We use 13 color characters to describe the first known Dendroica nigrescens × D. occidentalis hybrid. Because this specimen was collected in the southeastern Cascade Mountains of Washington during the breeding season, D. townsendi, D. occidentalis, and D. nigrescens are the only plausible parents for a hybrid male falling within the black-throated clade of Dendroica warblers. Multiple character states in the hybrid refute the alternative parental combinations, townsendi × occidentalis and townsendi × nigrescens. Two characteristics of this hybrid suggested further tests of the parentage of 38 problematic hybrids that were treated previously as townsendi × occidentalis recombinants by assumption only. These hybrids lack yellow on their breast, the only character that refutes a nigrescens × occidentalis parentage. The new hybrid is intermediate between nigrescens and occidentalis in the color of its posterior face and its anterior crown; thus, we scored these new characters in the 38 problematic hybrids. None of these 38 specimens was intermediate or white in either of these regions, and there was no correlation between having tinges of white in these regions and the extent of flank streaking. These results fail to support nigrescens in the parentage of these 38 specimens; furthermore, none of the problematic hybrids carried a nigrescens mitochondrial DNA haplotype. Thus, we conclude that all are unusual recombinants of townsendi × occidentalis hybridization, rather than nigrescens × occidentalis hybrids.
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Vol. 102 • No. 3