Date: 3/10/17 7:15 am
From: Scott Simmons <simmonsphoto...>
Subject: Re: [BRDBRAIN] Habitat Segregation in Yellow/Western Palm Warblers?
Interesting observations. For me (I spend most of my time in Seminole,
Orange and Brevard Counties), Westerns always far outnumber yellows,
perhaps by 20:1 or more. But when I see "yellows," they are almost always
in the drier areas of wherever I'm birding. I don't see them in marshy/wet
areas very often. It would be interesting to know if the Yellows you've
seen were also in drier habitats.

My observations are very anecdotal, so I don't know how much you'd want to
make of it.

Happy birding,

Scott Simmons
Winter Park, FL

On Thu, Mar 9, 2017 at 9:40 PM, Daniel Estabrooks <
<000000078b08fc2d-dmarc-request...> wrote:

> Hey BirdBrainers,
>
> I've decided to focus this year on birding some of the large wilderness
> areas around Polk County that get very little birding attention. It gets a
> bit dull at times. (Some of these places are lightly birded for a reason.
> LOL) But I think I've discovered something interesting about Palm Warblers
> in the process...
>
> (To clarify, i'm going to refer to the two Palm Warbler subspecies groups
> as "Western" and "Yellow" because that's what eBird calls them.)
>
> I went back over my eBird reports from the last few years and discovered
> that, with very few exceptions, all the Palm Warblers I've seen in urban
> settings or in small nature preserves close to significant human
> development (Circle B Bar Reserve, Saddle Creek Park, etc.) have been
> Westerns. On the other hand, nearly all the Palms I've seen in large
> protected areas farther from human influence (Green Swamp Wilderness
> Preserve, Hilochee WMA, etc.) have been Yellows. And I often have to hike 2
> miles or more into a particular preserve before I start seeing them.
>
> So that makes me wonder... Are Western Palms more adapted to human
> disturbance than Yellows? Are Yellows better competitors and thus able to
> take over areas of more pristine habitat? And if so, could human
> development (or lack thereof) be a selection pressure that keeps the two
> taxa separate? I know the two types interbreed where their breeding ranges
> meet, but if disruptive selection is occurring such that the two extremes
> (what we know as Yellow & Western) are favored in different areas but
> intergrades are favored nowhere, then they could be diverging into separate
> species.
>
> Anyway, I have literally no knowledge of what research has been done on
> Palm Warbler taxonomy/evolution, so for all I know, these questions could
> have all been answered and I just don't know it. I just thought it was
> interesting and wondered if anyone else has seen such a phenomenon or knows
> of any relevant research.
>
> Daniel Estabrooks
> Winter Haven, FL
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