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.

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Page 85 of 115

N O R T H A M E R I C A N B I R D S 220 A L A S K A previous Interior winter records. The Swamp Sparrow that lingered at Sitka 11 Dec–3 Jan (ph. EVP) was the only report of this very rare fall migrant. A late migrant Harris's Sparrow that appeared at Juneau 1 Dec (ph. PG) likely wintered somewhere in Southeast. Single pugetensis White-crowned Sparrows spent the winter at feeders in Ketchikan (JFK), Hoonah (ph. ACC), and Sitka (ph. EVP). Following recent Ketchikan observations of this subspecies, which breeds into s. British Columbia, observers are documenting more individuals in s. Southeast communities. A lone Dark-eyed Junco braved the winter at a Nome feeder into Mar (KP), where there may not be a previous winter season record. Red- winged Blackbirds are very rare and irregular in winter, but this year's list was impressive. A flock of 15 Red-wingeds spent the sea - son at Lemon Cr. near Juneau, a male hung around a Ketchikan feeder to 6 Dec (SCH), that individual or another male showed up six miles away 27 Feb (SCH, JHL, LEB), and yet another was at Gustavus 16 Dec (NKD). More significant was a single at a Peters Cr. feeder, north of Anchorage 6-8+ Dec (ph. PK et al.). There are only a couple previous win - ter Red-winged Blackbird reports from Upper Cook Inlet. Still casual in winter, 2 Western Meadowlarks first found at Juneau in Nov were observed intermittently through 30 Jan (GBV, m. ob.). A female Brewer's Blackbird, casual but found more regularly over the last 15 years, spent all season at Hoonah in s. Southeast (ph., ACC). Contributors and observers: J. B. Allen, L. E. Barber, R. Berns, A. Bowman, A. C. Brown, A. Bruce, L. K. & T. A. Burke, R. M. Corco - ranA. C. Courtney, L. H. DeCicco-E-bird Compiler, B. H. Demerjian, T. Dimarzio, P. S. Doherty, J. Doty, N. K. Drumheller, E. Fer - nandez, G. Frost, C. P. F. Goff, M. R. Goff, R. B. L. Goff, S. Golodoff, N. R. Hajdukovich-E- bird Compiler, A. & J. Hanson, S. C. Heinl- Southeast Compiler, C. Irrigoo, P. Kaszuba, W. Keys, N. Koch, J. F. Koerner, L. A. Lamm, A. J. Lang-Southcoastal Compiler, K. R. Larson, B. Lekanoff, J. H. Lewis, R. A. Ma - cIntosh, D. K. MacPhail, B. Meiklejohn, S. L. Neilson, E. V. Parker, J. Parks, B. Peluso, K. Persons, A. W. Piston, S. Porter, R. Prentki, K. Reiselbach, K. Russell, J. F. Saracco, T. Saun - ders. R. L. Scher, P. Scully, M. K, Schwan, D. Shirley, D. W. Sonneborn, T. Sullivan, T. G. Tobish, B. Uher-Koch, G. B. van Vliet, E. Waddell, N. Warnock, N. Whitaker, J. Wrent - more, E. L. Young. n –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– Thede Tobish, 2510 Foraker Drive, Anchorage, Alaska 99517 • numbers and distribution were both about average, with a lone bird in Fairbanks to at least 6 Feb (JP) serving as the most signifi - cant of the reports. Three Cedar Waxwings at Homer all season and another at Anchorage 16-29 Jan (TGT, m.ob.) were the only ones that surfaced this winter. The 27 Pine Gros - beaks that hung around a Nome feeder dur- ing at least 1-27 Dec (KP) were exceptional for the Seward Pen. and far from favored spruce forests located on the southeast sec - tions of the peninsula. The Cassin's Finch that appeared out of the blue at a Palmer area feeder 1 Feb (TS) and stayed into Mar likely arrived earlier in the season, as is the pattern for other extralimtal Haemorhous finches in Southcentral. Of the handful of winter re - ports beyond their normal range, 2 McKay's Buntings at Gustavus 4 Dec (ph. NKD) were most notable. These accounted for a third lo - cal report and only the fourth for Southeast. Given the mild fall and winter, it was surpris - ing that only Yellow-rumped Warblers were found. One Yellow-rumped spent the season at a Seward yard (TD), another lingered at Ju - neau 12 Dec–15 Jan (m.ob.), and one each of Myrtle and Audubon's Yellow-rumped warblers showed up at Ketchikan 3 Jan (ph. JFK, SCH), with the latter staying at a suet feeder into spring. The Juneau area's Spotted Towhee continued from Oct and success - fully completed its third consecutive winter season, observed through 13 Mar (KR). No doubt supported by mild weather, a Fox Spar - row hung around a Nome feeder to at least 2 Dec (KP). Only a couple mid-season Lincoln's Sparrows were reported, the best of which being a hardy bird in downtown Fairbanks 13 Dec–21+ Feb (JP). There are only a couple of a Eurasian Collared-Dove in Ketchikan! A lone Downy Woodpecker wintered at a Nome feeder 3 Dec+ (KP). Although Downy Woodpecker is likely an uncommon resident in the forested sections at the base of the Seward Pen., there are only a couple records west of treeline. Casual for winter was the male American Kestrel at Prince of Wales I. in s. Southeast 15 Dec (ph. KRL). The same Nome feeder that hosted the aforementioned Downy Woodpecker also attracted up to 2 Gray Jays 11-16 Dec (KP). As with Downy Woodpecker, there are very few Seward Pen. records beyond treeline. CHICKADEES TO ICTERIDS Black-capped Chickadees showed well be- yond forested areas of the Seward Pen. where they are sporadic and rare, with up to 8 at the popular Nome feeder 27 Dec into Mar (KP). At least 2 Pacific Wrens that continued from fall were seen regularly at Anchorage 6 Dec+ (PS, NW et al.). At least 7 Golden-crowned Kinglets were observed sporadically all sea - son in the Fairbanks area (GF). This species is poorly known from a handful of irregular reports north of the Alaska Range in the cen. Interior. Even more significant was another extralimital Golden-crowned Kinglet at Un - alaska 10-17+ Dec (ph. BL, SG), a first win- ter record for the Aleutians. Three Mountain Bluebirds in Gustavus 19 Dec and another there 29 Jan (NKD) were this winter's only sightings of this rare fall migrant and winter visitor. Four Townsend's Solitaires in wild mountain ash thickets at Turnagain Arm's Windy Corner, s. of Anchorage 30 Jan (LEB) served as the season's sole report for this rare, irregular winter thrush. American Robin Shown here is one of two McKay's Buntings discovered at Gustavus, Hoonah-Angoon Census Area, on 4 December. Photo by @ N.K. Drumheller.

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