[Tweeters] Further Info on "15 New Species...."

Kelly Cassidy lostriver at completebbs.com
Sun Feb 18 19:35:19 PST 2007


While I would be thrilled to see all them cursed 4-year Larus gulls grouped
into one species, the list raises a lot of suspicion in my mind.  
 
There is a considerable body of evidence that backs the separation of
Clark's and Western Grebe.  They virtually never interbreed, although they
are often both present in the same lakes.  When they do interbreed, it's
usually the birds that have lost their first mate early in the season and
are desparate to find another mate before time runs out. (Did I
antropomorphize too heavily, there?)  They go through a "pre-nuptial" molt
of head and throat feathers in spring, evidently to spruce up the feathers
that help identify them to members of their own species.  
 
Female Cinnamon and Blue-winged Teals are nearly impossible to distiguish
from one another, but the striking differences between the males certainly
suggest that these are two real species. 
 
Kelly Cassidy 


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From: tweeters-bounces at mailman1.u.washington.edu
[mailto:tweeters-bounces at mailman1.u.washington.edu] On Behalf Of Brett Wolfe
Sent: Sunday, February 18, 2007 7:07 PM
To: . KDB .; tweeters at u.washington.edu
Subject: Re: [Tweeters] Further Info on "15 New Species...."


The 2nd table is quite interesting. Says that there is "100% Similarity"
between Cinnamon Teal and Blue-winged Teal? Huh. Looking at characteristics,
I would've put the Cinnamon Teal closer to a Northern Shoveler (blue wing
patches, huge bills). All of the others seem about right though: Mallards,
Black Duck & Mottled Duck; Western Grebe & Clark's Grebe; All of the gulls
that no one can tell apart anyway (I keed, I keed); Red-naped & Red-breasted
Sapsucker (their territorial drums are even quite similar); American &
Northwestern Crow (some local crow experts really think there is too much
hybridization and that there is only one crow species around here anymore);
and the Townsends/Hermit Warbler one is a huge complex for hybridization.
Doesn't surprise me that they any of these are closely related. I had always
suspected an issue with the Teals, so that is the only real surprise to me
out of the whole thing.
 
Any other birders have comments?
 
Brett A. Wolfe
Seattle, WA
m_lincolnii at yahoo.com 

". KDB ." <buhrdz at hotmail.com> wrote:

Here ya go Scott and others:

http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2007-02/ru-nbb021207.php

Check out the 2 charts especially.

Keith Brady
Olympia, WA

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