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rumours from the North while the West comees Southeast...
- To: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Subject: rumours from the North while the West comees Southeast...
- From: Joshua Stuart Rose <email@example.com>
- Date: Sat, 2 Dec 2000 11:47:04 -0500 (EST)
- Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org
Surfing the web, wondering how Frank and I managed to miss that Cinnamon
Teal, and when I'll find time to drive back out to Goldsboro... Saw some
exciting things on the Massachusetts listserv. I'll paste them below. It
makes me wish I were going north for the holidays instead of south!
One note I left out from Monday's report was an exceptionally yellow Palm
Warbler around the Vermilion Flycatcher spot. Didn't find it again
yesterday, maybe the flycatcher was distracting me. Anyway, the bright
yellow Palms are of the western subspecies, right? Between that, the
Vermilion, and now the Cinnamon Teal, not to mention the usual Eared
Grebes, you might look at a checklist from Goldsboro and think it came
from the other side of the Mississippi!
For the hummer-lovers, another Broad-tailed has been banded nearby, this
one in Pensacola FL. Other feeders in the Pensacola area are reputedly
hosting Bullock's Oriole and Black-headed Grosbeak. Also in Florida, an
Elegant Tern was seen near Fort Desoto. Did someone move Florida west of
the Mississippi too, right next to Goldsboro? And a Dark-eyed Junco
somehow ended up all the way down into the Everglades! Okay, maybe going
south for the holidays won't be so bad...
Joshua S. Rose
Department of Biology (Zoology, R.I.P.)
Subject: [MASSBIRD] Northern Hawk Owl in NH
From: "Stephen R. Mirick" <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 01 Dec 2000 20:38:59 -0500
A Northern Hawk Owl was found today in Jefferson, NH by Carl Bretton.
Attached are directions. It is in the same vicinity where a white morph
Gyrfalcon has been reported and a Snowy Owl has been seen. I'm heading
The following is a great shot of the Hawk Owl taken by Fred Sladen this
Subject: [MASSBIRD] Gyrfalcon Sightings Increase
From: Paul Roberts <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 01 Dec 2000 22:26:17 -0500
We are apparently experiencing an unusual movement of Gyrfalcons into
the Northeast. In addition to the gray morph reported in the Plum Island
vicinity, over the past two weeks two have been reported from New
Jersey, and one was trapped and banded in Pennsylvania. Within the past
few days gray morph Gyrs have been reported from Biddeford Pool, Maine,
and Shelburne VT and a white morph Gyr in Lancaster, New Hampshire.
It's a great time to get out looking for these very rare "winter"
visitors. For those looking for a life bird, 80-90% of all Gyrs are
obviously larger than a Crow, having approximately the same wingspan as
a Red-tailed Hawk, but they are generally much heftier than any Redtail,
being up to twice as heavy and clearly more powerful. The overwhelming
majority of Gyrs seen in this area should have two-toned underwings;
dark wing linings and light flight feathers. Peregrines are uniformly
patterned on the underwing. Peregrines generally have a sharp pattern of
contrast on the cheek and throat. Large, immature female Peregrines are
most likely to be mistaken for a Gyr, so look for the two toned
underwings and the absence of sharp contrast on the cheek that would
suggest Gyr. Gyrs have longer, thicker and more rounded wings than
Goshawks, particularly immature female Goshawks are easy to mistake for
Gyrs. Goshawks have broader, more rounded wings and a longer tail, and
tend to do the typical flap, flap, flap guide accipiter flight. Perched
Goshawks are easy to identify by the tail length. Goshawks of all ages
tend to have a noticeable supraorbital eye stripe, and adult Goshawks
have a distinctive pattern of facial contrast.
Seeing any of these three raptors is always a memorable experience, but
this fall we apparently have a rare opportunity to see a Gyr. To put the
hunt into perspective, however, consider that wintering Goshawks are
much more abundant than Gyrs, and think of how many Goshawks you see
each winter. If you follow up a report of a Gyr and believe you may have
seen it, please post your thoughts including the time and specific place
you saw the bird in question. Describe what you saw and what you think
Most Gyrs are notoriously wide-ranging in winter, even if they hang
around a certain area, such as the Logan bird of several years ago. A
quarter-century ago a white morph Gyr was reported once or twice a week
from the Newburyport/Salisbury area. That winter I spent 30 days, i.e.,
every weekend and holiday, looking for my first Gyr. I never found that
bird... unless it was the same white morph Gyr I saw at the Hancock
Building in Boston that March. Two white morph Gyrs hanging around
eastern Massachusetts in one winter would be extremely unusual....
Looking for Gyrs is like looking for a needle in a haystack, but the
hunt is worth it. Three out of the four days I spent looking for the Gyr
last week, I did not see the bird, but I did have spectacular views of
an adult male Peregrine, a Merlin, an adult Cooper's Hawk, an adult
Sharp-shinned Hawk, an adult male harrier and several immature harriers,
a light-morph Roughleg, and an adult Northern Shrike. Good luck.
Paul M. Roberts