Date: 12/4/18 12:01 pm
From: Russ Namitz <namitzr...>
Subject: [obol] "Rare" Song Sparrows in Oregon - photos requested in eBird
Although ID is still being researched, I validated the following report so that the public could view these photos.


Earlier I talked about subspecies and subspecific groups in eBird while using SONG SPARROW as an example. As a quick aside, I don't think it matters too much if one uses the general name like SONG SPARROW or the subspecies/subspecific group that is known to breed in a particular area (e.g. SONG SPARROW (heermanni Group) for Brookings, OR). It really does't make the "data" stronger by stating the known breeding subspecies group. The trouble and where it DOES matter is where the zone of overlap happens and observers start assuming subspecies/subspecific group. Somewhere along the southcentral Oregon coast, the SONG SPARROW (rufina Group) and the SONG SPARROW (heermanni Group) overlap. I suspect that it happens in Coos County, but it may be further north or possibly even south. I honestly have not researched enough and it is out of my area of expertise at the moment.

But that brings me to the eBird link above. I think that this SONG SPARROW belongs to the Central/Eastern US subspecific group of SONG SPARROW (melodia/atlantica)....and that perhaps it is the first photo documented record for Oregon. However, it was brought to my attention that Jim Hardman & Phil Redlinger photographed a very similar individual on Nov 30th while searching for the Lane County Harris's Sparrow (OBOL message on 11/30/2018).

Anyway, kind of my whole point is that I am very guilty of just passing over Song Sparrows and that, from now on, I will be taking a closer look, especially in winter and look for the variety that might be out there.

Russ Namitz
Coos/Curry/Grant/Harney eBird Reviewer

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