14
Mar
13

Island Races

When a species is isolated and population numbers reduced evolution takes a hand. It sculptures the appearance and sound of a species and gradually changes it to be different form the original.

Here in the Canaries our familiar birds all take on a different guise. They are familiar, but different.

The Chaffinch has altered colours, the Chiffchaff has a song more like a Cetti’s and the Blue Tit has lost wingbars but gained a blueness about it that would make any self-respecting brit tit green with envy. The Goldcrest has a thinner less strident song and an unfamiliar face pattern. The Robin is less of a redbreast and more of a red-throat and has gained grey flanks and it has to be said a more melodic song. Even the Great spotted Woodpeckers pale underparts have been sullied into a greyer plumage. All sub species; species in the making.

Blue Tit (teneriffae).

Blue Tit race teneriffae

Chaffinch (tintillon).

Chaffinch race tintillon

Chiffchaff (canariensis).

Chiffchaff race canariensis

Great Spotted Woodpecker (canariensis).

Great spotted Woodpecker race canariensis

Robin (superbus).

Robin race superbus

Tenerife Goldcrest

Tenerife Goldcrest or is it a race of Firecrest … authorities disagree as to its status.

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