North American Birds

VOLUME 70 NO3-NO4 2019

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/1115839

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N O R T H A M E R I C A N B I R D S 342 S O U T H E R N G R E AT P L A I N S liest spring arrival on record for Nebraska was one in Deuel 13 Mar (CGo). Perhaps the only lo - cation in the Region where Vermilion Flycatcher occurs with some predictability is the western Panhandle of OK; 2 were in Cimarron rather early 2 Apr (BPe). More surprising were 2 re - ports of Vermilions in Johnson, KS 11 Apr (RM), at Red Slough 15 Mar (F; DA), in Hodgeman, KS 2 May (F; JH), Seward, KS 9 May (M; GC), and in Stanton, KS 10 May (SM, TM). Early Western Kingbirds were in Douglas, NE 24 Apr (JT) and in Lancaster the same day (TEL). A very late Northern Shrike was in Kimball, NE 1 May (DKi, details), only the second Ne - braska record for May. An early-arriving Black- capped Vireo was in Comanche, OK 30 Mar (KM). White-eyed Vireo, expanding in the Re - gion, were on the edge in Sarpy, NE 26 Apr-17 May (PS, m.ob.) and Douglas, NE 17 May (TCl). Spring Cassin's Vireos are rare; one was in Sioux, NE 14 May (WF). Plumbeous Vireos, not often detected in migration, were reported only from Kansas, with singles in Morton 2 May (CG, JM) and 9 May (DW). Westerly Philadelphia Vireos were from Oklahoma, OK 16 May (CC), Cleve - land, OK 19 May (RW, JW), Washington, KS 21 May (DT), and Pratt, KS 26 May (MR). Fish Crow continues to expand its range in Kansas as far north as Atchison 21 Apr (AS) and westerly in Kingman 31 May (KG). Two Chihuahuan Ravens were in Ellis, OK 10 Apr (CC) where they once were more common. Common Ravens seem to be etching onto the plains in southwest Kansas and Oklahoma Panhandle with several reports from different Morton, KS locations 1 May (KG, JM, PJ) and young being fed at a nest in Boise City, Cimarron, OK 10 May (DW). Early swallows were 2 Trees in Douglas, KS 5 Mar (AP), 2 Violet-greens in Scotts Bluff, NE 14 Apr (RSg), 2 Caves in Tillman, OK 19 Mar (JAG), and a Barn in Linn, KS 17 Mar (MMH). A tardy Brown Creeper was in Johnson, KS 4 May (AVP). A Carolina Wren was far west of its usual southeast Nebraska range at McConaughy 27 May (DH). A House Wren in Hitchcock, NE was rather early 9 Apr (JSk). Saline, KS hosted a tardy Winter Wren 2 May (KK). Rather early Blue-gray Gnatcatchers were in Sarpy, NE 8 Apr (L&BP) and Chautauqua, KS 25 Mar (KG, JC). Early in Lancaster, NE was a Ruby-crowned Kinglet 7 Mar (JGJ). Two Eastern Bluebirds ar - rived early at their nesting location in Scotts Bluff, NE 12 Mar (KD). A male Mountain was nesting with an Eastern female in Russell, KS 12 Mar (DK). Two Townsend's Solitaires were east - erly in Lancaster, NE 15 Mar (LE). A Veery de- scribed as an "eastern red bird" in Perkins, NE 8 May (TJW) was westerly, where rare. Also west - erly was a Wood Thrush in Thomas, NE 27 May (BP). A Varied Thrush in Furnas, NE 24 Mar- 5 Apr (LO, LR, RH) was the first for Nebraska ruginous Hawk winters in most of Oklahoma, usually departing by late Mar, but one was tar - dy in Grant 13 Apr (LM). Another Ferruginous was easterly in Leavenworth, KS 3 Mar (GC). A Golden Eagle lingered rather late at Red Slough 27 Apr (DA); a few winter at this location. After a good winter showing at least in the northern Region, the last Snowy Owl report - ed was very late in Coffey, KS 11 Apr (ABu, m.ob.). Likely migrant Burrowing Owls were noted easterly in Osage, OK 17 Apr (S&JS) & 2 May (J&DM); a single bird was in nearby Payne 7 Apr (AMi). Adding to our knowledge of Northern Saw-whet Owls were observations of a brood of 6 in Thomas, NE banded 4 May (CNK, JT, WM); this is the fifth known loca - tion of breeding in Nebraska. A Golden-front- ed Woodpecker in e. Tillman, OK was at the east edge of its expected southwest OK range 5 Mar (JW). Red-bellied Woodpecker contin - ues to expand its Nebraska range westward in riparian corridors, reaching Cherry (NJ) and Scotts Bluff (DH). A Red-naped Sapsucker, rare in spring, was in Dawes, NE 14 May (F; fide JGJ) and another was in Cheyenne, NE 12 Mar (WK). The Rocky Mountains subspecies of Hairy Woodpecker, monticola, was noted in Dawes 24 May (D&JP). Westward expansion of Pileated Woodpecker also continues with a fe - male in Ford, KS 10 Mar (BM, CMo, DB). Crested Caracara have teased into s. Okla - homa with singles in Bryan 7 Mar (MDa) and in McCurtain 22 Apr (FH). Lingering Merlins were in Cleveland, OK 14 May (JTh, RW) and Jefferson, KS 7 May (JCo). A new nesting site for Peregrine Falcon may be in Norfolk, Madi - son, NE where two were apparently defending a cell tower against a Turkey Vulture 29 Apr and were still present 11 May (SB). FLYCATCHERS THROUGH MIMIDS As with shorebirds, so too were passerines ar- riving early. Olive-sided Flycatchers arrived in Payne, OK 24 Apr (SL), and Sarpy, NE 25 Apr (fide WRS); an Eastern Wood-Pewee was also in Payne, OK 24 Apr (SL). Westerly Yellow-bellied Flycatchers were in Keith, NE 20 May (EB) and Ellsworth, KS 18 May (MR). Acadian Flycatch - ers were a bit westerly in cen. Oklahoma with singles in Cleveland 23 & 30 Apr (NK, ZP, LM) and 1 May in Payne (SL) and Oklahoma (JW). A record high spring count of Least Flycatchers for NE was the 58 at Fontenelle Forest, Sarpy 14 May (GR). Dusky Flycatcher is a rare migrant along the western edge of the Region; one was in Cimarron, OK 7 May (BPe, DW, m.ob.), and another was calling in Kimball, NE 21 May (MW, WRS). A Cordilleran Flycatcher was noted in Scotts Bluff 22 May (MW, WRS). Rare eastward in Oklahoma were Say's Phoebes in Oklahoma 8 Apr (BSt) and Comanche 21 Apr (L&MT); ear - one at Hefner 3-11 Apr (BSt, JHu), the other in Kingman, KS 30 May into Jun (JMi, m. ob.). HERONS THROUGH FALCONS A high count of 11 American Bitterns was at Hackberry Flat 6 May (L&MT). Least Bitterns, 1-2, were found in the Nebraska Panhandle at Crescent Lake NWR, Garden 18-19 May (RT). Other Least Bitterns reaching Nebraska were at two locations in Sarpy 30 May and 8 May (MS). Great Egrets (1-2) made it to Scotts Bluff 14- 21 May (fide WRS) and Sheridan, NE 29 May (TG). A Snowy Egret was about 2 weeks early in Marshall, OK 13 Mar (ARe), as was a Yellow- crowned Night-Heron in Tulsa, OK 13 Mar (TMi). White Ibis occurs with any regularity in the Region only at Red Slough; an immature ar - rived there 5 Apr and no fewer than 119 were present 3 May (DA). Beyond Red Slough, White Ibises quickly rarify; one was at Cheyenne Bot - toms 30 Apr-15 May (CW, fide CO). This sea- son produced the usual array of Glossy Ibis and hybrids with White-faced for all three Regional states 26 Apr-26 May (fide WRS, CO, JAG). Black Vulture has been slowly expanding its summer range northwestward; one was as far north as Johnson, KS as early as 5 Mar, with another in Alfalfa, OK 10 May (DBe). A Tur - key Vulture in Dakota, NE 12 Mar (BFH) and an Osprey in Marshall, OK 13 Mar (JAG) were early. Osprey pairs returned to the three suc - cessful nest sites from last year in Scottsbluff, NE; nest-building was underway by 1 Apr, and incubation began at one nest by 13 Apr (KD). An early Mississippi Kite was over Geary, KS 13 Apr (JO), and a pair was easterly in Oma - ha, NE 10-13 May (RS, SMa, MW). Northern Goshawk is a rare winter visitor to the Region; singles were reported from adjacent counties in Kansas—Comanche 10 Apr (JL, ER) and Kiowa 14 Apr (JL). A very early Broad-winged Hawk was in Crawford, KS 15 Mar (ABu). Westerly re - ports of Broad-winged Hawk were of 2 in Scotts Bluff 14 May, and one in Sioux, NE 23 May (BP, MW). Leading the early charge northward were Swainson's Hawks 15 Mar in Oklahoma, OK (JW) and 27 Mar in Gray, KS (T&SS). Fer - While Yellow-billed Loons have been almost regular at Lake Tenkiller in eastern Oklahoma during winter, the appear- ance of this bird 21 May onward a Lake Hefner, Oklahoma County, central Oklahoma was a very unexpected surprise. Photo by © Patricia Velte

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