Date: 3/14/17 6:59 am
From: Tim Rodenkirk <timrodenkirk...>
Subject: [obol] Re: Rufous x Allen's hybrids
All I shared with you is my experience at New River and further north in
Coos County Dave and Kathy live right in the area where the green-backed
males of varying percentage of green on their backs seem to be in very good
number. I would say that they are the majority of breeding Selasphorus at
New River. Yep, no genetic work has been done but it sure seems like it
would be a good area to try and do some.

When I do see all green-backed males doing Allen's type displays I have
been calling them Allen's- maybe 10% of the birds at New River. When I
have seen all red-backed males doing Rufous type displays at New River I
have been calling them Rufous (maybe 10% of the breeders after the migrants
have passed through). That leaves the other 80% that are head scratchers.
I see the same variability over in the Coquille River valley and up the SF
of the Coquille to Powers. I have seen Allen's type displays at 2,200' in
Eden Valley near Mt. Bolivar in SE Coos. Also, most of the green-backed
birds I see at New river do Allen's type displays but I have seen a very
few do Rufous type displays.

I don't spend a lot of time elsewhere in Oregon during the mid-March to
mid-May period but I assume green-backed Selasphorus are a lot less common
further north along the coast and in the Willamette Valley- right? If one
goes down to Brookings during that period it seems to be all Allen's and is
certainly that way down into CA.

Yeah maybe they should be lumped but no one has gone there yet for whatever
reason. I think the south coast would be a fascinating place to do some
graduate research on these two sister species, hint hint.

Tim R
Coos Bay

On Mon, Mar 13, 2017 at 6:49 PM, DJ Lauten and KACastelein <
<deweysage...> wrote:

> I agree 100% and I have been saying so for years. We live on the
> supposedly line between Allen's and Rufous, just north of Bandon and the
> Coquille river. Both types of males display in our yard.
> Cheers
> Dave Lauten
> On 3/13/2017 5:49 PM, Mike Patterson wrote:
>> It's been a while since I checked the literature, but the occurrence
>> of RufousxAllen's hybrids has to my knowledge, never been clearly
>> demonstrated. This is not to say that hybrids have not been reported.
>> They have, but given the difficulty of sorting clear hybrid traits
>> from the statistical noise of variability in these two very closely
>> related sister taxa, I suspect only genetic evidence would be
>> definitive. It's possible this work has been done, but I haven't
>> seen the paperwork.
>> Rufous Hummingbird males show green backs, sometimes VERY green backs,
>> so having a green back does not a hybrid make. I'm not even convinced
>> that intermediate flight displays would get you there.
>> And just for the record, there is a small group of taxonomists who
>> believe they should be lumped, anyway.
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