[Tweeters] "Yellow-Bellied Tit" hybrid at Kah Tai Lagoon

Wilson Cady gorgebirds at juno.com
Sun Mar 20 10:42:51 PDT 2022

There are several differences in Yellow-bellied Tits and Red-flanked Bluetail, a major one being that the Tit is a non-migratory species and the Bluetail is a highly migratory insectivore. You can enter both of these bird names into the eBird species search for more information and a sightings map for each species that you can zoom out to see where there have been reports of them. between the Wilson Cady
Columbia River Gorge, WA

---------- Original Message ----------
From: J Christian Kessler <1northraven at gmail.com>
To: Garrett Haynes <garrettwhaynes at me.com>
Cc: "Tweeters \\(E-mail\\)" <tweeters at u.washington.edu>
Subject: Re: [Tweeters] "Yellow-Bellied Tit" hybrid at Kah Tai Lagoon
Date: Sun, 20 Mar 2022 10:01:51 -0700

just a thought experiment to consider some recent sightings: I must admit to being a little puzzled by this continued conversation. my search of eBird finds no record of a Yellow-bellied Tit in North America. I recognize that there may well be a record or two not included in eBird, but it would seem that the probability of a Yellow-bellied Tit in North America in order to contribute to a hybrid, or a hybrid bird making it from east Asia, is vanishingly small. And while the Red-flanked Bluetail has been well documented and plainly here, I note that the previous sightings on eBird are in West Coast cities except for two inland western sightings, leading me to wonder if these are not either ship-assisted birds or released/escaped "pet" birds. Still a very cool bird, but have to wonder how it got here. I'd be interested in others' thoughts on either issue. Chris KesslerSeattle
On Sun, Mar 20, 2022 at 8:42 AM Garrett Haynes <garrettwhaynes at me.com> wrote:Dan, Yes, that seems like a more likely explanation and the color is similar. That would be my first hypothesis then is staining from pollen or something else, and hybridization would need some much heavier evidence. The bird would probably have to be caught and examined, at least physically, and samples taken to test genetics to confirm hybridization of that sort. However, if it were truly a hybrid like that somehow that would be pretty amazing. Makes me think of the hybrid warbler I saw in Boston that I think was a cross between a black throated blue and a bay breasted warbler. I watched it from within 10 feet and heard it singing and everything. It had features of both. I ran back to get my camera and when I came back it was gone. C'est la vie. Garrett HaynesAuburn, WA

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On Mar 20, 2022, at 4:58 AM, Dan Reiff <dan.owl.reiff at gmail.com> wrote:

Hello Garret,Could the breast feathers be temporarily covered in yellowish pollen?Note the similar colors for the pollen on vegetation around it.Thanks,Dan
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On Mar 19, 2022, at 11:22 PM, Garrett Haynes <garrettwhaynes at me.com> wrote:

Hello Tweeters, I am wondering what people think about the bird reported as a "yellow-bellied tit" at Kah Tai Lagoon on March 13th. The birder posits that it may be a hybrid chestnut-backed chickadee x yellow-bellied tit due to its having the normal chestnut-backed chickadee features in addition to having a yellow belly. I have no idea about the possibility of a hybrid like this occurring, sounds highly unlikely to me seeing as yellow-bellied tits are in Asia, but I am wondering what explanation there may be for this bird having such a yellow belly? Here is the link to the eBird report:https://ebird.org/checklist/S105173896 Garrett HaynesAuburn, WA

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