Re: The putative Indigo Bunting at Paso Picacho

James Pike

Hi Chris,

Thanks for the tip about reading page 26 regarding hybrids in Pyle (1997). He does warn about the possibility of "pure individuals showing.......anomalous plumage coloration, which may coincidentally cause them to resemble a suspected hybrid with another species." I don't believe anyone is suggesting that might not be the case with this interesting individual, nor is anyone bandying about terms such as"incontrovertible proof" in regard to its provenance. I still believe it is a hybrid, and my impression is that you disagree. Cool. Spirited exchanges can be fun and edifying, right up until the point when that no longer is the case. I think we've reached that point. As for the photos I looked through online, I concluded that the vast majority of those male Indigos that look similar to this bird are immatures, which this bird is not. Thus, what is the likeliest explanation for the aberrant appearance of this bird: that it  is a hybrid, or that it is an oddball? In my opinion, the odds favor it being a hybrid, but it is possible that I'm wrong. 

regards, Jim

On Sat, Jun 9, 2018 at 9:20 PM, C K Smith via Groups.Io <stlbirdman64@...> wrote:
Pyle's 1-3/4 quarter pages covering Indigo Bunting for 1997 certainly doesn't benefit from the data gleaned out of the the last 21 years ( He mentions the need of more study of the species in that brief). While you have your Pyle out, consult page 26 regarding Hybrids. As for the presence of a white (or white-ish) on the vent tract area designating the bird as a Hybrid, what is your basis for that "...incontrovertible proof" ?? Specimens, photographs (any one of the "hundreds" stand out for you?), sonograms to reference would be nice. I'd rather see reference to photos of a confirmed hybrid that remotely resembles this bird IN THE FIELD than an obscure commentary about a Blue-winged warbler rejected by the CRBC. Anything other than speculation would be more relevant to this discussion rather than commentary about why the birds is not a first breeding season/Summer/ AHY bird. It would seem the burden of proof in this case falls on why IS it a hybrid? And that extends beyond a white vent patch, "extensive" or otherwise.
"So for me, the presence of such extensive a white belly on the Paso Picacho bird is incontrovertible proof of Lazuli Bunting ancestry and puts pure Indigo Bunting hors de combat." That doesn't really cut it. For me.
Xeno-Canto offers many variations of Indigo bunting songs to consult.
At the very least, let's discuss why with references rather than anecdotes.

Chris Smith
From having seen and heard the bird in the field and El Cajon

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