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.

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V O L U M E 6 8 ( 2 0 1 5 ) • N U M B E R 2 241 S o u t h e r n g r e at p l a i n S become routine at Lincoln and Omaha, NE and around Topeka, KS, almost all presumably of the resident ads. in those cities (fde WRS, JK). A Peregrine Falcon was unexpected in Noble/ Pawnee, OK 7-9 Feb (JW, LM, L&MT). PASSERINES Eastern Phoebe wintered s. of recent limits this season, with only one Kansas report, that in Hodgeman 12 Jan (JC). Say's Phoebes persisted n. to McConaughy 27 Dec (SJD) and Labette, KS 31 Dec–8 Jan (AB, MH, NV, RR; ph.). Northern Shrikes made a better-than-average appearance s. to ne. Kansas (6 reported, fde JK), with one as far s. as Ellis, OK 30 Dec (BD). Following last winter's similar incursion, 7 Steller's Jays were noted in Scotts Bluff, NE; 3 wintered, the last seen on 13 Mar (AK, RMa, SMa). Rare and er- ratic in nw. Cimarron, OK, 3 Steller's were seen there 29 Dec (JS, BH, MKH) and 18 Jan (BC). Western Scrub-Jays wandering onto the plains included one in Finney, KS 11 Jan (JC), 2 in Morton, KS 24 Jan (SS, TC), and one in Stanton, KS, latter present for three weeks in Feb (JC). Thirty Pinyon Jays wandered to Morrill, NE 3 Jan (RMa). The range of Black-billed Magpie in Nebraska has shrunk quite quickly in the past few years, with the strongholds now the North Platte River Valley from McConaughy westward and the Pine Ridge; only isolated colonies persist elsewhere (fde WRS). Changes in Chihuahuan Raven numbers warrant moni- toring; this season, several were noted along the 100th meridian in Oklahoma: 2 were in Jackson 29 Dec (BC), 3 at two locations in Ellis 15 Feb (L&MT, JO), and one in Roger Mills 15 Feb (L&MT). Among early arriving swallows at Red Slough were a Purple Martin 19 Feb, 3 Tree Swallows 18 Feb, and a Barn Swallow 26 Feb (DA). A Bewick's Wren in Linn, KS 19 Jan (MM) was n. of the usual se. Kansas winter range. A House Wren braved Scott, KS 1 Dec of fewer than 10 Kansas records. Only 3 Thayer's Gulls were reported in Ne- braska this season (fde WRS), but 13 were identifed in Kansas, including 4 at Quivira 28 Dec (MG, m.ob.). A remarkable 12 Thayer's were counted at Oklahoma City 16 Jan (JAG); re- cords there spanned from 11 Dec (2; JAG, VF) through 15 Feb (TK). At the Oklahoma City lakes, several birds that seemed intermediate between Kumlien's Iceland and Thayer's Gulls were noted 11-29 Jan (JAG et al.). At least 23 Glaucous Gulls were reported from all three states, with the fewest in Nebraska. A Herring Gull x Glaucous Gull hybrid was at Hefner 16-18 Jan (JAG). Lesser Black-backed Gull is rare but increasing in the Region; none were found in Nebraska, but 9 were reported from Kansas (fde JK) and 17 from Oklahoma (fde JAG), including a high count of 8 at Hef- ner 29 Jan (JAG). Described as an "increasingly likely vagrant" in Kansas (JK), the Region had fve records of Great Black-backed Gull this season, from Cedar, NE 6 Dec (PD), Quivira 21 Dec (MG, ML), Reno, KS 26 Jan (PJ, TE), Hef- ner 7-10 Jan (BD, CE, m.ob.), and Kay, OK 27 Feb (JWA, KW). White-winged Dove is still uncommon in the e. part of the Region; 1-2 were in Dodge, NE 1-4 Dec (CS) and 9 in Tulsa, OK 14 Dec (JL). The only Inca Dove report was of 5 in McCurtain, OK 8 Feb (DA). A Burrowing Owl was on a Pawnee, KS road 22 Dec after a snow- storm (MHa, SH). Snowy Owl staged a major invasion in the ne. United States this winter; reports in the Region were of 6 in Nebraska (fde WRS) and a more impressive 14 in Kan- sas, including 3 at Cheyenne Bottoms during the period (fde JK). Rather amazing, even for Oklahoma, was a Great Horned Owl on a nest in Comanche 20 Dec (JAG), a very early start. Northern Saw-whet Owls were heard in the ce- dar canyons in Lincoln late Jan–early Mar (LD). A tardy ad. male Rufous Hummingbird at a Johnson feeder 6 Dec was banded (fde MG); it made the third Dec record for Kansas. A Lewis's Woodpecker in Grady, OK for the period (BA, m.ob.) was quite far e. of its usual Cimarron range. Red-headed Woodpeckers remained northward and westward, with good counts in se. Nebraska and singles in Cherry, NE 4 Jan (MB), Boone, NE 26 Dec (WM), Harvey, KS 14 Dec (EM), and Saline, KS (no date; BG). Single Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers were detected w. to McConaughy 1-8 Feb (J&GB) and Lincoln, NE 28 Dec (TJW). A female Hairy Woodpecker of the Rocky Mountains subspecies continued in a Scotts Bluff, NE yard through the winter (KD). Mid-winter reports of Peregrine Falcon have Hawks has shifted northward, and they have become almost non-existent in Oklahoma near and s. and e. of I-44 (fde JAG). Easterly reports of Golden Eagle in the Region are un- common; there were at least 10 total from all states, most imms. (fde WRS, JK, JAG). As with Golden Eagle, Prairie Falcon occurs eastward in small numbers, mostly in the n. portion of the Region; 5 were reported in se. Nebraska (fde WRS), more than usual. Yellow Rail winters in the Region only at Red Slough; counts of 4 there 14 Dec and one on 22 Feb (CB et al.) during rope drags were lower than in recent years. Making only the second Kansas record of Sora for Jan, one was in Russell 19 Jan (MR). A Common Gal- linule at Red Slough 11 Dec (DA) was tardy; most depart by late Oct. Rather early were the 2 Whooping Cranes at Cheyenne Bottoms 28 Feb (MHa). A Greater Yellowlegs at Quivira 21 Feb (BJ) also was early. A few Spotted Sand- pipers winter in the se. corner of the Region, including Oklahoma singles in McCurtain 7 Dec (DA), Cherokee 14 Feb (JWA), and Coman- che 10 Jan (HM, JAG et al.). An ad. Solitary Sandpiper photographed along the Arkansas River in Sedgwick 29-30 Dec (JC) provided a frst Kansas winter record; the previous late date was 27 Oct. Long-billed Dowitchers can winter n. into Oklahoma, although they were absent this season; 7 in Canadian 25 Feb (DM) were likely early migrants. Rather amazing was the count of 490 Wilson's Snipe at Red Slough 17 Dec (DA). Franklin's Gulls can appear in the Region during winter somewhat randomly. This sea- son, 9 Franklin's were at six locations in Ne- braska and Kansas through 4 Jan (fde WRS, JK), including one in breeding plumage at Qui- vira 28 Dec–4 Jan (MC, MG); another was in Oklahoma at Hefner 15 Jan–1 Feb (JW, JAG, m.ob.). Little Gull is a rare winter visitor in Oklahoma, where 3 were seen this season: in Tulsa 14-23 Dec (BC), at Hefner 26 Dec–6 Jan (JWA, m.ob.), and in Cleveland 29 Dec–1 Jan (JAG, EK, m.ob.). Mew Gull is annual in winter at McConaughy, where one was found 27-29 Dec (SJD, LE), but the species is quite rare in Oklahoma, where one, eluding most observ- ers, was at Hefner 9-10 Jan (MP, TK). Califor- nia Gulls have been reported more often in re- cent years, as observers learn to identify them. Away from McConaughy, there were 16 birds reported from 12 locations in all three states (fde WRS, JK, JAG). Good counts of Herring Gull included 400+ at Hefner 16 Jan (JAG) and 265 at Clinton Lake, Douglas, KS 19 Dec, 250 of which were ads. (JK). An Iceland Gull, ex- ceptional in Oklahoma, was photographed at Hefner 17 Dec (JAG); another was at Webster Reservoir, Rooks 21 Feb (JVK), furnishing one This Great Black-backed Gull was found by Bill Difn 7-10 (here 10) January 2014 at Lake Hefner, Oklahoma County, furnishing one of very few records for Oklahoma. Photograph by Chad Ellis.

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