Date: 12/5/17 8:35 pm From: 'Ross Silcock' <silcock...> [NEBirds] <NEBirds...> Subject: RE: [NEBirds] 'White-winged' Junco on East Campus
I think this bird has Slate-colored AND white-winged genes. The breast markings suggest SC , but the color overall looks WW. Good point by Elliott re amount of white in tail- it would be good to get a shot of the spread tail (I couldn’t get the video to play on my computer).
Interesting. Nice set of pics.
Seasonal Reports Compiler
Nebraska Bird Review
From: <NEBirds...> [mailto:<NEBirds...>]
Sent: Tuesday, December 5, 2017 10:23 PM
Subject: RE: [NEBirds] 'White-winged' Junco on East Campus
The bird in the pictures that I looked at suggested to me that your photos were likely of a ‘slate-colored’ and not a Wht-winged Junco. As Sibley and Rising both point out, a small fraction of ‘Slates’ [ca. 1/200] have pale wing bars. The best distingushing features for separatIng WW’d from slates are: 1) WW’s are noticably larger [ can’t really tell that in a picture] and have larger bills [not obvious in the pictures]; 2) in WW’s, there is one additional tail feather that is white i.e. the outer three retrtices [the 4th, 5th and 6th] are all white while the 3rd contains some white [Rising, 1996] and there is one less than that in a SC’d. Obviously, there is not way tell the extent of the white in the tail in the picture but if the bird hangs around you should be able see how much white it has in its tail.
If you get the chance to see that individual again and get to compare it side-by-side with other SC’d Juncos it should reveal the bird’s race (i.e.: J. h. aikeni [WW’d] vs. J. h. hyemalis [SC’d]. I’d be very interestred in knowing what you find.
My feeding station on UNL East Campus in Lincoln has produced a nice rarity the last couple days, a junco that appears to be a 'WHITE-WINGED' JUNCO. This is a subtle White-winged, with weak wing-bars, but the wing-bars are present. However, to me the most convincing White-winged feature on this bird is the relatively pale but pure, lustrous gray back and head -- lacking the brownish and/or blackish tones of 'Slate-colored' Juncos. The bird also shows noticeable dark lores, with a slight pale eye-ring.
Being "just" a subspecies, I'm thinking this won't be a chase bird, but just in case anyone wants to take a look... The feeding area is around a stand of s hrubs on the west side of the National Agroforestry Center building, viewable from the northeast corner of the large "C" parking lot (commuter student parking) in the middle of East Campus. (Note that non-students can get ticketed and towed for parking here, but viewing is easy from in or next to your car.) I've got seed scattered on the ground (there's also jimmy cracked being put there by somebody else who likes squirrels a lot more than me...), and some finch socks hanging in the shrubs, which are attracting a few goldfinches and House Finches and may or may not be worth checking for other finches.