[Tweeters] Canada Jay eBird groups in WA

Ryan Merrill rjm284 at gmail.com
Thu Sep 13 10:28:45 PDT 2018

Thanks for bringing this to my attention, Alan. I've been doing most of the
work maintaining the eBird filters in Washington recently and will check on

Good birding,
Ryan Merrill

On Thu, Sep 13, 2018 at 10:26 AM Ryan Merrill <rmerrill27 at gmail.com> wrote:


> ---------- Forwarded message ----------

> From: Alan Knue <temnurus at gmail.com>

> Date: Wed, Sep 12, 2018 at 6:41 PM

> Subject: [Tweeters] Canada Jay eBird groups in WA

> To: tweeters at u.washington.edu



> Hello All,


> During a recent trip to the northern Cascades, I noticed that the wrong

> Canada Jay group was present in the eBird filter for several areas.

> Subspecies bicolor, whose range includes Okanogan (as far west as west of

> Conconully/ east of Winthrop in hotspots such as the Long Swamp, Tiffany

> Springs, and Rogers Lake), Ferry, Stevens, and Pend Oreile Counties and the

> SE Blue Mountains, is very similar to the Rocky Mountains group

> (capitalis/albescens) in some plumage characteristics, but is classified by

> Clements as part of the Northern canadensis group. I'm fairly certain this

> is based on the 2012 paper (High latitudes and high genetic diversity:

> Phylogeography of a widespread boreal bird, the gray jay (Perisoreus

> canadensis) by Paul van Els, Carla Cicero, and John Klicka, Molecular

> Phylogenetics and Evolution 63, pp 456–465) that shows a "Transcascades"

> group as sister to the Northern group, which combined are sister to a

> southern Rocky Mtn group. Anyway, the filter for those portions of the

> state should be updated accordingly to include the Northern group and

> remove the option for the Rocky Mountains group.


> Additionally, the Pacific group (obscurus), and not the Rocky Mountains

> group, is the correct group for both slopes of the Cascades to the Canadian

> border, so the filter for the eastern Cascades at such places as Rainy and

> Washington Pass also needs to be corrected to the the Pacific group. I

> think some birders were selecting the wrong option because it was the only

> one available in the filter for the area- for example, there is one eBird

> record for Washington Pass that included photos where the jays are clearly

> of the Pacific group. There was also one record from Chelan County entered

> as Rocky Mountains group (without details) that should also be the Pacific

> group.


> I'm not sure if the eBird reviewers in WA monitor this list, but if not,

> if someone knows who I should contact, let me know.


> Best, Alan

> Alan Knue

> Edmonds, WA


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