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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V O L U M E 7 0 ( 2 0 1 8 ) • N U M B E R 2 213 I D A H O & W E S T E R N M O N TA N A (JR). Also noteworthy after au- tumn were Greater Yellowlegs in Bingham, ID 15 Dec (SM) and near American Falls, Power, ID 31 Dec (CT). Least Sandpipers are unexpected anywhere away from the lower Treasure Valley in winter, making a report of 2 near Buhl, Twin Falls, ID 27 Jan (ph. PW) interesting. The only reported Dunlin were 2 seen near Hagerman, Gooding, ID 18 Dec (SH). The season's count of rare-but-annual gulls was bet - ter than average and included 3 Mews Gulls, 4 Thayer's Gulls, 3 Lesser Black-backed Gulls, 2 Glaucous-winged Gulls, and 2 Glaucous Gulls. A Regionally- rare Iceland Gull was a sensational find near Kalispell, Flathead, MT 1-4 Jan (PF), as were 2 others in Kootenai, ID 14-16 Jan (ph. NS). If accepted, a Western Gull at C.J. Strike Res. 26 Dec (CW) will provide ID's fourth record. DOVES THROUGH FINCHES The C.B.C. sum of Eurasian Collared-Doves declined in ID for the first time since 2002, when the species was first recorded (CS). A Barn Owl in Lake 17 Dec (ph. JO) was in - teresting; the species is not seen annually in w. MT. The only reported Snowy Owl of the season was in Jerome, ID 14 Jan (ph. JS). A Burrowing Owl discovered near Marsing, Owyhee 25-31 Jan (PM) may represent ID's first Jan record. Two Great Gray Owls near Boise, Ada 10-27 Feb (ph. JT) was an in - teresting, rare find. Although Anna's Hum- mingbirds have been recorded in ID since the mid-1970s, the total of 37 documented through mid-Dec (HW) was surprising. The only Anna's Hummingbird reported in MT was at Somers, Flathead 6-7 Dec (SR). Any sapsucker in ID after autumn is unusual, so reports of 2 Red-napeds at Boise, Ada 8 Dec– 26 Feb (JC, JT) plus single Red-napeds at Caldwell, Canyon 17 Dec (HW) and in Twin Falls 17 Dec (ZW) were all very surprising, as was a Williamson's Sapsucker reported in Latah 26 Dec (ph. KD). A Red-breasted Sapsucker spent its third consecutive win - ter at Boise, Ada, ID 8 Dec–26 Feb (ph. JC, JT). Lewis's Woodpeckers, not annual, were interesting finds near Eureka, Lincoln, MT 17 Dec (LY) and Stevensville, Ravalli, MT 31 Dec (DL). Gyrfalcon numbers were well above the norm for the season, with reports of 6 in MT and another in ID. A total of just 6 Blue Jays were reported in ID, indicating an aver - age, non-irruption year. A Tree Swallow near Hagerman, Gooding, ID 12 Jan (LA) may represent the Region's first Jan record. Single Violet-green and Tree swallows near Bruneau, Owyhee, ID 22 Feb (RLR) were unusually early spring migrants. Notably rare for sw. MT was a Pacific Wren discovered at Bozeman, Gallatin, MT 15 Dec (PE). A Winter Wren at Twin Falls, Twin Falls, ID that continued from 23 Nov was last re - ported 3 Dec (MA). Varied Thrushes are usu- ally scarce or absent in n. ID after late fall, but an astounding record sum of 532 were record - ed primarily on n. Idaho C.B.C.s 14 Dec–5 Jan (CS). A Varied Thrush at Paradise Valley, MT 3-7 Feb (R & LF) provided a third local winter record. Seasonably rare Western Bluebirds held over in MT near Missoula, Mis - soula 17 Dec (LW) and Helena, Lewis and Clark 2 Jan (CJ). The only Northern Mockingbird of the sea - son was at Kimberly, Twin Falls, ID 11-17 Dec (MA). An astound - ing 43 Lincoln's Sparrows were recorded on s. Idaho C.B.C.s 17 Dec–2 Jan; the species is unexpected in winter. Rare Swamp Spar - rows made an excellent showing in ID, with 3 near Nampa, Canyon 17 Dec (CHu); one at Caldwell, Canyon 17-26 Dec (HW); one near Pocatello, Bannock 30 Dec (fide CT); and up to 2 at Hagerman, Gooding 18 Dec–4 Feb (AY). Golden-crowned Sparrows are es - pecially rare in winter, therefore 2 spotted near Nampa, Canyon, ID 17 Dec (CHu) were noteworthy. MT hosted rare Rusty Blackbirds near Hamilton, Ravalli 17 Dec (JO), in Lake 18 Dec (ph. JCo), and near Missoula, Missoula 15 Jan (ph. SC). Brown-headed Cowbirds are far from annual in n. ID, making one in Latah 16 Jan–17 Feb (TG) a great find. Always rare, a Purple Finch in Bonner, ID (ph., †RDC) represented the season's only report. Contributors: (subregional editors in bold - face): Larry Arnold, Melody Asher, Steve Butterworth, Kathleen Cameron, Jay Carl - isle, Sneed Collard, Joshua Covill (JCo), Jon Curd (JCu), Rich Del Carlo, Kas Dumroese, Paulette Epple, Pete Fisher, Ray and Linda Forrest, Terry Gray, Lucinda Haggas, John Hanna, Sarah Harris, Craig Hohenberger, Denise Hughes, Cheryl Huizinga (CHu), Ce - dric Jones, Bob Kemp, David Lockman, Scott Manwaring, Paul Mascuch, Jim Oates, John Ormiston, John Parker, Shawn Richmond, RL Rowland, Jeff Ruprecht, Jan Simpkin, Nicholas Sly, Shirley Sturts, Charles Swift, Alex Takasugi, Jason Talbot, Chuck Trost, Heidi Ware, Zeke Watkins, Pat Weber, Larry Weeks, Cliff Weisse, Austin Young, Lewis Young. n –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– David Trochlell, 2409 East N Ave, La Grande, Oregon 97850 • dtrochlell@gmail.com Ed Harper and friends were amazed to spot a Green-tailed Towhee while tallying birds on their assigned route for the Ennis, Montana Christmas Bird Count on 17 December. The species is unexpected anywhere in the Region during winter; this individual successfully overwintered and was last reported 30 February. Photo by © Ed Harper. SA Not only the bird of the season, but perhaps also the rarest bird ever record- ed in the Region was a Red-flanked Bluetail that wandered to Lewiston, Nez Perce, Idaho. Local birder John Hanna was conducting a raptor survey in Lewiston's Hells Gate State Park on 26 December when he detected an interesting, small pas - serine that he did not recognize. The Old World vagrant's identity was confirmed that evening and news of its presence spread, naturally resulting in a number of birders making plans to arrive at the park the next morning. Weather conditions through the Inland Northwest at the time of the bird's discovery made for terrible travel, never - theless many passionate birders from near and far braved dangerous road conditions to see the bluetail before it departed after 13 January. The Red-flanked Bluetail repre - sented a first state and Regional record, and was also the fourth record in the Lower 48 states. Additionally, this Idaho location represents the most inland occurrence of the species in North America.

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