Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Illegal Immigrants

...to the Northwest include an Ovenbird (Seiurus aurocapilla) in the Laurelhurst neighborhood of Portland...

...and an even rarer Red-flanked Bluetail (Tarsiger cyanurus) found in New Westminster, BC.

The Ovenbird would be a nice but unshocking Oregon rarity;
"one of the more frequent vagrant “eastern” warblers encountered in the West in both spring and fall (approaching 1,000 records in California and close to 40 in Oregon, where it is no longer on the state review list"
although I understand this bird is a first record for Multnomah County and Portland proper - most of these vagrants end up at the desert oases near Fields or Malheur.

But the bluetail is a genuine North American oddity, only the third North American record outside the western Aleutians for this Eurasian vagrant.

I regret that work holds me here, because while I am no longer a truly devoted birder I remain that lowest of birdwatching life forms, the hardcore "lister" (or "twitcher", the Brits would call me), and if I thought that this little rascal would hang around New West I'd sure as hell chase it.


Lisa said...

What cute little budgie birds (I don't know any technical names, though a birder once gave everyone in our master wildlife class a tape of the bird calls.)

I just saw "the Great Escape" and am reminded of the birder's class.

Anonymous said...

I feed a lot of birds here, but I fear I am not great at identifying all of them. I know we had one profoundly weird sighting of a single unusual pigeon -- a European breed! I figure it was a pet that escaped, perhaps.

FDChief said...

Well, I'm too booked to chase the bluetail, but I drove over to Laurelhurst yesterday just for laughs. The house numbers there are a little confusing (they change mid-block as if 40th Avenue ran straight through, which it doesn't) so I went past the house where the little bird has been turning up, turned around, drove back, pulled up at the curb and found myself staring eye-to-beak with the little Ovenbird scratching in the leaves just below the porch of the house next door. Pretty thing, got a nice look and then it flew off.

Spent a while scoping the other house's backyard feeders (the residents had a sign on the door inviting birders to look for this oddity). Gorgeous yellow-black-green male Townsend's Warbler turned up along with one of out typical Oregon wintering hummingbirds.

Nice morning.

And your pigeon was probably and escape, Labrys. They're still fun. I'm not a real "purist" about this stuff. I just enjoy the critters.

Lisa said...

How wonderful that you could see the Ovenbird, eye-to-eye.