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So the Yellow-shafted Flicker is the yellow-winged form of the Northern  
Flicker (well, yellow when viewed from the underside due to yellow feather  
shafts). The western version or Red-shafted Flicker, also a subspecies of  
Northern Flicker, has reddish under the wings that's visible in flight.

The junco issue is somewhat more complicated, but the vast majority in  
Vermont are dark gray above (somewhat browner in females) with white  
bellies - hence, "Slate-colored Juncos." They are now considered to be the  
same species (collectively, Dark-eyed Juncos) as western forms such  
as "Oregon Junco," which are noticeably different in appearance. (By the  
way, the name Dark-eyed Junco distinguishes this group from what is  
regarded as truly a separate species, the Yellow-eyed Junco of extreme SW  
US and Mexico.)

In the past, both Yellow-shafted Flicker and Dark-eyed Junco have been  
considered full species, and who knows, it might happen again. Or some day  
distributions may change and other forms might start appearing in Vermont.  
So recording these subspecies, even if not currently considered unique  
species, could have some value for posterity as well as expressing a bit  
more of the genetic diversity of our bird life than the conglomerated  
species names might imply.

-- Scott Schwenk
S. Burlington

On Apr 15, 2010 8:58pm, Ruth Stewart <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Thanks, Allan -





> So if you do see the flicker, how do you tell the difference between a  
> Northern and Yellow-shafted?





> What about the Junco issue?





> ruth











> > Date: Wed, 14 Apr 2010 18:14:24 -0400


> > From: [log in to unmask]


> > Subject: Re: [VTBIRD] ebird question


> > To: [log in to unmask]


> >


> > Hi Ruth,


> >


> > If you know with certainty that the bird you saw represented a


> > particular subspecies, eBird allows you to enter that "form". So, if


> > you knew that your flicker was "yellow-shafted", then you could enter


> > that in eBird. But, if you heard a flicker calling and couldn't say for


> > sure what subspecies it was, then Northern Flicker would be the choice.


> > Obviously in VT where we (typically) only have one subspecies of


> > flicker, you could enter "yellow-shafted" every time and no one would


> > know the difference. However, if we are interested in documenting the


> > distribution of particular subspecies...case in point, the "Common Teal"


> > (currently Green-winged Teal subspecies) in the Connecticut R. Valley,


> > this information becomes valuable. Bottom line...if you are certain,


> > enter subspecies. If unsure, enter the more general species name.


> >


> > Allan


> >


> > Ruth Stewart wrote:


> > > Kent, perhaps you can answer this question which is one several of us  
> are asking..


> > >


> > >


> > >


> > > On the VTebird species list, do we check


> > >


> > >


> > >


> > > Dark eyed Junco OR Slate-colored Junco


> > >


> > >


> > >


> > > Northern Flicker OR Yellow-shafted Flicker??


> > >


> > >


> > >


> > >


> > >


> > > Thanks


> > >


> > > ruth stewart


> > >


> > > e dorset


> > >


> > > _________________________________________________________________


> > > The New Busy think 9 to 5 is a cute idea. Combine multiple calendars  
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> >


> > --


> >


> > *******************************************************************


> > Allan M. Strong


> > University of Vermont


> > The Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources


> > 347 Aiken Center


> > Burlington, VT 05405


> > 802-656-2910


> > *******************************************************************





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