Three specimens

In the course of my junco specimen bill measuring – I’ve measured 561 so far – I’ve handled ratty specimens and fine ones, old and not-quite-so-old. (Most of the specimens are from before 1950, so they’re all fairly old.) It’s fun to see how much variation there is even among individuals from the same subspecies and the same state. Here are my three favorite specimens:

This male has lovely red-brown spots on his head.

This male has lovely red-brown spots on his head.

specis_spotsw

This female has white spots all over her hood.

This female - the ratty one with the light grey hood, whose tag is touching the side of the tray - is...

This female – the skinny one in the middle with the light grey hood, whose tag is touching the side of the tray – is…

...really old: the tag reads "Apr. 13, 1862." That's the oldest specimen I've measured by several decades.

…really old: the tag reads “Apr. 13, 1862.” That’s the oldest specimen I’ve measured by several decades.

1862! That’s Civil War times. That’s several months before the Emacipation Proclamation. When this junco lived in San Diego, San Diego had been part of the US for less than 20 years.

Her bill was pretty average, though.

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2 thoughts on “Three specimens

  1. Thanks for including the one from 1862. You could have simply said that it was 150 years old, but I like the way that you gave us a greater perspective by letting us know what was happening at the time.

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