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.

Issue link: http://nab.aba.org/i/705084

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V O L U M E 6 9 ( 2 0 1 6 ) • N U M B E R 2 257 S O U T H E R N G R E AT P L A I N S remarkable observation. There was a significant eastward push of Lewis's Woodpeckers in Oklahoma this winter, with one in Payne through the period (m.ob.), one in Lincoln, OK 30 Dec (RS) and 11 Feb (LM), and up to 6 in the Wichita Mountains W.R. (fide MHu, m.ob.). A Ladder-backed Woodpecker strayed eastward from its usual extreme sw. Kansas range to Pratt 31 Jan (PJ, TE). Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers were found northwesterly in Nebraska to Custer 14 Feb (TH), Garfield 11 Jan (B&KG), and Loup 6 Feb (WF). Quite far afield was a Red-naped Sapsucker in Comanche, OK 2-11 Feb (KM, BA, LA et al.). Pileated Woodpeckers creeping westward were in Ellsworth, KS 12 Dec (RHi, JCo), with a pair in Stafford, KS 2 Jan (AA). Ex - panding along the Red River corridor in recent years, up to 4 Crested Caracaras were found in Jefferson, OK from late Dec through early Jan (LH, LM, BA). PASSERINES The status of Loggerhead Shrike in Franklin, NE 15 Feb (JGJ) is difficult to judge. North - ern Shrikes dipped down to e. Kansas, with 8 singles found s. to Linn, Coffey, and Morris (fide CO). A Western Scrub-Jay wandered out onto the Plains to Grant, KS 28 Dec (MR). Black- billed Magpie continues its decline across Nebraska, even in w. areas such as Scotts Bluff (AK). Fish Crows mostly withdraw from se. ar - eas during winter, so one in Butler, KS 10 Jan (EM) was exceptional. A Common Raven wan - dered out to Hamilton, KS 10 Jan (JC). Early arriving swallows included a Purple Martin 18 Feb (DA) and 2 Tree Swallows 11 Feb at Red Slough (DA). A Winter Wren was locat - ed exceptionally far w. in Cimarron, OK 6-28 Dec (DD, m.ob.). A possible Pacific Wren was found and recorded at Scott, KS 20 Dec (p.a., JC). Sedge Wrens can winter into ne. Oklaho - ma, but singles at Quivira 15 Jan (m.ob., fide CO) and in Douglas, KS 24 Jan (JK) were ex - ceptional. Ruby-crowned Kinglets testing their winter fortunes were found n. in Nebraska to reports from Lancaster and Seward, NE of about 5 birds during the period (fide WRS), with one at Hefner 20 Dec (JT, RW). Thayer's Gull is rare but expected, mostly in the n. part of the Re - gion; at least 4 were reported from three locales in Oklahoma (KG, BC, JWi, SL, JWA). First- cycle Iceland Gulls were in Lincoln, NE 28 Dec (EB), in Harlan, NE 9 Feb (ph. KS), in Reno, KS 10-20 Feb (AM), and at Hefner 25 Jan (JAG). Lesser Black-backed Gulls are becoming mere - ly uncommon in the Region; about 40 were re- ported during the period (fide WRS, CO, JAG). Twelve Glaucous Gulls were found in Nebraska (fide WRS); farther s., singles were in Tulsa, OK 24 Dec (BC) and 25 Feb (JWA) and at Hefner 8-25 Jan (LM et al.). Six Great Black-backed Gulls were reported from Lancaster, NE 12- 17 Feb (NAr, m.ob.), McConaughy 26-27 Feb (SJD, JGJ, BP), Reno, KS 8 Feb (PJ), Douglas, KS 20 Feb (JK), Miami, KS 28 Feb (2; MG), and Tulsa, OK 25 Feb (JWA). A Forster's Tern lin - gered through 15 Dec in Neosho, KS (ABu). Only 3 Inca Doves were reported this season, singles in Finney, KS 6 Dec (TS), Ford, KS 26 Dec (CM), and Coal, OK 3 Feb (TR). Finney, KS also produced an amazing 124 White-winged Doves 7 Jan (TS); this species was found n. to Scotts Bluff, NE 20 Dec (3; RSg) and Boone, NE 13 Feb (DMK). A normal winter showing of Snowy Owls for Nebraska had 4 reported (fide WRS); 3 in Kansas were in Rush 3 Feb (DKz), at Cheyenne Bottoms 11-27 Feb (CW), and in Barton 12 Feb (RP). A Burrowing Owl in Garvin, OK 9 Dec (JS) was on now-unexpected turf. Seemingly harder to find in recent years, a Long-eared was in Osage, OK 2 Jan (RR, LS). Our knowledge of the status of Northern Saw- whet Owl in Nebraska is evolving due to the recent efforts of Wayne Mollhoff; following his discovery of breeding birds in Scotts Bluff dur - ing 2014, he found a nesting female in Dawes on 4 eggs 12 Feb, with 6 eggs on 22 Feb, a found in Lancaster, NE 30 Jan (LE), Otoe, NE 5 Dec (SQ, LF), at Red Slough throughout the pe - riod (DA), in Pawnee, OK 9 Dec (JWA, KW), in Osage, OK 12 Jan (CB), in Linn, KS 27 Dec–14 Feb (NA), and in Wilson, KS 19 Dec (KH). RAILS THROUGH FALCONS A Yellow Rail was located at Red Slough 13 Dec (CB et al.). Virginia Rail winters at scattered lo - cations throughout the Region; this season pro- vided records n. to McConaughy 27 Dec (SJD). The drought cycle of recent years, along with several very cold winters, seems to have dimin - ished the recent pattern of increasing numbers of northerly wintering shorebirds. Nonetheless, this season saw 12 American Avocets lingering at the Salt Plains 9 Dec, with 10 still there 16 Dec (GH, SMe). Greater Yellowlegs were found n. to Buffalo, NE 17 Jan (AF) and Quivira 30 Jan (BJ). Tardy Lesser Yellowlegs were identi - fied 2 Dec in Payne, OK (JT, RW) and 10 Dec in Stephens, OK (L&MT). More expected, a Spotted Sandpiper was in Marshall, OK 13 Dec (JW), and 5 Long-billed Dowitchers were present 7 Jan in Stephens, OK (JA), with 9 in Bryan, OK 2 Feb (DW et al.). A Dunlin was at Quivira 8 Dec and 14 Feb (MR), 10 were at the Salt Plains 19 Dec (GH, SMe), and one was at Hefner 21 Feb (CC, HS). A Western Sandpiper and a Sanderling at the Salt Plains 19 Dec (GH, SMe) were both remarkable. Very early was a Pectoral Sandpiper at Red Slough 10 Feb (DA). The only Little Gull reported was a first- cycle bird in Tulsa, OK 24 Dec (BC). Single Franklin's Gulls were found in Lancaster, NE 28 Jan (LE), Douglas, KS 10 Jan (GP), Johnson, KS 27 Jan (ML), and Oklahoma, OK 8 Dec–2 Jan (LM, BE). A Mew Gull in Harlan, NE 15 Feb (JGJ) was the only one this season. More expected were 1-4 California Gulls at McCo - naughy (SJD, MW) and in Lincoln, NE (TJW, LR, RH), but elsewhere there were only three Exceptional for location and time was this nesting Northern Saw-whet Owl, here on eggs and surrounded by rodent prey, 12 February 2015 in Dawes County, Nebraska. Photograph by Wayne Mollhoff. This Little Gull at Lake Yahola, Tulsa County, Oklahoma 24 December 2014 furnished the only record of the species in winter 2014-2015 for the Southern Great Plains region. Photograph by Bill Carrell. Four Crested Caracaras patrolled the Red River Valley in Jefferson County, Oklahoma from late December 2014 through early (here 3) January 2015. Photograph by Bill Adams.

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