Saturday, October 25, 2008

Cassiar's Junco?? - Oct 22nd.

Dark-eyed Junco - first winter, possibly showing mixed characteristics of 'Slate-colored' and 'Oregon' Juncos.

Came across this interesting and fairly obviously 'hooded' first-winter junco at the Blueberry Patch, Quabbin Park. It was feeding by the roadside with a handful of Slate-colored Juncos but was relatively easy to pick out especially when perched (rather than ground feeding) due to the shape of the 'bib'. However, the grayish hood was not cleanly demarcated from the buff upper flanks as one might expect in a neatly marked 'Oregon' Junco which has since had me wondering about the possibilities of a Cassiar's Junco - an intergrade population between Slate-colored and Oregon Juncos breeding in the Canadian Rockies.

A very interesting discussion, opened up by Mark Szantyr on this and various other forms of Dark-eyed Junco can be seen here on the Oceanwanderers website. This bird at the Quabbin shows a resemblance to some of the birds discussed here.

1 comment:

MicheleRF said...

I had a similar visitor to my feeder yesterday. If you are interested, the pics are posted on my blog, "Wholly Natural" at I'm still not sure if it is a Cassiar or Oregon but I'm pretty sure it is one of those two. I plan on taking some of the pics to my local Audubon chapter meeting on Friday and hopefully get an ID... or not:)