Share Your Area’s Rare Bird Sightings

Posted by: Loren Coleman on December 26th, 2009

Apparently due to the annual Christmas counts (generally ending on December 23rd in most areas), rare bird sightings are coming in via various small outlets.

What has been reported in your area?

A tundra swan and a wood stork were found mingling among the blue herons and the double crested cormorants in southern California. These rare birds were found at El Monte’s Legg Lake, reports CBS station, KCAL 9, on December 23rd.

The Portland Press Herald’s writer Edward D. Murphy reported, also on December 23, there have been MacGillivray’s warbler sightings this year in Maine and Massachusetts. Here is a snippet from in his article, “Western bird takes a chilly detour: A MacGillivray’s warbler, a species that usually heads far south in winter, somehow ends up in frosty Falmouth.”

Courtesy Doug Hitchcock
The sighting of this MacGillivray’s warbler at Gilsland Farm last weekend was a first for Maine. The species rarely ventures east of New Mexico.

There’s something clearly not right with a creature that would swap Mexico or Central America for Maine in the winter.

That’s why the appearance of a MacGillivray’s warbler in Falmouth last weekend is “considered accidental,” said Bill Hancock, who led the Maine Audubon Society’s annual Christmas Bird Count in Greater Portland on Saturday.

The bird, spotted by Audubon naturalist Eric Hynes and Nancy Houlihan, had never been recorded in Maine.

Hynes said it’s a bird that rarely ventures farther east than Idaho or New Mexico, and spends winters in Mexico and south to Panama.

“They’re definitely a Western bird,” he said, “so it’s not where it wants to be.”

There’s no way to know how the bird ended up in Maine, but sometimes storms throw migrating birds off course or their internal compasses go haywire, leading them astray, Hancock and Hynes said.

Hancock noted that a couple of the birds have been spotted in Massachusetts in recent weeks, so even if the appearance in Maine is new, the warblers have been in the general neighborhood.

What “accidental” species were reported in your area?

Loren Coleman About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading living cryptozoologist. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013. He returned as an infrequent contributor beginning Halloween week of 2015. Coleman is the founder in 2003, and current director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.

4 Responses to “Share Your Area’s Rare Bird Sightings”

  1. Aztec Raptor responds:

    Crows (they were extinct in my area but commen in the farm areas), Brown Pelican, Sandpipers (in the pond thats near my high school and hospital),and Quaker Parrots in the northern parts of Illinois. I mostly see the crows and Sandpipers.

  2. kgehrman responds:

    Out Of place “Vagrant” species I photographed (badly) in a La Jolla, CA famous golf course.

    A mated pair of Ruddy Shellduck, known in India as the Brahminy Duck.
    Stayed long enough to have a brood, then disappeared.

    Ruddy Shellduck

  3. troutman responds:

    Hardly rare, but early this year my wife and I were fishing a local lake and saw a bald eagle, an osprey and two red-tail hawks. I only mention this because I’ve lived/camped/fished here >50 years and NEVER have seen a bald eagle here in San Diego county.

  4. semillama responds:

    Here in Ohio, we just had our probable first record of Allen’s Hummingbird, which normally lives in California and migrates south. There’s also been a White-Winged Dove up in Amish country.

Sorry. Comments have been closed.

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