Distinguishing Townsend's/Hermit hybrids?


Alan Bade
 

Does anyone have advice on recognizing Townsend's/Hermit hybrids? As we see more migrants returning or passing through our area, they could be around, but I guess they may be rare. Maybe they are becoming less rare with climate change?

Here's my thoughts so far. But I'm interested in what advice more experienced birders may have.

Issues that could lead one astray...

1.) Worn Townsend's adults may have less distinct markings. Perhaps this is true for worn females more so than mature males.
2.) Immature Townsend's may have plumage that is incomplete, leading one to perceive it as a hybrid.

We just returned from birding in southern Nevada and central Arizona. I'm pretty sure we had a hybrid in two locations. Here's a list with photos of a candidate; https://ebird.org/checklist/S94650923 . I took the lack of streaking on the chest as perhaps leading to it being a hybrid. (let me know if I'm wrong). Also, it had yellow all around the eyes and just looked different than immature Townsend's.

According to a google search for literature, it seems like the primary hybridization areas are in two areas of Oregon and Washington, but that may also be changing with climate change (?)

Thanks in advance,
Alan Bade
Pleasant Hill


David Yeamans
 

Alan Bade, thanks for the checklist and its photos although I cannot contribute to the discussion about hybrids. I appreciate seeing birds from one of my favorite places. I didn't know about Red Seep Spring but I'll visit it when I go over Mingus Mountain on my way this fall to hunt snow geese in Saskatchewan. I'm still watching my Livermore condo birdbath for the bi-yearly visit from a hermit warbler.
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Dave Yeamans

If you see bad, do good.