North American Birds

VOLUME 70 NO2 2018

A Quarterly Journal of Ornithological Record Published by the American Birding Association. The mission of the journal is to provide a complete overview of the changing panorama of our continent’s birdlife.

Issue link: http://nab.aba.org/i/1028840

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N O R T H A M E R I C A N B I R D S 206 S O U T H E R N G R E AT P L A I N S higher numbers than usual in NE, with flocks of 50-100 in Dixon and 75 in Knox 11 Jan (JJ). American Tree Sparrows now beyond the southern edge of their expected winter range were in Stephens, OK 2 Jan (L&MT), with an - other 2 in Johnston, OK 6 Feb (JW). Normally an unexpected winter visitor in KS, there were eight reports of Chipping Sparrow scattered across the state, including a single in Reno 14 Jan (JMi), 7 in Sedgwick 7 Feb (PJ), and one in Johnson, KS 15 Jan–25 Feb (CE). Also northerly were Vesper Sparrows in Lancaster, NE 28 Jan (SC) and Lyon, KS 11 Jan (MG, m.ob.), plus a Lark Sparrow in Tulsa, OK 19 Dec (JD, JSm). Much more exceptional were Black-throated Sparrows at a Knox, NE feeder 5 Dec–10 Jan (MB, m.ob.), and in Barber, KS 2 Jan (KG). Surprising for winter was a Grasshopper Spar - row in Cleveland, OK 3 Jan (JAG). LeConte's Sparrow winters regularly in OK; 30 were in Pontotoc 23 Jan (JT). LeConte's were north to Kiowa, KS 19 Jan (JL), with at least 2 in Douglas, KS 12 Dec–28 Feb (DL). Also northerly were Lincoln's Sparrows in Lancaster, NE 4-13 Feb (LE, m.ob.) and Lincoln, Lancaster, NE 13 Feb (GM). An excellent count of White-crowned Sparrows was the 446 in Scotts Bluff, NE 19 Dec (fide AK). As observers study juncos more carefully, Cassiar Dark-eyed Junco is being re - ported more often in e. NE and is apparently fairly common statewide (fide WRS). A Yellow- headed Blackbird lingered in Riley, KS until 19 Dec (BS). A Brewer's Blackbird in a Scotts Bluff, NE yard 20 Jan (KD) is part of an increasing trend during winter. Unprecedented in NE was an Orange-crowned Warbler surviving in Lancaster to at least 27-28 Feb (ph. BH); oth - ers were northerly in KS to Johnson 21 Dec–29 Feb (BW), Riley 6 Jan–5 Feb (JRo), Finney 1 Jan (JC), and Douglas 3 Jan (DL, KS, RB). A Com - mon Yellowthroat stayed in Russell, KS, until 11 Dec (DK). A surprise was a Palm Warbler at Red Slough 26 Jan (DA), a normally rare mi - grant in OK. Pine Warblers keep pushing the western edge, with one in Sedgwick, KS 19 Dec (KG). Following last winter's numbers, winter - ing Yellow-rumped Warblers are becoming the norm in se. NE (fide WRS). A Summer Tanager in Cherokee, OK 26 Dec (JW) provided one of very few winter records for OK. Northern Car - dinals in Scotts Bluff, w. NE continue, reported 19 (fide AK) & 30 Dec (KD). Also rare in w. KS, a Northern Cardinal was in Scott 19 Dec (T&SS). A small pocket of Pyrrhuloxia are nudging their way into Jackson, OK with one noted there 13 Jan (JA). A basic-plumage Rose- breasted Grosbeak in Lancaster, NE 1 Dec (TG) was unexpected. Dickcissels occasionally win - ter in the Region; one was in Leavenworth, KS 22 Jan–28 Feb (GP), and another stayed until 20 Dec in Harlan, NE (JGJ, photo). tinguished from possible Pacific Wrens. A very late Blue-gray Gnatcatcher was in Reno, KS 17 Dec (AM). Northerly reports of Ruby-crowned Kinglet have in - creased in recent years; this sea- son 4 were in Lincoln, Lancaster, NE 15 Feb (TJW), with 1-2 in Cimarron, OK 3 Jan (JW) and 14 Feb (KL). The most easterly Townsend's Solitaire this season were in Geary, KS through 7 Dec (CM, BM); Cleveland, OK 17 Jan (J&AR); Oklahoma, OK 23-29 Jan (ZP, m.ob.). Less than an - nual in NE, a Varied Thrush was in Hall, NE 18 Jan–13 Feb (WL fide D&JP, m.ob.). Gray Cat - birds lingering northward into KS were noted in Sedgwick 12-19 Dec (KG), Pawnee 17 Feb (2 birds; SS), and Reno 23 Jan (AM). Only a bit less southerly was a catbird in Cherokee, OK 4 Feb (JN). Pushing the range-edge was a Curve- billed Thrasher in Finney, KS 18 Jan (MRm). Also pushing limits northward were Brown Thrashers in Brown, KS 18 Jan (JRe) and Rus - sell, KS 16 Jan (DK), along with a Sage Thrasher in Cimarron, OK 23 Jan (L&MT). Always unex - pected, 2 Bohemian Waxwings were found in Dixon 14 Dec (fide BFH). Not to be left out from more northerly occurrences were an American Pipit in Scotts Bluff, NE 19 Dec (fide AK), and Sprague's Pipits in Osage, OK 2 Jan (JE). FINCHES THROUGH DICKCISSEL Among Regional "zooties," a single Pine Gros- beak was in Douglas, NE 19 Dec–9 Feb (BH, m.ob.). The only report of Gray-crowned Rosy- Finch, a nw. NE Regional specialty, was of a single bird at McConaughy 2 Jan (fide SJD); this record is outside the usual Scotts Bluff and Sioux winter range. Westerly Purple Finches in - cluded 6 in Stephens, OK 3 Jan (KM). The only report of Cassin's Finch, regular along the west - ern edge of the Region, involved 3 in Dawes, NE 31 Dec (KD). Moderate numbers of Com - mon Redpoll appeared in NE, with 3 appearing south to KS in Butler 22 Dec (MH), Ellsworth 17 Jan (MR), and Finney 15 Feb (T&SS). True and unpredictable wanderers, 10 Red Crossbills were noted 20 Dec–14 Jan in Douglas, NE (BP, JR, m.ob.). Spectrograms indicated they were Type 3, "Western Hemlock Crossbill;" Type 2 birds are more expected. In KS, the only Red Crossbill noted was a female in Leavenworth 25 Jan+ (JAM). The only, and much more rare, White-winged Crossbill of the season was in Seward, NE 15 Jan (CD). A Lesser Goldfinch at a Saline, KS feeder 3-9 Feb (KK) was a surprise. Another surprise were the 9 Smith's Longspurs in Lancaster, NE 21-26 Feb (MW, m.ob.), possi - bly early migrants. Snow Buntings appeared in tributions linked more to a poor acorn crop; however, one imm. was found in Keya Paha, NE 18 Feb (WF). A little outside its expected range in extreme sw. OK was a Golden-fronted Woodpecker in Tillman 13 Feb (JW). As in recent years, good numbers of Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers wintered in se. NE (fide WRS). A westerly Pileated Woodpecker was in Barber, KS 2 Jan (RTR, NV, BW); this is another spe - cies gradually expanding its range northwest- ward in the Region. Rarely reported north of its expected ne. Texas range, Crested Caracaras were at Red Slough 16 Jan (DA) and Stephens, OK 17 Feb (RR). A Peregrine Falcon was noted in Tulsa, OK 25 Dec and 2 Jan (BC), part of an urban resident group. A Prairie Falcon was easterly in Johnston, OK 6 Feb (JW, VB, LM). At the northern edge for Eastern Phoebes, the last of several was one in Reno, KS 9 Jan (AM), with others in Barber, 2 Jan (NV, BW, RTR) and at a different location in Barber 5 Jan (MR). Spring arrival of Eastern Phoebe was early with one in Cherokee, KS 22 Feb (AB) and another in Harper, nw. OK 20 Feb (SSe). Also pushing winter limits were Say's Phoebes in Texas, OK 1 Jan (JW) and Cimarron, OK 17 Jan (BC). Four, single Northern Shrikes were reported in KS, at the southern edge of their winter range (fide CO); farthest se. were singles in Osage 31 Jan (MMH) and Miami 23 Jan (RW, JWi). Black- billed Magpie continues in dire straits in NE; outside Scotts Bluff and Keith, one and 3 noted in Madison 11 & 19 Dec, respectively (fide DH), and 5 in Lincoln 21 Dec (fide TJW) represented the only reports. Four Purple Martins arrived at Red Slough 25 Feb (DA). A Tree Swallow lingered to 19 Dec in Douglas, KS (RB); arriv - ing early were 3 at Red Slough 10 Feb, with 22 there by 25 Feb (DA). Odd, eastward-dis - persing Rock Wrens this season were at Mc- Conaughy 18 Feb (J&GB), with a surprising 6 in Russell, KS 6 Jan (DK). Single House Wrens were noteworthy for winter in Kingfisher, OK 16 Dec (LM) and in Cleveland, OK 31 Jan (JW). Three Winter Wrens at McConaughy 2 Dec (fide SJD) were northerly and westerly and dis - This female/immature Pine Grosbeak, strangely by itself and exceptional in the Region, wintered at Forest Lawn Cemetery, Douglas County, NE 19 December to 9 February (here 20 December). Photo by © Brian Peterson.

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