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To respond to a couple of questions raised recently:

1) Bill Eddleman is quite right about the status of Fish Crows and in what
cases they need documentation.  Per the 2003 checklist revision, the
species is listed as "SR u (local, S & C rivers)". This was the best brief
description that we could come up with of its complex and changing
distribution. Obviously it isn't restricted entirely to rivers, so no one
should be surprised if it shows up around other water areas. The key terms
in the checklist are "S & C"; only Fish Crows in northern Missouri, well
north of the Missouri and away from the Mississippi, need be documented.
And remember what Bill said about nesting birds -- please document any such.

Bob Fisher's point about identification is well taken. It is pretty easy to
convince yourself that a young American Crow giving its nasal call is a
Fish Crow.  Listen for the abrupt, staccato quality of the Fish Crow, and
to be certain, wait till you hear the double-noted call, second note
slightly lower (ah-ah or uh-uh or however you prefer to imagine it). If you
listen to a Fish Crow long enough, it will give this call.

2) There is one accepted record of a Dark-eyed "Gray-headed" Junco (Junco
hyemalis caniceps) in Missouri: Cat Foster provided fine photographs of a
bird that resided on her property from December 2000 into April 2001. This
is the junco whose breeding range is centered in the Colorado Rockies. It
will probably be found again in Missouri.

The committee also considered a sight record of a "Pink-sided" Junco (Junco
hyemalis mearnsi, breeding distribution centered in Montana) but did not
accept it due to the difficulties of being sure of its separation from
other juncos without a good photograph, especially as a first state record.
It may very well have been a Pink-sided, however, and it is likely that
that form does occur occasionally.

Both of these records were submitted to an outside expert (George
Barrowclough, who has worked on the junco complex for many years) before
the committee voted on them. Both of these forms might be moved to full
species status in the future.

Bill Rowe
St. Louis

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