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 2 265 the second C.B.C. record; a male at Ketchikan was caught by a Northern Goshawk 4 Jan (ED); and a fock of up to 13 birds wintered at Juneau's Lemon Creek 13 Dec–22 Feb (NRH, ACC, GBV). Ket- chikan's winter highlight had to be a Western Meadowlark that remained at the North Point Higgins School felds 5 Jan–16 Feb (AWP, SCH); there are nine prior Ketchikan area records, including several that wintered at the same site. A male Brambling, frst located at a feeder in Unalaska Valley near Unalaska 21 Jan, was re-located along town creek 28 Jan–14 Feb (ph. SG); another spent the season at Seward (CAG, JS et al.). It was an off year for most fnches, with only Red Crossbills showing well but only in Southeast. Common Redpolls continued to be virtually absent across the Region, with only sporadic small groups noted. A group of 10+ Pine Siskins was noted in the second half of the season around Unalaska, where the species is casual. Up to 12 House Sparrows were observed on numerous occasions at Ketchikan through the period (AWP, SCH), while a male that vis- ited a Petersburg feeder through the end of Feb (BLH, ELY) was considered the same bird that has been observed in the area since Dec 2012. Contributors and observers (area compilers in boldface): B. A. Agler, J. B. Allen, R. H. Arm- strong, G. S. Baluss, R. & S. Berns, A. Bowman, L. K. & T. A. Burke, D. Chorman, R. Collman, D. Crowson, A. C. Courtney, E. DeBoer, L. H. DeCicco (eBird), B. H. Demerjian, L. Devaney, N. DeWitt (Interior), T. Dimarzio, N. K. Drum- heller, M. R. Goff, S. Golodoff, T. Goodrich, C. A. Griswold, N. R. Hajdukovich (eBird), K. Hart, N. Hayward, S. C. Heinl (Southeast), C. Heitman, H. Herter, B. L. Hunter, J. A. Johnson, W. Keys, B. & G. Kirsch, J. F. Koerner, D. Ku- biak, A. J. Lang (South-coastal), J. Leighton, N. Lethcoe, H. P. Lentfer, J. H. Lewis, T. M. Lewis, R. A. MacIntosh, D. MacPhail, N. Mollett, S. L. Neilson, E. J. Nelson, B. B. Paige, E. Parker, B. H. Pawuk, B. Peluso, L. M. Platt, L. Rizzuto- Phillips, A. W. Piston (Southeast), J. Pontii, T. Quinn, L. L. Raymond, T. Reiser, M. Renner, P. A. Rose, J. F. Saracco, R. L. Scher, S. Schuette, M. W. Schwan, S. Scordino, P. Scully, D. W. Sonneborn, J. Staab, G. P. Streveler, S. Stude- baker, C. P. Susie, E. Syrene, C. & K. Tarbox, T. Tobish, G. B. van Vliet, J. Voss, J. Walters, M. L. Ward, N. Warnock, E. L. Young, W. T. Young, K. Zervos. n –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– Thede Tobish, 2510 Foraker Drive, Anchorage, Alaska 99517, (tgtljo@gmail.com) were signifcant records. A Common Yellowthroat at Lake Rose Tead, Kodiak 23-25 Dec (ph. SS) made Alaska's frst winter record. A waif Townsend's War- bler was attracted to an active feeder in the com- munity of Cape Chiniak on Kodiak 18 Jan (†RAM); this species is casual in win- ter, mostly recorded from feeders at Kodiak and in s. Southeast. The Juneau area Spotted Towhee that arrived in early Nov was re-located spo- radically in the same area through 9 Feb (GBV, NRH). The Chipping Sparrow that lingered at Sitka 16-27 Dec (MLW) was very late, and another that attempted to overwinter at An- chorage 9 Dec–25 Jan (TT et al.) made only the second local winter record and one of still very few for the Region. Savannah Sparrows are also quite rare after Nov; one on Kruzof Island 17 Dec (NRH) was late, and another that spent the season at a Sitka feeder (ph. EP) added to the Region's two-dozen or so mid-winter observa- tions. MacIntosh described Lincoln's Sparrow as less common than usual at Kodiak this season; 2 were reported for the period, near Chiniak Bay 14-15 Dec (NW, SS, RAM) and at a Kodiak city feeder 18 Feb+ (RAM, DK). Two Swamp Sparrows were in Southeast, at Ketchikan early Nov–14 Dec (SCH) and Sitka 4 Jan–14 Feb (ph. MRG). Far more noteworthy was one at Seward 12 Dec–19 Jan (RC, ph. CAG, fde LJD), a local frst and a frst winter record for South-coastal Alaska. The usual handful of White-throated Sparrows wintered in Southeast, including one at Juneau (GBV), 2 at Sitka (MRG), and 3 at Ketchikan (AWP, SCH, CPS). Notable White- throateds elsewhere were a single at a Dilling- ham feeder late Nov–2 Jan (EJN), at least one at Seward 28 Dec–24 Feb (TD, CAG et al.), and 2 at Homer 12 Jan+ (DC, ph. AJL et al.). Twenty- six White-crowned Sparrows constituted the Region's highest count this season, at a Homer feeder 21 Dec (LHD, SS). Three extralimital Golden-crowned Sparrows spent the entire sea- son at Dutch Harbor feeders (ph. SG), where they have been occasional in the past few win- ters. At least 2 Dark-eyed Juncos hung out with the above noted sparrows at Dutch Harbor. The Kenai Peninsula's second Rustic Bunting ap- peared at a Homer feeder 11-27 Dec (ph. TR, TQ, AJL et al.). This bird or another showed up at another feeder several km away 16-21 Feb, where it was joined by a second bird 19-20 Feb (TQ, fde AJL). There are few mid-winter Rustic Bunting records for the Region. Red-winged Blackbirds made a decent win- ter showing from several locations. Two at Gla- cier Bay 14 Dec (ph. NKD) constituted only are wintering, especially in Ketchikan: at least 5 were seen regularly (AWP, SCH, JFK), with other multiple sightings from the Ketchikan road system. At least 6 Anna's were observed at Sitka (ph. MRG et al.) and 6 at Juneau (ph. PAR, GBV, KH). Rare for Southeast, 2 American Three-toed Woodpeckers at Gustavus 4 & 16 Dec (NKD) provided the only signifcant winter observation. A Northern Flicker described as being seen throughout the season at Homer was confrmed 25 Feb (GK, KT, CT), the only winter record away from Southeast. PASSERINES A Northern Shrike at Unalaska 1 & 19 Dec (SG) was very rare for the Aleutians, where nearly all records come from the frst half of winter. It is hard to fathom, but Steller's Jays were vir- tually absent from many areas of s. Southeast this winter and less common elsewhere away from Juneau. Essentially none were found at Ketchikan (AWP, SCH), w. Prince of Wales Is- land (JL), Petersburg (BLH), or Sitka (MRG). The abundance of this resident can vary year to year, and it was all but absent once before at Ketchikan, in the winter of 2000-2001. A single feeder-bound Red-breasted Nuthatch in Dillingham frst reported 17 Feb was joined by a second bird 23 Feb (EJN); both were seen into Mar. There are few Alaska winter records from areas w. of the Cook Inlet Basin. After a large die-off of Pacifc Wrens from the severe weather of winter 2011-2012, evidence of their rebound was dramatic this season at Kodiak, where two breeding seasons removed from the mortality event, the species now seems to be recover- ing strongly (RAM). In contrast, numbers of Golden-crowned Kinglets remain depressed at Kodiak following that harsh winter: just 5 were noted on the C.B.C.s this season, compared to 399 in 2010 and 126 in 2011 (RAM). A one- day Townsend's Solitaire reported at Soldotna 6 Jan (GK, BK, KT, CT) was the season's only signifcant fnd. Hermit Thrush remains very rare in the Region after Dec; one at Sitka 5 Feb was the only report. First reported 4 Dec (PS), Anchorage's famed Dusky Thrush returned for its third winter (m.ob.). American Robins con- tinue to expand their winter population in the Anchorage area, with this season's count maxed out at 127 in the Turnagain neighborhood 15 Feb (TT). A single robin was a rare winter fnd at Fairbanks 29 Dec (NRH). European Star- lings made a strong showing at Juneau, where 45 downtown provided the second highest lo- cal count (GBV). Getting late was an American Pipit at Gustavus 22 Dec (NKD, JFS, JAJ); it is not unusual to still fnd American Pipits into mid-Dec, mainly in Southeast. Because most Lapland Longspurs exit the Re- gion by mid-Dec, singles at Kodiak 2 Jan (RAM) and at Gustavus through 27 Feb (ph. NKD) A l A s k A This hardy Common Yellowthroat that appeared in willow thickets along a small open creek 23-25 (here 23) December 2013 constituted Kodiak's frst ever record and Alaska's frst in winter. Photograph by Stacy Studebaker.

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