J. F. Gmelin, 1788,
Cape of Good Hope; error = Bay of Good Hope, Nootka Sound, British Columbia.
Usually treated as conspecific with C. auratus and C. mexicanoides owing to high level of interbreeding between taxa at their geographical boundaries, but here allowed species status on account of considerable phenotypic differences. Thus, present species differs from C. auratus in its red vs black moustachial stripe in male (3); lack of red nape fringe (ns); pale grey vs grey-pink face, neck sides, throat and upper breast (3); pale greyish-brown vs dull grey crown (ns); red vs yellow shafts of wing and tail feathers, with reddish vs yellowish basal undertail (3); broad hybrid zone from Alaska through the Great Plains (1). Differs from geographically and morphologically closer C. mexicanoides in its dull greenish-grey vs bold chestnut-cinnamon crown and nape (3); in female, wholly grey face or with vague brownish base of moustachial area vs bold chestnut-cinnamon moustachial stripe on grey face (2); mantle dull brownish-grey with vague black markings vs densely and broadly barred black and cinnamon (3). Additional described races, considered to represent intergrades or otherwise inadequately differentiated, include borealis (NW to NC North America), sedentarius (Santa Cruz I, California), martirensis (San Pedro Mártir Mts, in NW Baja California) and pinicolus (highlands of El Salvador to N Nicaragua). Four extant subspecies recognized.
Food and feeding
Status and conservation
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