Photo request for OC Bar-tailed Godwit
- View SourceHi,
Questions are being raised as to which subspecies is involved with the recently-discovered (thanks, Neil) Bar-tailed Godwit at Newport Backbay. The three recognized subspecies of Bar-tailed exhibit geographical variation across their range, with the northern Eurasia-breeding lapponica having a mostly white, lightly-barred back, rump, and underwing, and the Alaska and eastern Siberia-breeding L.l.baueri showing a browner, well-barred back, rump and underwing. Menzbieri of central Russia is intermediate in appearance. Baueri is believed to be responsible for most of the California records, although two records involved birds "with mostly white rumps that exhibited other marks typical of menzbieri and lapponica" (CBRC 2007). I will soon post two photos of the Orange County bird (see 'OC godwit'), one showing its mostly white rump and the other showing its relatively lightly-marked axillars (ie, the long feathers closest to the body). Pyle (2008) has depictions of two axillar feathers for both the lapponica and baueri subspecies, illustrating the range of variation even within Bar-tailed subspecies, as the "western populations average fewer and smaller black markings than eastern populations". I judge the axillars of the OC bird to be more similar in appearance to lapponica than baueri, but,given its range, lapponica would be a long shot. However, menzbieri is a consideration, as is the western population of baueri (ie, the eastern Siberia-breeding "anadyrensis"). So, after this long-winded/worded introduction, I'm asking that photographers that may have obtained photos of the underwing, rump and, especially, the back, please post them to the group. Feel free to use the 'OC godwit' folder. Maybe someone will get lucky from the Jamboree St. bridge and get a good pic of the (white? dark?) back in flight.