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Re: photos posted of hybrid (?) EUWIs

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  • vireos44
    Hi, If the two ASY male Eurasian Wigeons at Village Pond park are being called hybrids on the basis of green narrowly confined to the perimeter of the eye,
    Message 1 of 3 , Jan 18, 2005
      Hi, If the two ASY male Eurasian Wigeons at Village Pond park are
      being called hybrids on the basis of green narrowly confined to the
      perimeter of the eye, then I have to respectfully disagree. As I've
      always been curious as to what is the 'allowable' amount of green
      that a EUWI can have on the head and still be considered a 'good'
      (ie, non-hybrid) EUWI, I did a literature and internet search for
      photographs and information. Although the Sibley and National
      Geographic guides don't deal with the issue of darkening or
      coloration around the eyes of EUWIs, there is a good illustration
      (by Jonathan Alderfer) of this in the American Bird Conservancy
      guide. Most informative was the comment in the waterfowl book by
      Madge and Burns (1988) that EUWI males "usually (have) a small green
      patch behind the eye". This information was repeated on a couple
      other websites, including one in the UK, where they presumably see a
      whole lot more EUWIs than we do. I discovered while looking through
      innumerable EUWI drake photos on the internet, that one is as likely
      to find a bird apparently lacking any darkening around the eye as
      one with darkening. In most cases where the picture was large and
      clear enough of the head to discern a tint to the darkening, it was
      always green. If I were to draw any conclusions based on my review
      of these photos, it would be that it is completely acceptable in an
      otherwise apparently 'pure' EUWI drake to have green surrounding the
      eye, and with the green being posterior to the eye no further a
      distance than the width of the eye. There were a few pictures on
      various websites showing birds that were identified as EUWIs that
      did have small green 'patches' posterior to the eye. While they may
      have been genetically fine EUWI, at least one of them showed other
      indications of being a hybrid with AMWI.

      Both male EUWIs were again present at Village Pond park today. One
      of the birds has grayer sides than the other, and I was able to see
      the grayish axillars (ie, basal underwing), indicative of EUWI, when
      it raised its wings. The other has a suffusion of brownishness to
      the gray sides and upperparts. A photo of this bird from November
      can be seen on Steve Metz's website. As to whether the presence of
      this color is 'acceptable' in pure EUWIs, I couldn't tell you.

      Jim Pike
      Huntington Beach










      --- In OrangeCountyBirding@yahoogroups.com, Thomasabenson@a... wrote:
      > I have posted photos on the Orange County Birding website of the
      Chestnut-sided and Black-throated Green Warblers, as well as the
      2 "hybrid" Eurasian Wigeons from Village Pond Park.
      >
      > Tom Benson
      > San Bernardino, CA
    • Thomasabenson@aol.com
      I would like to thank Jim for his diligent research and identification of the Village Pond Park Eurasian Wigeons. I only assumed that the birds were hybrids
      Message 2 of 3 , Jan 20, 2005
        I would like to thank Jim for his diligent research and identification of the Village Pond Park Eurasian Wigeons. I only assumed that the birds were hybrids because I had not previously noticed green feathering on the eyes or head of any other Eurasian Wigeons I had seen, probably because I had not looked at them very carefully. That should teach me to be a better birder, and to do my research in the future. Thanks Jim. Also, I took my scope into Kowa a couple months ago to get it fixed. It cost $50 and was definitely worth the drive, which I think would only be about 20 minutes from HB on the 405 with no traffic.

        Tom Benson
        San Beranrdino, CA
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