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Second guessing a song sparrow


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Hi everyone, here's an obvious song sparrow that's been bothering me. That dark dark bill plus dark lores and dark rufous cap just feels odd to me, for what is an obvious song sparrow. Is this just a subspecies I'm not used to, or a hybrid of some sort, or am I just over-thinking something really obvious? A few days ago in Vancouver BC, thank you.

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I agree that it looks good for rufina, I have lots of experience in picking out montana and a few merrili birds from the local heermanni here in Sacramento, and that bird would stand out as being quite different from the subspecies I am used to seeing. 

Edited by Aidan B
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1 hour ago, lonestranger said:

 

 

I thought @Charlie Spencer was asking what kind of cigarettes you've been smoking. ?

The question is what kind of cigarettes has @Charlie Spencer been smoking.

On 1/4/2021 at 6:30 PM, Charlie Spencer said:

Cherry Grove Beach, northeastern SC.  Jan 3rd, 2021.

The bird is headed from right to left and slightly away from us.  It flapped constantly and rapidly, like a duck would.  This was over a tidal creek, although the bird remained over 50 feet up while it was visible.  Loon?  (The bird, not me.)  Cormorant?  Purple-spotted Snorklewhacker?

Thanks.

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2 hours ago, Kevin said:

I had no clue your comments did or didn't have anything to do with smoking, except for @lonestranger's comment.

Get used to it @Kevin. I'm clueless about a lot of @Charlie Spencer's comments, including his recent intentions with the Narwals video. I suspect his intentions were to annoy us more than usual by planting an ear worm in our brains. It's times like this when I should have just ignored him instead of clicking on the link looking for an explanation, that not even a handful of left-handed cigarettes could help to explain.  ??‍♂️ ?

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It’s in my opinion strange that eBird groups merilli with montana rather than with the rufina group, since montana is rather pale gray and rusty, whereas merilli is much darker gray and rusty more often more similar in appearance to rufina group stuff. This bird is fairly dark but so should most PNW Song Sparrows. My gut reaction would be to call this bird rufina group but in some cases subspecies IDs can be pretty nuanced and ambiguous so sometimes it’s best to not try too hard with them. Keep in mind the rufina group encompasses several subspecies and it is possible more than one of them occurs in your area

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2 hours ago, AlexHenry said:

It’s in my opinion strange that eBird groups merilli with montana rather than with the rufina group, since montana is rather pale gray and rusty, whereas merilli is much darker gray and rusty more often more similar in appearance to rufina group stuff. This bird is fairly dark but so should most PNW Song Sparrows. My gut reaction would be to call this bird rufina group but in some cases subspecies IDs can be pretty nuanced and ambiguous so sometimes it’s best to not try too hard with them. Keep in mind the rufina group encompasses several subspecies and it is possible more than one of them occurs in your area

I agree that this is a bird in the rufina group. Merrelli is probably lumped with Montana in a group because there is a large intergrade zone around the us-canada border in the Rockys, whereas rufina and merrelli have a fairly limited intergrade zone.

Edited by Connor Cochrane
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3 minutes ago, Connor Cochrane said:

I agree that this is a bird in the rufina group. Merrelli is probably lumped with Montana in a group because there is a large intergrade zone around the us-canada border in the Rockys, whereas rufina and merrelli have a fairly limited intergrade zone.

I observed this sparrow near Mt. St. Helens in Washington.  I assumed it was a Fox sparrow initially but it's a Song.  

582422080_SongSparrow(Pacifictype)(2).thumb.jpg.9210a442d4abcac6ff813256427640f3.jpg

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