 
and provinces. This is contrary to virtually all published references 
(including the Sibley Guide to Birds, ahem, but changed in the forthcoming 
revised Eastern and Western guides). The latest evidence suggests that the 
breeding white-cheeked geese of north-central Canada are simply Canada Goose 
(subspecies *interior*) and Cackling Goose (*hutchinsii*), both showing a cline 
of size slightly larger in the south and smaller in the north, and with some 
amount of interbreeding where they meet. There is apparently no widespread and 
uniform population of medium-sized geese in central Canada. 


Geese that are genetically Canada and as small as "Lesser" have been found 
breeding only in central and southern Alaska, wintering in the Pacific states, 
although it sounds like there has been little study of geese in northwestern 
Canada. Unanswered questions (as far as I know) include where and how, or if, 
these small Canada Geese interact with neighboring populations, especially with 
*taverneri* Cackling Goose to the north or larger Canada Geese to the east. 


I don't know enough about the rules of nomenclature to know what this means for 
the name *parvipes*, which is based on a specimen from Veracruz, Mexico, but 
certainly in the birding world and discussions like this one it sounds like the 
whole concept of "Lesser Canada Goose, *B. c. parvipes*" 

should be retired, and the Alaska population should get a new name and a fresh 
start. 


Best,
David Sibley
Concord, MA
sibleyguides AT gmail.com
www.sibleyguides.com

On Sun, Feb 14, 2016 at 11:28 AM, Peter Post  wrote:

> I  photographed this goose, yesterday, 13 February, on the Central 
> Park Reservoir, New York City. I would  appreciate comments concerning 
> ID. I'm leaning toward B. canadensis parvipes. Thanks.
>
> Photos can be found here:
> http://www.ardithbondi.com/page127.html
>
> Peter Post
> New York City, 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: goose ID
From: Bruce Deuel <bdeuel AT WILDBLUE.NET>
Date: Wed, 17 Feb 2016 19:33:04 -0500
From my perspective here in northern California I have a different opinion from 
that of Dave Irons as to the recognizability of parvipes versus taverneri. I've 
seen fair numbers of both here and haven't had much trouble telling them apart. 
Parvipes looks like a small, shorter necked moffitti, and taverneri doesn't, 
having a more triangular bill, sometimes swollen near the base. I would 
definitely agree, however, that genetic sampling would be extremely helpful, as 
lone individuals often present more of a problem. 

By the way, I've seen pictures of sizable flocks of birds I would call parvipes 
by head and bill shape on Sauvies Island near Portland. 

Cheers,
Bruce Deuel
Red Bluff, CA

----- Original Message -----
From: "David Irons" 
To: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
Sent: Wednesday, February 17, 2016 3:37:49 PM
Subject: Re: [BIRDWG01] goose ID

Greetings All,

David Sibley addresses a question that I have been kicking around among my 
fellow local (Pacific Northwest) birders for about two years or so. I have 
become convinced that Lesser Canada Goose and Taverner's Cackling Goose appear 
to be one in the same. In addition to their described similarity in appearance, 
I find their vocalizations to be the most compelling piece of evidence that 
suggests Tavs are not Cackling Geese. Birds that are generally called Tavs by 
all of us PNW folks give vocalizations that sound very much like those of the 
larger resident Canada's (B. c. moffitti). When mixed in with "minima" 
Cacklers, which have a much higher pitched yelping call, their deeper honking 
calls are conspicuously different. Try as I might, I can't find Lesser-sized 
birds that look noticeably different than what we typically call Taverner's. 


I agree that we need to return to the taxonomic drawing board and start from 
scratch with genetic sampling. I looked at the Central Park bird and thought it 
looked like a Tav, though the bill seems a bit long and flat-sloped. 


Dave Irons
Portland, OR

Sent from my iPhone

> On Feb 17, 2016, at 3:11 PM, David Sibley  wrote:
> 
> I agree with the comments by Ken Abraham and Shai Mitra about the
> difficulty of identifying the Central Park goose, and would only add that
> there's no way to rule out the possibility of a Cackling Goose X Canada
> Goose hybrid.
> 
> I also wanted to emphasize and expand on the point made by Ken Abraham,
> that "Lesser" Canada Goose simply doesn't exist outside of the westernmost
> states and provinces. This is contrary to virtually all published
> references (including the Sibley Guide to Birds, ahem, but changed in the
> forthcoming revised Eastern and Western guides). The latest evidence
> suggests that the breeding white-cheeked geese of north-central Canada are
> simply Canada Goose (subspecies *interior*) and Cackling Goose 
(*hutchinsii*), 

> both showing a cline of size slightly larger in the south and smaller in
> the north, and with some amount of interbreeding where they meet. There is
> apparently no widespread and uniform population of medium-sized geese in
> central Canada.
> 
> Geese that are genetically Canada and as small as "Lesser" have been found
> breeding only in central and southern Alaska, wintering in the Pacific
> states, although it sounds like there has been little study of geese in
> northwestern Canada. Unanswered questions (as far as I know) include where
> and how, or if, these small Canada Geese interact with neighboring
> populations, especially with *taverneri* Cackling Goose to the north or
> larger Canada Geese to the east.
> 
> I don't know enough about the rules of nomenclature to know what this means
> for the name *parvipes*, which is based on a specimen from Veracruz,
> Mexico, but certainly in the birding world and discussions like this one it
> sounds like the whole concept of "Lesser Canada Goose, *B. c. parvipes*"
> should be retired, and the Alaska population should get a new name and a
> fresh start.
> 
> Best,
> David Sibley
> Concord, MA
> sibleyguides AT gmail.com
> www.sibleyguides.com
> 
>> On Sun, Feb 14, 2016 at 11:28 AM, Peter Post  wrote:
>> 
>> I  photographed this goose, yesterday, 13 February, on the Central Park
>> Reservoir, New York City. I would  appreciate comments concerning ID. I'm
>> leaning toward B. canadensis parvipes. Thanks.
>> 
>> Photos can be found here:
>> http://www.ardithbondi.com/page127.html
>> 
>> Peter Post
>> New York City, 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

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Re: goose ID
From: David Irons <llsdirons AT MSN.COM>
Date: Wed, 17 Feb 2016 15:37:49 -0800
Greetings All,

David Sibley addresses a question that I have been kicking around among my 
fellow local (Pacific Northwest) birders for about two years or so. I have 
become convinced that Lesser Canada Goose and Taverner's Cackling Goose appear 
to be one in the same. In addition to their described similarity in appearance, 
I find their vocalizations to be the most compelling piece of evidence that 
suggests Tavs are not Cackling Geese. Birds that are generally called Tavs by 
all of us PNW folks give vocalizations that sound very much like those of the 
larger resident Canada's (B. c. moffitti). When mixed in with "minima" 
Cacklers, which have a much higher pitched yelping call, their deeper honking 
calls are conspicuously different. Try as I might, I can't find Lesser-sized 
birds that look noticeably different than what we typically call Taverner's. 


I agree that we need to return to the taxonomic drawing board and start from 
scratch with genetic sampling. I looked at the Central Park bird and thought it 
looked like a Tav, though the bill seems a bit long and flat-sloped. 


Dave Irons
Portland, OR

Sent from my iPhone

> On Feb 17, 2016, at 3:11 PM, David Sibley  wrote:
> 
> I agree with the comments by Ken Abraham and Shai Mitra about the
> difficulty of identifying the Central Park goose, and would only add that
> there's no way to rule out the possibility of a Cackling Goose X Canada
> Goose hybrid.
> 
> I also wanted to emphasize and expand on the point made by Ken Abraham,
> that "Lesser" Canada Goose simply doesn't exist outside of the westernmost
> states and provinces. This is contrary to virtually all published
> references (including the Sibley Guide to Birds, ahem, but changed in the
> forthcoming revised Eastern and Western guides). The latest evidence
> suggests that the breeding white-cheeked geese of north-central Canada are
> simply Canada Goose (subspecies *interior*) and Cackling Goose 
(*hutchinsii*), 

> both showing a cline of size slightly larger in the south and smaller in
> the north, and with some amount of interbreeding where they meet. There is
> apparently no widespread and uniform population of medium-sized geese in
> central Canada.
> 
> Geese that are genetically Canada and as small as "Lesser" have been found
> breeding only in central and southern Alaska, wintering in the Pacific
> states, although it sounds like there has been little study of geese in
> northwestern Canada. Unanswered questions (as far as I know) include where
> and how, or if, these small Canada Geese interact with neighboring
> populations, especially with *taverneri* Cackling Goose to the north or
> larger Canada Geese to the east.
> 
> I don't know enough about the rules of nomenclature to know what this means
> for the name *parvipes*, which is based on a specimen from Veracruz,
> Mexico, but certainly in the birding world and discussions like this one it
> sounds like the whole concept of "Lesser Canada Goose, *B. c. parvipes*"
> should be retired, and the Alaska population should get a new name and a
> fresh start.
> 
> Best,
> David Sibley
> Concord, MA
> sibleyguides AT gmail.com
> www.sibleyguides.com
> 
>> On Sun, Feb 14, 2016 at 11:28 AM, Peter Post  wrote:
>> 
>> I  photographed this goose, yesterday, 13 February, on the Central Park
>> Reservoir, New York City. I would  appreciate comments concerning ID. I'm
>> leaning toward B. canadensis parvipes. Thanks.
>> 
>> Photos can be found here:
>> http://www.ardithbondi.com/page127.html
>> 
>> Peter Post
>> New York City, 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: goose ID
From: David Sibley <sibleyguides AT GMAIL.COM>
Date: Wed, 17 Feb 2016 17:55:18 -0500
I agree with the comments by Ken Abraham and Shai Mitra about the
difficulty of identifying the Central Park goose, and would only add that
there's no way to rule out the possibility of a Cackling Goose X Canada
Goose hybrid.

I also wanted to emphasize and expand on the point made by Ken Abraham,
that "Lesser" Canada Goose simply doesn't exist outside of the westernmost
states and provinces. This is contrary to virtually all published
references (including the Sibley Guide to Birds, ahem, but changed in the
forthcoming revised Eastern and Western guides). The latest evidence
suggests that the breeding white-cheeked geese of north-central Canada are
simply Canada Goose (subspecies *interior*) and Cackling Goose (*hutchinsii*),
both showing a cline of size slightly larger in the south and smaller in
the north, and with some amount of interbreeding where they meet. There is
apparently no widespread and uniform population of medium-sized geese in
central Canada.

Geese that are genetically Canada and as small as "Lesser" have been found
breeding only in central and southern Alaska, wintering in the Pacific
states, although it sounds like there has been little study of geese in
northwestern Canada. Unanswered questions (as far as I know) include where
and how, or if, these small Canada Geese interact with neighboring
populations, especially with *taverneri* Cackling Goose to the north or
larger Canada Geese to the east.

I don't know enough about the rules of nomenclature to know what this means
for the name *parvipes*, which is based on a specimen from Veracruz,
Mexico, but certainly in the birding world and discussions like this one it
sounds like the whole concept of "Lesser Canada Goose, *B. c. parvipes*"
should be retired, and the Alaska population should get a new name and a
fresh start.

Best,
David Sibley
Concord, MA
sibleyguides AT gmail.com
www.sibleyguides.com

On Sun, Feb 14, 2016 at 11:28 AM, Peter Post  wrote:

> I  photographed this goose, yesterday, 13 February, on the Central Park
> Reservoir, New York City. I would  appreciate comments concerning ID. I'm
> leaning toward B. canadensis parvipes. Thanks.
>
> Photos can be found here:
> http://www.ardithbondi.com/page127.html
>
> Peter Post
> New York City, NY
> Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
>

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Re: Painted Bunting plumage variation?
From: Peter Pyle <ppyle AT BIRDPOP.ORG>
Date: Tue, 16 Feb 2016 16:48:08 -0800
Hi Nancy -

I believe that this is an adult (ASY) female. The 
green primary coverts and lack of an eccentric 
molt pattern in the wings indicates ASY. The wash 
of male-like coloration occurs in some older 
female passerines and ducks (and probably other 
birds as well). In ducks it has been linked to 
declining estrogen levels which "unmasks" the 
underlying male-like plumage coloration. I'm not 
sure if the same mechanisms apply to passerines 
but I have seen similar muted male-like 
coloration in several other adult female Painted Buntings over the years.

Hope this helps,

Peter

At 09:52 AM 2/16/2016, Bill and Nancy LaFramboise wrote:
>I am currently banding Painted Buntings that over-winter in Florida and
>have seen many plumage variations.  However, a bird (photos on the Flickr
>site below) that was banded on January 30, 2016 is particularly unusual.
>It shows reddish coloration on the breast almost approaching that of a male
>bird but the rest of it is green typical of females/young males.  I
>acknowledge that there are “greens”, females and HY/SY males, with a rosy
>wash however I have never seen any with hints of male plumage (a few blue
>feathers around the eyes and a bit of red on the rump, secondaries, and
>median coverts).
>
>I am hoping someone on this list can comment on the possible cause/
>explanation of this plumage variation - could it be an instance of
>gynadromorphism?  The molt sequence of Painted Buntings (males do not get
>their color until the 2nd pre-basic molt) does not explain this
>combination.   It was not molting and is not coming into a pre-alternate
>molt.
>
>Photos are in this Flickr album:
>https://www.flickr.com/photos/22949601 AT N08/albums/72157661941603473
>
>see description notes below photos
>
>
>
>Nancy LaFramboise
>
>Stuart, FL
>
>Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: More on the Central Park Goose
From: Peter Post <pwpost AT NYC.RR.COM>
Date: Tue, 16 Feb 2016 14:19:02 -0500
FROM NYS BIRDS

Begin forwarded message:

> From: Shaibal Mitra 
> Date: February 16, 2016 8:26:47 AM EST
> To: "NYSbirds-L AT cornell.edu cornell" 
> Subject: RE: [nysbirds-l] Central Park Goose. An Experts Opinion
> Reply-To: Shaibal Mitra 
>
> Hi Peter and all,
>
> Two facts have been known for a long time but seem consistently  
> neglected in the conventional wisdom:
>
> 1. Richardson's Goose has occurred in the Northeast for a long time  
> (old specimen records), it is increasing in abundance and  
> distribution, and it is highly  variable..
> 2. Despite lots of talk, parvipes is not known to occur in the  
> Northeast (no NYS specimen records from the pre-split days, unlike  
> Richardson's).
>
> Discussions of the kind surrounding the Central Park goose arise  
> all the time, frequently enough that I think they need to be framed  
> better.
>
> Typically, the starting point is perplexity over a bird that  
> resembles a Richardson's Goose in several ways, but deviates in  
> some way (usually body size or bill size).
>
> I don't have time to compile my notes in detail right now, but I  
> found some relevant verbiage in my outbox, from a discussion of a  
> larger-than-expected Richardson's type from Bergen, NJ, back in  
> January 2010:
>
> I think people's idea of what a 'standard-issue' Richardson's  
> Goose looks like has been skewed by its perceived rarity, so that  
> the smallest, most extreme individuals have been reported/ 
> identified disproportionately in our region. On LI, we have often  
> found obvious (= extreme) Richardson's Geese in the company of  
> somewhat larger but otherwise essentially identical individuals.
>
> Data from the breeding grounds show that male Richardson's Geese,  
> while smaller than Canada Geese, are by no means always tiny. I  
> have argued that the conservative approach to larger-than-expected   
> birds showing the characters of this taxon in our region is  
> Richardson's until proven otherwise. That is, the burden of proof  
> has shifted to those who suggest that parvipes Lesser Canada Geese  
> occur at all regularly in our region."
>
> Having said all this, I agree that the Central Park bird's bill  
> seems very large for a Richardson's. But that's just one character.  
> On the pro Richardson's side is a very important field mark that we  
> worked out in the early years of this era of gossaging: dorsal  
> contour.
>
> Richardson's Geese have long wings in proportion to their body  
> size. At rest, the peak of the back rises close to the front end of  
> the body (often in a distinct little hump), then drops back in a  
> long straight line, or even a slightly concave line, through the  
> relatively long (usually pale) tertials. Furthermore, the tertials  
> account for a larger proportion of the length of the dorsal contour.
>
> In contrast, in Canada Goose, the dorsal contour is better  
> described as a hemispheric dome, peaking farther back, at the  
> middle of the body, and appearing evenly rounded.
>
> Shai Mitra
> Bay Shore
>
>
>
>


Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Painted Bunting plumage variation?
From: Bill and Nancy LaFramboise <billnan321 AT GMAIL.COM>
Date: Tue, 16 Feb 2016 12:52:13 -0500
I am currently banding Painted Buntings that over-winter in Florida and
have seen many plumage variations.  However, a bird (photos on the Flickr
site below) that was banded on January 30, 2016 is particularly unusual.
It shows reddish coloration on the breast almost approaching that of a male
bird but the rest of it is green typical of females/young males.  I
acknowledge that there are “greens”, females and HY/SY males, with a rosy
wash however I have never seen any with hints of male plumage (a few blue
feathers around the eyes and a bit of red on the rump, secondaries, and
median coverts).

I am hoping someone on this list can comment on the possible cause/
explanation of this plumage variation - could it be an instance of
gynadromorphism?  The molt sequence of Painted Buntings (males do not get
their color until the 2nd pre-basic molt) does not explain this
combination.   It was not molting and is not coming into a pre-alternate
molt.

Photos are in this Flickr album:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/22949601 AT N08/albums/72157661941603473

see description notes below photos



Nancy LaFramboise

Stuart, FL

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Comments solicited - Cape Verde Shearwater (Maryland - 2006)
From: Phil Davis <pdavis AT IX.NETCOM.COM>
Date: Tue, 16 Feb 2016 02:03:40 -0500
Hi Frontiers and Seabirders:

Background
On 21 October 2006, a putative Cape Verde Shearwater (Calonectris 
edwardsii) was observed and photographed in Maryland waters on a See 
Life Paulagics pelagic trip out of Lewes, Delaware.

Even though the bird was seen, albeit briefly, by multiple observers, 
only a few photographs and one written report were submitted to the 
Maryland/District of Columbia Records Committee (MD/DCRC).

Expert opinions were solicited on the photographs and in 2008 the 
report was accepted by the MD/DCRC as the first state record for 
Maryland [MD/2006-264] and the second North American record.

In 2015, a former member of the MD/DCRC and a prominent field guide 
author (himself, a former MD/DCRC member) approached the committee 
and suggested that the committee may want to reopen/reconsider the 
record based on a better collective understanding of the 
identification of Cory's, Cape Verde, and Scopoli's Shearwaters 
derived over the past decade.

Request
The MD/DCRC has posted the original written report and photographs 
along with the four key concerns raised in support of potentially 
reopening this record.

Our committee procedures allow us to reopen a record based on new 
information. The committee decided to post this information and 
solicit opinions from knowledgeable seabirders before making a final 
decision as to whether to reopen this record.

Some of the people who originally commented on these photos still 
subscribe to these listservers; however, we decided to not post the 
original comments again in order to start over with a clean slate. We 
would welcome any updated comments based on a fresh look at this documentation.

The photographs and original written report can be found here ...

 
https://mddcrcresources.wordpress.com/2016/02/09/potential-reopenning-of-marylands-cape-verde-shearwater/ 



Comments
This request for comments has been posted to the Birdwg01 (Frontiers 
of Bird Identification) and Seabird-News listservers. The committee 
Secretary (Phil Davis, pdavis AT ix.netcom.com) will capture and compile 
all comments posted to those listservers.

Thanks, in advance.

Phil


===================================================
Phil Davis, Secretary
MD/DC Records Committee
2549 Vale Court
Davidsonville, Maryland  21035     USA
301-261-0184
mailto:PDavis AT ix.netcom.com

MD/DCRC Web site:  http://www.MDBirds.org/mddcrc/rcindex.html
=================================================== 

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Comments solicited - Cape Verde Shearwater (Maryland - 2006)
From: Phil Davis <pdavis AT ix.netcom.com>
Date: Tue, 16 Feb 2016 02:03:40 -0500
Hi Frontiers and Seabirders:

Background
On 21 October 2006, a putative Cape Verde Shearwater (Calonectris 
edwardsii) was observed and photographed in Maryland waters on a See 
Life Paulagics pelagic trip out of Lewes, Delaware.

Even though the bird was seen, albeit briefly, by multiple observers, 
only a few photographs and one written report were submitted to the 
Maryland/District of Columbia Records Committee (MD/DCRC).

Expert opinions were solicited on the photographs and in 2008 the 
report was accepted by the MD/DCRC as the first state record for 
Maryland [MD/2006-264] and the second North American record.

In 2015, a former member of the MD/DCRC and a prominent field guide 
author (himself, a former MD/DCRC member) approached the committee 
and suggested that the committee may want to reopen/reconsider the 
record based on a better collective understanding of the 
identification of Cory's, Cape Verde, and Scopoli's Shearwaters 
derived over the past decade.

Request
The MD/DCRC has posted the original written report and photographs 
along with the four key concerns raised in support of potentially 
reopening this record.

Our committee procedures allow us to reopen a record based on new 
information. The committee decided to post this information and 
solicit opinions from knowledgeable seabirders before making a final 
decision as to whether to reopen this record.

Some of the people who originally commented on these photos still 
subscribe to these listservers; however, we decided to not post the 
original comments again in order to start over with a clean slate. We 
would welcome any updated comments based on a fresh look at this documentation.

The photographs and original written report can be found here ...

 
https://mddcrcresources.wordpress.com/2016/02/09/potential-reopenning-of-marylands-cape-verde-shearwater/ 



Comments
This request for comments has been posted to the Birdwg01 (Frontiers 
of Bird Identification) and Seabird-News listservers. The committee 
Secretary (Phil Davis, pdavis AT ix.netcom.com) will capture and compile 
all comments posted to those listservers.

Thanks, in advance.

Phil


===================================================
Phil Davis, Secretary
MD/DC Records Committee
2549 Vale Court
Davidsonville, Maryland  21035     USA
301-261-0184
mailto:PDavis AT ix.netcom.com

MD/DCRC Web site:  http://www.MDBirds.org/mddcrc/rcindex.html
=================================================== 

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Subject: Re: sand plover images
From: Alex Lees <lincslister AT YAHOO.CO.UK>
Date: Mon, 15 Feb 2016 17:45:55 +0000
 Hi all Sorry, evidently theproblem wasn’t resolved by the addition of a 
single character between digitalvouchers, now reposted with more text 
separating the addresses. Note in the unlikelyevent of this failing, just 
splice the emails which all start with http://www.wikiaves.com.br plus a 
unique identifier. 

Two images from the 29thDecember: 
(http://www.wikiaves.com.br/1963968&p=5&t=b)and 
this:(http://www.wikiaves.com.br/1963959&t=b&p=5)and two from earlier in the 
month:(http://www.wikiaves.com.br/1944101&t=b&p=5)Plus: 
(http://www.wikiaves.com.br/1943013&t=b&p=5)Best Alex***********************************************************************Dr 
Alexander C. Lees 

Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Cornell University, 159 Sapsucker Woods 
Rd, Ithaca, NY 14850, 
USAhttp://www.freewebs.com/alexlees/index.htm Sustainable Amazon 
Networkhttp://www.redeamazoniasustentavel.org/ 

Follow me on Twitter: AT Alexander_Lees 
*********************************************************************** 



      From: Alex Lees 
 To: "BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU"  
 Sent: Monday, 15 February 2016, 11:43
 Subject: sand plover images
   
Hi all
Apologies - my html formatting ran all the images together into a 
single link:http://www.wikiaves.com.br/1963968&p=5&t=b& 
http://www.wikiaves.com.br/1963959&t=b&p=5&http://www.wikiaves.com.br/1944101&t=b&p=5&http://www.wikiaves.com.br/1943013&t=b&p=5Hope 
that works... 

cheers
Alex***********************************************************************Dr 
Alexander C. Lees 

Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Cornell University, 159 Sapsucker Woods 
Rd, Ithaca, NY 14850, 
USAhttp://www.freewebs.com/alexlees/index.htm Sustainable Amazon 
Networkhttp://www.redeamazoniasustentavel.org/ 

Follow me on Twitter: AT Alexander_Lees 
*********************************************************************** 




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

Subject: sand plover images
From: Alex Lees <lincslister AT YAHOO.CO.UK>
Date: Mon, 15 Feb 2016 16:43:13 +0000
Hi all
Apologies - my html formatting ran all the images together into a 
single link:http://www.wikiaves.com.br/1963968&p=5&t=b& 
http://www.wikiaves.com.br/1963959&t=b&p=5&http://www.wikiaves.com.br/1944101&t=b&p=5&http://www.wikiaves.com.br/1943013&t=b&p=5Hope 
that works... 

cheers
Alex***********************************************************************Dr 
Alexander C. Lees 

Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Cornell University, 159 Sapsucker Woods 
Rd, Ithaca, NY 14850, 
USAhttp://www.freewebs.com/alexlees/index.htm Sustainable Amazon 
Networkhttp://www.redeamazoniasustentavel.org/ 

Follow me on Twitter: AT Alexander_Lees 
*********************************************************************** 


Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Re: goose ID
From: jeaniron AT SYMPATICO.CA
Date: Mon, 15 Feb 2016 11:09:48 -0500
Hi Peter,

 

We asked goose expert Ken Abraham to comment. Please see
below.

 

Its difficult to tell what this bird is, other than
that it is smaller white-cheeked goose than the associated birds (which are
likely large Canada Geese of the local breeding population). The bill is the
obvious character trait that doesnt fit the birders conventional wisdom that
a cackling goose must have a short, stubby, triangular bill. This is not the
case. Photographs of breeding geese from Southampton Island and western Hudson
Bay coast of Nunavut deemed to be B. hutchinsii show a variety of bill shapes,
including ones that look like the bird in this observation. There is also a
fairly large variation in B. hutchinsii body size from the Nunavut-Manitoba
border to Baffin Island  (larger in the
south approaching the low end of the B. c. interior size range).  

 

My usual caveat about identification of any eastern
white-cheeked goose as a Lesser Canada Goose B. c. parvipes is that such a bird
would be exceedingly exceedingly rare based on all known band recoveries from
the restricted breeding range of B. c. parvipes 
as it understood since the revision of thinking about species and
subspecies in the 2004 A.O.U. split. Current thinking is that B. c. parvipes is
restricted to Alaska, and that the small white cheeked geese across the
Canadian arctic from Yukon to Nunavut are B. 
hutchinsii. The observer of this bird may not be aware of this (and
frankly most people arent because some of the information isnt published or
widely available).

 

Thus, as a conservative thinker on this issue of small
white-cheeked geese, I would call this bird a B. hutchinsii variant.

 

Ron Pittaway and Jean Iron

Toronto ON


> Date: Sun, 14 Feb 2016 11:28:03 -0500
> From: pwpost AT NYC.RR.COM
> Subject: [BIRDWG01] goose ID
> To: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
> 
> I  photographed this goose, yesterday, 13 February, on the Central  
> Park Reservoir, New York City. I would  appreciate comments  
> concerning ID. I'm leaning toward B. canadensis parvipes. Thanks.
> 
> Photos can be found here:
> http://www.ardithbondi.com/page127.html
> 
> Peter Post
> New York City, NY 
> 
> Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
 		 	   		  
Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Re: Brazilian sand plover
From: Alex Lees <lincslister AT YAHOO.CO.UK>
Date: Mon, 15 Feb 2016 15:01:34 +0000
Hi all
A sand plover sp. (the 1st for Brazil) was found and photographed 
 in southern Brazil in the municipality of Tavares, Rio Grande do Sul on 5 
December 2015 and refound on the 29 December 2015. Four images have been 
published 
online:  http://www.wikiaves.com.br/1963968&p=5&t=bhttp://www.wikiaves.com.br/1963959&t=b&p=5http://www.wikiaves.com.br/1944101&t=b&p=5http://www.wikiaves.com.br/1943013&t=b&p=5 
The images have been quite widely discussed in Brazil with strong opinions 
towards both species already voiced. Despite the reasonably high quality of 
the images the bird is quite chimeric and the bill profile could seemingly 
match either species, leg colour favours Lesser and the structure for me at 
least produces fairly ambivalent feelings. Was the Virginia sand plover ever 
accepted as one or the other? 

Anyone care to venture an opinion on this would-be Brazilian first?
best
Alex  
***********************************************************************
Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Cornell University, 159 Sapsucker Woods 
Rd, Ithaca, NY 14850, 
USAhttp://www.freewebs.com/alexlees/index.htm Sustainable Amazon 
Networkhttp://www.redeamazoniasustentavel.org/ 

Follow me on Twitter: AT Alexander_Lees 
*********************************************************************** 




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

Subject: goose ID
From: Peter Post <pwpost AT NYC.RR.COM>
Date: Sun, 14 Feb 2016 11:28:03 -0500
I  photographed this goose, yesterday, 13 February, on the Central  
Park Reservoir, New York City. I would  appreciate comments  
concerning ID. I'm leaning toward B. canadensis parvipes. Thanks.

Photos can be found here:
http://www.ardithbondi.com/page127.html

Peter Post
New York City, NY 

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Martin Garner
From: Phil Davis <pdavis AT IX.NETCOM.COM>
Date: Wed, 10 Feb 2016 13:04:06 -0500
I have not seen the news of Martin's untimely passing posted here. He 
certainly was a pioneer in the field of bird identification. He will be missed.

There are many obituaries posted in the UK. Here are two ...

         http://britishbirds.co.uk/article/martin-garner/

 
http://www.express.co.uk/comment/columnists/stuart-winter/642116/Birdman-Farewell-Martin-Garner-true-superstar-birding-world 


Phil


===================================================
Phil Davis, Secretary
MD/DC Records Committee
2549 Vale Court
Davidsonville, Maryland  21035     USA
301-261-0184
mailto:PDavis AT ix.netcom.com

MD/DCRC Web site:  http://www.MDBirds.org/mddcrc/rcindex.html
=================================================== 

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: No Subject
From: phil barnett <philbarnettox AT YAHOO.COM>
Date: Fri, 5 Feb 2016 09:51:22 +0000
Sorry wrong group.

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: No Subject
From: phil barnett <philbarnettox AT YAHOO.COM>
Date: Fri, 5 Feb 2016 09:50:21 +0000
Hi Lee, what do you think is the best record, Duran Duran - The ReflexDon 
Henley - Boys of Summer 

 

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Greater White-fronted Goose identification
From: phil barnett <philbarnettox AT YAHOO.COM>
Date: Fri, 5 Feb 2016 09:44:25 +0000
There's an interesting article on this in Birdwatch. There's a photo of an 
adult Eurasian  White-fronted Goose which has a yellow eye-ring above the eye 
but not below it, whereas the American races show a complete yellow 
eye-ring. Is this a feature? 


Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Sexing Northern Shrikes in the Field?
From: Jon Ruddy <accipitriformes AT GMAIL.COM>
Date: Thu, 4 Feb 2016 18:29:56 -0500
Hi there,

I have put together a short web article on the field ID of Northern Shrikes
which summarizes two excellent papers on the subject: Zimmerman (1955) and
Brady et al. (2009). I am curious to know if others have approached the
subject of ageing and sexing Northern Shrikes in the field (or through the
review of high quality digital images) and what their thoughts are on both
potential pitfalls and whether or not they feel this pursuit is possible,
both in terms of accuracy and consistency. Here's the link to the web
article: http://eontbird.ca/?p=1735.

Jon

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Re: "Interesting" juvenile Petrochelidon Swallow in Nebraska
From: Sam Manning <samgmanning1 AT GMAIL.COM>
Date: Thu, 4 Feb 2016 10:43:46 -0600
Besides posting to this group, I also contacted Mary Brown, who Ross
mentioned.  She stated that the swallow was a juvenile Cliff Swallow, most
likely coming from a nest in southern Texas that hatched in the 3rd week of
April and fledged in mid-May.

But knowing that this bird shows at least one suggestive characteristic of
a Cave Swallow, leaving it unidentified would probably be the "safest"
thing to do.

Thanks again
Sam Manning

On Wed, Feb 3, 2016 at 11:56 PM, Sam Manning  wrote:

> Hey all,
>
> On May 26th, 2014, I photographed an unusual juvenile Petrochelidon
> Swallow at Jack Sinn Memorial SWMA in eastern Nebraska.  I initially passed
> it off as an unusual Cliff Swallow, I looked at the pictures again recently
> and the swallow seemed to show characteristics of a juvenile Cave Swallow.
> I have done some research including consulting Tony Leukering's article
> "Cave Swallow: Colorado's Stealthiest Vagrant."  There is not a lot of
> information concerning this age of Cave Swallow, so I am looking for more
> opinions on the bird.  Photographs (both originals and cropped versions)
> can be found at the link below.
>
> https://www.flickr.com/photos/134465260 AT N02/albums/72157664131825761
>
>
> Here is also a list of characteristics that I seem to see in my
> photographs:
> 1) Pale orangish-brown forehead and similarly colored throat. In several
> pictures, there appear to be shadows giving the throat a darker appearance
> or a dark spot.  There are also several photographs in Tony Leukering's
> article with darker throated juvenile Cave Swallows too.
> 2) Pale auriculars that contrast the crown.
> 3) Pale superciliary connecting forehead and auriculars separating the
> crown.
> 4) Rather unmarked chest and restricted dark markings on it.
> 5) Nape contrasts crown and back.
> 6) Very unmarked undertail coverts. The picture that shows the undertail
> coverts is blurry but no dark marks can be seen.
> 7) Squarish tail, which eliminates hybrid with Barn Swallow.
>
> I unfortunately was unable to determine the exact color of the rump,
> though Leukering's article does not address the rump color, but focuses
> mainly on head features, which are the best features to separate the two
> species.  The rump color seemed to similar to the surrounding Cliff
> Swallows, but I made no note of it.
>
>
> Thanks,
> Samuel Manning
> Omaha, Nebraska, USA
>

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Re: "Interesting" juvenile Petrochelidon Swallow in Nebraska
From: Ross Silcock <silcock AT ROSSSILCOCK.COM>
Date: Thu, 4 Feb 2016 09:58:42 -0600
Hi all,

A note on timing of previously-documented Cave Swallow records in Nebraska. 
Charles Brown and Mary Brown have banded tens of thousands of Cliff Swallows 
in western Nebraska. Among the netted birds have been 4 juveniles, in the 
period 31 May-8 July; photographs of the first record, 31 May 1991, can be 
found in Nebraska Bird Review 60: 36-39.  Brown theorized that juvenile Cave 
Swallows may on occasion move north with spring-migrant Cliff Swallows. The 
date of Sam's photos, May 26, is very early for a Cliff Swallow to have 
fledged in Nebraska; mid-June is the earliest Nebraska date for Cliff 
Swallow fledglings to leave the nest.  The other two Nebraska records are of 
adults in May and August.

I am not making a case for Cave on Sam's bird, merely pointing out a timing 
issue. Perhaps juvenile Cliff Swallows fledged somewhere south of Nebraska 
might move north with Nebraska Cliff Swallows too.

Ross

Ross Silcock

Compiler, Seasonal Reports
Nebraska Bird Review
Tabor, IA


--------------------------------------------------
From: "David Sibley" 
Sent: Thursday, February 04, 2016 8:18 AM
To: 
Subject: Re: [BIRDWG01] "Interesting" juvenile Petrochelidon Swallow in 
Nebraska

> Hi Sam et al,
>
> Unfortunately, the facial patterns of juvenile Cliff Swallows are so
> variable that it may not be possible to identify a bird like this with
> certainty. I think this is within the normal range for juvenile Cliff
> Swallow, and the slightly darker smudges on the center of the throat might
> point to Cliff rather than Cave. Face patterns in juvenile Cliff Swallows
> range from almost all black to almost all white, with all combinations of
> black, white, rufous, and buff possible in between. Related juveniles 
> share
> very similar patterns, and this is thought to help the parents recognize
> their own offspring.
>
> Presumably, Cave Swallow is also variable at this age, but has not been
> well-studied.  All-in-all a very difficult and underappreciated
> identification challenge.
>
> A couple of references:
> Johnson, Alison E.; Steven Freedberg. 2014. Variable facial plumage in
> juvenile Cliff Swallows: A potential offspring recognition cue?. The Auk
> 131: 121-128. pdf - http://www.bioone.org/doi/pdf/10.1642/AUK-13-127.1
>
> Stoddard, P. K., and M. D. Beecher. 1983. Parental recognition of 
> offspring
> in the Cliff Swallow. Auk 100: 795-799. pdf -
> 
http://faculty.washington.edu/beecher/Stoddard%20&%20Beecher%20-%20P-O%20recognition%20in%20cliff%20swallows%20-%20Auk%201983.pdf 

>
> David Sibley
> Concord MA
> sibleyguides AT gmail.com
> www.sibleyguides.com
>
> On Thu, Feb 4, 2016 at 12:56 AM, Sam Manning  
> wrote:
>
>> Hey all,
>>
>> On May 26th, 2014, I photographed an unusual juvenile Petrochelidon 
>> Swallow
>> at Jack Sinn Memorial SWMA in eastern Nebraska.  I initially passed it 
>> off
>> as an unusual Cliff Swallow, I looked at the pictures again recently and
>> the swallow seemed to show characteristics of a juvenile Cave Swallow.  I
>> have done some research including consulting Tony Leukering's article 
>> "Cave
>> Swallow: Colorado's Stealthiest Vagrant."  There is not a lot of
>> information concerning this age of Cave Swallow, so I am looking for more
>> opinions on the bird.  Photographs (both originals and cropped versions)
>> can be found at the link below.
>>
>> https://www.flickr.com/photos/134465260 AT N02/albums/72157664131825761
>>
>>
>> Here is also a list of characteristics that I seem to see in my
>> photographs:
>> 1) Pale orangish-brown forehead and similarly colored throat. In several
>> pictures, there appear to be shadows giving the throat a darker 
>> appearance
>> or a dark spot.  There are also several photographs in Tony Leukering's
>> article with darker throated juvenile Cave Swallows too.
>> 2) Pale auriculars that contrast the crown.
>> 3) Pale superciliary connecting forehead and auriculars separating the
>> crown.
>> 4) Rather unmarked chest and restricted dark markings on it.
>> 5) Nape contrasts crown and back.
>> 6) Very unmarked undertail coverts. The picture that shows the undertail
>> coverts is blurry but no dark marks can be seen.
>> 7) Squarish tail, which eliminates hybrid with Barn Swallow.
>>
>> I unfortunately was unable to determine the exact color of the rump, 
>> though
>> Leukering's article does not address the rump color, but focuses mainly 
>> on
>> head features, which are the best features to separate the two species.
>> The rump color seemed to similar to the surrounding Cliff Swallows, but I
>> made no note of it.
>>
>>
>> Thanks,
>> Samuel Manning
>> Omaha, Nebraska, USA
>>
>> 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: "Interesting" juvenile Petrochelidon Swallow in Nebraska
From: Tony Leukering <greatgrayowl AT AOL.COM>
Date: Thu, 4 Feb 2016 10:25:41 -0500
Sam et al.:

I agree (at least mostly) with David, particularly that facial pattern in 
juvenile Cliff Swallow is exceedingly variable. However, I would like to 
propose another option (see below), though I believe that, given the 
photographic support, the bird in question may not be identifiable. Leukering 
(2011) suggests that a juvenile Petrochelidon with a contrastingly pale 
superciliary (a feature of the bird in question) is a Cave Swallow, although 
that feature has not been rigorously tested. In fact, none of the 
differentiating features noted in that paper have seen rigorous testing, as far 
as I am aware, and they should all be considered suggestive, at least in 
isolation. 


 
Though with my Colorado mindset I might jump to the "h" word with unseemly 
haste, the possibility of Cliff x Cave Swallow ought to be considered for this 
bird. While that hybrid combo seems not to have been proven, with the frequency 
of Barn x Cliff Swallows and the widespread co-occurrence of Cliff and Cave 
swallows, I would be very surprised if miscegenation has not occurred. I also 
find it hard to imagine what the subject bird of David Arbour's photo essay is 
if it's not a hybrid. 


The Nebraska bird is probably a Cliff Swallow, but I think that there is enough 
uncertainty that I'd be quite happy to enter this individual into eBird as 
"Cliff/Cave Swallow." 


Tony

 


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

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

http://aba.org/photoquiz/

 

 

-----Original Message-----
From: David Sibley 
To: BIRDWG01 
Sent: Thu, Feb 4, 2016 9:22 am
Subject: Re: [BIRDWG01] "Interesting" juvenile Petrochelidon Swallow in 
Nebraska 


Hi Sam et al,

Unfortunately, the facial patterns of juvenile Cliff Swallows are so
variable that it may not be possible to identify a bird like this with
certainty. I think this is within the normal range for juvenile Cliff
Swallow, and the slightly darker smudges on the center of the throat might
point to Cliff rather than Cave. Face patterns in juvenile Cliff Swallows
range from almost all black to almost all white, with all combinations of
black, white, rufous, and buff possible in between. Related juveniles share
very similar patterns, and this is thought to help the parents recognize
their own offspring.

Presumably, Cave Swallow is also variable at this age, but has not been
well-studied.  All-in-all a very difficult and underappreciated
identification challenge.

A couple of references:
Johnson, Alison E.; Steven Freedberg. 2014. Variable facial plumage in
juvenile Cliff Swallows: A potential offspring recognition cue?. The Auk
131: 121-128. pdf - http://www.bioone.org/doi/pdf/10.1642/AUK-13-127.1

Stoddard, P. K., and M. D. Beecher. 1983. Parental recognition of offspring
in the Cliff Swallow. Auk 100: 795-799. pdf -

http://faculty.washington.edu/beecher/Stoddard%20&%20Beecher%20-%20P-O%20recognition%20in%20cliff%20swallows%20-%20Auk%201983.pdf 


David Sibley
Concord MA
sibleyguides AT gmail.com
www.sibleyguides.com

On Thu, Feb 4, 2016 at 12:56 AM, Sam Manning  wrote:

> Hey all,
>
> On May 26th, 2014, I photographed an unusual juvenile Petrochelidon Swallow
> at Jack Sinn Memorial SWMA in eastern Nebraska.  I initially passed it off
> as an unusual Cliff Swallow, I looked at the pictures again recently and
> the swallow seemed to show characteristics of a juvenile Cave Swallow.  I
> have done some research including consulting Tony Leukering's article "Cave
> Swallow: Colorado's Stealthiest Vagrant."  There is not a lot of
> information concerning this age of Cave Swallow, so I am looking for more
> opinions on the bird.  Photographs (both originals and cropped versions)
> can be found at the link below.
>
> https://www.flickr.com/photos/134465260 AT N02/albums/72157664131825761
>
>
> Here is also a list of characteristics that I seem to see in my
> photographs:
> 1) Pale orangish-brown forehead and similarly colored throat. In several
> pictures, there appear to be shadows giving the throat a darker appearance
> or a dark spot.  There are also several photographs in Tony Leukering's
> article with darker throated juvenile Cave Swallows too.
> 2) Pale auriculars that contrast the crown.
> 3) Pale superciliary connecting forehead and auriculars separating the
> crown.
> 4) Rather unmarked chest and restricted dark markings on it.
> 5) Nape contrasts crown and back.
> 6) Very unmarked undertail coverts. The picture that shows the undertail
> coverts is blurry but no dark marks can be seen.
> 7) Squarish tail, which eliminates hybrid with Barn Swallow.
>
> I unfortunately was unable to determine the exact color of the rump, though
> Leukering's article does not address the rump color, but focuses mainly on
> head features, which are the best features to separate the two species.
> The rump color seemed to similar to the surrounding Cliff Swallows, but I
> made no note of it.
>
>
> Thanks,
> Samuel Manning
> Omaha, Nebraska, USA
>
> 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: "Interesting" juvenile Petrochelidon Swallow in Nebraska
From: David Sibley <sibleyguides AT GMAIL.COM>
Date: Thu, 4 Feb 2016 09:18:17 -0500
Hi Sam et al,

Unfortunately, the facial patterns of juvenile Cliff Swallows are so
variable that it may not be possible to identify a bird like this with
certainty. I think this is within the normal range for juvenile Cliff
Swallow, and the slightly darker smudges on the center of the throat might
point to Cliff rather than Cave. Face patterns in juvenile Cliff Swallows
range from almost all black to almost all white, with all combinations of
black, white, rufous, and buff possible in between. Related juveniles share
very similar patterns, and this is thought to help the parents recognize
their own offspring.

Presumably, Cave Swallow is also variable at this age, but has not been
well-studied.  All-in-all a very difficult and underappreciated
identification challenge.

A couple of references:
Johnson, Alison E.; Steven Freedberg. 2014. Variable facial plumage in
juvenile Cliff Swallows: A potential offspring recognition cue?. The Auk
131: 121-128. pdf - http://www.bioone.org/doi/pdf/10.1642/AUK-13-127.1

Stoddard, P. K., and M. D. Beecher. 1983. Parental recognition of offspring
in the Cliff Swallow. Auk 100: 795-799. pdf -

http://faculty.washington.edu/beecher/Stoddard%20&%20Beecher%20-%20P-O%20recognition%20in%20cliff%20swallows%20-%20Auk%201983.pdf 


David Sibley
Concord MA
sibleyguides AT gmail.com
www.sibleyguides.com

On Thu, Feb 4, 2016 at 12:56 AM, Sam Manning  wrote:

> Hey all,
>
> On May 26th, 2014, I photographed an unusual juvenile Petrochelidon Swallow
> at Jack Sinn Memorial SWMA in eastern Nebraska.  I initially passed it off
> as an unusual Cliff Swallow, I looked at the pictures again recently and
> the swallow seemed to show characteristics of a juvenile Cave Swallow.  I
> have done some research including consulting Tony Leukering's article "Cave
> Swallow: Colorado's Stealthiest Vagrant."  There is not a lot of
> information concerning this age of Cave Swallow, so I am looking for more
> opinions on the bird.  Photographs (both originals and cropped versions)
> can be found at the link below.
>
> https://www.flickr.com/photos/134465260 AT N02/albums/72157664131825761
>
>
> Here is also a list of characteristics that I seem to see in my
> photographs:
> 1) Pale orangish-brown forehead and similarly colored throat. In several
> pictures, there appear to be shadows giving the throat a darker appearance
> or a dark spot.  There are also several photographs in Tony Leukering's
> article with darker throated juvenile Cave Swallows too.
> 2) Pale auriculars that contrast the crown.
> 3) Pale superciliary connecting forehead and auriculars separating the
> crown.
> 4) Rather unmarked chest and restricted dark markings on it.
> 5) Nape contrasts crown and back.
> 6) Very unmarked undertail coverts. The picture that shows the undertail
> coverts is blurry but no dark marks can be seen.
> 7) Squarish tail, which eliminates hybrid with Barn Swallow.
>
> I unfortunately was unable to determine the exact color of the rump, though
> Leukering's article does not address the rump color, but focuses mainly on
> head features, which are the best features to separate the two species.
> The rump color seemed to similar to the surrounding Cliff Swallows, but I
> made no note of it.
>
>
> Thanks,
> Samuel Manning
> Omaha, Nebraska, USA
>
> Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
>

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: "Interesting" juvenile Petrochelidon Swallow in Nebraska
From: Sam Manning <samgmanning1 AT GMAIL.COM>
Date: Wed, 3 Feb 2016 23:56:21 -0600
Hey all,

On May 26th, 2014, I photographed an unusual juvenile Petrochelidon Swallow
at Jack Sinn Memorial SWMA in eastern Nebraska.  I initially passed it off
as an unusual Cliff Swallow, I looked at the pictures again recently and
the swallow seemed to show characteristics of a juvenile Cave Swallow.  I
have done some research including consulting Tony Leukering's article "Cave
Swallow: Colorado's Stealthiest Vagrant."  There is not a lot of
information concerning this age of Cave Swallow, so I am looking for more
opinions on the bird.  Photographs (both originals and cropped versions)
can be found at the link below.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/134465260 AT N02/albums/72157664131825761


Here is also a list of characteristics that I seem to see in my photographs:
1) Pale orangish-brown forehead and similarly colored throat. In several
pictures, there appear to be shadows giving the throat a darker appearance
or a dark spot.  There are also several photographs in Tony Leukering's
article with darker throated juvenile Cave Swallows too.
2) Pale auriculars that contrast the crown.
3) Pale superciliary connecting forehead and auriculars separating the
crown.
4) Rather unmarked chest and restricted dark markings on it.
5) Nape contrasts crown and back.
6) Very unmarked undertail coverts. The picture that shows the undertail
coverts is blurry but no dark marks can be seen.
7) Squarish tail, which eliminates hybrid with Barn Swallow.

I unfortunately was unable to determine the exact color of the rump, though
Leukering's article does not address the rump color, but focuses mainly on
head features, which are the best features to separate the two species.
The rump color seemed to similar to the surrounding Cliff Swallows, but I
made no note of it.


Thanks,
Samuel Manning
Omaha, Nebraska, USA

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Re: Burrowing Owl subspecies ID
From: Phil Davis <pdavis AT IX.NETCOM.COM>
Date: Wed, 3 Feb 2016 13:44:56 -0500
Nick, Terry, Tony, et al.

Maryland had a well-photographed Burrowing Owl in our western 
panhandle on 19-20 May 1983.

Eastern Records. The review file (prepared in 1983) contains notes on 
some other eastern records:

MA - 15 May 1875, Newburyport, MA. Collected. Specimen in the museum 
of Boston Society of Natural History.

NH - 20 Feb 1922, Dover, NH. Found dead in a barn.

NY - 08 Aug 1875, New York City. Alive - possible escape?
NY - 27 Oct 1950, Long Island. Collected - in private collection.

VA - 22 Oct 1918, Cape Henry, VA. Aboard ship offshore. Hypothetical 
record since disposition of specimen unknown.

(Also noted was the NY case of Arthur Allen's pet of one year that 
escaped. Date unknown.)


Subspecies Analysis. Copies of photos of the MD bird were sent to Ken 
Parkes, who prepared a detailed analysis indicating that the MD bird 
was almost certainly a female of the western, hypugaea, subspecies. 
If anyone is interested in Parkes' analysis, let me know and I can post it.

Hope this helps ...

Phil

===================================================
Phil Davis, Secretary
MD/DC Records Committee
2549 Vale Court
Davidsonville, Maryland  21035     USA
301-261-0184
mailto:PDavis AT ix.netcom.com

MD/DCRC Web site:  http://www.MDBirds.org/mddcrc/rcindex.html
=================================================== 

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Subject: Re: Burrowing Owl subspecies ID
From: David Sibley <sibleyguides AT GMAIL.COM>
Date: Wed, 3 Feb 2016 13:37:03 -0500
Having been on the scene for the previous CT record of Burrowing Owl (and
involved in the extensive research that led to identifying it as the
Florida subspecies), I have paid a lot of attention to Burrowing Owls over
the years, and I think it's safe to identify this new Connecticut record as
the western subspecies hypugaea. Two key features are the broken
breastband, with a white central stripe extending from the belly to the
throat; and the clean white visible on the underside of the bend of the
wing in photo 1 R. Florida birds have an essentially unbroken breastband of
dark brown mottling, and (as Tony pointed out) dark spots on the underwing
coverts, including some on the small feathers that are visible in this
photo.

Other features are either too unreliable or too subjective to be useful in
these photos. Overall color and extent of markings on belly averages darker
in Florida, but is extremely variable: darker and more heavily marked in
females, and subject to extreme fading in both subspecies. Western birds
average more feathering on the legs, but this is variable and almost
impossible to see reliably in the field. Florida birds tend to have darker
cheeks, but this is subtle and subject to fading.

Interestingly, while the few northward records of floridana are from fall
and winter, many of the eastern records of hypugaea are in spring and
summer, so this record fits that pattern.

David Sibley
Concord, MA

Best,
David
sibleyguides AT gmail.com
www.sibleyguides.com

On Wed, Feb 3, 2016 at 9:56 AM, Nick Bonomo  wrote:

> Hi all,
>
> Back in May of last year a Burrowing Owl was photographed in
> Connecticut. Could someone with experience identifying these birds to
> subspecies weigh in on this individual? I'm having trouble assessing
> this worn bird. Thanks in advance.
>
> If not, but you know someone who may be able to help, please advise.
>
> Four photos posted at link below. Photos by Rollin Tebbetts
>
> https://flic.kr/p/CCy2iC
>
>
> Thanks,
> Nick
>
>
> Nick Bonomo
> Wallingford, CT, USA
> www.shorebirder.com
>
> Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
>

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Re: Burrowing Owl subspecies ID
From: Wayne Hoffman <whoffman AT PEAK.ORG>
Date: Wed, 3 Feb 2016 09:34:05 -0800
Hi - 

I agree with your assessment.

It is my understanding that in the West Indies there are multiple "resident" 
subspecies, including more than one in Cuba, some described quite recently. 
During my time in Florida, (1977-1998) I was unaware of anyone looking for 
vagrants at the subspecies level at least within the range of floridanus. 


The recent (since the late 1970s) influx of Greater Antillean Short-eared Owls 
(classified as Asio flammeus domingensis but should be recognized as a separate 
species) into the Florida Keys is another example of northward straying of a 
southern "resident." 


Wayne

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

Sent: Wednesday, February 03, 2016 9:04 AM
To: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
Subject: Re: [BIRDWG01] Burrowing Owl subspecies ID

 Terry et al.:

While I believe that a Burrowing Owl in Connecticut is probably referable to 
Western hypugaea, assuming so on the strength of the specimen record is 
tantamount to circular reasoning. That is because most birders in the East 
couldn't care less to which subspecies an individual vagrant in their neck of 
the woods, er, open country is referable and most records of the species from 
east of the longitude of the Mississippi River are not based on collected 
specimens, but on sight records by those very same birders. 


While floridanus is, indeed, generally resident, there are a 
not-inconsequential number of records of the taxon outside of the known 
breeding/resident range, including the aforementioned North Carolina record and 
others from Alabama and Cuba. (There may be others, but I lack access to most 
such data noted in publications subsequent to AOU 1957.) 


The eBird distribution map


http://ebird.org/ebird/map/burowl?neg=true&env.minX=&env.minY=&env.maxX=&env.maxY=&zh=false&gp=false&ev=Z&mr=1-12&bmo=1&emo=12&yr=all&byr=1900&eyr=2016 


shows a barely-broken string of records up the East Coast to Maine. Granted, 
the population size of hypugaea is orders of magnitude larger than that of 
floridanus. Also granted, hypugaea is highly migratory. And granted, the combo 
of these factors make hypugaea far-and-away more likely as a vagrant in the 
East away from Florida than is floridanus. However, note the eBird distribution 
maps for other "resident" bird species of the southeast: 


Red-cockaded Woodpecker: 
http://ebird.org/ebird/map/recwoo?neg=true&env.minX=-90.67457669783079&env.minY=28.88450146662785&env.maxX=-60.65992826033079&env.maxY=38.42897404907119&zh=true&gp=true&ev=Z&mr=1-12&bmo=1&emo=12&yr=all&byr=1900&eyr=2016 


Brown-headed Nuthatch: 
http://ebird.org/ebird/map/bnhnut?neg=true&env.minX=-96.49733060408079&env.minY=34.16308622545125&env.maxX=-66.48268216658079&env.maxY=43.118142772768145&zh=true&gp=true&ev=Z&mr=1-12&bmo=1&emo=12&yr=all&byr=1900&eyr=2016 



and of other "resident" species:

Short-tailed Hawk: 
http://ebird.org/ebird/map/shthaw?neg=true&env.minX=-88.51027005720579&env.minY=38.772411179198144&env.maxX=-73.50294583845579&env.maxY=43.11012282229884&zh=true&gp=true&ev=Z&mr=1-12&bmo=1&emo=12&yr=all&byr=1900&eyr=2016 


Xantus's 
Hummingbird:http://ebird.org/ebird/map/xanhum?neg=true&env.minX=-156.1668263247468&env.minY=17.021661114313144&env.maxX=-36.10823257474681&env.maxY=53.308928829494796&zh=true&gp=true&ev=Z&mr=1-12&bmo=1&emo=12&yr=all&byr=1900&eyr=2016 


Pyrrhuloxia: 
http://ebird.org/ebird/map/pyrrhu?neg=true&env.minX=-156.1668263247468&env.minY=17.021661114313144&env.maxX=-36.10823257474681&env.maxY=53.308928829494796&zh=true&gp=true&ev=Z&mr=1-12&bmo=1&emo=12&yr=all&byr=1900&eyr=2016 



While I strongly disagree with the phrase's use at supporting an otherwise 
poorly-supported report of some vagrant somewhere, "birds do have wings," and 
they use them. 


While I believe that the pictures of the Connecticut bird support an ID as of 
the "expected" subspecies, without those pictures, while I would have believed 
the report of the bird to species, I would not have been willing to accept a 
subspecies ID. Which brings up my beef with even many "high-end" birders 
willing to relegate a bird to the expected subspecies, but don't do the same 
for the species. There is no real dividing line between those categories, so 
they should not be treated differently, except that correct assignment to 
subspecies usually requires a lot more care. 


Respectfully,

Tony

 


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

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

http://aba.org/photoquiz/

 

 

-----Original Message-----
From: Terry Bronson 
To: BIRDWG01 
Sent: Wed, Feb 3, 2016 11:22 am
Subject: Re: [BIRDWG01] Burrowing Owl subspecies ID

Nick,

As an Easterner, I also have very limited experience with this species.
However, Birds of North America Online recognizes only 2 subspecies north of 
Mexico and the Caribbean, and the Florida subspecies is non-migratory, with the 
furthest north stray only as far north as North Carolina. 

Therefore, any bird in the Northeast should be a stray of the western plains 
subspecies, Athene cunicularia hypugaea. 


Terry Bronson
Morgantown, WV



On Wed, Feb 3, 2016 at 9:56 AM, Nick Bonomo  wrote:

> Hi all,
>
> Back in May of last year a Burrowing Owl was photographed in 
> Connecticut. Could someone with experience identifying these birds to 
> subspecies weigh in on this individual? I'm having trouble assessing 
> this worn bird. Thanks in advance.
>
> If not, but you know someone who may be able to help, please advise.
>
> Four photos posted at link below. Photos by Rollin Tebbetts
>
> https://flic.kr/p/CCy2iC
>
>
> Thanks,
> Nick
>
>
> Nick Bonomo
> Wallingford, CT, USA
> www.shorebirder.com
>
> Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
>



--
Terry Bronson
Morgantown, WV

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: Burrowing Owl subspecies ID
From: Rex Rowan <rexrowan AT GMAIL.COM>
Date: Wed, 3 Feb 2016 12:22:19 -0500
Actually, at least one Florida Burrowing Owl strayed as far north as Nova
Scotia. See pp. 44-48 of this issue of *Nova Scotia Birds*, which includes
an illustrated discussion of subspecific identification:


http://www.nsbirdsociety.ca/Publications/Newsletters/Vol%2055,%20number%201%20Autumn%202012.pdf 


Rex Rowan
Gainesvillle, Florida

On Wed, Feb 3, 2016 at 11:20 AM, Terry Bronson  wrote:

> Nick,
>
> As an Easterner, I also have very limited experience with this species.
> However, Birds of North America Online recognizes only 2 subspecies north
> of Mexico and the Caribbean, and the Florida subspecies is non-migratory,
> with the furthest north stray only as far north as North Carolina.
> Therefore, any bird in the Northeast should be a stray of the western
> plains subspecies, Athene cunicularia hypugaea.
>
> Terry Bronson
> Morgantown, WV
>
>
>
> On Wed, Feb 3, 2016 at 9:56 AM, Nick Bonomo  wrote:
>
> > Hi all,
> >
> > Back in May of last year a Burrowing Owl was photographed in
> > Connecticut. Could someone with experience identifying these birds to
> > subspecies weigh in on this individual? I'm having trouble assessing
> > this worn bird. Thanks in advance.
> >
> > If not, but you know someone who may be able to help, please advise.
> >
> > Four photos posted at link below. Photos by Rollin Tebbetts
> >
> > https://flic.kr/p/CCy2iC
> >
> >
> > Thanks,
> > Nick
> >
> >
> > Nick Bonomo
> > Wallingford, CT, USA
> > www.shorebirder.com
> >
> > Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
> >
>
>
>
> --
> Terry Bronson
> Morgantown, WV
>
> Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
>

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Re: Burrowing Owl subspecies ID
From: Tony Leukering <greatgrayowl AT AOL.COM>
Date: Wed, 3 Feb 2016 12:04:02 -0500
 Terry et al.:

While I believe that a Burrowing Owl in Connecticut is probably referable to 
Western hypugaea, assuming so on the strength of the specimen record is 
tantamount to circular reasoning. That is because most birders in the East 
couldn't care less to which subspecies an individual vagrant in their neck of 
the woods, er, open country is referable and most records of the species from 
east of the longitude of the Mississippi River are not based on collected 
specimens, but on sight records by those very same birders. 


While floridanus is, indeed, generally resident, there are a 
not-inconsequential number of records of the taxon outside of the known 
breeding/resident range, including the aforementioned North Carolina record and 
others from Alabama and Cuba. (There may be others, but I lack access to most 
such data noted in publications subsequent to AOU 1957.) 


The eBird distribution map


http://ebird.org/ebird/map/burowl?neg=true&env.minX=&env.minY=&env.maxX=&env.maxY=&zh=false&gp=false&ev=Z&mr=1-12&bmo=1&emo=12&yr=all&byr=1900&eyr=2016 


shows a barely-broken string of records up the East Coast to Maine. Granted, 
the population size of hypugaea is orders of magnitude larger than that of 
floridanus. Also granted, hypugaea is highly migratory. And granted, the combo 
of these factors make hypugaea far-and-away more likely as a vagrant in the 
East away from Florida than is floridanus. However, note the eBird distribution 
maps for other "resident" bird species of the southeast: 


Red-cockaded Woodpecker: 
http://ebird.org/ebird/map/recwoo?neg=true&env.minX=-90.67457669783079&env.minY=28.88450146662785&env.maxX=-60.65992826033079&env.maxY=38.42897404907119&zh=true&gp=true&ev=Z&mr=1-12&bmo=1&emo=12&yr=all&byr=1900&eyr=2016 


Brown-headed Nuthatch: 
http://ebird.org/ebird/map/bnhnut?neg=true&env.minX=-96.49733060408079&env.minY=34.16308622545125&env.maxX=-66.48268216658079&env.maxY=43.118142772768145&zh=true&gp=true&ev=Z&mr=1-12&bmo=1&emo=12&yr=all&byr=1900&eyr=2016 



and of other "resident" species:

Short-tailed Hawk: 
http://ebird.org/ebird/map/shthaw?neg=true&env.minX=-88.51027005720579&env.minY=38.772411179198144&env.maxX=-73.50294583845579&env.maxY=43.11012282229884&zh=true&gp=true&ev=Z&mr=1-12&bmo=1&emo=12&yr=all&byr=1900&eyr=2016 


Xantus's 
Hummingbird:http://ebird.org/ebird/map/xanhum?neg=true&env.minX=-156.1668263247468&env.minY=17.021661114313144&env.maxX=-36.10823257474681&env.maxY=53.308928829494796&zh=true&gp=true&ev=Z&mr=1-12&bmo=1&emo=12&yr=all&byr=1900&eyr=2016 


Pyrrhuloxia: 
http://ebird.org/ebird/map/pyrrhu?neg=true&env.minX=-156.1668263247468&env.minY=17.021661114313144&env.maxX=-36.10823257474681&env.maxY=53.308928829494796&zh=true&gp=true&ev=Z&mr=1-12&bmo=1&emo=12&yr=all&byr=1900&eyr=2016 



While I strongly disagree with the phrase's use at supporting an otherwise 
poorly-supported report of some vagrant somewhere, "birds do have wings," and 
they use them. 


While I believe that the pictures of the Connecticut bird support an ID as of 
the "expected" subspecies, without those pictures, while I would have believed 
the report of the bird to species, I would not have been willing to accept a 
subspecies ID. Which brings up my beef with even many "high-end" birders 
willing to relegate a bird to the expected subspecies, but don't do the same 
for the species. There is no real dividing line between those categories, so 
they should not be treated differently, except that correct assignment to 
subspecies usually requires a lot more care. 


Respectfully,

Tony

 


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

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

http://aba.org/photoquiz/

 

 

-----Original Message-----
From: Terry Bronson 
To: BIRDWG01 
Sent: Wed, Feb 3, 2016 11:22 am
Subject: Re: [BIRDWG01] Burrowing Owl subspecies ID

Nick,

As an Easterner, I also have very limited experience with this species.
However, Birds of North America Online recognizes only 2 subspecies north
of Mexico and the Caribbean, and the Florida subspecies is non-migratory,
with the furthest north stray only as far north as North Carolina.
Therefore, any bird in the Northeast should be a stray of the western
plains subspecies, Athene cunicularia hypugaea.

Terry Bronson
Morgantown, WV



On Wed, Feb 3, 2016 at 9:56 AM, Nick Bonomo  wrote:

> Hi all,
>
> Back in May of last year a Burrowing Owl was photographed in
> Connecticut. Could someone with experience identifying these birds to
> subspecies weigh in on this individual? I'm having trouble assessing
> this worn bird. Thanks in advance.
>
> If not, but you know someone who may be able to help, please advise.
>
> Four photos posted at link below. Photos by Rollin Tebbetts
>
> https://flic.kr/p/CCy2iC
>
>
> Thanks,
> Nick
>
>
> Nick Bonomo
> Wallingford, CT, USA
> www.shorebirder.com
>
> Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
>



-- 
Terry Bronson
Morgantown, WV

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


Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Re: Burrowing Owl subspecies ID
From: Terry Bronson <bronsonwv AT GMAIL.COM>
Date: Wed, 3 Feb 2016 11:20:54 -0500
Nick,

As an Easterner, I also have very limited experience with this species.
However, Birds of North America Online recognizes only 2 subspecies north
of Mexico and the Caribbean, and the Florida subspecies is non-migratory,
with the furthest north stray only as far north as North Carolina.
Therefore, any bird in the Northeast should be a stray of the western
plains subspecies, Athene cunicularia hypugaea.

Terry Bronson
Morgantown, WV



On Wed, Feb 3, 2016 at 9:56 AM, Nick Bonomo  wrote:

> Hi all,
>
> Back in May of last year a Burrowing Owl was photographed in
> Connecticut. Could someone with experience identifying these birds to
> subspecies weigh in on this individual? I'm having trouble assessing
> this worn bird. Thanks in advance.
>
> If not, but you know someone who may be able to help, please advise.
>
> Four photos posted at link below. Photos by Rollin Tebbetts
>
> https://flic.kr/p/CCy2iC
>
>
> Thanks,
> Nick
>
>
> Nick Bonomo
> Wallingford, CT, USA
> www.shorebirder.com
>
> Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
>



-- 
Terry Bronson
Morgantown, WV

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Re: Burrowing Owl subspecies ID
From: Tony Leukering <greatgrayowl AT AOL.COM>
Date: Wed, 3 Feb 2016 10:42:47 -0500
Nick:

A picture of the underside of the open wing would have been very useful for 
subsp ID (unspotted in Western, spotted in Florida). The only feature that I 
can see that might lead to such an ID is the feathering on the "outer portion 
of the tarsus:" 


hypugaea -- ">1/2 the distance to the feet"

floridanus -- "<1/2 the distance to the feet" (all Pyle 1997).

Tony

Lit Cited
Pyle, P. 1997. Identification Guide to North American Birds, part I. Slate 
Creek Press, Bolinas, CA. 



 

 


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

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

http://aba.org/photoquiz/

 

 

-----Original Message-----
From: Nick Bonomo 
To: BIRDWG01 
Sent: Wed, Feb 3, 2016 9:59 am
Subject: [BIRDWG01] Burrowing Owl subspecies ID

Hi all,

Back in May of last year a Burrowing Owl was photographed in
Connecticut. Could someone with experience identifying these birds to
subspecies weigh in on this individual? I'm having trouble assessing
this worn bird. Thanks in advance.

If not, but you know someone who may be able to help, please advise.

Four photos posted at link below. Photos by Rollin Tebbetts

https://flic.kr/p/CCy2iC


Thanks,
Nick


Nick Bonomo
Wallingford, CT, USA
www.shorebirder.com

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


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