North American Birds

VOLUME 68 NO4 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/605532

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N O R T H A M E R I C A N B I R D S 530 C o lo r a d o & W yo m i n g Jun (SGM) illustrates how early ad. females start heading south. A molting ad. Red Phala- rope posed for pictures near La Veta 31 Jul (B. Percival, C. Knight, ph. GW) and provided a Huerfano frst. Bonaparte's Gull is Regionally quite rare at this season, so the 3 summering at Behrens Reservoir, Weld 18 Jun–13 Aug (SGM) was shocking. An ad. Laughing Gull 1 Jun at Ball Reservoir (MPe, ph. †SGM) provided a frst for lightly birded Elbert. In summer, Lesser Black-backed Gull is possibly more expected in Colorado than is Herring Gull, but the lat- ter won out this season. One at Lake Meredith, Crowley 15 Jun (DD, T. Smart); 2 at Chatfeld S.P., Jefferson 15 Jul (C. Lawrence); and one in the mountains on Dillon Reservoir, Sum- mit DATE (PJ Ross), where rare at any time, beat the 1-2 Lesser Black-backeds summering at Big Johnson Reservoir, El Paso (MPe) and the single at Jumbo Reservoir, Sedgwick 12 Jul (BK, GM). Wyoming's third summer record (twentieth overall) of Lesser Black-backed Gull was provided by a second-cycle bird at Lake Hattie Reservoir, Albany 19 Jul (SB, LM). A Least Tern was a bit out of range at Lamar 6-9 Jun (D. Leatherman), but another was well outside normal range at Jumbo Reservoir, Lo- gan 28 Jun (BK). The season's only Common Tern was noted at John Martin Reservoir 3 Jun (ph. JT, JS). A Common Ground-Dove reported 19 Jun from Navajo S.P. (†E. DeFonso) would provide a frst for not only Archuleta but all of w. Colo- rado and would be only the state's sixth record. The spread of White-winged Dove continued this year, with reports from 13 Colorado coun- ties but only one on the West Slope (Mesa), and one at Cheyenne, Laramie 9 Jul (C. Seniawski) added to a handful of summer sightings in Wyoming. Only one San Luis Valley breeding site for Yellow-billed Cuckoo is known (Pike's Stockade, Conejos), while the Medano-Zapata Ranch, Alamosa has provided a slew of recent interesting, even astonishing, records, with last year's Brown-crested Flycatcher being the most notable. The Yellow-billed Cuckoo at the Ranch 3 Jun (ph. SGM), while possibly a mi- grant, could presage local breeding. Despite its wide range in se. Colorado, Greater Roadrun- ner can be diffcult to fnd. The species was re- ported to eBird just once this season; compare that to the four seasonal eBird reports of Boreal Owl! Though quite well birded considering its distance from most of Colorado's resident birders, Two Buttes S.W.A., Baca has recorded both screech-owl species, but neither with any regularity (and just one Eastern), so the West- ern Screech-Owl there 29 Jul (SGM) provided only the sixth local record in eBird. In Wyo- ming, Western Screech-Owl occurrence is enig- as continuing from spring at Sandstone Ranch, Weld through at least 16 Jul (m.ob.) paired with a Western Red-tailed at a nest with 2 juvs. Amazingly, others were noted in Boulder 28 Jun–7 Jul (B. Guarente, ph. CS), Broomfeld 28 Jun (probably continuing from May; CS), and Larimer 8 Jul (ph. CS)! Very rare in in nw. Wyoming were Ferruginous Hawks at two sites in Yellowstone 26 Jul, a well-described juv. at Lost Lake, Park (D. Swain) and a single at West Thumb, Teton (AH). If extensive extension of summering/breeding range is a good measure of such, Sandhill Crane is doing quite well in Colorado. Reports of cranes from counties lack- ing breeding populations even just a decade ago came from Delta, Grand, Jackson, Mesa, Sa- guache, Teller, and Weld. Black-necked Stilt is of fairly rare occurrence in summer in Colorado away from the Plains, so of interest were singles in Alamosa, Jackson, and Saguache and 2 in Park 15 Jul (DSu), 10 at Russell Lakes S.W.A., Sagua- che, and 15 at Monte Vista N.W.R., Rio Grande 2 Jul–15 Aug (ph. T. White); the 15 at Monte Vista 3 Aug (SGM) probably provided a record count in the state w. of the Plains. Also fairly rare in Colorado away from the Plains, a Black- bellied Plover 11 Aug in Alamosa (J. Rawinski) provided a rare San Luis Valley record. The 24 Piping Plovers (a fairly high count) 7 Jun at John Martin Reservoir, Bent proceeded to have a good breeding season (Duane Nelson). Single Greater and Lesser Yellowlegs at Rocky Moun- tain Arsenal, Adams 7 Jun (CS) were either two weeks late or two weeks early. Interestingly, the frst "defnite" southbound migrants of both species were found on the very typical frst- of-season date of 22 Jun, the Greater at Wil- liams Fork Reservoir, Grand (A. Shipe) and the Lesser at Arapaho N.W.R., Jackson (SGM). Although Willet is generally seasonally absent from Wyoming's e. plains, multiple locations in Albany harbored combined numbers in the 20s throughout Jun/Jul (m.ob.), though the spe- cies' early initiation of fall migration (usually before Jul) confounds our ability to determine summering status. A southbound Whimbrel at Goldeneye 20-21 Jul (ph. ZH, J. Lawrence) was Wyoming's third for Jul and fourth for summer. Duos of Stilt Sandpipers were quite late 10 Jun at Huntley Pond and Table Mountain (SB, LM), both Goshen, while record early by fve days for Wyoming was a southbound Sanderling at Goldeneye 20 Jul (ZH). A Dunlin at Table Mountain 27 Jul (ZH) provided Wyoming's third summer record. Short-billed Dowitcher is somewhat rare in Colorado, so one at Lake Cheraw, Otero 5 Jun (PH) apparently provided the frst Jun record. Even later, a Long-billed Dowitcher tarried at Lower Latham Reservoir, Weld 8-11 Jun (ph. CS). The 130 Wilson's Phalaropes at Neegronda Reservoir, Kiowa 17 (BO) provided the second-highest Wyoming eBird tally. With only about ten prior sum- mer reports from Wyoming, tantalizing was the presence of up to 5 Cattle Egrets acting as if they were attending nests at Hutton Lake N.W.R., Albany 5-27 Jul (SB, LM, DJ); the only previous Wyoming breeding record was at this site in 1996. Single Green Herons at different sites in e. Park 1 & 21 Jul (both DSu) were in the mountains, where quite rare, while rare in the n. half of Wyoming in summer was a sin- gle Black-crowned Night-Heron, at Ten Sleep, Washakie 26 Jul (CJG). An ad. Yellow-crowned Night-Heron showed up in a Black-crowned colony in Greeley 9-12 Jun (m.ob.; ph. GW); a second-year bird visited Stalker Lake, Yuma 17 Jul (†SGM, SW). The only Glossy Ibis report of the season came from Red Lion S.W.A., Logan 12 Jun (SGM, SW). KITES THROUGH FALCONS A frst-cycle Mississippi Kite photographed over Arriba 1 Jun (SGM) provided a frst for lightly birded Lincoln. An ad. Red-tailed Hawk matching the description of Krider's was noted Though the species has been known as a Colorado breeding species for some 50 years, Mississippi Kite distribution in the state is quirky. It occupies the riparian habitat on the plains the length of the Arkansas River (from Pueblo to the Kansas border), but elsewhere it is very local. The species was thought restricted to the Arkansas drainage until found breeding in northeastern Colorado in the early 1990s at Holyoke, Phillips County during the frst Colorado Breeding Bird Atlas, after which it colonized Sterling, Logan County; Fountain Creek, El Paso County; and, most recently, Greeley, Weld County. There are very few records of migrants away from known breeding areas, and this frst-cycle bird 1 June 2014 at Arriba provided a frst for Lincoln County. Photograph by Steven G. Mlodinow.

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