Date: 10/23/19 6:06 pm
From: <clearwater...>
Subject: [obol] Re: "Siberian" American Pipit records
As an addendum, "Siberian" Buff-bellied Pipits (using the nomenclature of Alström & Mild, 2003, calling them "American Pipits" seems inappropriate) are also quite variable, and there is overlap on the traits mentioned.

Alström & Mild note (p. 177) that "on rare occasions japonicus shows rather dark brown legs and rubescens pale legs. ... there is much individual variation in the prominence of the breast streaking in both japonicus and rubescens."

It may make sense to start scoring these birds on a range of traits, as we do with sapsuckers on the Yellow-bellied -- Red-naped continuum, rather than trying to assign them to one or the other subspecies with 100% confidence.

From: "clearwater" <clearwater...>
To: "Oregon Birders OnLine" <obol...>
Cc: "Alan Contreras" <acontrer56...>
Sent: Wednesday, October 23, 2019 5:42:27 PM
Subject: Re: "Siberian" American Pipit records

Hi Alan, Trent, and all,

I just looked at Russ's photos. I agree with Alan that pipits are remarkably
variable. However the degree of contrast on Russ's bird surpasses anything
I've seen, in looking at thousands if not tens of thousands of pipits in the
Willamette Valley.

I wonder if we might be setting the bar too high, in the interests of
avoiding "Type I" errors.


I think Russ’s bird is one of the “not quite” birds that I have seen from time
to time. The legs are paler but not bright, the underparts are at least half
buffy, not much happening on the back. Pipits are remarkably variable.

Alan Contreras

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