Song Sparrow- "samuelis" question
- Hello Birders,
This am, on the way back from seeing the Parula at Spring Lake in S.
Rosa, I stopped at Las Gallinas, Marin Co.
A singing San Pablo Song Sparrow (one of the very distinctive SF Bay
region salt marsh races) caught my attention. It sounded remarkably
like a Savannah Sparrow with insect-like buzzy trills suddenly
truncated in the manner of a Savannah, in fact I would not have
believed it to be a Song Sparrow had I not watched it repeatedly sing
this vocalization from point blank range of less than 30 feet away.
Then suddenly it swithched to the typical Song Sparrow song. A
seemingly perfectly bilingual bird!
My questions: was this a mimic of Savannah, or just a similar regular
part of the repertoire of this subspecies? Possible hybrid backcross?
Hybrid Song X Grasshopper has been reported, but this bird had no
suspicious plumage characteristics.
After observing this bird, I listened to one other close by San Pablo
or Samuel's Song Sparrow do the same thing only it's Savannah-like
song was not as convincing, it seemed to have more of an "accent",
the first bird had me completely fooled until I saw it.
Has anyone else noticed this?
BTW, I hope these SF Bay Song Sparrow races are upgraded someday to
specific status so that birders would pay more attention to them,
they are so different and probably never or only rarely interbreed
with the other races unlike say all the Western and Glaucous-w Gulls
which hybridize extensively and yet still get to be species?!
Inconsistency!(but that's part of what makes birding fun)