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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N O R T H A M E R I C A N B I R D S 208 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 nithology, Ithaca, New York. Hahn, T. P. 1996. Cassin's Finch (Haemorhous cassinii), in: The Birds of North America Online (A. Poole, ed.). Cornell Lab of Or- nithology, Ithaca, New York. Keppie, D. M., and C. E. Braun. 2000. Band- tailed Pigeon (Patagioenas fasciata), in: The Birds of North America Online (A. Poole, ed.). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. Koenig, W. D. 2014. The California Acorn Re- port (newsletter) 18: 6. Koenig, W. D., M. Díaz, F. Pulido, R. Alejano, E. Beamonte, and J. M. H. Knops. 2013. Chapter 7: Acorn Production Patterns. Mediterranean Oak Woodland Working Landscapes: Dehesas of Spain and Ranch- lands of California (P. Campos, L. Hunts- inger, J. L. Oviedo, P. F. Starrs, M. Díaz, R. B. Standiford, and G. Montero, eds.). Springer Landscape Series. National Atmospheric and Oceanic Ad - ministration [NOAA]. 2015. State of the Climate: Global Summary Information, February 2015. Online: http://www. al/201502. Pittaway, R. 2014. Winter Finch Forecast: 2014-2015. Online: site/page/view/articles.winterfinches. Rutt, C. L., P. Pyle, P. W. Collins, M. L. Brady, J. R. Tietz, and J. L. Dunn. 2014. The nominate subspecies of the Purple Finch in California and western North America. Western Birds 45: 284-295. Roberson, D. 2002. Monterey Birds. Second edition. Monterey [Peninsula] Audubon Society, Pacific Grove, California. Svingen, P. 1995. The Varied Thrush in Min- nesota. Loon 67: 129-136. Wells, J. V., K. V. Rosenberg, D. L. Tessaglia, and A. Dhondt. 1996. Population cycles in the Varied Thrush (Ixoreus naevius). Cana - dian Journal of Zoology 74: 2062-2069. dian Journal of Zoology 74: 2062-2069. n can wintering species are lingering north of normal in the age of global warming, as the shorter-distance migrants have been? It will take an army of observers to figure this out. Of course, there are one or two special lo- cal birds that one might come across when checking the warblers and cuckoos, such as, oh, a Crested Eagle in Mexico (Figure 17)—a bird from the previous winter that we learned of belatedly but one that gives us hope for the future of the forests and their fauna. Some would rate their chances—our chances—no better than a snowball's chance in the U.S. Senate. Let's keep at our work: to document well all that we witness, to pro- tect habitat where possible, and to defeat the anti-scientists in league with the forces of an- nihilation. Literature cited Atallah, E. H., M. Gervais, and J. Gyakum. 2015. The winters of our discontent: a comparison of the winters of 2013-2014 and 2014-2015. Presentation at the Amer- ican Meteorological Society Conference, Chicago, Illinois 30 June. Online: https:// webprogram/Paper273371.html. Bent, A. C. 1949. Life Histories of North American Thrushes, Kinglets, and Their Allies. Smithsonian Institution United States National Museum Bulletin 196. Brinkley, E. S. 2009. The Changing Seasons: Never A Dull Moment. North American Birds 63: 206-219. ----. 2013. The Changing Seasons: Strangers in a Strange Land. North American Birds 67: 216-228. DeSante, D. 1976. The Changing Seasons: Winter 1975-1976. American Birds 30: 677-689. George, T. L. 2000. Varied Thrush (Ixoreus naevius), in: The Birds of North America Online (A. P Online (A. Poole, ed.). Cornell Lab of Or- than usual in northerly areas where, whether a December Sanderling in Oklahoma (Figure 13) or a January Common Loon in the Yukon (Figure 14). Record-late dates generally don't form part of the sort of birding games that record-early birds or first-record birds do, for reasons that may seem obvious but should perhaps be questioned. But these birds, po - tentially portents of the next pattern, repre- sent valuable data for the study of bird distri- bution, particularly when they are not easily tied to human activities such as bird feeding, as shorebirds and loons generally are not. Nowhere in our reporting regions is our ignorance of the significance of certain re- ports greater than in Middle America, where some areas have never received any birding or ornithological coverage—and may never get any before the existing natural habitat is removed. "North of normal" in Middle America would mean those species that win- ter strictly in South America, of which there are many. For instance, Black-billed Cuckoo and Cerulean Warbler are unrecorded in winter in the United States and Canada. In Middle America, there have been single sight reports of each: a Cerulean Warbler 10 Janu - ary 2002 at Gamboa, Panama, and a Black- billed Cuckoo 11 February 2009 at Huatul- co, Oaxaca. This season, a Cerulean Warbler was found in Nicaragua and a Black-billed Cuckoo in Panama, both nicely photo- graphed (Figures 15, 16), representing the first firm winter records of their respective species in Middle America. The cuckoo was found along the venerable Pipeline Road, which attracts birders from all over the planet as well as researchers, perhaps one of the best-canvassed places in the New World tropics, and so it's not likely that wintering Black-billed Cuckoos have been overlooked there. Could it be that some South Ameri - Figure 17. The ruin Figure 17. The ruins of Yaxchilán, an anc of Yaxchilán, an ancient Mayan city in the st Mayan city in the state of Chiapas, are situa of Chiapas, are situated in the Montes Azule in the Montes Azules Biosphere Reserve, famous for its popu famous for its popu- lations of lowland ra lations of lowland rainforest species difficult to fi species difficult to find elsewhere in Mexico. This rare in Mexico. This rare Crested Eagle was photographed durin photographed during the previous winter (28 December 2013), no December 2013), not far from where a Harpy Eagle was seen 19 August was seen 19 August 2011. Photograph by Silvano López. Figure 16. An extraordinary find in winter, even in southern Central America, this male Cerulean Warbler turned up 22 February 2015 at Sabalos Lodge on the Río San Juan in southern Nicaragua. Photograph by Janelle Freshman.

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