Song Sparrow project 1

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I’ve been considering a series of illustrations for some time—The Song Sparrows of California. According to Don Roberson, there are 9 breeding subspecies in California, and 7 of those breed in the northern portion of the state. There are still more to be found if you consider winter visitants. In all, there are 52 subspecies in North America! The first step, I believe, is to create a generic SongSparrow template on which will the various regionally specific plumage details will be placed. This maybe too ambitious (and too dangerous) for me to take on, but I love our SOSPs and I love trying to identify them in the field, so I want to try. The three salt marsh populations in the SF Bay are badly in need of illustrations, as well as the others not shown in field guides. First on the block will be M.m.heermanni, the “California Song Sparrow”. The template will need to be improved, but this present version shows feather groups and the general composition of the familiar field guide profile.

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