Subject: Re: tweeters
Date: Feb 25 13:42:02 1994
From: Dan Victor - dvictor at

Charlotte Albright <calbrigh at>,
Allen Maberry <maberry at>,
Anna Coles <acoles at>, Tom Bailey <tba at>,
Joan Baker <bkr at>,
Joe Barsugli <joeb at>,
Ted Becker <tbecker at>, Bob Benton <bentonr at cwu.bitnet>,
Becky Benton <benton at>,
Del Blackburn <blacdf at>,
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"John M. Clemens" <jclemens at ws36dwatcm.wr.usgs.GOV>,
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Attrite O Scurvy Damsel <rreichne at>,
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JoLynn Edwards <jolynn at>,
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Richard McCabe <dickims at>,
Lawrence R Mccloskey <mcclla at WWC.EDU>,
Dan Victor <dvictor at>,
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Alan Richards <alanr at>,
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Laura Kathleen Vanin <vanin at>,
"Charles E. Vaughan" <cev at ROCKET.COM>,
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Coleen Walker <cgwalker at U.WASHINGTON.EDU>,
Eric Walters <ewalters at SOL.UVIC.CA>,
Audrey Wass <rose333 at>,
David Wilbur <dowilbur at>,
Linda Wilkinson <thunder2 at>,
Herb Wilson <whwilson at COLBY.EDU>, Adam Winer <winer at>,
David Wright <dwright at>
Subject: crow taxonomy

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Date: Fri, 25 Feb 1994 12:47:52 -0800
From: Dennis Paulson <dpaulson at>

There is a little confusion about the reference on American crow
systematics: it's The Biosystematics of American Crows, by David W.
Johnston, published by UW Press in 1961. To me, his arguments are
impeccable, his data clear. His conclusions: "All the data presented
here--voice, habitat choice, measurements--clearly negate any hypothesis
that crows of Northwestern North America represent a distinct species.
Rather, the evidence points to the existence of a zone of intergradation
southwestern Washington and restricted localities in British Columbia where
crows from the northern and southern populations freely interbreed with one
another. In the absence of clear-cut differences between the northern and
southern populations and the absence of reproductive isolation, it follows
that the Northwestern Crow is simply a well-marked, ecological subspecies
of C. brachyrhynchos."

Johnston discusses differences that others have noted and pretty much
shows that they aren't specific differences (colonial nesting, tameness,
voice). The measurements from Alaska to coastal BC to nw WA to sw WA to
Oregon look like a fairy smooth cline to me, not a step cline. Interior
birds from BC and WA are close to the size of eastern crows, so the big
jump is as you cross the Cascades. To me it seems that crow voices blend
(and vary greatly) as you cross the Cascades, rather than jumping from a NW
type to an American type of call right away.

I too am surprised no one is working on molecular genetics of them; the
Burke Museum has a lot of tissue preserved and would presumably welcome its

Dennis Paulson