[Tweeters] Please Post Your White-crowned Sparrow Subspecies!

William Brooks willbrooks.0 at gmail.com
Thu Jun 14 18:13:30 PDT 2018


Hey All,

As Tom Mansfield mentioned in his nice email, and as some of you may have
heard at the WOS conference, I am doing research this summer on
White-crowned Sparrows in the Cascades. For more details on my project you
can see Tom's email or the WOS newsletter, but essentially what I am
focusing on is the possibility of interbreeding between the Puget Sound and
Gambel's White-crowned Sparrows and how this is influenced by vocalization.

One crucial element of this study that I cannot cover is the breeding range
of the two subspecies. The two are currently expanding their ranges, so
understanding where they overlap is very important. This is where you all
come in! By posting them on eBird or elsewhere, or even emailing me about
where you are seeing them, we can build a better picture of their
distribution.

One important element of this request is subspecies identification. While
initially daunting, the two subspecies are actually quite distinct. They
are readily distinguishable by song, with the Gambel's generally lacking
trills and having a less clear more wheezy tone, while the Puget Sound
having the familiar clear, trilled song. However, they are also very
readily distinguished visually. There are a couple articles listed below
that outline their identification very clearly.

David Sibley (see Subspecies Identification – Pacific vs. Western Taiga
Overview):
http://www.sibleyguides.com/bird-info/white-crowned-sparrow/

Monterey Birds (still relevant despite being from the wrong state):
http://creagrus.home.montereybay.com/MTYbirdsWCSP2.html

Thank you so much for your help, I look forward to hearing about your
sightings!
Will Brooks
Tacoma, WA
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