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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V O L U M E 6 8 ( 2 0 1 5 ) • N U M B E R 2 223 W e s t e r n g r e at l a k e s gle Harris's Sparrows in La Crosse 14 Dec (SCH) and Brown 21 Dec–4 Feb (CHe), while Michi- gan had birds in Houghton 14 Dec–6 Jan (LDW) and Keweenaw 30 Dec (KK). Minnesota's only White-crowned Sparrows were singles in St. Louis 28 Dec (JW), Dakota 28-31 Dec (ADS, KDS), and Steele 3-17 Feb (NFT). Michigan's Summer Tanagers lingered until 2 Dec in Grand Traverse (SSn) and through 14 Dec in Marquette (QS), while the only Rose- breasted Grosbeak was a female found injured in Ramsey, MN 9 Dec (AXH). A male Yellow- headed Blackbird was found in Monroe, MI 7 Jan (MG). Becoming a regular early winter theme in Wisconsin were Baltimore Orioles lingering from fall at feeders; the frst stayed through 12 Dec in Fond du Lac (DFr) and the second through 14 Dec in La Crosse (RMu). Michigan had a hatch-year female Baltimore Oriole in Ottawa 7 Dec (THe) as well as a male in Cass 10 Dec (LM). Winter fnches were very scarce this winter, with cumulative totals likely at an all-time low. Pine Grosbeak reports from 10 Minnesota counties were the fewest since the winter of 2002-2003; Wisconsin totaled only 8 grosbeaks from three counties. Min- nesota's Red Crossbill sightings were limited to four counties, with the largest fock being only 8 birds; White-winged Crossbill reports were limited 30 in St. Louis 20 Dec (AXH), one in Lake 8 Feb (WH), and 2 on Washington 20 Feb (EB). In Wisconsin, only 10 crossbills were detected all season! Red Crossbills were found in three counties, totaling 8 individuals, while only single White-wingeds were detected in two counties. Redpoll totals were also very low, with no Hoary Redpolls reported. Wisconsin had single Common Redpolls in two counties, while Minnesota reported on 40 individuals Lower Peninsula. Four solitaires in three coun- ties was about average for Wisconsin. A Her- mit Thrush in Keweenaw, MI 12-13 Jan (DNS, DFl) succumbed to the winter conditions and was surely the state's northernmost Jan record. Single Varied Thrushes in St. Louis 5 Dec (fde JWL), Beltrami 6 Dec (fde JMJ), and St. Louis 27 Dec (AM, MLH, JLK, PHS) made the few- est winter records for Minnesota since 1990. Wisconsin had only 5 Varied Thrushes in fve counties, which is about normal but just half the number reported last winter. Michigan had a single Varied Thrush in Cass 16 Dec (RA). THRASHERS THROUGH FINCHES Minnesota's Brown Thrasher reports came from Olmsted 15 Dec (JWH, CH, CHo), Sherburne 12-21 Dec (SS), and Hennepin 5-20 Jan (AXH). The 2 Northern Mockingbirds found in Wis- consin made a normal winter count; unusual, however, was that they were in the extreme ne. corner of the state in such a brutal winter. Michigan's northernmost mockingbird report came from Charlevoix 2 Dec (SJ). Michigan hosted the only American Pipits, singles in Gen- esee 1 Dec (JSP), St. Clair 3 Dec (TH), and Mon- roe 23 Feb (ATC). After last winter's irruption, Bohemian Waxwings were scarce this winter. Hardy warblers in Michigan were an Orange- crowned Warbler and Common Yellowthroat in St. Clair 3 Dec (TH) and a Pine Warbler in Bay from fall through 7 Jan (GEP). A Green-tailed Towhee frequented a feeder in Montcalm, MI from late Dec+ (JJ). Minnesota's Eastern Towhee reports were a male in Goodhue 29 Dec (SW) and a female in Brown 1-3 Feb (PB, MO, RAE). Minnesota also had a late Chipping Sparrow in Stearns 8 Dec (MJB) and the state's frst north- erly winter Field Sparrow since 1984 in Cass 6 Dec (BAW). Vesper Sparrows were found in Richland, WI 14 Dec (BD) and Isabella, MI 15 Dec (SL). Unusual so far n. was a Savannah Sparrow in Aitkin, MN 7 Dec (JPR); 2 were found in Olmsted 21 Dec (WH). Michigan birders found Savannah Sparrows in four different counties, with a max of 2 in Monroe 21 Dec (LH, KO). Harris's Sparrows were found in six Minnesota counties. Wisconsin had sin- is, with a maximum of 7 on 1 Dec (JLK). OWLS THROUGH THRUSHES Noteworthy in Minnesota was a southerly Northern Hawk Owl in McLeod 10-17 Jan and 23-24 Feb (KL, WCM, m.ob.), while Wiscon- sin had singles in Douglas 20 Dec (DE, RJ) and Door 29 Dec+ (MWa). Michigan's only hawk owl was in Charlevoix 21-24 Dec (DL), and the state's only Great Gray Owls were in Chip- pewa 1-2 (JCD, DL) & 8 Feb (DBo, KC). Rare in Michigan was a Boreal Owl in Chippewa 15 Feb (JP), while Minnesota had reports from three counties. The only hummingbird reports came from Michigan, where a very late Ruby- throated Hummingbird hunkered down in Kent through 7 Dec (CPu, m.ob.) and 5 Rufous Hummingbirds continued from fall. Continu- ing from fall and remaining through the season was the Lewis's Woodpecker in Minnesota's Roseau/Lake of the Woods (JA), representing the state's fourth record and second to overwin- ter. Minnesota also hosted the only American Three-toed Woodpeckers, with 4 in Lake of the Woods 8 Jan (MHK). Pileated Woodpeckers have been expanding across s. Michigan, but one in Monroe 15-16 Feb (PMH) was likely a frst county record. Wisconsin birders found 2 Gyrfalcons, singles in Door 1-19 Dec (TM) and Portage 25 Jan+; Michigan had a single Gyrfalcon in Chippewa 9 Feb (JKr). Very uncommon, es- pecially in such a harsh winter, were single Eastern Phoebes in Wisconsin's Portage 6 Dec (ALD) and Grant 19 Feb (KMK). A trail cam captured images of a Black-billed Magpie that lingered in Bayfeld, WI from fall through 9 Jan (fde RBr). Fish Crows continue to dine at the landfll in Berrien, MI. Rare was a Tree Swal- low in St. Clair, MI 3 Dec (TH). Minnesota reported 3 Winter Wrens, singles in Hennepin 1 Jan (DWK), Houston 4-10 Jan (SCH, m.ob.), and Hennepin 26 Jan (DWK). Compared to last winter's 19 Carolina Wrens, numbers were drastically lower in Minnesota this winter, with singles in Dakota 8-14 Dec (DDr), Houston 14- 15 Feb (RM), and Crow Wing 10 Jan–1 Feb (PSP, JPR). A cold Ruby-crowned Kinglet was found in Wayne, MI 23 Dec (JSt). An Eastern Bluebird in Delta 1 Dec (JJP) was Michigan's frst winter record for the Upper Peninsula in over 50 years! Townsend's Solitaires were present in numbers slightly above average in Minnesota, with 12 birds in 10 counties; the only northerly report was from Hubbard 5 Dec (DPJ), and frst county records came from Jackson 12 Dec (HHD) and Cottonwood 6 Feb (DBM). The total of 2 solitaires in Michigan's Upper Peninsula was normal, but singles in Mason 16 Dec–16 Feb (DCD, m.ob.) and Berrien (KM, m.ob.) were noteworthy for the sa Snowy Owls were recorded in historic numbers; the invasion that began during the fall season extended well into the spring. In Minnesota, owls were reported from 67 of 87 counties, making this the most widespread invasion since the winter of 1993-1994. In Wisconsin, the movement peaked after mid-Dec and resulted in the most Snowy Owls ever recorded in the state; at least 271 unique individuals were seen by early Feb! The numbers in Michigan were similar, with the total number certainly in the hundreds. Michigan birders enjoyed a wintering Green-tailed Towhee at Lakeview, Montcalm County, just the eleventh for the state. It was frst noticed in late December 2013 and was last seen 13 March 2014 (here some time in January). Photograph by Jack Johnson.

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