Birder's Guide

NOV 2013

Birder's Guide is the American Birding Association's newest publication. Each issue focuses on a key subject, providing tips from experienced birders on a wide variety of topics like Travel, Listing & Taxonomy, Gear, and Conservation & Community.

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Check-list Supplement Redux: v. 2013 Range of "Mojave Sparrow", or canescens Bell's Sparrow. Map © Kei Sochi. Below: "Mojave Sparrow" (A. b. canescens) in Kern County, California. This subspecies appears intermediate between coastal A. b. belli and Sagebrush Sparrow. This individual has noticeable streaking on the scapulars but is otherwise nearly unmarked on the mantle. Photo © Robert Royse. 52 Birder's Guide to Listing & Taxonomy | November 2013 Found in a small portion of the central Baja California peninsula, A. b. cinerea is a little-known subspecies of Bell's Sparrow. It resembles a small Sagebrush Sparrow with reduced mantle streaking. Photo © Christopher L. Wood. see Pyle's analysis here and another commentary here . Still, determining in the feld where a lone individual falls along the spectrum is likely more diffcult than comparing it to a tray of specimens. Field identifcation of dull A. b. canescens vs. dark A. nevadensis and dark A. b. canescens vs. dull A. b. belli will probably remain problematic into the near future. Resident on San Clemente Island off the coast of southern California is the subspecies A. b. clementeae. It is nearly identical to A. b. belli but averages a longer bill. The subspecies A. b. cinerea is paler than belli and at frst glance resembles A. nevadensis with reduced back streaking. It has sparse slaty (not black) streaks on sides of the throat and the breast. It is resident in a small portion of the western half of the Baja California Peninsula, centered on the Vizca-

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