[Tweeters] White-crowned Sparrows in the Cascades

Eugene Hunn enhunn323 at comcast.net
Mon Jul 15 08:34:41 PDT 2013


I've submitted a title and abstract for the WFO meetings in Olympia August
23-24 (joint with Black Hills Audubon), as below.

I'm trying to gather all the information I can about observations specific
to either pugetensis and/or gambelii at or near the contact zone along the
crest of the Washington Cascades. If you have observations identifiable to
subspecies (either visually or by song) please let me know the details
(e.g., location, date, elevation, habitat, etc.) at enhunn323 at comcast.net,
if you haven't already. I'm particularly interested in any
Skagit/Chelan/Okanogan/Whatcom County records and or records south of Naches
Pass. Many thanks.

Gene Hunn

Petaluma, CA


Sympatry of pugetensis and gambelii White-crowned Sparrows (Zonotrichia
leucophrys) in the Cascade Mountains of Washington State.

204 Fair Ave., Petaluma, CA 94952

<mailto:enhunn323 at comcast.net> enhunn323 at comcast.net

Puget Sound White-crowned Sparrows (Z. l. pugetensis) breed throughout the
lowlands of western Washington, with just two records in the Cascade
Mountains noted prior to 1953 (Jewett et al. Birds of Washington State 1953:
648). However, Smith et al. (1997) note that due to logging practices and
development "Z. l. pugetensis populations have expanded in the last ten
years and now occupy sites east of the Cascade crest." (470), with definite
evidence of nesting by 1988 on the eastern slopes of the Cascades in
Kittitas County (fide H. Opperman). Gambel's White-crowned Sparrows (Z. l.
gambelii) were first recorded nesting in the northern Cascades of Washington
in 1957 (Farner 1958) and were recorded nesting in the central Cascades at
Stevens and Naches Passes in 1994 and 1996 at elevations above 4400 feet
(Smith et al. 1997: 470, fide D. Beaudette). At this time, Beaudette
observed adjacent nests of both subspecies near Naches Pass with pairs true
to type. Songs of both subspecies were subsequently recorded in close
proximity at this location by Hunn in 2006. More recent reports extend the
area of sympatry south and east in Yakima County and indicate that
pugetensis and gambelii continue to nest sympatrically in clear cuts along
the Cascade crest with no evidence of interbreeding. This is further
evidence that the White-crowned Sparrow as now defined may include at least
two species, a Pacific coastal form (Z. l. pugetensis with Z. l. nuttalli)
and one or more montane/boreal forms (Z. l. leucophrys and Z. l. gambelii,
with Z. l. oriantha possibly distinct from both).

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