[Tweeters] RE: [inland-NW-birders] 'Exotic' Species on State Lists

Doug Schonewald dschone8 at donobi.net
Mon Jun 8 16:43:12 PDT 2015

Thanks to Justin for pointing out my grievous error in the species nominations for Sagebrush and Bell’s Sparrows. Too old and not as good a memory as I should have. Regardless, if you had seen them both during breeding season you now reliably have two species for the price of one. Splitting can be boon for listers. You will of course have to eliminate Sage Sparrow from your lists.


Doug Schonewald
Moses Lake, WA.

From: Justin Wilde [mailto:jwwilde at outlook.com]
Sent: Monday, June 8, 2015 10:50 AM
To: Doug Schonewald
Subject: RE: [inland-NW-birders] 'Exotic' Species on State Lists

I am trying not to be "that guy" but i guess there is no way around it. The sparrow split was not to Sage and Sagebrush Sparrow but rather Sage Sparrow no longer exists and we have Sagebrush and Bell's sparrow. Bell's is the species located out of California. You would not be able to have a list check without have ever seen that subspecies in that endemic area of Cali. There is still a lot of material out there that uses Sage Sparrow in its works but that common name no longer exists, and the latin names are different as well.

so there is the end of my "that guy" post that had nothing to do with your swan post haha, happy birding.


-------- Original message --------
From: Doug Schonewald <dschone8 at donobi.net <mailto:dschone8 at donobi.net> >
Date: 06/07/2015 17:23 (GMT-08:00)
To: tweeters at u.washington.edu <mailto:tweeters at u.washington.edu>
Cc: Inland-Nw-Birders <inland-nw-birders at uidaho.edu <mailto:inland-nw-birders at uidaho.edu> >
Subject: Re: [inland-NW-birders] 'Exotic' Species on State Lists

Mostly my thoughts pertain specifically to comments on Mute Swans by Wayne and Matt, both of who I respect deeply.

I keep my personal lists according to the ABA, both state lists and my NA list. However, remember that lists are personal and nothing keeps anyone from keeping complete lists of birds seen whether they are exotic or not. The ABA list will remain in flux and change regularly. Not too many years ago we had one species known as Sage Sparrow. Now we have two known as Sage Sparrow and Sagebrush Sparrow. If you kept a complete list of sightings you would have been able to add a species to your list without making a trip to California.

Changes in bird populations are dynamic and ever-changing. I can remember not so long ago when everyone in the state chased after the rare and elusive vagrant known as the Eurasian Collared-Dove. In a few short years they went from a rare vagrant to a complete nuisance, breeding in every niche in the state. There is also a movement at this time to eradicate (or at least dramatically reduce) Caspian Terns and DC Cormorants from the avian biomass in the Columbia Basin. Does this mean that since there is a concerted and official effort to remove these populations that people should not count those species if seen in the area and attempted eradication? Of course not.

That is not to say that the Mute Swan is going to do the same as the Eurasian Collared-Dove, but it is likely that they will become established and a viable bird on the state list. Recently I saw a photo of a Mute Swan with what appeared to be a Trumpeter Swan paired on a wetland near Quincy, WA. The Mute Swan was not likely transported there by human means. Rather, it likely arrived the same way the Trumpeter Swan arrived. Does that mean it is a vagrant? From what population did it come from? No one can reliably answer any of those questions for a sighting in the Columbia Basin far away from any known populations in the rest of the state. At the same time the Mute Swans that are being seen in the Puget Trough came from somewhere. If the sightings are increasing then it is reasonable to assume they are either breeding locally or the population is being supplemented by an established population in the Vancouver/Victoria area. Regardless if they are escapees from the aviculture industry or influx from Canada they should be recorded and noted. Whether you put them on your list, or not, is entirely up to you.


Doug Schonewald
Moses Lake, WA

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