I thought about that while we stared at the white birds that were ruining my plan and my schedule. If we already knew where the different barn swallow contact zones were, Matt and I would be at our desks in Colorado instead of in an abandoned barn in Siberia. But we are here precisely because no one knows where the subspecies range limits are or what the contact zones look like, and that is because they are hard to find and hard to study. We’d found gutturalis somewhere unexpected- fine. All that meant was that it was time for a new plan. So we made one.