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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Page 32 of 139

V O L U M E 6 9 ( 2 0 1 6 ) • N U M B E R 2 207 T H E C H A N G I N G S E A S O N S : C A R B O N C O P Y recorded its first ever White-eyed Vireo this season (Figure 10). Farther south, the boun- ty included more insectivorous species— Couch's Kingbird (Figure 11), a species with multiple notable vagrant records in fall/win - ter 2014—and cardinalids at unexpectedly high elevations, such as the Summer Tanager at Albuquerque (1486 m) this winter (Figure 12). Many of these birds are able to survive farther north or at higher elevations because of milder winters, but they're also closely tied in many places to human habitations (and feeders), warm microclimates such as urban parks and sewage plants, and other sites related to human activities such as hunting dumps, landfills, livestock corrals, exotic plantings, and the like. Few of us hunt around in this journal—or in eBird, for that matter—for records of rela - tively common species found on later dates and Philadelphia have become the Decem- ber surprises in their stead), Gray Catbird, House Wren. In the West, which has com- paratively massive areas that are lightly pop- ulated, we also see species that are winter- ing farther and farther north, among them Turkey Vulture, Osprey, Swainson's Hawk, Anna's Hummingbird, Tree Swallow, Barn Swallow (?), Chipping Sparrow, as well as lingerers of species whose breeding ranges continue to march northward, such as Red- shouldered Hawk and Lesser Goldfinch, the latter found twice in Idaho and west- ern Montana in midwinter this season. And here, too, we are seeing warblers persisting well into winter, including vagrants such as Cape May and Prairie Warblers in Oregon, Black-throated Blue Warbler in Washington this season. And this envelope is subtly get- ting pushed northward: British Columbia to occur. This makes interpretation of the increased records very difficult." Has anything really changed? We can't re- ally say with great confidence for many spe- cies, as there are too few data points from both the twentieth and twenty-first centuries (and, again, we're utterly unable to quanti- fy our effort). However, we do see a much greater context, in the East especially, for the northward expansion of wintering by many species that are not Neotropical migrants, birds like Black and Turkey Vultures, North- ern Cardinal, Tufted Titmouse, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Northern Mockingbird, Caro- lina Wren. These bread-and-butter birds are well known and familiar, their expansion spanning many decades, but we're also see- ing a subtler, much slower northward creep in some short-distance migrants: Blue-head- ed and White-eyed Vireo (recently, Red-eyed Figure 15. Providing what may be the first mid-winter record north of South America, this juvenile Black-billed Cuckoo was found along Pipeline Road in Soberanía National Park, Panama on 24 January 2015. Photograph by Chelina Batista.

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