James Hodges

Document Type



A brief search of ornithological literature reveals that during the last two years (1946 and 194 7), 27 important papers have been published dealing either directly or indirectly with subspecies of North American birds. If we were to include Mexico, Arizona, and tropical areas in this count it would of course be much higher. On the other hand, from 1941-1945 only one paper was published in the pages of IOWA BIRD LIFE dealing exclusively with the question of subspecies. From 1941-1947 a few short notes appeared within the pages of this journal mentioning subspecies. It is the purpose of this paper to make a few statements regarding bird subspecies that are found in Iowa, their range, and if possible, field identification. The subject of subspecies is usually frowned upon by non-taxonomists but the late Witmer Stone wrote (1935), “... The problem of species vs. subspecies has been an attractive, if not always fruitful, one for discussion. It may seem foolish to take up the theme again but it possesses a lure that seems to challenge one's wits, and after all it may not be out of place once in a while to revive it to see if any progress has been made in its solution." The rise of subspecies in North American Ornithology is quite conspicuous when one examines closely the four editions of the American Ornithologists' Union Check-List of North American Birds. This paper shall be concerned only with the Order Passeriformes.

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Proceedings of the Iowa Academy of Science





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©1948 Iowa Academy of Science, Inc.



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