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Donald, you may want to research some of the work that Mark Robbins has done regarding chickadees. Also, Braun and Robbins have apparently done quite a bit of work in this area and written reports in "The Auk". Someone once told me (quite a few years ago) that if I ever wanted to know anything about the Black-capped - Carolina Chickadee complex just to ask Mark Robbins! 

Larry Lade

Saint Joseph, MO

gcrownkinglet AT yahoo DOT com

--- On Thu, 11/20/08, Donald Hays <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
From: Donald Hays <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Chickadees in the contact zone
To: [log in to unmask]
Date: Thursday, November 20, 2008, 10:40 AM

In response to Edge's remarks on the movements of Poecile sp. in early 
winter:
I have lived and birded in the contact zone where the ranges of Black-capped 
and Carolina Chickadees overlap--along the Missouri River in east-central 
Missouri since the 1960's.  It has been my experience that out of place 
occurrences are most frequent in fall and winter, perhaps when these and 
other woodland birds form mixed foraging flocks and wander away from their 
regular environs.  I suspect that the contact zone is 15+/- miles in width, 
perhaps narrower where the Mo. River is within it.  I do bird more on the 
southern side of the zone so I have noticed the occurrence of black-capped 
more in areas where the Carolina is more predominant and this has almost 
always been in fall and winter.  From personal experience it would be 
difficult for me to say which species might be expanding its range.
The chickadee complex is an interesting group of birds with enigmatic 
behavior patterns and if you read Kroodsma's work, capable of forming 
enduring family enclaves within relatively small geographic areas.  I also 
seem to recall that Dr. Bill Elder did some work with chickadees 30 or 40 
years ago. Does anyone know if he published anything as a result?
Don Hays
_______________
Donald R. Hays
Union, Missouri 

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