North American Birds

VOLUME 69 NO2 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.

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196 N O R T H A M E R I C A N B I R D S R U F O U S - N E C K E D W O O D - R A I L I N N E W M E X I C O Axel Cubilla, J. 2016. Cerro Hoya expe- dition. Online: http://janbirdingblog. expedition.html. Barrett, D. G. 1962. The Birds of the Mexi- can State of Tabasco. Ph.D. dissertation. Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Belcher, C., and G. D. Smooker. 1935. Birds of the Colony of Trinidad and Tobago, Part 2. Ibis 1935: 279-297. Best, B. J., C. T. Clarke, M. Checker, A. L. Broom, R. M. Thewlis, W. Duckworth, and A. McNab. 1993. Distributional re- cords, natural history notes, and conser- vation of some poorly known birds from southwestern Ecuador and northwestern Peru. Bulletin of the British Ornithologists' Club 113: 108-119. BirdLife International. 2012. Rufous-necked Wood-Rail (Aramides axillaris) in: Bird Species Distribution Maps of the World. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015-3. Online: http://maps.iuc- Blake, E. R. 1977. Manual of Neotropical Birds. Volume 1. University Chicago Press, Chicago, Illinois. Blem, C. R. 1980. A Paint-billed Crake in Virginia. Wilson Bulletin 92: 393-394. Boyer, E. 2014. Rufous-necked Wood- Rail (Aramides axillaris), in: Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, ed.). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. Online: http://neotropical.birds. spp=137396. Braun, M. J., D. W. Finch, M. B. Robbins, and B. K. Schmidt. 2007. A Field Check- list of the Birds of Guyana. Second edition. Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. Chapman, F. M. 1926. The distribution of bird-life in Ecuador: a contribution to a study of the origin of Andean bird-life. Bulletin American Museum Natural History 55: 1-784. Dickinson, E. C., and J. V. Remsen, Jr. 2013. The Howard and Moore Complete Checklist of the Birds of the World. Volume 1. Fourth edition. Aves Press, Eastbourne, United Kingdom. Eisermann, K. 2003. First records of the White-crowned Pigeon (Columba leuco- cephala), the Rufous-necked Wood-Rail (Aramides axillaris), and the Snowy Cot- inga (Carpodectes nitidus) for Guatemala. Ornitología Neotropical 14: 127-128. Fagan, J., and O. Komar. in press. Peterson escaped or released captive are far less cred- itable. Almost three years after the bird's ap- pearance, we have been able to locate no in- formation that would alter that conclusion. Situated in the Rio Grande Valley adjacent the Rio Grande, Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge (elevation 1370 m) is inten- sively managed for waterfowl and consists of numerous ponds, marshes, canals, wet meadows, and seasonally flooded wood- lands of varying sizes. It represents one of the largest freshwater marsh complexes in the southwestern United States and as such it is highly attractive to vagrant waterbirds and marsh birds, some of which may be de- tected by the large number of birders and bi- ologists who visit the refuge throughout the year. Over the years, the refuge has hosted a number of New Mexico rarities, including Sharp-tailed Sandpiper (Calidris acuminata), Little Gull (Hydrocoloeus minutus), and White Wagtail (Motacilla alba), and recently species from farther south such as Purple Gallinule (Porphyrio martinicus) in 1991 (Williams and Hubbard 1991a, 1991b), Sungrebe (Heliornis fulica) in 2008 (Williams et al. 2009), Gulf Coast Clapper Rail (Rallus crepitans saturatus) in 2009 and 2010 (Williams 2009, 2010), and Elegant Tern (Thalasseus elegans) in 2010 (Williams 2010). The Rufous-necked Wood-Rail record of 2013 accords with this general phenomenon. Acknowledgments For correspondence on the status and dis- tribution of Rufous-necked Wood-Rail in Central and South America and Mexico, we thank George Angehr, Steve Hilty, Steve N. G. Howell, Marshall J. Iliff, Lee Jones, Oliver Komar, Patrick O'Donnell, Robert Ridgely, Roland Rumm, and Jim Zook. John Parme- ter was particularly helpful in compiling and analyzing information on the issue of captive birds. Donald Bruning and Josef Lindholm provided valuable background information on zoos, avaries, and the caged bird trade. Literature cited American Birding Association. 2015. Rare Bird Alert, 23 October 2015 [with pho- tograph of Spotted Rail]. Online: http:// tober-23-2015.html. Angehr, G. R., D. Engleman, and L. Engle- man. 2008. A Bird Finding Guide to Pana- ma. Comstock, Ithaca, New York. Arnold, K. A. 1978. First United States re- cord of Paint-billed Crake (Neocrex ery- throps). Auk 95: 745-746. ily (e.g., Ripley 1977, Remsen and Parker 1990, Taylor 1998). Among Neotropical ral- lids that are not known to be regular long- distance migrants, the United States records of Paint-billed Crake (Neocrex erythrops) and Spotted Rail (Pardirallus maculatus) stand out: Paint-billed Crake in Texas (Arnold 1978) and Virginia (Blem 1980) and Spot- ted Rail once in Pennsylvania and twice in Texas (Parkes et al. 1978, American Birding Association 2015); all of these records have been accepted as likely pertaining to natu- rally occurring vagrants. Both species have populations and/or occur as vagrants on is- lands well offshore; a Spotted Rail specimen from the Juan Fernández Islands, some 650 km off the coast of Chile (Parkes et al. 1978), is notable but by no means unusual in the rail family, in which vagrancy of thousands of kilometers is frequently documented. Among the wood-rails, Little Wood- Rail (A. mangle), a monotypic Brazilian en- demic long considered a resident of coastal mangroves—but with a scattering of puz- zling interior records—was recently found breeding over 200 km inland in semi-arid caatinga habitat (Lima et al. 2005). Subse- quently, Redies (2010) documented numer- ous additional inland occurrences, including more breeding evidence, in caatinga habitat during the wet season. More recently, Mar- condes et al. (2014), conducting an analysis of all Little Wood-Rail records, noted that coastal records peaked when inland records were fewest, and vice-versa, and concluded that the species appeared to undergo peri - odic expansion of range and ecological niche to include seasonally wet areas far from the coast. Meanwhile, Ingels et al. (2011) had reported a Little Wood-Rail from French Guiana, photographed 10 July 2010, which they judged to be a vagrant; to date, that record, over 800 km from the nearest occu- pied range, represents the only occurrence outside of Brazil (Marcondes et al. 2014). These recent findings significantly revise the conventional wisdom on Little Wood-Rail. Many aspects of the natural history of Rufous-necked Wood-Rail remain to be dis- covered, and recent information on its distri - bution, observed seasonal occurrences, and apparent movements, together with a second look at historical data, clearly challenge the notion that it is a sedentary species restricted to coastal mangroves. Among the several hypotheses offered to explain the occurrence of the New Mexico wood-rail, the most plausible is that the bird is a wild vagrant; the scenarios involving an

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