Date: 9/18/19 3:04 am
From: Sarah Sloane <sloane...>
Subject: [obol] Re: Black-eared Bushtit
Hi Craig,

Thanks for clarifying location!

In my earlier comments that’s exactly what I suggested (a recessive gene rather than a vagrant), although I’m in doubt about it being a female as I haven’t seen a good enough picture indicating that. Those who have actually seen the bird can address that better than I can! It’s possible the eye looks lighter in the photo because the mask is so dark.

I don’t think it’s a single point mutation because of the complete nature of the mask. Where black-ears are more common, there are many birds with incomplete masks so I’ve always suspected the presence of the black was the most extreme form of a recessive trait. A single mutation would be unlikely to do that. But it’s not impossible! It makes more sense that the gene exists in the population in very, very low numbers already.

At this date I can’t imagine it’s a fledgling. Bushtits are done with nests in late July (even earler in Arizona). This would be a very, very late nest. But it could be a late-molting first year bird. That would make sense.

Sarah


> On Sep 18, 2019, at 12:35 AM, Craig Miller <gismiller...> wrote:
>
> Hi Sarah,
>
> First, I suspect it is the same bird as the original bird photographed since in both cases it was hanging out with a flock of Bushtits in the same general location.
>
> Secondly, when I look at the photograph, the eye appears to be pale, contrasting sharply from the black mask, indicating it is a female.
>
> Given the radically out of range nature for a black-masked Bushtit and its probably female sex, my speculation is that a deeply recessive gene or mutation is more likely than an actual vagrant black-masked Bushtit. Speculative, of course, but there are a lot of odd things going on with this bird...
>
> Cheers,
>
> Craig Miller
> Bend
>
> On Tue, Sep 17, 2019 at 9:05 PM Sarah Sloane <sloane...> <mailto:<sloane...>> wrote:
> So it’s highly likey this is the same bird, right? Still pretty exciting and I’d love a really good close shot of the eye to definitively say it’s a male.
>
>
>> On Sep 17, 2019, at 11:58 PM, Alan Contreras <acontrer56...> <mailto:<acontrer56...>> wrote:
>>
>> Page Springs is at the south end of Malheur NWR.
>>
>> Alan Contreras
>> Eugene, Oregon
>>
>> <acontrer56...> <mailto:<acontrer56...>
>>
>> www.alanlcontreras.com <http://www.alanlcontreras.com/>
>>
>>
>>
>> On Sep 17, 2019, at 8:41 PM, Sarah Sloane <sloane...> <mailto:<sloane...>> wrote:
>>
>>> Question: How far apart are the two observations? Is it possible The Page Spring individual is the same one seen and photograhed at Malheur? Bushtit flocks can range very widely this time of year.
>>>
>>>
>>>> On Sep 17, 2019, at 11:24 PM, Sarah Sloane <sloane...> <mailto:<sloane...>> wrote:
>>>>
>>>> Thanks for that info! All observations of black-eared forms (or partially black-eared) are useful as I’d like to add this distribution info to the BNA account. It’s all new info.
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>> On Sep 17, 2019, at 11:20 PM, Harry Fuller <atowhee...> <mailto:<atowhee...>> wrote:
>>>>>
>>>>> There were five of us birding Page Springs today around 3pm...we saw flock of about eight Bushtits and one was very clearly and coldly a black-masked one...I was to slow with my camera...but all of us saw it clearly at forty feet and we all had binocs on them
>>>>>
>>>>> On Tue, Sep 17, 2019 at 11:08 AM Sarah Sloane <sloane...> <mailto:<sloane...>> wrote:
>>>>> That’s very cool! And very, very rare. In fact, I would like any info about sightings of black-eared forms in Oregon and elsewhere. I am currently updating my Bushtit BNA chapter and the only recorded information (both live and study skins) I can find says that the black-eared form is never seen north of the mountains near the Mexican border.
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>> On Sep 17, 2019, at 12:58 PM, Patty Bowers <dustdevils1209...> <mailto:<dustdevils1209...>> wrote:
>>>>>>
>>>>>> We had one at our house when we lived in rural Harney County a number of years ago. I think Rick Vetter may have a photo of it. I will have to look thru our records and see if there are some notes about it. I’m thinking it was in the early 2000’s. It was in a flock of other tits. At that time we thought it was unusual but not as rare as folks discussing on OBOL seem to think it was.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> Wayne
>>>>>>
>>>>>> Wayne & Patty BowersPOST: Send your post to <obol...> <mailto:<obol...>
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>>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>> &&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&
>>>>>
>>>>> Dr Sarah A. Sloane
>>>>> Associate Professor
>>>>> Dept. of Biology
>>>>> Division of Natural Sciences
>>>>> University of Maine at Farmington
>>>>> Farmington, Maine 04938
>>>>>
>>>>> <sloane...> <mailto:<sloane...>
>>>>> 207-778-7484 (office)
>>>>> 207-500-3733 (cell)
>>>>>
>>>>> &&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>> --
>>>>> Harry Fuller
>>>>> author of: San Francisco's Natural History: Sand Dunes to Streetcars:
>>>>> https://ecowise.wordpress.com/2017/04/20/sfnh/ <https://ecowise.wordpress.com/2017/04/20/sfnh/>
>>>>> author of Great Gray Owls of CA-OR-WA: https://ecowise.wordpress.com/2015/05/08/the-great-gray-owl-book/ <https://ecowise.wordpress.com/2015/05/08/the-great-gray-owl-book/>
>>>>> author of Freeway Birding: freewaybirding.com <http://freewaybirding.com/>
>>>>> birding website: http://www.towhee.net <http://www.towhee.net/>
>>>>> my birding blog: atowhee.wordpress.com <http://atowhee.wordpress.com/>
>>>>
>>>> &&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&
>>>>
>>>> Dr Sarah A. Sloane
>>>> Associate Professor
>>>> Dept. of Biology
>>>> Division of Natural Sciences
>>>> University of Maine at Farmington
>>>> Farmington, Maine 04938
>>>>
>>>> <sloane...> <mailto:<sloane...>
>>>> 207-778-7484 (office)
>>>> 207-500-3733 (cell)
>>>>
>>>> &&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>
>>> &&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&
>>>
>>> Dr Sarah A. Sloane
>>> Associate Professor
>>> Dept. of Biology
>>> Division of Natural Sciences
>>> University of Maine at Farmington
>>> Farmington, Maine 04938
>>>
>>> <sloane...> <mailto:<sloane...>
>>> 207-778-7484 (office)
>>> 207-500-3733 (cell)
>>>
>>> &&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>
> &&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&
>
> Dr Sarah A. Sloane
> Associate Professor
> Dept. of Biology
> Division of Natural Sciences
> University of Maine at Farmington
> Farmington, Maine 04938
>
> <sloane...> <mailto:<sloane...>
> 207-778-7484 (office)
> 207-500-3733 (cell)
>
> &&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&
>
>
>
>
>

&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&

Dr Sarah A. Sloane
Associate Professor
Dept. of Biology
Division of Natural Sciences
University of Maine at Farmington
Farmington, Maine 04938

<sloane...>
207-778-7484 (office)
207-500-3733 (cell)

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