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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V O L U M E 6 9 ( 2 0 1 6 ) • N U M B E R 2 269 C O LO R A D O & W YO M I N G one of Type 2 and 3 of Type 5 from w. Arapahoe 6 Dec–2 Feb (AH, DS) and with one each of Type 3 (12 Dec–16 Jan at Greeley; SGM) and Type 5 (2 Jan at Windsor; SGM, SW, M. Walters) from Weld. White-winged Crossbills were noted at four locations, in Wyoming at Laramie 13-14 Dec (ad. male; DJ, J. Johnson), and in Colorado in montane Boulder 7-10 Dec (5-6; B. Kaempfer), and at two Park sites 9 & 16 Jan (DS). Common Redpolls were very scarce, with just six reports from Wyoming (maximum of 18 at Crowheart, Fremont 1 Jan, fide E. Schierwagen) and single Colorado reports each from Weld, Larimer, and Boulder 27 Dec–25 Jan. The abundance and distribu - tion of wintering Lesser Goldfinches continue to expand, but with virtually all at urban and suburban feeding stations, particularly in the s. Denver Metro area, Colorado Springs, Cañon City, and Grand Junction. Evening Grosbeak also crept eastward to the very foot - hill edge but virtually no farther. Undocumented rarities: The following re - view species were reported in the period from Colorado without documentation: Costa's Hummingbird (Mesa), Purple Finch (Bent, Larimer, Prowers). Cited observers (subregional editors in boldface): Dale Adams, Arden Anderson, Jim D. Beatty (sw. Colorado), Craig Benkman, Sean Billerman, Kurt Countryman, Eva Crane, Coen Dexter (w.-cen. Colorado), David Dowell, Georgia Doyle, John Drummond (se. Colorado), Doug Eddy, Matthew Fraker (Wyoming), Barb Gorges, Mark Gorges, Sherri Hansen, Alec Hopping, Zachariah Hutchinson, Palma Jack, Don Jones, Joey Kellner, Chris Knight, Tom Koerner, David A. Leatherman, Forrest Luke (nw. Colorado), Jazmyn McDonald, Libby Megna, Chris Michelson, Rich Miller (RMi), Steven G. Mlodinow, Riley Morris (RMo), Del Nelson, Stan Oswald, Susan Patla, Brandon K. Percival, Mark Peterson, JoAnn Riggle, Vic Samstag, Stacey Scott, Chuck Seniawski (CSe), Cathy Sheeter (CSh), Brad Steger, David Suddjian, Janeal Thompson, David Tønnessen, Van Truan, David Wade, Glenn Walbek, Sean Walters (Colorado moun - tains), Rich Weaver, Harley Winfrey. Many other individuals contributed information to this report but could not be acknowledged here; all have our appreciation. n –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– Tony Leukering, 1 Pindo Palm Street W, Largo, Florida 33770 (greatgrayowl@aol.com) Matt Fraker, The Prairie Oak Veterinary Center, 207B Landmark Drive, Normal, Illinois 61761 (frakerpovc@aol.com) ally present for a few years now at the Denver Zoo, with the flock this year numbering 25 (m.ob.). Even odder, though, were singles in the mountains, with one near Gunnison 14 Dec (AA) and the other consorting with Gray Jays and rosy-finches at the Moose Visitor Center, Jackson 24 Jan–16 Feb (ph. R. Nuissl). Wyoming saw five reports totaling a surprising 18 birds: singles at Laramie 8 Dec (DE, C. Porter), Rawlins 13-15 Feb (PJ); and Worland, Washakie 1-3 Jan (SH), 2 at Laramie 30 Dec (BG), and a flock of 11 at Riverton 27 Dec (DJ, EC, JM). Despite the recent vigorous growth of Wyoming's Great-tailed Grackle population, 2008 was the only year with winter records until a single along the Laramie River in Laramie 13 Dec (CB) led to a growing flock that topped out at 15 on 15 Jan. Brown- headed Cowbirds disappear from Wyoming in winter, and the 2 singles this year, at Bate's Hole, Natrona 1 Jan (fide SS) and Lander, Fremont 1 Feb (SB, LM), provided the first seasonal reports in five years. Wyoming Brown-capped Rosy-Finch reports were mostly restricted to their traditional Medicine Bow downslope haunts in Centennial and environs, with 3-5 there through the winter (m.ob.), while a bit more exceptional were 2 easterly birds at Buford, Laramie 18 Dec (SB, LM). Like Red-breasted Nuthatches, Pine Grosbeaks had a season of increased frequen - cy and abundance in Wyoming, including a single at Casper 20 Dec (ZH) where the year- round status remains cloudy. Eastern Purple Finches were documented three times, de - spite the season's first report coming from the West Slope, which has hosted just a handful of records: brown-plumaged birds 3-27 Dec at Steamboat Springs, Routt (ph. TM) and 16 Dec at Rocky Ford (ph. BKP) and an ad. male 12 Dec at Greeley, Weld (SGM). Considering how rare Cassin's Finch is on the Plains, this season saw a relatively massive down-slope flight, with individuals and flocks edging out onto the plains in e. foothill-edge coun - ties from n. Larimer s. to Huerfano, with the largest such flock being an incredible 60 in w. Colorado Springs 5 Jan (DT). However, despite the size of the movement, the only reports from true Plains counties were of 1-2 at four sites in w. Arapahoe and with the real outlier being 5 at Higbee, Otero 7 Dec (DD). In Wyoming, a flock of 80 Cassin's Finches mixed with rosy-finches at Buford, Laramie 18 Dec (SB, DE, LM) and provided a record winter eBird count for the state. Red Crossbills echoed Cassin's Finches in creeping out onto the Plains but in much smaller numbers. Interesting, though, were the few reports to type from the Plains, with GW) and of Brewer's Sparrow in Delta 4 Dec (J. Beason) this season. As more effort is ex - pended in appropriate habitat in Feb, more Sagebrush Sparrows are found in that month, with 3 nearly record early for the Region near Nucla 19 Feb (CD, B. Wright) and one near Durango 23 Feb (A. Dobbins). A Slate- colored Fox Sparrow at Cañon City 16-20 Jan (ph. GW) provided for a rare winter Colorado record (when rarer than Red Fox Sparrow), while another at Lone Dome S.W.A., Dolores 7 Feb (†RMo) was either another such or a record-early spring migrant. Single Red Fox Sparrows were noted in Douglas 20 Dec–10 Feb (AH, ph. GW) and Jefferson 26 Dec (DS), while one at Cheyenne 2 Dec (MG, BG) was Wyoming's eleventh winter Fox Sparrow; all have been Reds. Lincoln's Sparrows, found seasonally more and more frequently in Colorado of late, were noted in 10 counties and both sides of the state, with at least 3 at Grand Junction 14 Dec (MH et al.). A well- described Lincoln's Sparrow at Hereford Ranch 12 Dec (CSe) provided a very rare Wyoming winter record. Despite the 50 or so winter reports for Wyoming, 80% of which are recorded on Dec C.B.C.s, true overwinter - ing White-throated Sparrows are very rare in the state. Surprising was a single at Evanston, Uinta 26 Dec–22 Feb (HW) that also pro - vided a first latilong record. Winter dark- lored White-crowned Sparrows in Colorado, many or all of which may well be referable to Eastern rather than Mountain (which is es - sentially absent from the Region in winter), were noted at two sites (2 each) in Prowers, while singles visited Boulder and Weld. dur - ing C.B.C. season White-crowned Sparrow reports from Wyoming, which are rare, were of an imm. at Casper 28 Dec (SS) and two surprisingly large groups, of 10 at Bate's Hole, Natrona 1 Jan (SS) and 8-10 in Torrington, Goshen 3-4 Jan (C. Fitz). The only Golden- crowned Sparrows were returning birds in Boulder and Jefferson. Harris's Sparrows were fairly widespread, with reports from four Wyoming counties, all singles but for 2 at Bate's Hole, Natrona 1 Jan (SS), and 15 Colorado counties, two on the West Slope. A female Northern Cardinal was fairly far w. at Colorado Springs 9-10 Dec (T. Stuart). The cardinalid of the season, though, was an Indigo Bunting near Rocky Ford 15 Dec (Duane Nelson); the only previous seasonal record is from Jan 2012. Wyoming's nineteenth Rusty Blackbird (ninth in winter) frequented a feeder near Alta, Teton from early Dec through 16 Jan (P. Wyman, ph. M. Moosman). Common Grackles are fairly rare in winter, even in Colorado. However, a flock has been season -

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