[Tweeters] Photo Gallery of interesting sparrows, juncos, and towhees

David Irons davidirons20 at yahoo.com
Tue Mar 22 01:32:15 PDT 2011

Greetings All,
Over the weekend (Sat. 19 March), I led an Oregon Field Ornithologists field trip to Sauvie Island. Our group and several other birders collectively spent several hours monitoring a seed pile put down at a site along Rentenaar Rd. where a Harris's Sparrow has been wintering. In recent days, an interesting Dark-eyed Junco was found by Scott Carpenter. Most agree that is appears to be a "Cassiar" Junco, which, depending on your source is either an intergrade Slate-colored X Oregon or is a separate subspecies (cismontanus). Scott posted some images of the bird to his website and I have posted an additional image that is included in a gallery of images from Saturday's trip at BirdFellow.com. 
The gallery can viewed by clicking on this link: OFO Field Trip Gallery
In addition to the interesting junco, you can enjoy images of the following birds:
1. Harris's Sparrow
2. Three different White-throated Sparrows
3. Both pugetenisis and gambelii White-crowned Sparrows
4. Two different forms of Spotted Towhee, including the western Oregon/Washington resident oregonus and a more spotted, paler-sided interior bird (subspecies unknown). 
5. Lincoln's Sparrow
6. Golden-crowned Sparrow (adult and imm.)
7. Sharp-shinned Hawk
8. Northern Harrier (spectacular shots shared by Lyn Topinka)
I am interested in any comments folks might have about the towhees. We annually get a few heavily-spotted (non-oregonus) towhees in w. Oregon during migration, but the subspecific origin remains in question. I would be interested in hearing the thoughts of those of you who live east of the Cascades. Further, for those who see lots of westside towhees, how often do you see oregonus, or interior subspecies for that matter, that show the strong black/dark brown mottling along the flanks where the orange meets the white on the belly? I've not noticed such a heavily-marked bird before, but I've found some online images that show birds appearto be similarly marked. This dark mottling along the flanks seems to only appear on adult males. 
Please, if you have comments about any of these photos, I would ask that you post your comments on the BirdFellow site rather than posting back to this list or sending me private comments. They are much more useful in the context of the photo and they will be archived along with the photo gallery images. 
Thanks in advance for any feedback you might be able to provide regarding the towhees. 
Dave IronsContent Editor BirdFellow.com 

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