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15-05-18

Rock Nuthatch


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Rock Nuthatch, Armenia, May 2018

A. R. Dean

Assumed to be Eastern Rock Nuthatch Sitta tephronata on basis of the depth of black immediately behind the eye. However, the narrow extension onto the  'shoulder' and the short bill accord better with Western Sitta neumayer.
The  'Handbook of Western Palearctic Birds' (Shirihai & Svensson, 2018) emphasises the overlap in characters of the two Rock Nuthatch species and that great care is needed in assignment.
Details of subspecies include that the form of Eastern in Transcaucasia is obscura, which does have a narrower extension of the eye-patch onto the sides of the neck. However, it also has a large bill, comparable with dresseri.

 

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