Date: 2/1/18 9:22 am
From: Carl Lundblad <carl.lundblad...>
Subject: Re: [AZNMbirds] Is the Patagonia Red-breasted Sapsucker a hybrid?
Hi Denny,

There is a long history of hybrid Red-breasted X Red-naped Sapsuckers
occurring in southeastern Arizona, and hybrids should always be considered
when encountering red-breasted like sapsuckers outside of their breeding
range. Most (or all) of the previous Red-breasted Sapsuckers from Arizona
have been of the southern race, daggetti, which has a more intermediate
face pattern than your northern/ssp. ruber birds in central Washington.
The more-intermediate face pattern of daggetti indeed makes them tricky to
separate from hybrids, but presumptive hybrids usually show some traces of
a red-naped's black shield/throat frame on the upper breast. Looking at
the various photos of the Patagonia individual that are in eBird, I don't
see any of the black on the upper breast, and the face pattern looks pretty
typical of a daggetti red-breasted. The black and white patterning on the
face in your photo looks a bit more extreme than in many of the other
photos, but I would probably attribute that to some combination of the
weird angle, weird lighting, and or maybe greater feather-wear compared to
earlier in the season. To me, this looks like a very good candidate for a
pure southern/daggetti Red-breasted, and Arizona has a very skilled team of
eBird reviewers who I'm sure have already carefully considered this
question. Other opinions welcome, however. It's not a trivial
identification challenge.

Respectfully,

Carl Lundblad
Moscow, ID



On Thu, Feb 1, 2018 at 8:58 AM, Denny Granstrand <dgranstrand...>
wrote:

> I was in Patagonia yesterday and was given directions to the location of
> the Red-breasted Sapsucker. I found it quickly and got some photos. It
> appears to me that it is a hybrid Red-breasted X Red-naped Sapsucker. The
> red on the head is broken up by the face pattern of a RNSA showing through.
> A pure RBSA should be a nearly complete red head or with only touches of
> black or white around the eye.
>
> Here is the link to my eBird report from yesterday:
>
> https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S42390666
>
> I live in Yakima, WA. In the forests in Yakima County we frequently see
> mixed pairs of RNSA and RBSA. We also see the hybrid offspring regularly. I
> have photos of hybrids in the Sapsucker folder on my website:
>
> http://www.granstrand.net/gallery/album62
>
> Some of the hybrid sapsuckers in my photos look just like the one in
> Patagonia.
>
> If you do an eBird search for Red-breasted Sapsucker photos, you will find
> quite a few that look like the one in Patagonia. You will notice, though,
> most of those photos were taken during the winter. Those birds undoubtedly
> were migrants from the sapsucker hybridization zone in the Pacific
> Northwest.
>
> Denny Granstrand
>
> * * * * * * * * * * * *
> Denny Granstrand
> Yakima, WA
> dgranstrand AT gmail.com
> Denny Granstrand's bird photos can be seen at:
>
> www.granstrand.net/gallery/
>
> Home Page: https://list.arizona.edu/sympa/info/aznmbirds
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