Meadowlark split

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Peter Gent

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Aug 3, 2022, 11:29:11 PMAug 3
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All,

The 63rd Supplement to the Check-list of North American birds from the American Ornithological Society was published today in the journal Ornithology.  As Brandon already notified everyone, included in the changes was the split of Eastern Meadowlark into Eastern and Chihuahuan Meadowlarks.  Chihuahuan Meadowlark includes the Lilian's race from Arizona and New Mexico and another race from northern Mexico. The proposal for this split was written by Johanna Beam, and is based mainly on a paper published last year in Ornithology which has Johanna as the lead author. The research for this paper was done when Johanna was an undergraduate student in Biology at CU in Boulder, and she is now a PhD student in Biology at Penn State University. I believe her interest in this subject started in 2015 when she found some Lilian's race Eastern Meadowlarks on the north side of McIntosh Lake in northwest Longmont, and submitted record 2015-089 to the CBRC. Johanna is a Colorado young woman that all Colorado birders should congratulate and take pride in.

CBRC records for Eastern Meadowlarks are at:  https://cobrc.org/Reports/SpeciesDetail.aspx?id=463  There are 26 of them going back nearly 50 years, and at least 3 refer explicitly to the Lilian's race, which are 2005-22 from near the old Campo lek in Baca County, 2006-103 from the Colorado City cemetery and 2015-089 from McIntosh Lake in Longmont by Johanna Beam. Other records, especially 2003-33 and 2012-47 from south Baca County, may well also refer to the Lilian's race. This will be determined in the near future, so that the new Chihuahuan Meadowlark will be well documented to have occurred in Colorado. This highlights the importance of maintaining and expanding the CBRC database of rare birds in Colorado.

Peter Gent,  Boulder.
CBRC Chairman. 

Tyler Wilson

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Aug 4, 2022, 12:57:45 AMAug 4
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What ended up being the consensus on the bird at Bud Mielke Res a couple of years ago (May 2020 i think)?

Tyler Wilson
Adams County

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On Aug 3, 2022, at 9:29 PM, Peter Gent <ge...@ucar.edu> wrote:


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Ted Floyd

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Aug 4, 2022, 3:03:48 PMAug 4
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On Wed, Aug 3, 2022 at 9:29 PM Peter Gent <ge...@ucar.edu> wrote:

The research for this paper was done when Johanna was an undergraduate student in Biology at CU in Boulder, and she is now a PhD student in Biology at Penn State University. I believe her interest in this subject started in 2015 when she found some Lilian's race Eastern Meadowlarks on the north side of McIntosh Lake in northwest Longmont, and submitted record 2015-089 to the CBRC.

And presented at the CFO convention in Lamar in 2016! See for yourself:

https://cobirds.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/12/2016.pdf

Ted Floyd
Lafayette, Boulder Co., with records of three species of meadowlarks

Nathan Pieplow

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Aug 7, 2022, 6:50:54 PMAug 7
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I was asked to examine the recordings and photos of the meadowlark at Bud Mielke Reservoir in May 2020. The call notes definitively rule out Western Meadowlark, and the songs and (poor) photos are consistent with Chihuahuan, so in my opinion that bird can safely be called a Chihuahuan Meadowlark.

By contrast, the meadowlark at Heil Valley Ranch in Boulder earlier this summer had 100% Western Meadowlark plumage, even though it sang only Chihuahuan Meadowlark songs. It's not uncommon for the three meadowlark species to learn each other's songs, so song alone is not sufficient to identify them. If you are hearing a bird that sounds like a Chihuahuan Meadowlark, you'll need recordings of the "dzert" call and/or good photos of the bird (the face and, especially, the spread tail) in order to rule out the other two species.

Nathan Pieplow
Boulder

John Vanderpoel

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Aug 7, 2022, 8:04:13 PMAug 7
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Thanks, Nathan. Very helpful.

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On Aug 7, 2022, at 3:51 PM, Nathan Pieplow <npie...@gmail.com> wrote:


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