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Interesting coloration on this junco

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Interesting coloration on this junco
posted by Jean Kuns on December 15, 2005 at 21:52:38
Re: Interesting coloration on this junco
posted by Mike Busam on December 15, 2005 at 22:11:47
Re: Interesting coloration on this junco
posted by Mike Busam on December 15, 2005 at 22:37:10
Re: Interesting coloration on this junco
posted by Kathi Hutton on December 15, 2005 at 22:18:03
Re: Interesting coloration on this junco
posted by Jean Kuns on December 15, 2005 at 23:27:03
Re: Interesting coloration on this junco
posted by Jay Stenger on December 16, 2005 at 00:03:25
Re: Interesting coloration on this junco
posted by Jay Stenger on December 16, 2005 at 00:05:04
Re: Interesting coloration on this junco
posted by Jean Kuns on December 16, 2005 at 01:45:16

Messages:

Interesting coloration on this junco
        posted by Jean Kuns on December 15, 2005 at 21:52:38
I've seen the brown and the slate colored but this one seems to be a brown with a dark head. I found reference to a Cassiar junco that looks similar. Is it a hybrid between the two?

Here are some pictures from this morning ...

Junco - Pic 1

Junco - Pic 2

Junco - Pic 3

Junco - Pic 4
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Re: Interesting coloration on this junco
        posted by Mike Busam on December 15, 2005 at 22:11:47
That's an interesting junco, alright! I can see reason to call it an "Oregon junco," one of the dark-eyed junco complex, which breeds in the northwest. There's enough variation among these critters, though, that I'm certain any claims I might make for the bird could easily be rebutted by someone else, but the convex shape of the hood on the breast of the bird and the way the hood is "full" and doesn't blend in with the upperparts or "shoulders" seems pretty good for an "Oregon junco" candidate to me. I'd be interested to hear other opinions.
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Re: Interesting coloration on this junco
        posted by Mike Busam on December 15, 2005 at 22:37:10
Just to toss some more images and arguments out there, check out these links:

http://www.oceanwanderers.com/JuncoID.html
("Juncos: What Do We Know?")

&

http://aves.net/rarities/mearnsi-05_SenecaCo-OH.htm ("Pink-sided Junco")

Those links and others show some of the varieties one can find among juncos. Crazy stuff. Thanks for sharing the photos.
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Re: Interesting coloration on this junco
        posted by Kathi Hutton on December 15, 2005 at 22:18:03
Jean: [My 2 cents' worth] I think this bird looks like the "Oregon" subspecies of the dark-eyed junco. As I understand it, until recently, juncos were divided into 4 full species plus some subspecies, but because of their tendency to hybridize, they have now been lumped into one. Our typical junco is the "slate-colored" variety (Junco hyemalis hyemalis). The Oregon variety, (J. h. oreganis) is found on the Pacific coast. This one might be some hydrid of the two types.

(Now, let's hear what the pros have to say.)
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Re: Interesting coloration on this junco
        posted by Jean Kuns on December 15, 2005 at 23:27:03
My first thought too was an Oregon but ruled that out due to the range. As I was researching it I came across the same links that Mike listed (thanks Mike, I probably should have included those).

Whatever it is, it was very striking and stuck out among the multitudes of slate colored juncos.

Thanks for your thoughts!
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Re: Interesting coloration on this junco
        posted by Jay Stenger on December 16, 2005 at 00:03:25
There is no doubt in my mind that this is an Oregon Junco. This race of the Dark-eyed Junco is Rare, but regular to our region in the winter (late October thru March). The Cincinnati CBC has several records and I have seen a few locally over the years. The Pink-sided race also occurs here in the winter months, maybe a little less frequently.
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Re: Interesting coloration on this junco
        posted by Jay Stenger on December 16, 2005 at 00:05:04

Oh Yeah... Jean's yard Rules!
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Re: Interesting coloration on this junco
        posted by Jean Kuns on December 16, 2005 at 01:45:16
Oh my, a bird with a worse sense of direction than me! How do they get so far off track?
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Ned Keller, comments03@cincinnatibirds.com