Date: 1/7/18 2:25 pm From: coloradodipper via Colorado Birds <cobirds...> Subject: [cobirds] Subspecies of White-winged Crossbill (and other species) and eBird
This is another plea from the Colorado eBird reviewers. If you are tempted to use an eBird entry that has a parenthetical expression, please do NOT use it unless you understand what that expression means. As example, the Pueblo White-winged Crossbill has been reported to eBird under two (so far) different subspecies entries. Since there is no definitive proof of occurrence in the New World of Old World subspecies of White-winged Crossbill, one might reasonably expect that the Pueblo bird is referable to the New World subspecies. Unfortunately, much of the reason that there is no proof of non-New World subspecies occurring in the US and Canada is due to the fact that the species is little handled AND only an infinitesimal number of birders actually know how to differentiate the subspecies of White-winged Crossbill. I certainly don't, and I've been a rabid student of subspecies ID since I got to Colorado.
Thus, the take-home message from this entreaty is that if you do not know how to differentiate a given subspecies, it's best if you don't report birds to eBird to that subspecies. Additionally, even if you DO know how to do it, views often/usually do not permit definitive differentiation.
As with my previous missive here (on hotspot use), we Colorado eBird reviewers thank you for NOT using subspecies entries inappropriately. By refraining from reporting stuff to subspecies willy-nilly, you save us some time.