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Stellers Blue Jay crosses revisited. FIVE PHOTOS

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Stellers Blue Jay crosses revisited. FIVE PHOTOS

Postby Katherine » Oct 20, 2012 1:01 pm

Hi folks, last year I posted some photographs of what i thought were some crosses between a Stellers and a Bluejay. Stellers are natives here, Blues are Cordilleran, but invading yearly. There is one other record of a cross south of the border here, but it is contended.

I have been waiting for this flock to show up again this year. Last fall, I sent the pix off to a couple of specialists I know and have worked with in the past, and I got a series of photos of the flock that was here, and started on a scientific paper for submission. As things happen work on paid for biology got in the way.

This morning, I had my new zoom and was watching pretty much the same scene, and the identical cross, now two years old I think, showed up with his/her flock. I didnt see the Stellers parent but the Blue parent was there, and a couple of obvious Stellars 2 year olds, two hilarious young of year chicks, which I think are crosses, AND the last years chick, looking very dapper and contained. Chicks can look very fluffy, as Carol has illustrated with her wonderful Cardinal photograph. This years chicks dont have the dramatic head that the two year old has. And of course I have no generic proof, just photography. But still.

Please dont download these or if you do keep them to yourself and dont be passing them around. I still need to publish this stuff and I dont use copyright stamps on any of my photos. Anyway they are shot through a glass door so not so hot.

There are five photographs of the flock, below.


Kat

blue-parent-Q_MG_4994.jpg
Bluejay parent, I suspect


cross_MG_4979.jpg
Cross Stellers X Blue Jay two year old


cross-head_MG_4983.jpg
Cross head closeup


normal-stellers_MG_4972.jpg
Non- cross Stellers Jay cohort


young-of-year-2_MG_4964.jpg
Young of year Stellers Blue crosses I suspect
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Re: Stellers Blue Jay crosses revisited. FIVE PHOTOS

Postby Ron Evers » Oct 20, 2012 8:13 pm

Interesting study Kat.
Ron.

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Re: Stellers Blue Jay crosses revisited. FIVE PHOTOS

Postby Eeyore » Oct 21, 2012 1:34 am

Interesting photos Kat. It would be great to confirm the cross.
Lyn
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Re: Stellers Blue Jay crosses revisited. FIVE PHOTOS

Postby B_BQ » Oct 21, 2012 8:50 am

Nice pictures Kat, and very interesting. Is anyone in that field concerned that this may be happening?

It certainly happens with the Juncos in this area. It's interesting to watch a few of them and notice that there are very distinct differences in some of them.

~BBQ
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Re: Stellers Blue Jay crosses revisited. FIVE PHOTOS

Postby Katherine » Oct 21, 2012 2:20 pm

Thanks Ron, Lyn and Brenda.

Looking back at the photos, the chicks from this year are not crosses. The one cross that I have a photograph is definetely a cross. Is it a new species? That would mean finding out if its got viable progeny, and that is going to be difficult to prove. I was hoping these chicks would have some behaviour toward the obvious cross to indicate they were parent and chick, but thats not happenin'. So far. I have all of October November to watch them, though. The cross in the photograph is a bit shy around the other jays and plays second fiddle at the feeders and food outlay, so I think its not going to have a lot of luck in breeding either, if it is not actually sterile which would put the kibosh on it being a new species.

BBQ is anyone concerned? Well here is the thing, biologists are concerned about the impacts of climate change, and we are watching all kinds of shifts in species ranges and species assemblages. This particular genus is more contentious in that while there are lots of spoken / written records presented by "birders" and biologists AND ornithologists, very few good photographs confirm the existence of a cross. And that doesnt mean a sexually viable cross (new species).

We see hybridization happening all the time in biology. We expect it to happen. We also hope it happens, because humans are changing habitats, local and regional climates, food/prey availability so quickly in the past 100 years, that we fervently hope that new species can arise, and adapt and change.

Juncos have recognized races, yes, within a species. Warblers too, and they are often most easily distinguished by dialects, something I worked on for a few years (sorting out their habitat use patterns). I was not able to distinguish the dialects as easily as the ornithologists I worked with, its almost impossible for me to tell a costa rican dialect from all of the other dialects in a species that has a very variable song structure. I was just not that good at it.



kat
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Re: Stellers Blue Jay crosses revisited. FIVE PHOTOS

Postby Big Smile » Oct 21, 2012 5:14 pm

Lovely photos Kat. I copied the first pic, hope you don't mind.

Clara
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Re: Stellers Blue Jay crosses revisited. FIVE PHOTOS

Postby Countryboy » Oct 21, 2012 6:22 pm

It's always great, eh? When yr career sends u outdoors... in all weather. That yr hobby keeps u indoors, warm, and not too far from a hot coffee! ;)

Great pix, K... thanx! :)
Adopt the pace of nature, her secret is patience.
.....Ralph Waldo Emmerson....

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Re: Stellers Blue Jay crosses revisited. FIVE PHOTOS

Postby Katherine » Oct 21, 2012 8:27 pm

Sure Clara, I dont mind a copy of the Blue Jay for sure. Help yourself. (My photos are not proprietory, I dont ever plan on selling them or entering into any contests. I love it that people like them enough to download them). But the Stellers Blue jay Cross photos I would rather people dont take these ones down just yet.

Too funny, Frank and true.

I find my work experience is excellent preparation for gardening... .Got totally soaked yesterday, didnt care.
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Re: Stellers Blue Jay crosses revisited. FIVE PHOTOS

Postby Big Smile » Oct 21, 2012 9:22 pm

[quote="Katherine"]Sure Clara, I dont mind a copy of the Blue Jay for sure. Help yourself. (My photos are not proprietory, I dont ever plan on selling them or entering into any contests. I love it that people like them enough to download them). But the Stellers Blue jay Cross photos I would rather people dont take these ones down just yet.


Thanks Kat. Its a perfect photo,,so nice and clear!!
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