Attention all Sub-species counters.....calling all sub-species counters.... Now hear this, (clang, clang), hear this..... Hold on to your individual sub-species counts of your fox sparrows. Keep a separate list of your sub-species and know where you observed them at.
This is a warning.... I give you plenty of time as the ABA is never overly swift in their actions but, you might find that all of your 'sub-species' counts on the fox sparrow might someday be re-classified as four different species.
Currently, there is one species of Fox Sparrow divided among four sub-species. The four being: Thick-billed Sparrow (California for most part), the Slate Color-ed (western US), the Sooty (Pacific region along the coast of CA, OR and WA and up along the Candadian border into Alaska) and the Red or Taiga sub-species found on the eastern board of the US.
There has been rumors that according to recent DNA and voice....they might split into four different species. Now, to me, I find that the size of the fox sparrow here on the east coast is much smaller than the larger fox sparrow I would normally find in WA state interior. So that alone got me to do some poking aroud into this and perhaps a change is in order. Not sure how far along they are in this process but I am hoping for a species split. Kind of like a stock split, 2 or 3 or 4 for 1. I can handle that.
Have you seen your winter fox sparrow yet? This is the time of year you will most likely see them at your feeders and in the snow, as of today on January 7th. They will visit your feeding area but look for them below the feeder as they scratch their way thru the snow. Chalk it up.....
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