Asotin Co. Scrub-Jay

Charles Swift charless at
Mon Mar 25 16:17:59 PST 2002

It has been suggested that the Asotin Co. Scrub-Jay is of the 'interior
race', however, Dick Johnson, over here at WSU (one of the original
observers) has done some research and suggests that determing the race of
this individual may not be so easy (without studying museum collections).
There are actually something like 18 different subspecies and there is a
range of variation within subspecies and populations (both interior and
coastal). Also, while it may seem intuitively that the 'interior' forms
would be most likely, based only on distance traveled, the Columbia R.
population is at least as likely as it appears to be the closest (the next
nearest populations are in southeast Idaho, southern Oregon, and northern
Nevada). It would be concievable for a Scrub-Jay to travel up the Columbia
R. and then up the Snake R. thus staying in somewhat suitable habitat most
of the way. Regardless, it does point out that there is often incomplete
information in the standard field guides to determine subspecific identity.
It might be interesting to know as well if there are populations that are
more or less sedentary than others. Dick Johnson has posted several long
emails to inland northwest birders that I would be happy to forward (don't
know of there would be ther interest on tweeters as a whole).

Similarly we often wonder where our annual visitor Band-tailed Pigeons are
coming from - west of the Cascades or farther south?

thanks, Charles.

Charles E. Swift
Moscow, ID, USA
charless at

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