[Tweeters] Re: Notes on Cordilleran vs Pacific-slope in Latah, Nez Perce, and nearby counties

Jason Hernandez jason.hernandez74 at yahoo.com
Sat Jul 12 20:43:05 PDT 2014

Considering they were once considered one species, does not this phenomenon suggest they may really be so?  Like "Baltimore" and "Bullock's" Orioles, or ""Audubon's" and "Myrtle" Warblers?  The circumscription of species is always to some extent a matter of the interpretation of the given taxonomist, and whether he or she is a "lumper" or a "splitter."

Jason Hernandez
jason.hernandez74 at yahoo.com

-------- Original Message --------
Subject:     [inland-NW-birders] Notes on Cordilleran vs Pacific-slope in
Latah, Nez Perce, and nearby counties
Date:     Wed, 9 Jul 2014 21:56:30 -0700
From:     John Hanna <johnwalterhanna at gmail.com>
To:     inland-nw-birders at uidaho.edu <inland-nw-birders at uidaho.edu>,
ible at yahoogroups.com <ible at yahoogroups.com>

Hello birders,

As others have noted Western Flycatchers in this area of North Central
Idaho can present characteristics of both Cordilleran and Pacific-slope.

I wanted to let people know that Ben Bright and myself have been
recording position notes and songs of these birds on our phones and
looking at the sonograms using a program called Raven Lite. We have been
following the rules presented by Arch McCallum, Ph.D. to determine pure
birds vs intermediate birds
(http://www.appliedbioacoustics.com/research/wefl/). Thus far all of the
birds we have recorded have been intermediate birds except for one from
Central Grade, Nez Perce County
(http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S18647186) in which the
male position note matched well with Cordilleran. Birds in Latah county
have presented a wide range of intermediate calls. Some birds having
Cordilleran like position notes but in a single syllable and then they
may repeat one of the three Pacific-slope song phrases. Other birds may
sing all three Pacific-slope song phrases but at Cordilleran frequencies
too low to be pure Pacific-slope. Seems like every bird has its own style.

We have been marking birds as Pacific-slope/Cordilleran Flycatcher
(Western Flycatcher) and writing in the comments section that the birds
were identified as intermediates based on sonograms. It would be nice if
eBird had a separate option to enter intermediate
Pacific-slope/Cordilleran Flycatcher for correctly identified
intermediates. In my opinion pure Cordilleran or Pacific-slope birds are
likely rare in this area and likely can not be correctly identified
without a sonogram.

Any other thoughts?

John Hanna
Lewiston, Idaho

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