North American Birds

VOLUME 69 No1 2016

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:

Contents of this Issue


Page 122 of 179

V O L U M E 6 9 ( 2 0 1 5 ) • N U M B E R 1 121 C O LO R A D O & W YO M I N G count, while singles lingered through 14 Nov at both Rocky Mountain Arsenal N.W.R., Adams and Fruitgrowers Reservoir, Delta (E. Horn), where the species is somewhat rare. Expected in fall but uncommonly reported, Wyoming had four Snowy Egret reports 17-31 Aug involving 1-3 birds, all from the s. tier. A white-morph Reddish Egret at John Martin 8 Sep (SGM) con - tinued the recent string of annual occurrence in Colorado (since 2008; most in the Lower Arkansas drainage). Two Cattle Egrets at Blake's Pond, Albany 2 Aug (DJ) and a single that con - tinued from the summer (when suspected of nesting) until 13 Aug at Hutton Lake (DJ, VS) provided Wyoming's twelfth and thirteenth fall reports. The 115 Cattle Egrets at Lower Latham Reservoir, Weld 5 Sep (SGM) provided a record Colorado fall tally. A juv. Green Heron was very late at Cañon City, Fremont 9 Nov (RM), while single juv. Yellow-crowned Night-Herons were noted at Fort Collins, Larimer 16-20 Sep (ph. DW) and at Neesopah Reservoir, Kiowa 24 Sep (ph. SGM, NM); the species is annual in tiny numbers in Colorado. An ad. Glossy Ibis, along with a hybrid ibis, at Smith Reservoir, Costilla 3 Aug (SGM) provided one of few records for the San Luis Valley, though that area hosts the lion's share of Colorado's breeding Plegadis. Turkey Vultures are Regionally very rare af - ter mid-Oct, so one at Denver 20 Oct (J. Roller) and 2 seen from I-80 in Uinta, WY 26 Oct (EC) were late. Historically, Ospreys exited Wyoming by early Oct and Colorado by mid-Oct, but over the past few years, the species has been reported much later. This season saw eight Wyoming re - ports of singles 15 Oct–3 Nov, the site of the last being Seedskadee N.W.R. (TK), while Colorado hosted 6 singles 1-5 Nov, one each in Bent, El Paso, Las Animas, Eagle, Baca, and Larimer. As for the previous two species, Mississippi Kites continue to linger late in Colorado; one at Greeley, Weld 17 Oct (†SGM) was record late by 12 days. Of 23 Broad-winged Hawks in Colorado (27 Aug–22 Oct), the 5 at Crow Valley 29 Sep (SGM) provided the only multiple-in - dividual report, and a dark morph was late 22 Oct at Barr (M. San Miguel). Both of Wyoming's fall Broad-winged Hawks were very late: singles in Crook 25 Oct (JA) and at Lander, Fremont 24 Nov (DN), the latter record late by 23 days. After Oct, Ferruginous Hawks become enigmatic in Wyoming, so the two Nov reports are of inter - est: 2 at Hutton Lake 2-8 Nov (CP) and one near Sheridan, Sheridan 23 Nov (M. McCormack). Northern Red-tailed Hawk (B. j. abieticola) is both poorly known and very seldom reported from s. of its taiga breeding range, so one at Union Reservoir 22 Nov (SGM) provides anoth - er datum for consideration. Just a tad early were the frsts of the season for both Harlan's Hawk at Boulder 3 Oct (DD) and Rough-legged Hawk at Masonville, Larimer 4 Oct (Jim Thompson). Wyoming had two reports of single Virginia Rail after Aug, when its migratory season be - comes poorly understood in the state: 6 Sep at Hutton Lake (SB, LM, CP, NB) and 27 Sep at Hereford (TF). A Sora at Moore's Reservoir, Johnson 23 Oct (CMr) provided only the second Wyoming report from late Oct (record late is 28 Oct), while 5 scattered in four counties were noted 9-23 Nov in Colorado, where tiny num - bers winter. SHOREBIRDS THROUGH WOODPECKERS The 15 Black-necked Stilts at Monte Vista N.W.R. 3 Aug (SGM) may well represent an all-time high count for the lightly birded San Luis Valley, while the latest this season (6 Oct at Boyd Lake; NK) provided only the sixth Colorado Oct re - port and was a week shy of being record late. An impressive gathering of 200 American Avocets at Pathfnder N.W.R., Natrona 14 Sep (TA) was likely a record fall tally for Wyoming, while 3 re - ported 27 Oct at Hutton Lake (CP) were quite late. Two well-described juv. Snowy Plovers 11 Sep at Evansville, Natrona (CMn) provided not only a very rare fall report for Wyoming but were also record late by 26 days, while two early Oct reports of 2 each (Otero 4 Oct; BKP, CK and Bent 5 Oct; MP) provided very rare Colorado Oct re - cords of the species. The 120 Mountain Plovers staging at Adobe Creek Reservoir, Bent 22 Sep (Duane Nelson, JS, JT) were late for so many, at least in recent years. While the latest previous three-digit Colorado count was on 11 Aug 2002, large historic counts/estimates in the state include one of 2500 on Pawnee N.G., Weld 23 Sep 1972. The latest Spotted Sandpiper (and one of SA With the Harlequin Duck population of nw. Wyoming, the conventional wisdom has been that females and hatch-year birds depart in Aug (becoming rare by early Sep) to join the males that move earlier to the Pacifc Coast's Strait of Georgia and Hecate Strait. Many of the females with young do stay into late Sep, with fall abundance actually peaking in mid- to late Sep, probably because groups stage prior to departure. This season, about 19 birds were tallied at the traditional LeHardy Rapids location in Yellowstone, Park 8 Sep (R. Wolcott), and multiple reports were registered of 1-11 birds from LeHardy Rapids and several other Yellowstone locations (both Park and Teton) through late Sep, with the latest observation being of 2 on 3 Oct at LeHardy Rapids (ph. ZH). Black Scoter (5 Nov+) was found in eight. The sole Barrow's Goldeneye report e. of 108˚ longi - tude in Wyoming, where rare, was of a female at Hutton Lake 18-19 Oct (CP, LM, DE, NB). Just over two decades ago, Hooded Merganser was considered exceedingly rare in Colorado in summer, with just one breeding record. This year saw the largest summer population of the species ever (noted in six counties in Aug!), with an incredible one-site maximum of 22 on a gravel-pit pond near Fort Collins, Larimer 29 Aug (DW). The 2500 Ruddy Ducks at Holbrook Reservoir, Otero 5 Oct (S. Oswald) made for a record-high fall Colorado tally. Though recently removed from Colorado's re- view list, Red-throated Loon remains fairly rare, as illustrated by just two reports this season: sin - gles at Chatfeld Reservoir, Douglas 25 Oct (JK et al.) and Union Reservoir, Weld 9-10 Nov (SGM). Pacifc Loons were noted 15 Oct+ in 12 Colorado counties. Wyoming's fall Common Loon move - ment was anemic, with 28 reports involving only 62 birds and an unexciting maximum of 6 at each of two locations. Colorado usually lags well behind its neighbor in Common Loon numbers, so the 16 at Pueblo Reservoir, Pueblo 9 Nov (BKP) provided a very low fall high count. Horned Grebes, histor - ically unexpected in the Region until after 20 Sep, continued the recent trend of earlier arrival. Nine Wyoming reports of 23 birds prior to that date were initiated 1 Sep by 5 at Fontenelle (DJ) and 4 on Goldeneye Reservoir, Natrona (ZH). However, one on 23 Aug at Duck Lake, Larimer (SGM) was even earlier. Red-necked Grebes were noted in 11 Colorado counties, with the frst being at least a month early 4 Sep at Boulder Reservoir, Boulder (M. Minner-Lee), while Wyoming's thirtieth fall Red-necked Grebe visited Casper 1 Oct (ZH). Ten Clark's Grebes at Fontenelle 1 Sep (DJ) were not only impressive but almost certainly a record fall concentration for the state, while the Region's latest was a single 5 Nov at Highline Reservoir, Mesa (MH), where the species is not at all regu - lar. Eighteen hybrid Aechmophorus were noted in seven Colorado counties (4 Aug–24 Nov; most by SGM). Two American White Pelicans at Alcova Reservoir, Natrona 27 Nov (RW) were not only about a month late but also provided the frst Wyoming Nov record that was not of a single in - dividual. With only four fall reports for Wyoming in the last ten years (in eBird), it was refreshing to see four reports this fall alone of American Bittern (2-29 Aug). Wyoming had two Great Egret reports this fall, both in Albany and both singles, adding to about 10 previous fall re - cords: Hutton Lake 17 Aug (DJ, SB, LM) and a very late bird at Laramie 12 Oct (CP) provid - ing only the third Oct report for the state. The 45 Great Egrets tallied at Boyd Lake, Larimer 21 Sep (KMD, JK) made for a Colorado record fall

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of North American Birds - VOLUME 69 No1 2016