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Pine Grosbeak subspecies

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  • vireos44
    Hi all, Having looked at the Pine Grosbeak photo taken at Galileo Hill on Joe Morlan s site, I m impressed with the length and depth of this bird s bill. That
    Message 1 of 5 , Nov 4, 2004
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      Hi all, Having looked at the Pine Grosbeak photo taken at Galileo
      Hill on Joe Morlan's site, I'm impressed with the length and depth
      of this bird's bill. That is one big bill! Having gone through pics
      in various books (Small;Kaufman;Audubon Society Master Guide) and
      followed that with an internet search, I haven't been able to find a
      picture of a PIGR bill that equals its size. According to Pyle,
      among the six PIGR subspecies occurring in North America, the
      California breeder (californicus)has the smallest bill. The two
      subspecies with the largest bills are a Siberian vagrant
      (kamtschatkensis), and an Alaskan-British Columbia breeder
      (flammula) that winters to Washington-Idaho. I wouldn't hazard a
      guess as to which subspecies this bird is, but I question whether it
      could be the California one.

      Jim Pike
      Huntington Beach
    • Les Chibana
      I happened to have a few photos of Pine Grosbeaks taken in Alaska, and a couple of them are probably flammula. I posted a page on my website with the photos
      Message 2 of 5 , Nov 4, 2004
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        I happened to have a few photos of Pine Grosbeaks taken in Alaska, and
        a couple of them are probably flammula. I posted a page on my website
        with the photos that also lists the bill measurements from Pyle and a
        link to Joe Morlan's photo gallery page where you can see the Kyle's
        photo. As I note on the page, it may be an exercise in futility to try
        to parse out the subspecies based on ranges of measurements and from
        photos, but perhaps someone would like to try.

        <http://www.birdnutz.com/gallery/pigr_comp.htm>

        My thoughts are that there are two other subspecies possible: montanus
        and leucurus.

        Do I have too much time on my hands? You bet!

        Les
        ---
        Les Chibana
        BirdNUTZ(tm) - Ornigasmic Birding
        em <les@...>
        web <http://www.birdnutz.com>
        ph 650-949-4335
        fx 650-949-4137
        snailmail: SR2 Box 335, La Honda CA 94020



        On Nov 4, 2004, at 10:26 AM, vireos44 wrote:

        > Hi all, Having looked at the Pine Grosbeak photo taken at Galileo
        > Hill on Joe Morlan's site, I'm impressed with the length and depth
        > of this bird's bill. That is one big bill! Having gone through pics
        > in various books (Small;Kaufman;Audubon Society Master Guide) and
        > followed that with an internet search, I haven't been able to find a
        > picture of a PIGR bill that equals its size. According to Pyle,
        > among the six PIGR subspecies occurring in North America, the
        > California breeder (californicus)has the smallest bill. The two
        > subspecies with the largest bills are a Siberian vagrant
        > (kamtschatkensis), and an Alaskan-British Columbia breeder
        > (flammula) that winters to Washington-Idaho. I wouldn't hazard a
        > guess as to which subspecies this bird is, but I question whether it
        > could be the California one.
        >
        > Jim Pike
        > Huntington Beach
      • Joseph Morlan
        Additional photos of the Galileo Hill bird, including a more detailed head shot, are now available on Bob Steele s site at:
        Message 3 of 5 , Nov 5, 2004
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          Additional photos of the Galileo Hill bird, including a more detailed head
          shot, are now available on Bob Steele's site at:

          http://www.bobsteelephoto.com/Species/pigr.html


          On Thu, 4 Nov 2004 14:54:18 -0800, Les Chibana <les@...> wrote:

          >
          >I happened to have a few photos of Pine Grosbeaks taken in Alaska, and
          >a couple of them are probably flammula. I posted a page on my website
          >with the photos that also lists the bill measurements from Pyle and a
          >link to Joe Morlan's photo gallery page where you can see the Kyle's
          >photo. As I note on the page, it may be an exercise in futility to try
          >to parse out the subspecies based on ranges of measurements and from
          >photos, but perhaps someone would like to try.
          >
          ><http://www.birdnutz.com/gallery/pigr_comp.htm>
          >
          >My thoughts are that there are two other subspecies possible: montanus
          >and leucurus.
          >
          >Do I have too much time on my hands? You bet!
          >
          >Les
          >---
          >Les Chibana
          >BirdNUTZ(tm) - Ornigasmic Birding
          >em <les@...>
          >web <http://www.birdnutz.com>
          >ph 650-949-4335
          >fx 650-949-4137
          >snailmail: SR2 Box 335, La Honda CA 94020
          >
          >
          >
          >On Nov 4, 2004, at 10:26 AM, vireos44 wrote:
          >
          >> Hi all, Having looked at the Pine Grosbeak photo taken at Galileo
          >> Hill on Joe Morlan's site, I'm impressed with the length and depth
          >> of this bird's bill. That is one big bill! Having gone through pics
          >> in various books (Small;Kaufman;Audubon Society Master Guide) and
          >> followed that with an internet search, I haven't been able to find a
          >> picture of a PIGR bill that equals its size. According to Pyle,
          >> among the six PIGR subspecies occurring in North America, the
          >> California breeder (californicus)has the smallest bill. The two
          >> subspecies with the largest bills are a Siberian vagrant
          >> (kamtschatkensis), and an Alaskan-British Columbia breeder
          >> (flammula) that winters to Washington-Idaho. I wouldn't hazard a
          >> guess as to which subspecies this bird is, but I question whether it
          >> could be the California one.
          >>
          >> Jim Pike
          >> Huntington Beach
          >
          >
          >
          >
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          --
          Joseph Morlan, Pacifica, CA 94044 jmorlan@...
          Fall Birding Classes start Sep 14 http://fog.ccsf.edu/~jmorlan/
          California Bird Records Committee http://www.wfo-cbrc.org/cbrc/
        • Jim Gain
          Along the lines of Pine Grosbeak (PIGR), late last May, Wray Ladine and I had 2 PIGR at Courtright Reservoir in Fresno County that seemed to be mother and
          Message 4 of 5 , Nov 5, 2004
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            Along the lines of Pine Grosbeak (PIGR), late last May, Wray Ladine and I
            had 2 PIGR at Courtright Reservoir in Fresno County that seemed to be mother
            and daughter. I say that because one of the birds was richly colored and the
            other was somewhat mottled without the same richness as the other. Both were
            females. The mottled-looking one was following the other one around
            everywhere it went. The adult was not feeding the young one, but seemed to
            be looking over it.



            My question is has anyone else seen this? Do second year birds hang out with
            their parents?



            Jim Gain

            Modesto



            _____

            From: Joseph Morlan [mailto:jmorlan@...]
            Sent: Friday, November 05, 2004 6:18 AM
            To: CalBirds; Kern Bird list
            Subject: Re: [CALBIRDS] Pine Grosbeak subspecies



            Additional photos of the Galileo Hill bird, including a more detailed head
            shot, are now available on Bob Steele's site at:

            http://www.bobsteelephoto.com/Species/pigr.html


            On Thu, 4 Nov 2004 14:54:18 -0800, Les Chibana <les@...> wrote:

            >
            >I happened to have a few photos of Pine Grosbeaks taken in Alaska, and
            >a couple of them are probably flammula. I posted a page on my website
            >with the photos that also lists the bill measurements from Pyle and a
            >link to Joe Morlan's photo gallery page where you can see the Kyle's
            >photo. As I note on the page, it may be an exercise in futility to try
            >to parse out the subspecies based on ranges of measurements and from
            >photos, but perhaps someone would like to try.
            >
            ><http://www.birdnutz.com/gallery/pigr_comp.htm>
            >
            >My thoughts are that there are two other subspecies possible: montanus
            >and leucurus.
            >
            >Do I have too much time on my hands? You bet!
            >
            >Les
            >---
            >Les Chibana
            >BirdNUTZ(tm) - Ornigasmic Birding
            >em <les@...>
            >web <http://www.birdnutz.com>
            >ph 650-949-4335
            >fx 650-949-4137
            >snailmail: SR2 Box 335, La Honda CA 94020
            >
            >
            >
            >On Nov 4, 2004, at 10:26 AM, vireos44 wrote:
            >
            >> Hi all, Having looked at the Pine Grosbeak photo taken at Galileo
            >> Hill on Joe Morlan's site, I'm impressed with the length and depth
            >> of this bird's bill. That is one big bill! Having gone through pics
            >> in various books (Small;Kaufman;Audubon Society Master Guide) and
            >> followed that with an internet search, I haven't been able to find a
            >> picture of a PIGR bill that equals its size. According to Pyle,
            >> among the six PIGR subspecies occurring in North America, the
            >> California breeder (californicus)has the smallest bill. The two
            >> subspecies with the largest bills are a Siberian vagrant
            >> (kamtschatkensis), and an Alaskan-British Columbia breeder
            >> (flammula) that winters to Washington-Idaho. I wouldn't hazard a
            >> guess as to which subspecies this bird is, but I question whether it
            >> could be the California one.
            >>
            >> Jim Pike
            >> Huntington Beach
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >Unsubscribe: mailto:CALBIRDS-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
            >Website: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CALBIRDS
            >Listowners: mailto:CALBIRDS-owner@yahoogroups.com
            >
            >For vacation suspension of mail go to the website. Click on Edit My
            Membership and set your mail option to No Email. Or, send a blank email to
            these addresses:
            >Turn off email delivery: mailto:CALBIRDS-nomail@yahoogroups.com
            >Resume email delivery: mailto:CALBIRDS-normal@yahoogroups.com
            >
            >
            >Yahoo! Groups Links
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >


            --
            Joseph Morlan, Pacifica, CA 94044 jmorlan@...
            Fall Birding Classes start Sep 14 http://fog.ccsf.edu/~jmorlan/
            California Bird Records Committee http://www.wfo-cbrc.org/cbrc/


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          • Kimball Garrett
            Jim (and CalBirders), I agree with Les Chibana that we re not likely to pin down the subspecies of the Kern County Pine Grosbeak, but here are a couple of
            Message 5 of 5 , Nov 9, 2004
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              Jim (and CalBirders),



              I agree with Les Chibana that we're not likely to pin down the
              subspecies of the Kern County Pine Grosbeak, but here are a couple of
              additional thoughts (some of which were developed with Jon Dunn as we
              watched the bird on 6 November).



              Bill size and shape does vary geographically (see BNA account #456 by
              Adkisson, 1999), but mean size varies (within a sex) only by 1.1 mm in
              culmen length and 1.7 mm in bill depth. I agree that this bird looked
              rather thick-billed, and the resident Sierra Nevada subspecies (Pinicola
              enucleator californica) has the most slender bill [bill length/depth =
              1.24; in other ssp. this ratio varies from 1.02 to 1.16]. This would
              perhaps argue against the Kern bird's being californica, but of course
              we have no measurements of the bill, just impressions from field and
              photos.



              Although californica breeds within 150 km or so to the north of Galileo
              Hill, it is not necessarily the only candidate for vagrancy; in fact,
              given the dearth of known records of this ssp. in the lowlands, I wonder
              if it isn't a poorer candidate than boreal leucura (including
              "alascensis" and "eschatosa") which is well-known to move into the
              northern couple of tiers of states during exceptional winters, or Rocky
              Mountain montana (with at least some down-mountain movement recorded).
              It doesn't seem likely that Alaska/B.C. coastal flammula would move well
              southward, but I'm not sure anything about the Galileo bird would rule
              that subspecies out [the AOU 1957 checklist says flammula has been
              recorded in winter south to n. WA and nw. ID, but Adkisson's BNA account
              says that winter British Columbia specimens are leucura and montana and
              that flammula only wanders to the n. BC coast]. I don't know the details
              of the Siskiyou/Lassen records cited in various sources or the Modoc
              record noted by John Sterling, but wonder if and how racial identity was
              determined.



              Plumage varies geographically as well, but we're hampered by not even
              knowing the sex of the Kern bird. My impression was that the primary
              coverts were rather slaty and cleanly edged with white, which might
              argue for an AHY bird (and therefore certainly a female), but can
              somebody with more familiarity with cardueline finches check the photos
              and see if they agree? If a HY bird, then the bird can't be sexed. Not
              knowing the age and sex for certain, it's difficult to apply any plumage
              subtleties to the question of subspecies. The back showed some
              indistinct dark centers, a character that varies a bit geographically,
              but without having the bird in the hand and knowing age/sex, it's of
              questionable value.



              I think we can rule out the endemic Queen Charlotte ssp. carlottae by
              plumage (that one is dark), and ne. Asian kamtschatkensis (vagrant to w.
              Alaska) by range, but maybe that's as far as we can get for certain.



              Far and away the best characters for determining geographical origin are
              vocal ones. Adkisson has studied this in detail (see Condor 83:277-288,
              1981). The loud whistled "location calls" (including "flight calls")
              show striking geographic variation; to my knowledge, nobody heard such
              calls from the Galileo bird. The Galileo bird did give quiet, repeated
              "contact calls", but according to Adkisson there is no geographical
              variation in such calls.



              So in summary I can emphatically say that I don't know the subspecies
              (and, thus, the rough geographical origin) of the Kern bird, and now
              that the bird is apparently gone we're not likely to ever know. If the
              bird got munched by an Accipiter, perhaps someone will find a pile of
              feathers that can be used for genetic analysis???



              -- Kimball





              Kimball L. Garrett

              Ornithology Collections Manager

              Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County

              900 Exposition Blvd.

              Los Angeles CA 90007

              (213) 763-3368

              (213) 746-2999 FAX

              kgarrett@...





              -----Original Message-----
              From: vireos44 [mailto:jpike44@...]
              Sent: Thursday, November 04, 2004 10:27 AM
              To: CALBIRDS@yahoogroups.com
              Subject: [CALBIRDS] Pine Grosbeak subspecies



              Hi all, Having looked at the Pine Grosbeak photo taken at Galileo

              Hill on Joe Morlan's site, I'm impressed with the length and depth

              of this bird's bill. That is one big bill! Having gone through pics

              in various books (Small;Kaufman;Audubon Society Master Guide) and

              followed that with an internet search, I haven't been able to find a

              picture of a PIGR bill that equals its size. According to Pyle,

              among the six PIGR subspecies occurring in North America, the

              California breeder (californicus)has the smallest bill. The two

              subspecies with the largest bills are a Siberian vagrant

              (kamtschatkensis), and an Alaskan-British Columbia breeder

              (flammula) that winters to Washington-Idaho. I wouldn't hazard a

              guess as to which subspecies this bird is, but I question whether it

              could be the California one.



              Jim Pike

              Huntington Beach



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