North American Birds

VOLUME 68 NO4 2015

A Quarterly Journal of Ornithological Record Published by the American Birding Association. The mission of the journal is to provide a complete overview of the changing panorama of our continent’s birdlife.

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below), based on vocalizations and perhaps molt, they are also divided three subspecies groups based on plumage. According to Pyle (1997) and Roberson (2015): • Coastal Pacifc group subspecies tend to be dark rufous brown overall, their plum- ages showing more colorful and contrast- ing tones than birds of the Interior West group; the uppertail coverts and scapulars are typically rufous and the fanks as well. Coastal Pacifc birds have brownish crowns with blackish borders (except in clarkae of coastal southwestern California). • Interior Western group subspecies are larger on average than either Coastal Pa- cifc or Eastern birds. Their overall plum- age tends to be pale and more mousy brown rather than rufous, particularly in uppertail coverts, scapulars, and fanks, although these are often tinged or washed er than the blackish seen in eastern Marsh Wrens. The supercilium was tinged sandy or tan rather than whitish, and its auriculars were a dull, pale rufous brown. Its fanks were also rather pale rufous, with the under- tail coverts paler still. From above, the tail appeared overall more brown than that of Eastern birds, a product of narrower dusky bands. The unbanded uppertail coverts were rufous brown, similar in tone to the scapu- lars and crown. On circulating the photographs, d'Entremont learned of a similar Marsh Wren photographed at Miners Marsh 1 November 2012 (Figure 3), which had also been suggested to be one of the Interior West group (McLaren 2012). Discussion Although Marsh Wrens are divided into two evolutionary units, Eastern and Western (see n o r t h a m e r i c a n b i r d s 460 An Apparent Western Marsh Wren (Cistothorus palustris cf. laingi) in Nova Scotia An Apparent Western Marsh Wren (Cistothorus palustris cf. laingi) in Nova Scotia Alix A. D'ENtrEMoNt • 292 Abbotts HArbour roAd • Middle West Pubnico, novA scotiA b0W 2M0 • (AlixdentreMont@HotMAil.coM) Abstract This paper presents photographs of two Marsh Wrens (Cistothorus palustris) photo- graphed in autumn 2012 and 2014 in Nova Scotia that appear not to be of any of the Eastern subspecies group but instead ap- parently of the Interior Western subspecies group. Distribution and feld identifcation of these groups are considered, as well as the history of vagrancy in the species. Field encounter On 10 November 2014, Fulton Lavender, Keith Lowe, and d'Entrement observed a plain-looking, brownish Marsh Wren at freshwater Miners Marsh in Kentville, Nova Scotia. In comparison with Marsh Wrens typically observed in eastern Canada, the bird had paler upperparts, particularly the crown, which was a pale rufous brown rath- This Marsh Wren at Miners Marsh, Kentville, Nova Scotia 11 October 2014 showed paler plumage tones and reduced color contrasts compared to Marsh Wrens of the Eastern subspecies group. It is believed to be one of the subspecies of the Interior Western group. The contrast between the fresh tertials and older duller brown primaries and secondaries is captured well in this image and indicates a bird in formative plumage. Photograph by Keith Lowe.

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