[Tweeters] A New Species of Junco

Mike & MerryLynn m.denny at charter.net
Fri Apr 1 09:14:58 PDT 2016

Hello All,
Just came across this very interesting paper on the discovery of a whole
new species of Junco here in North America. The story of its discovery
is astonishing to say the least. Unorthodox and precedent setting within
the world of Ornithology.

On 7 March 2012 a beginning birder and new immigrant to this country by
the name of Isak C. Jasitt was hiking up Santa Marta Canyon, Pasqual
County, Arizona when he came across a small feeding flock of sparrows,
finches and juncos. Being a student of perception he stated that he
always takes notes about his observations here in his new land. He noted
several different species comprising this small flock and even sketched
a couple of the individuals he found intriguing-one being a small yellow
eyed bird with a gray hood and a noticeable crest edged with white.
Looking through his newly acquired Birds of Arizona by C.P. Stecker,
Isak was unable to locate the bird in this very dependable field guide.
Isak kept his notes in a loose leaf binder for quick reference. Several
hours later he hiked back down the canyon to his car and returned home.
Somewhere and some how that page with his notes and sketches slipped out
of the binder and where lost.
Weeks passed and the emanate Ornithologist Dr. Roland G.Parnell along
with two post graduate students Stacy Bach and Thomas Lazwick started
hiking into Santa Marta Canyon on a pre-class exploration of the area.
About an hour later Stacy discovered a sheet of notes in a bunch grass
clump. There in the notes were several nice drawings of common sparrows
and one of a unknown bird. The notes were detailed and clear. Dr.
Parnell took a close look at these notes and realized a careful observer
had written them. Taking the notes back to his office he was able to
review them and after conferring with several of his peers announced the
discovery of a new species of Junco sight unseen. This new species was
officially named the Southern Crested Junco ( H. arvensis). So somewhere
in Santa Marta Canyon is a new species of junco that is now on the list
of North American birds. In 2014 Isak Jasitt purchased a new field guide
for the birds of the desert southwest and there he found a painting of
the interesting bird he had observed years before. He contacted the
author of this book and shared his portion of the story.
So somewhere in Santa Marta Canyon is a new species to science that has
never been photographed, collected or its DNA poured out for review.

Mike & MerryLynn Denny
Birding the Beautiful Walla Walla Valley
"If you haven't gone birding, you haven't lived"

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