North American Birds

VOLUME 68 NO2 2015

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/502371

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N O R T H A M E R I C A N B I R D S 214 O n ta r i O Rosemary A. Reid, Kory J. Renaud, Ron Ridout, Maureen Riggs, Bruce E. Ripley, Paul Roedding, Gordon Ross, Michael W.P. Runtz, Sarah E. Rupert, Jeffrey H. Skevington, Roy B. H. Smith, R. Terry Sprague, Pamela M.S. Stagg, Morley Stephen, Christopher E. Street, Donald A. Sutherland, David E. Szmyr, Barbara L. Taylor, Adam P. Timpf, Ronald G. Tozer, James A. Turland, Hans van der Zweep, Anthony B. Vanderheyden, Matthew N. Vanderheyden, Joshua D. Vandermeulen, Ron D. Weir, Gary Wiggins, Sophie Wiggins, Linda Wladarski, Alan Wormington, David B. Worthington, Bryan K. Wyatt. n –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– Joshua D. Vandermeulen, 568 Myers road, Cambridge, Ontario n1r 5S2 (joshvandermeulen@live.ca) Highcock, Tyler L. Hoar, Peter B. Hogenbirk, Brandon R. Holden, James M. Holdsworth, Mary C. Holdsworth, Harvey Hoxell, Marie Hoxell, Juanita Hummel, Cheryl L. Hunt, James W. Hunt, Jeff J. G. Isaac, Marcie L. Jacklin, Eric Jeffrey, Mark W. Jennings, Mark A. Kubisz, Gordo Laidlaw, William G. Lamond, Dayna L. LeClair, Christina A. Lewis (CAL), Timothy B. Lucas, Carole Lupton, Stuart A. Mackenzie, Blake A. Mann, David A. Martin, Steve McAllister, Kevin A. McLaughlin, R. Douglas McRae, Martha L. Miller, Nathan G. Miller, David J. Milsom, Brian L. Morin, Christina J. Neilsen, Giovanni Pari (GPa), Jo Parks, Stephen T. Pike, Richard W.F. Pope, Gord Pusnik (GPu), Brian D. Ratcliff, Mark D. Read, Peter A. Read, Marianne B. Reid, Dan Brunt, Jeremy O. Bryan (JOB), James T. Burk, Keith J. Burk, James G. Burrell, Kenneth G. D. Burrell, Michael V. A. Burrell, Michael D. Cadman, A. Geoffrey Carpentier, John R. Carley, Richard P. Carr, Daniel Charabaruk, Stephen R. Charbonneau, Barbara N. Charlton, Curtis Combdon, Mark H. Cranford, Hugh G. Currie, Michael S. Dawber, Sharon E. David, Stephanie Davison, Bruce M. Di Labio, Robert Z. Dobos, Carolle D. Eady, Christopher G. Earley, David H. Elder, C. Myles Falconer, Bob Farlow, Sue Farlow, Jean M. Farnan, Mark S. Field, Roxane D. Filion, Lucas Foerster, Mark Gawn, Valerie Gerlach, Eric Giles, M. Cecile Girard, Clive E. Goodwin, David L. Goodyear, Regan C. Goodyear, Janis Grant, Denise Hartley, Jeremy L. Hatt, Chris Heffernan, Bob Eastern Highlands & Upper Ohio River Valley 23 Feb (Charles Thompson), at Marietta, Wash- ington, OH 30 Jan (2; Kyle Carlsen), and in Jef- ferson, OH 13 Jan (Gary Bush). The fall fight through the west was unremarkable but for a day-long tally of birds overhead in Knox, OH 15 Dec numbering 150 birds (Howard Gratz). A Ross's Goose at Beckley, Raleigh, WV 4 Jan (Jim Phillips) was an outstanding fnd and the only report from Appalachia. About par for the season, 12 Ohio counties reported the species; all were singles but for 3 near Loudonville, Ash- land 15 Feb (The Bobolink). Ross's Geese were found in nine Pennsylvania counties, all in the se. part of the state, where now routine. A late fall migrant Brant was a surprise for inland Hancock, OH 1 Dec (Shane Myers) and the only report for Ohio. The most impressive goose re- port from the winter was of a fock of 56 Brant on the Susquehanna River at Peach Bottom 13 Jan (BS). Despite the proximity of se. Pennsyl- vania to coastal wintering areas, Brant are quite rare in winter in the state, especially in such a large fock. Cackling Goose was again widely reported, with few documented and fewer pho- tographed. The species is regularly found in small numbers in Ohio, as evidenced by focks of 7 in Washington 22 Jan (Kyle Carsen) and 5 in the Dayton area 31 Dec (Eric Elvert) and 28 Jan (Sam Corbo). Completely unexpected were focks of 24 and 8 on different portions of Cheat Lake, Monongalia, WV 17 Dec (Terry Bronson). Two reports of Trumpeter Swan for the high- lands of West Virginia, where the species is still an infrequent visitor, involved 1-2 birds likely wintering on Cheat Lake, Monongalia 17 Dec (Terry Bronson, m.ob.) and 23 Feb (2; ph. Mike Slaven et al., m.ob.), and a single bird in Grant able temperature-wise with a high of 70° F on 22 Dec, though the monthly mean tempera- ture was near normal. January and February were very cold; the mean temperature for the months in Harrisburg were 6.7° F below nor- mal and 5.8° F below normal, respectively. The lack of a major cold snap in December proba- bly allowed some lingering songbirds to persist into midwinter; snow events later in the season likely made them easier to detect by concen- trating birds along roads and at feeding sta- tions, though the extreme cold almost certainly limited the survival of less-hardy species. WATERFOWL THROUGH CRANES Records numbers (100+) of Greater White- fronted Geese in midwinter in Ohio were led by 45 at Buck Creek S.P., Clark 23 Jan (Brian Menker), 25 at the Prairie lane wetlands, Wayne 1 Feb (Eli Miller), and 15 at Big Island W.A., Marion 14 Jan (Ron Sempier). The spring fight reached the far ne. of the state, with one in Mahoning (Jeff Harvey) and 4 in Portage (Doug Marcum et al.) 28 Feb. The species is rare on the upper Ohio River, so one at Newell Run, Wash- ington, OH 2 Dec (John Tharp) is noteworthy. Exceptional for the West Virginia highlands, one was in Summers 22 Feb (Jim Phillips). Greater White-fronted Geese were found in an impressive 11 counties in Pennsylvania during the season: Berks, Bucks, Chester, Cumberland, Dauphin, Lebanon, Lehigh, Mercer, Montgomery, Northampton, and Washington. Notable w. of the Allegheny Front, a single Snow Goose in the highlands of Harrison 3 Dec (Joe Hildreth) was the only report for West Virginia. Almost equal- ly scarce along the upper Ohio River corridor, Snow Geese were at Coal Grove, Lawrence, OH Victor W. Fazio, III Tom Johnson –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– T he major story of the season was the huge fight of Snowy Owls into the Re- gion—the largest fight in recent history. The efforts of Project SNOWstorm (projects- nowstorm.org) to capture and tag owls using GPS/GSM transmitters allowed improved un- derstanding of the winter ecology and move- ments of Snowy Owls; for instance, tagged owls typically roosted during the day and hunted at night, and several birds rode ice foes around on the Great Lakes and hunted waterfowl ex- tensively. The quick assembly of this project and the amount of valuable and novel data gleaned from tagged owls makes it one of the true highlights of the winter season and the year. The other big story involved White- winged Scoter. Whereas Surf and Black Scoters were ho-hum for the season, White-winged Scoters staged a massive incursion of inland waters matching the distribution and timing of the Greater Scaup fight and later Red-necked Grebe invasion. Snowfall was well above average for all three months this season. December was quite vari-

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