Date: 7/30/19 10:00 pm From: <rriparia...> Subject: [obol] Re: Titmouse Oak or Juniper?
Yes, certainly a complicated topic.
First of all, I'm not an expert, but I do have an opinion, and that
opinion has fluctuated through the years, but a good part of that
opinion is based upon the publication by Carla Cicero, Sibling Species
of Titmice in the Parus Inornatus Complex. I have that publication,
and could lend it out.
Maybe things have changed since that publication, maybe not. I don't
know. I heard that there might be further investigations for
populations further north in at least Klamath and Lake Cos. in Oregon,
and in northern California, but have never heard of it actually
As for the speculation that the species in Lake and in eastern Oregon
could be hybrid, or even Oak, I would still refer to Cicero which had
specimens near Adel, Lake Co., and near Lorella, (near Bonanza) that
fell into the Juniper status for species designation. Yes, Lava Beds
specimens were designated as hybrids.
When it comes to documenting it would be my opinion that the evidence
supports calling birds in certain locations because of specimens taken
nearby. So, I would call Adel birds Juniper Titmouse, and birds near
Lorella, Juniper Titmouse. I encountered a titmouse on the Bly II BBS
several years ago and submitted that observation as titmouse sp. I
submit birds encountered during the Klamath Falls CBC, and they are
present on most counts in the Klamath Falls areas of Moore Park,
Roosevelt Heights, Round Lake, and over at the base of Stukel
Mountain, as titmouse sp. I believe Mike Robbins submitted the
titmouse observed on the Tule Lake CBCs, when they were present, as
titmouse sp., as he was aware of the hybrid status there (they have
not occurred since a prescribed burn took out the trees in the
southern part of the park and within the count boundary). I submit
those as titmouse sp. due to the idea that they aren't very close to
where specimens were taken, and so, I opt to titmouse sp.
The ebird posts by an array of bird enthusiasts is an interesting
quandry. Many people use it more for a location to keep their records,
and some pay particular attention to their lists, and the number of
species they have for the state, county, or other area. Since I really
can't control that, I'm OK with flexing my opinion and accepting
Klamath Falls as an area that more than likely has Oak Titmouse. And
I'm OK with accepting Willow Reservoir birds as Juniper Titmouse due
to the proximity to Lorella and the status of that specimen labeled as
Juniper. The evidence that I am presented with does not support Oak
Titmouse at Adel, nor does support Oak Titmouse out at Lorella. Since
hybrid seems to be a status for Lava Beds, and that's a designation
based upon evidence, choosing hybrid might not mean you don't know,
but rather you think birds have mixed genetic backgrounds, or are not
pure enough. That may or may not be true itself. But, that's just my
So, where's the evidence for Klamath Falls? There's none, except maybe
that they are quite brownish compared to birds seen further east, and,
here's my hunch that I've had for quite some time, but haven't had the
time to pursue it, until maybe now. My hypothesis is that the
population in the Klamath Falls area could be linked to the Rogue
Valley Oak Titmouse subspecies, that has oozed over into the Klamath
River Canyon, coming in from the Greensprings area, or along those
lower hills, and into the canyon. The titmouse continues northward
into the Running Y area, and actually along the eastern flank of Upper
Klamath Lake, maybe to the Algoma area. I have not encountered
titmouse north of those locations in that part of the Klamath Basin. I
think the titmouse on the Dorris side of the canyon is also related
that subspecies. But that's just my thinking of the population that is
connected to the Klamath Basin, and I'm hedging that it's not that
closely related to the subspecies of the Central Valley of California.
I've also considered the connections eastward, which Klamath Falls
observations follow the hills along its north limits over to Olene,
connected to Stukel Mountain, and eastward to Dairy, where Mike Denny
has a record from a long time ago, and towards Bly and on out to the
Goose Lake and Lakeview. So, the populations are connected. The Dorris
and Keno birds also have connections, to the west towards Rogue Valley
as I mentioned, but also over to Mount Dome and further east to Lava
Beds, and then across to Clear Lake and Modoc Plateau. So, the Klamath
Falls birds certainly have connections to populations to the east and
west, but , in my opinion, they seem closer to the Rogue Valley
subspecies (I'm not home right now and can't refer to Cicero which has
that subspecies mapped and I could tell you). Anyway, until further
investigations add to the knowledge of the split, I'm OK with things
as they area. Maybe that's not scientific, but I think calling birds
across eastern Oregon hybrid titmouse unscientific too.
But, as you can see, I've thought about it quite a bit, and in doing
so, I have an opinion. I'm sure some of you will beg to differ. Or,
maybe most of us are not that far off. Fun to discuss though.
I'm more eager than ever now, to start checking out those Rogue Valley
Kevin SpencerKlamath Falls, OR
-----------------------------------------From: "Tim Rodenkirk"
Cc: "Tom Crabtree"
Sent: Tuesday July 30 2019 9:15:07PM
Subject: [obol] Re: Titmouse Oak or Juniper?
PS: I am guilty of calling those Adel birds Juniper based on
location. Maybe that works maybe it doesn’t. I know there has been
past work done on distribution but times are a changing and if I read
the old research correctly it could be that Oak can expand into
Juniper habitat but not visa versa? That is all so old now though- who
knows what is happening? Maybe something OBRC should be checking on?
What happens on eBird when we get Oak Titmice reports from K-Falls,
all assumed correct? I thought that was within the hybrid zone
originally studied but I think people are just calling then Oaks and
moving on- should these be reviewed, how would we be able to separate
What a mess- worthy of further discussion on OBOL!
Tim R In SW OR
On Tue, Jul 30, 2019 at 6:59 PM Tim Rodenkirk wrote:
All the eBird stuff aside Tom I think people assume that their
location may mean it is one species or the other- period. That means
that although there may be lots of records of one species or the other
in CA or even OR (on eBird or wherever) can these observations be
based on actually sight and sound ID- or do people just assume it is
one species or the other and record that into eBird as per the old
standards (which do not help anyone trying to figure out what is
where)? So eBird records, at least on the Eastside in OR, without good
documentation, should really be called Titmouse sp. Bet that hasn’t
been happening! Such a mess...
Tim R way over in Coos County
On Tue, Jul 30, 2019 at 5:27 PM Alan Contreras wrote:
Thanks Tom. I have no idea what the hybrid situation is like. As
is often the case, Oregon is a Zone of Complications.
Alan Contreras <acontrer56...>  Eugene, Oregon
On Jul 30, 2019, at 5:25 PM, Tom Crabtree wrote:
Alan, Here are two maps for comparison. First is Juniper
Titmouse. There are no records in eBird west of what the map shows.
The next is of Oak Titmouse. There are no records east of
what this shows: THERE ARE NO RECORDS FOR OAK
TITMOUSE IN NEVADA ACCORDING TO THE NEVADA BIRD RECORDS COMMITTEE (OR
IN EBIRD FOR THAT MATTER). AS THE MAP SHOWS, ADEL IS DUE NORTH OF THE
NEVADA STATE LINE. TOM CRABTREE FROM:
<obol-bounce...>  [mailto:<obol-bounce...> ]
ON BEHALF OF Alan Contreras
SENT: Tuesday, July 30, 2019 3:15 PM
TO: <aslamoreaux...> 
CC: <obol...> 
SUBJECT: [obol] Re: Titmouse Oak or Juniper? As far as I know
there are no known specimens or otherwise proven Oak Titmouse east of
California and the s. Klamath River of Oregon and all the ones in
Nevada are considered Juniper. I’m not sure if anyone has
studied the ones in Lake County Oregon but I’m not sure why they’d
be presumed Oak. That said, there is very little Juniper T population
in nw Nevada according to the state atlas and I’m not sure where the
populations connect. Joel, what’s the status around
Alan Contreras <acontrer56...>  Eugene, Oregon
On Jul 30, 2019, at 3:06 PM, Alex Lamoreaux wrote:
Also, is there any real evidence those Adel area birds are actually
Juniper... they are almost certainly hybrids or just Oak.
Alex On Mon, Jul 29, 2019 at 8:38 PM
Larry S. Goodhew wrote:
This is a titmouse I saw 10/21/18 in Klamath Falls It may be to
to be a Juniper. Would like some feedback. Thanks. Larry Goodhew