[Tweeters] Naches Pass birds (mainly King Co.) 7/5/13

Eugene Hunn enhunn323 at comcast.net
Sat Jul 6 14:04:28 PDT 2013

Evan & Tweeters et al.,

Evan's report of the two White-crowned Sparrow subspecies singing
side-by-side at Windy Gap is noteworthy. We have documented the
co-occurrence of these two forms of the White-crowned here for at least 15
years with, to my ear, no intermediate songs. I have recordings of both from
near Naches Pass. Dave Beaudette reported finding nests of both forms there
which were true to type. This is strong evidence that we have TWO SPECIES
rather than just two subspecies.

I've described the situation to Jon Dunn and he is intrigued and has
requested additional information (he's on the AOU checklist committee).
However, I've lost track of my notes from Dave Beaudette on his observations
and have also lost track of Dave. If anyone on Tweeters known where Dave
Beaudette may be located please let me know off line (at
enhunn323 at comcast.net).

The evidence needs to be summarized comprehensively for publication (likely
in Western Birds). Any other similar observations would be welcome, so
please forward them to me.

I suspect the White-crown Sparrow complex comprises at least two or perhaps
three species: a coastal complex inclusive of pugetensis and nuttallii, a
boreal/montane species comprised of gambelii and leucophrys, with the Sierra
Nevada form oriantha either distinct or included with the boreal/montane

Gene Hunn

Petaluma, CA

From: tweeters-bounces at mailman1.u.washington.edu
[mailto:tweeters-bounces at mailman1.u.washington.edu] On Behalf Of Evan
Sent: Friday, July 05, 2013 11:36 PM
To: Tweeters
Subject: [Tweeters] Naches Pass birds (mainly King Co.) 7/5/13

Hi Tweeters,

Scott Ramos and I awoke early today to head up to the extreme southeastern
corner of King Co. in the hopes of finding some east-of-the-crest bird
species in our home county. I had no luck adding a species or 2 to my King
Co. "life list", but the outing included plenty of "consolation prizes"
including both a mammal and a hybrid bird I'd never before seen in the

Probably our top 3 highlights were:

- Hermit x Townsend's Warbler - a male looking more close to a Hermit, but
with some clear evidence of hybridization (seen about 2 miles before the
turnoff from FR 70 to Gov't Meadows).

- Mountain Goats at Kelly Butte; video (can mute sound):

- at least 1 nesting Mountain Bluebird pair at Windy Gap (foraging on both
sides of the county line but their nest was in Kittitas Co.):


Other highlights included:

- Sooty Grouse - just 1 fleeting encounter this time

- Gray Jay

- House Wren - at least 2 singing in clearcut on the left just after you
turn off of Hwy. 410 onto FR 70

- Chestnut-backed Chickadee - posed long enough for me to get a photo, in
which you can see its crown is not black like most chickadees:

- half a dozen species in the Thrush family, missing only Western Bluebird
among the expected ones

- a singing Nashville Warbler (Scott only) at the clearcut by the head of
the spur that leads to the Kelly Butte trail

- sparrows included just 1 Chipping Sparrow (Windy Gap), great songs from
Lincoln's and Fox Sparrows on territory, and side-by-side subspecies of
White-crowned Sparrow singing (at Windy Gap) - Gambelli + Pugetensis

- Cassin's Finch flyover at Gov't Meadows.

- Western Scrub-Jay + Eurasian Collared-Dove seen in Enumclaw.

Good birding,

Evan Houston

Seattle, WA

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