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Seen today in Chicago, where it's almost always a Slate subspecies dark-eyed junco. This appears to be either Oregon or Pink-sided, both of which have been reported in the location I took these.  I can see where there may be a a mask consistent with pink-sided (although this could just be a function of lighting on a somewhat gray and gloomy afternoon)...on the other hand, the gray does not seem to go into the chest, which suggests Oregon, although I did not get any shots with the neck extended that would make it easier to see how far it does in fact descend. Any thoughts? Thanks!

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2 minutes ago, PaulK said:

That looks to me like an immature female Oregon but I have no experience with pink-sided so please wait for someone with more expertise.

That was my thought as well...except I am relatively new to this, and have no experience with either of them 😃

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3 hours ago, Tony Leukering said:

Pink-sided has, well, pink sides, not orange sides, with that color extending farther toward the longitudinal middle of the belly than this.

Oregon Junco

I have an issue of Birding from 2002 with an article by Jon Dunn on Pink-sided Juncos.  (You're quoted.)  It mentions that A. H. Miller said in 1941 that there were two types of flank color in Pink-sided, pinkish cinnamon and "more yellowish-washed", which Dunn understands as buffy-brown.  Dunn says the "yellowish" coloring is more common in females and may even occur in the majority of Pink-sided females.  Is there really a common coloring like that?  I haven't noticed it, here in northern New Mexico in the heart of the PInk-sided's winter range, but I'm somewhat color-blind and might not.

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3 hours ago, Jerry Friedman said:

I haven't noticed it, here in northern New Mexico in the heart of the PInk-sided's winter range, but I'm somewhat color-blind and might not.

I haven't either, although I would imagine that immature female PSJU is the plumage that would be most likely to deviate from our mental picture of what the subspecies can look like. I'd want to spend time on the breeding range after the preformative molt but before they start migrating to have any certainty as to what imms look like.  I would go through the eBird/Macaulay photo archive, but the breeding range is mostly Wyoming and southwestern Montana, neither of which is particularly heavily birded (particularly WY).

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4 hours ago, Tony Leukering said:

I haven't either, although I would imagine that immature female PSJU is the plumage that would be most likely to deviate from our mental picture of what the subspecies can look like. I'd want to spend time on the breeding range after the preformative molt but before they start migrating to have any certainty as to what imms look like.  I would go through the eBird/Macaulay photo archive, but the breeding range is mostly Wyoming and southwestern Montana, neither of which is particularly heavily birded (particularly WY).

Thanks.  I occasionally wonder what I really know about junco subspecies, since the only one I've seen on the breeding grounds is Gray-headed.  Likewise what I really know about Yellow-rump subspecies and intergrades.

This Pink-sider looks interesting.

Edited by Jerry Friedman
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On 4/15/2021 at 6:57 AM, Tony Leukering said:

Pink-sided has, well, pink sides, not orange sides, with that color extending farther toward the longitudinal middle of the belly than this.

Oregon Junco

Thanks, I appreciate the help. I was out again in Chicago today, and came across the bird in the attached, and I'm somewhat stumped. I came across about 10 standard slate...and this one. It does not appear to be the same individual as in my original post. In trying to figure it out, I fell down the rabbit hole of oregon/atypical slate/cismontanus, and quickly found myself overwhelmed. Any thoughts?

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13 hours ago, AlexHenry said:

With that much of a hood, I wouldn’t call it Slate-colored. Not sure if it’s a Oregon or some sort of Oregon x Slate-colored intergrade.

Why not cismontanus? It seems to me that cismontanus looks basically the same as a Slate-colored except with a hood.

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1 hour ago, Avery said:

Why not cismontanus? It seems to me that cismontanus looks basically the same as a Slate-colored except with a hood.

I think the “official definition” of Cismontanus is a specific, genetically stabilized population of Slate-colored x Oregon intergrades. However the term it is also sometimes used as a sort of catch-all for any  Oregon x Slate-colored intergrade type bird. 
 

When I said it could be a Oregon x Slate-colored intergrade, I was including cismontanus in that.

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Posted (edited)
11 hours ago, AlexHenry said:

I think the “official definition” of Cismontanus is a specific, genetically stabilized population of Slate-colored x Oregon intergrades. However the term it is also sometimes used as a sort of catch-all for any  Oregon x Slate-colored intergrade type bird. 
 

When I said it could be a Oregon x Slate-colored intergrade, I was including cismontanus in that.

This simplifies things for me. I'm what I would consider an advanced beginner with birding (see my join date and not knowing an immature herring gull from a great black-backed). I try to be accurate with my lists on ebird not just for myself and the learning process, but for others who may be looking for specific birds either for annual checklists or for lifers. So I appreciate the help with this.

Edited by sfk324
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