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Southwestern Willow Flycatcher shouldn't have U.S protection, biologist says
Southwestern Willow Flycatcher shouldn't have U.S protection, biologist says

Even with powerful top-notch binoculars, it’s not easy singling out the Southwestern Willow Flycatcher from other subspecies of a family of birds known collectively as Empidonax. Expert bird watchers say positive identification of the drab birds with wing bars and pale eye rings depends on subtle differences in bill shape, habitat, song and wing and tail length. Then there’s Robert M. Zink, a professor of biology at the University of Minnesota, who says the bird scientists know as Empidonax traillii extimus is not a distinct subspecies and, therefore, should have its federal protections as a threatened subspecies removed. A reanalysis of plumage coloration and genetic...

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