Date: 3/5/17 12:58 pm From: Dennis Vroman <dpvroman...> Subject: [obol] Re: Fwd: green tailed/spotted hybrid??
Checked "ID Guide to N.A. Birds, Part I," (Pyle,1997), which indicates that hybrids between Green-tail and Spotted Towhee have been reported. However, the pictured bird's plumage appears to be pretty much that of a Spotted, with the exception of the rufous crown patch. Would think if a hybrid there would be some plumage difference from that of a "pure" Spotted. I have found Spotted Towhees in the Grayback Mtns (and Chrome Ridge) that were in the same elevation band as nesting Green-tails. Also, I have seen Green-tails at elevations lower that one might think they would be at.
Dennis (north of Grants Pass)
----- Original Message -----
From: Romain Cooper
Sent: Sunday, March 05, 2017 9:37 AM
Subject: [obol] Fwd: green tailed/spotted hybrid??
I'm forwarding this message w/ 2 photo attachments that a friend recently sent my way. The Spotted Towhee was photographed from my friend's yard in Takilma area (upper East Fork Illinois River Valley), Josephine County, OR. The first photo shows that the bird looks like a "normal" SPTO from the front but the second photo shows an orange patch on the back of his (male?) head. The "back head coloration" appears to be the same hue as the towhee's "sides". As this is a similar color to a Green-Tailed Towhee's head, my friend wondered if this was a hybrid?
I'm not knowledgeable but it seems that habitat/ elevational and associated nesting-timing differences between the 2 "Papilo" species would make this unlikely and the back head orange of this towhee is some type of pigment aberration. I'll get back to my friend Sarah re: any info on this if any of you have insights.