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 264 T E X A S Darrell Vollert, Christian Walker, Greg Ward, Mike Wease, Jeremy Webster (JWe), Ron Weeks (RWe), Angie Westmoreland (AWe), Ed Wetzel, Brad Wier, Natalie Wiest, Richard Wilde (RWi), Allen Williams (AWi), Jennifer Wilson (JWi), Sherry Wilson, David Wolf, Mimi Hoppe Wolf (MHW), Alan Wormington (AWo), Bob Zeller (BZe), Barry Zimmer (BZi). n –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– Mark W. Lockwood, 402 East Harriet Avenue, Alpine, Texas 79830 (mark.lockwood@tpwd.texas.gov) Eric Carpenter, 4710 Canyonwood Drive, Austin, Texas 78735 (ecarpe@gmail.com) Randy Pinkston, 3505 Hemlock Court, Temple, Texas 76502 (drpinkston@sbcglobal.net) Falls City, TX 78113-2627. email: wsekula@ copper.net),, Chuck Sexton, Ryan Shaw (RSh), Scott Shaw, Dennis Shepler (DSh), Letha Slagle (LSl), Peter Sorapure (PSo), John Sproul (JSp), Mike Stewart (MSt), Wilbur Stewart (WSt), Ru - ben Stoll (RSt), Byron Stone (BSt), Mary Beth Stowe (MBS), Michelle Summers (MSu), Paul Sunby (PSu), Romey Swanson (RSw), Hilary Swartz, Drew Sweet (DSw), Tom Taroni, Clay Taylor, Steve Taylor (STa), Robert Thacker, John Tharp (Upper Coast: 1617 Fountain View Drive Apt 55, Houston, TX 77057. email: jlt290@gmail.com), Lila Theis, Barbara Tomp - kins, Sarah Toner (STo), Zachary Tonzetich, Cin Ty-Lee (CTL), Gustavo Valero, Teresa Vaughan, (KaO), Carolyn Ohl, Dale Ohl, Garry Olson, Brent Ortego, Jay Packer (JaP), Greg Page, Patty Pasztor, Jim Paton (JiP) (El Paso area: 4325 Boy Scout Lane, El Paso, TX 79922. email: jn - paton@att.net), Matthew Perzan, Ralph Peter- son (RPe), Barrett Pierce, Randy Pinkston (RPi), Tara Poloskey, Joann Pruitt (JoP), Niler Pyeatt, Nina Rach, Craig Rasmussen (CRa), Ross Ras - mussen (RRa), Richard Redmond (RRe), Martin Reid, Holly Reinhard, Barbara Ribble, Louise Ridlon, Carlos Ross (CRo), Kent Ruffin, Chris Runk (CRu), Madeleine Sandefur (MSa), Boyd Sanders (BSa), Laura Sare (LSa), David Sarkozi (DSa), David Scott (DSc), Jeff Scott (JSc), Willie Sekula (WSe) (South Texas: 7063 Co. Rd. 228, Colorado & Wyoming which just a bit more than two decades ago was virtually unknown in winter in Colorado. Montane passerine species mostly stayed home this winter, but Cassin's Finch made a widespread excursion onto the west - ern plains in/near Colorado's urban corridor, the likes of which the senior author never saw in his 14 years in the state. As is typical, the season was enlivened and hearts caused to race by a variety of oddities, though nearly all were "just" out-of-season birds rather than vagrants. Capping the list, which included Ridgway's Cackling Goose (Colorado's sec - ond), Green Heron, Lincoln's Sparrow, and Indigo Bunting, were two Yellow-breasted Chats in western Colorado, providing the first-ever Regional winter records. Finally, we greatly appreciate the greater reporting rate from birders in Wyoming, a state with an in - credible avifauna and so very few birders to enjoy it. Abbreviations: Chico (Chico Basin Ranch, El Paso/ Pueblo); Gray Reef (Gray Reef Reservoir, Natrona, WY); Hereford Ranch (Wyoming Hereford Ranch, Laramie, WY); Plains (Colorado's e. plains); Seedskadee (Seedskadee N.W.R., Sweetwater, WY); Table Mountain (Table Mountain W.H.M.A., Goshen, WY). "West Slope" denotes locations w. of the Rockies. Due to reporting biases, all locations can be assumed to be in Colorado; Wyoming locations are noted as such the first time they appear. Only the observer(s) initially finding and identifying cited re - cords are listed. Undocumented reports from Colorado of Colorado B.R.C. (C.B.R.C.) re - view species () that are deemed probably correct are summarized at the end of this report. drainage was much above. In Colorado, sea- sonal precipitation was average on the West Slope and in the San Luis Valley, above av - erage in the South Platte and Republican drainages, and much above in the Arkansas drainage, which needed it greatly. The Region was generally above average in December had a hodge-podge of values in January and February. The Region began the season with nearly all of Wyoming under no drought category (a tiny area of south-central Wyoming being abnormally dry) but with much of southern Colorado ranging from abnormally dry to severe drought, the latter occupying much of the southeastern quadrant of the state. Unfortunately, conditions worsened through the season, ending with much of southwest - ern Wyoming being characterized by ab- normally dry and moderate drought, being joined in this characterization by all of West Slope Colorado; conditions did not change through the season in eastern Colorado. At least in southeastern Colorado, portions of which have been under some form of drought condition for all of recent memory, conditions did not worsen. If there were a single thematic thread in- both states this season, it was the continued expansion of distribution and abundance of species formerly seasonally uncommon or rare. This was particularly true of waterbirds: American White Pelican, Double-crested Cormorant, Bonaparte's and California Gulls, and a great variety of grebe species all seemed to take advantage of the extensive amount of open water (note the particular prepon - derance of mentions of Gray Reef Reservoir in the waterbird accounts). Chief among landbirds in this regard is Lesser Goldfinch, Tony Leukering Matt Fraker –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– M ost of Wyoming reported sea- sonal temperatures much above average, in synch with West Slope Colorado and the San Luis Valley, while the northeastern corner of Wyoming and the rest of Colorado were only above average. The individual months differed little from the seasonal results, except that Colorado's Republican and Arkansas drainages saw aver - age December temperatures, and Wyoming's Bear and Green Drainages experienced a re - cord warmest February. Precipitation values, however, were all over the place, as characterized by Wyoming's seasonal values: westernmost Wyoming was below average; the Belle Fourche, Cheyenne, and Niobrara drainage, and Upper Platte drainages were all average; the Powder, Little Missouri, Tongue, and Lower Platte drain - ages were above average; and the Wind River

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