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RE: [modoc-siskiyoubirding] Lava Beds titmouses

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  • Kevin Spencer
    According to Cicero s Sibling Species of Titmice in the Parus inornatus Complex , the area of the Lava Beds turned up alleles for both subspecies so that
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 27, 2011
      According to Cicero's "Sibling Species of Titmice in the Parus inornatus
      Complex", the area of the Lava Beds turned up alleles for both
      subspecies so that there was not a determination of species when there
      was a split. With the mix of both alleles the Lava Beds area was
      considered a hybrid zone. Further west from there, the species is
      considerd Oak, and further east, the species is considered Juniper,
      although most go beyond the document's line of species separation, and
      seem to draw the line at the edge of the Goose Lake drainage.

      I have collected songs from Lava Beds in the past. I have heard
      similarities to both species at that location. I would say it is closer
      to Juniper most times. In Klamath Falls, at Moore Park, titmice have
      also been more responsive to Juniper playbacks. For survey purposes
      (Christmas Bird Count), it is generally regarded as titmouse sp. On
      general bird lists the Moore Park area is considered "Oak Titmouse" I
      have not done playback for the titmice down in the Klamath River Canyon,
      where they are considered closer to the Rogue Valley population due to
      connectivity with oak habitat, althoug they are also associated
      technically through the same watershed. Those are also considered "Oak
      Titmouse". Further east, in Klamath County, most consider it an
      "unknown" zone, due to lack of DNA samples, although one sample in
      Cicero's collection was determined to be Juniper, out near Langell
      Valley, OR, north of Clear Lake NWR (in CA). That would be the furthest
      west for a Juniper Titmouse in the area, and is about 40 miles NE of the
      Lava Beds Campground. I have sent my recordings to Arch McCallum, who
      may have more to say about the songs and calls at Lava Beds compared to
      other titmouse recordings from around the Basin. Or, it may result in
      continued speculation and prompt further voice recording. It's an
      interesting topic, needless to say. It's worth reading Cicero's
      documents regarding the study.

      Kevin Spencer
      Klamath Falls, OR

      On Tue, Apr 26, 2011 at 8:38 PM, Ken Burton wrote:

      Can anyone comment on the current understanding of titmouse identity
      Lava Beds? My question is prompted by a bird encountered Sunday at the
      Visitor Center that had a song identical to one of Juniper Titmouse on
      the Cornell CD and unlike any of Oak Titmouse. The bird was extremely
      responsive to (restrained) playback of Juniper and less so to that of
      Oak. We didn't know to observe bill length, so didn't.


      Ken Burton


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