White-crowned Sparrow Migration: some subspecies are migratory, some sedentary---------Re: [Tweeters] White-crowned Sparrows Back?

Matt Bartels mattxyz at earthlink.net
Mon Apr 9 07:00:22 PDT 2012


Hi all -
To add a little to this:
In the winter, the White-crowned Sparrows here in the Puget Sound are mostly gambelii. The new arrivals folks are starting to hear sing are pugetensis subspecies, showing up from the south. A third subspecies, oriantha, is also present in WA, but only in the far NE corner of the state.

A couple complicating extras:
I believe some people at UW are studying wintering pugetensis White-crowned Sparrows -- apparently we are learning that more pugetensis are wintering here now. So when someone reports having the same White-crowneds all year long, they are most likely incorrect but could just possibly have some of those 'new' wintering pugetensis.

With development, logging & such, pugetensis have expanded their breeding grounds as well, moving up into the Cascades. For years, Gene Hunn noted that in the area around Naches Pass [specifically, at 'Windy Gap'], you could find White-crowned Sparrows on territory singing both pugetensis and [the expected] gambelii songs. If someone were to study the breeding range overlap and determine the two subspecies were not mixing when they come into contact on the breeding range, this could be evidence of speciation. Alternately, if they mix freely where they are now breeding in the same area, the claim of subspecies status might be in question.

So -- all our subspecies of White-crowned Sparrow are largely migratory, but perhaps some small portion are becoming sedentary and perhaps some of the subspecies are not 'sub' at all.

Matt Bartels
Seattle, WA


-----Original Message-----

>From: notcalm at comcast.net

>Sent: Apr 8, 2012 8:23 PM

>To: Bill Green <bill at supposedly.org>

>Cc: tweeters at u.washington.edu

>Subject: White-crowned Sparrow Migration: some subspecies are migratory, some sedentary---------Re: [Tweeters] White-crowned Sparrows Back?

>

>Tweeters,

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>

>As is often true of complex questions, there are at least two answers. Some White-crowned are sedentary and some are migratory. Quoting from Cornell Ornithology, BOL (I bolded some of the salient information):

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>"Of the 5 subspecies, 4 are migratory ( Z. l. leucophrys , Z. l. gambelii , Z. l. pugetensis , and Z. l. oriantha );

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>1 is sedentary ( Z. l. nuttalli ). Banding studies have revealed general patterns of migratory movements, especially for Z. l. leucophrys and Z. l. pugetensis , but much remains to be learned about specific migratory movements of individuals and local populations ( Cortopassi and Mewaldt 1965 ).

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>Migrates on a broad front ( Cortopassi and Mewaldt 1965 ), or by independent movements along several routes where weather and ground conditions permit ( DeWolfe et al. 1973 ). Eastern Z. l. leucophrys breeding from Great Lakes east to Atlantic Ocean migrate southwest to winter from central Texas to lower Ohio River Valley. Midwestern Z. l. leucophrys and Z. l. gambelii migrate due south to winter in w. Texas and Oklahoma. Most western Z. l. gambelii migrate from high latitudes in Alaska and Canada along inland routes through British Columbia, e. Washington, and e. Oregon to winter in California, Arizona, New Mexico, and w. Texas. Z. l. pugetensis migrate due south from w. Washington and sw. British Columbia, west of the Cascade Mtns., to winter in w. Oregon and w. coastal California. Z. l. oriantha breed in mountains of western states and winter in lowlands of sw. U.S. and n. Mexico ( Cortopassi and Mewaldt 1965 ).

>Timing And Routes Of Migration

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>Breeding Ground Arrival And Departure Dates

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>For Z. l. leucophrys late May, mid-Sep ( Clement 1968 ); Z. l. gambelii mid-May, late Aug ( DeWolfe 1968 ); Z. l. pugetensis early Apr, late Aug ( Lewis 1975 ); Z. l. oriantha mid-May, mid-Sep ( Morton and Pereyra 1994 ).

>Arrival Times During Migration (Early Fall, Early Spring)

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>Illinois (mid-Sep, early Apr), Iowa (late Sep, late Apr), Maine (late Sep, mid-May), Manitoba (mid-Sep, late Apr), Michigan (mid-Sep, mid-Apr), Montana (late Aug, late Mar), Nebraska (late Sep, late Mar), New York (mid-Sep, mid-Apr), N. Carolina (early Oct, mid-Mar), Nova Scotia (late Sep, early May), Ohio (late Sep, mid-Apr), Oklahoma (early Oct, early Mar), S. Dakota (mid-Sep, late Apr), Utah (mid-Sep, late Mar), Washington (mid-Aug, mid-Mar) ( Clement 1968 )."

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>Dan Reiff

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>MI

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>----- Original Message -----

>From: "Bill Green" <bill at supposedly.org>

>To: tweeters at u.washington.edu

>Sent: Sunday, April 8, 2012 6:41:08 PM

>Subject: Re: [Tweeters] White-crowned Sparrows Back?

>

>The field guide I have in front of me (Peterson) has them as year-round

>residents west of the Cascades and migratory in the east. Anecdotally,

>they have just returned to my feeder (Vancouver, BC) this week after

>being absent since last November or so.

>

>Bill Green

>

>On 04/07/2012 12:23 PM, Barry Ulman wrote:

>> I've read a number of posts saying it's nice to have White-crowned Sparrows back. I didn't think they migrated.

>>

>> Barry Ulman

>> Bellingham, WA._______________________________________________

>> Tweeters mailing list

>> Tweeters at u.washington.edu

>> http://mailman1.u.washington.edu/mailman/listinfo/tweeters

>

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