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    • Benjamin Ferraro
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      EFerraro
      How do subspecies work? I see it used a lot but I don’t know what it means and how it works. What do I do if I see two birds of the same kind but one is a subspecie? For example: I see a yellow-shafted  flicker and a red-shafted flicker in the same day. Does that count as two species? Do subspecies count as their own separate species?
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    • Benjamin Ferraro
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      EFerraro
      Thank you.
    • Frankie
      Participant
      Chirps: 80
      FrankieBird
      Okay. Here’s how it works. Subspecies refer to two or more variations of a species within a certain population. Many times this is a result of a mutation or breeding between two closely related species. Subspecies are confusing because many times the species are similar, and they are constantly changed each year. For example, the two flickers you named were once two separate species, but when DNA testing advanced, they became recognized as subspecies of the northern flicker. To answer your question, no, they do not count as separate species. You can specify which subspecies it is with eBird, but it will not count as another species.
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