Wednesday, December 29, 2010

I'm Not The Same As When I Began: Subspecies 2

Brown Booby. Sula leucogaster. This is Sula leucogaster plotus I believe, which is the subspecies that breeds in the Hawaiian Islands. Here in California we get the occasional brewsteri, which can be identified by the male's frosted white head. Photographed on Eastern Island, Midway Atoll. If you look carefully below her bill you can see the head of a newborn chick sticking up.

Nashville Warbler. Vermivora ruficapilla. This is the eastern subspecies Vermivora ruficapilla ruficapilla. V.r. ridgwayi is the western subspecies. Interestingly, genetic testing suggests that each of these subspecies are more closely related to Virginia's Warbler than they are to each other. A future split maybe?  Photographed at Powdermill Nature Preserve, PA.

White-eared Hummingbird (Basilinna leucotis) have 3 recognized subspecies. This is Basilinna leucotis borealis, the northernmost subspecies. The southern subspcies, B. l. pygmaea, makes it all the way south to Nicaragua. Photographed at Miller Canyon, AZ, which is the only reliable place in the country to find them.

Dunlin (with a few Western Sandpipers mixed in). Calidris alpina. I am guessing these are Calidris alpina pacifica, based on where the photo was taken, but obviously you can't determine anything from this picture. There are (up to) 9 subspecies of Dunlin worldwide, earning them the title of World's Most Diverse Shorebird. *NERD ALERT* To see an absolutely insane website on Dunlin subspecies identification, go here. Photographed in Petaluma, CA.

Black-capped Chickadee. Poecile atricapillus. This familiar and friendly bird also sports 9 subspecies, 8 of which occur in the United States. I would be lying if I knew what subspecies this belonged to...lets hope someone doesn't try to split them anytime soon. Photographed a Presque Isle State Park, PA.

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