Buntings and New World Sparrows (Emberizidae)

Red Fox-sparrow (Passerella iliaca) - HBW 16, p. 539

French: Bruant fauve German: Fuchsammer Spanish: Chingolo Zorruno

Taxonomy: Fringilla iliaca Merrem, 1786, North America = Quebec, Canada.
Genus sometimes subsumed in Zonotrichia. This species and P. schistacea, P. megarhyncha and P. unalaschcensis are often treated as conspecific. Some molecular data suggest that P. arborea may be sister-taxon of these four. Probably hybridizes occasionally with P. unalaschcensis near L Iliamna, at E end of Alaska Peninsula. Geographical variation largely clinal, making delimitation of races difficult; nominate race and zaboria intergrade into each other, and many individuals cannot safely be assigned to either race. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution:

  • zaboria Oberholser, 1946 - breeds NW and interior Alaska and in W Canada from N Yukon and NW & CE Northwest Territories E to N Manitoba, S to N British Columbia, C Alberta, C Saskatchewan and S Manitoba; winters in SE USA chiefly E of Great Plains, from E Kansas and S Iowa S to S Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and N Georgia.
  • iliaca (Merrem, 1786) - breeds in E Canada from NE Manitoba E to N Labrador, S to NC Ontario, SE Quebec and S Newfoundland; winters in SE Canada (S Ontario and New Brunswick) and E USA from S Wisconsin and S Michigan E to N Vermont, S to S Mississippi, Alabama and C Florida.

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