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Red-Wing in Southeastern Alaska

J. Dan Webster
Publication Information
5 (September-October)
From Field and Study

Red-wing in Southeastern Alaska--On July 1, 1946, I was tramping across the grassy tidal marshes of Sergeif Island, at the mouth of the Stikine River, southeastern Alaska, when I was startled to hear the familiar call note of a Red-winged Blackbird. The bird circled high over .my head, then landed on a cottonwood snag near by, where I shot it. The specimen (now in the collection of the California Academy of Sciences) proved to be a second-year male which I identify as Agelaim phoeniceus arctolegus.

There is no previous published record for this species from southeastern Alaska, but there is a specimen in the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology. The skin (no. 44616) lacks a head and is unsexed, but is in adult female plumage. The original label indicates that it was taken by Allen Hasselborg at Mole Harbor, Admiralty Island, in the summer of 1924. (No doubt it was shot by Hasselborg with his famous bear gun.) It bears the notation, in the handwriting of the late H. S. Swarth, “Probably arctolegus H. S. S.” The writer identifies this specimen, also, as arctolegus. The extreme northwestern corner of the breeding range of the race arctolegzrs is in southeastern Yukon Territory (Rand, Nat. Mus. Canada Bull. 105, 1946:59). Farther west there are records, apparently of vagrants, from Atlin, in northwestern British Columbia (Swarth, Proc. Calif. Acad. Sci., ser. 4, 23, 1936:54), and from Cape Prince of Wales, in extreme northwestern Alaska (Bailey, Condor, 32,193O: 161 and Proc. Colo. Mus. Nat. Hist., 18, 1943: 109). The northernmost definite record of the coastal race, caurinus, is from Comox, British Columbia (Macoun and Macoun, Cat. Canadian Birds, 1909:431).

I am indebted to the authorities of the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology for permission to record the Hasselborg specimen and to study the collection under their care.-J. DAN WEBSTER, Jamestown College, Jamestown, North Dakota, April 4, 1948. 

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