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    Photo Quiz, Jan./Feb. 2013 Birding, Part 2 of 3

    In Part 1 of the Jan./Feb. 2013 Birding Photo Quiz, we had to contend with twelve different ducks. This time it’s a whole lot easier. Just a single photo. Here:

    13-1-16-02 [Quiz Photo B]

    The photo is from Granger, Williamson County, Texas, in mid-February.

    Have at it!

    P.s. And when you’re done with Parts 1 and 2 of this three-part quiz, be sure to move along to Part 3.

     

     

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    • Tom Wiltison

      Black Tufted Titmouse.

    • http://profile.typepad.com/6p017c36c23b82970b Birding Magazine

      Given this response, should we revisit the duck quiz?

    • http://www.fermatainc.com Ted Lee Eubanks

      This is the titmouse of my yard, the hybrid between tufted and black-crested. This is the only titmouse in this region.

    • Jake McCumber

      Ted, are you sure this matches the ones at your home? The one in the photo has relatively solid hybrid features. I have my Dixon manuscript at home that I’d have to reference to be sure on his scoring system, but from 0 (typical TUTI) to 6 (typical BCTI) the bird in the photo probably is about a 3-3.5 (2 points for charcoal crest and only 1-1.5 point for dark brown forehead). The birds near your house or at Camp Mabry tend to be more like a 4.5-5 with very black crests and light pinkish wash in the forehead. Others I have talked to see this as some introgression well outside the actual hybrid zone that is narrow and just east of Austin (more like Hornsby and just east of there).

    • Jake McCumber

      Hopefully from my above comment it is clear that I think saying it is the only titmouse of the region overly simplifies an interesting situation. The hybrid zone is fairly narrow (albeit long) and apparently almost static. One need not go too far in either direction to find clean, or at least relatively so, populations of either species, though some evidence of introgression does reach far in some areas. For example: while west Austin has high scoring titmice (relatively “good” Black-crested) the Bastrop/Elgin area has very low scoring titmice (relatively “good) Tufted).

    • http://profile.typepad.com/harleywinfrey HarleyWinfrey

      I don’t have any field experience with hybrid titmice, but I had thought that the brown forehead was only seen in hybrids. An interesting bird!

    • Judith Davis

      Black-crested tufted titmouse

    • Tom Wiltison

      Given that at first I didn’t see 12 ducks then yes, probably :)

    • Ted Floyd

      Y’all are correct. This is a hybrid titmouse, a cross between the Black-crested Titmouse and the Tufted Titmouse. You can read Birding Photo Quiz Editor Tom Johnson’s full analysis on pp. 52-55 of the print version of the March/April 2013 Birding.

      The most interesting thing to me about Tom’s analysis is that the key literature citation is from 1907. This is not a new problem!

      Oh, and now for the real question: What is the plural of titmouse?

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