North American Birds

VOLUME 69 NO3 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 S 3 / 4 347 T H E C H A N G I N G S E A S O N S : R E T R O S P E C T Midwest, the northern tier of U.S. states, and the southern parts of Canada. Whereas William Robertson (1980) took the appear- ance of nesting stilts in Alberta as an "isolat- ed" or "ephemeral" event, associated with severe 1977 drought in the Great Basin, we now know that such events can be pre- cursors to range expansion. A few decades later, Cheri L. Gratto-Trevor (2002) would write: "While drought in areas farther south initially may have led to prospecting breed- ers in Canada, stilts now breed consistently in southern Alberta, and records of breed- ing in Saskatchewan are few but increas- ing." Glenn Coady and Mark Peck (2007) also suggested that Canadian records were associated with drought in the West, and it will be interesting to see if future wet cycles in the species' core range bring about range contraction. burgeon in the Carolinas, Louisiana, and Texas, and Virginia had its first nesting in 1977. Though most records from north of breeding areas still tend to be of post-breeding dispers- ers (unlike the Plegadis), the numbers and frequency have both increased sharply in the past five years in par- ticular, and it would be unsurprising to see the seasonality of records be- gin to shift with the lovely Eudocimus soon. It will be of great interest to see whether, in an era of general decline for many marshland wading birds (herons and egrets in particular), ibis are able to increase their populations as a whole. In Virginia, as in some parts of the Carolinas, White Ibis feed on invertebrates in flooded farm fields, then fly some dis- tance to barrier islands to feed young. Per- haps this ability will give the ibis species an edge over other wading birds, particularly as sea levels rise further. The mid-1990s also saw the rapid rise of Black-necked Stilt (Figure 4) into the upper m for elevational shift upslope), higher figures than suggested by earlier analyses (e.g., Parmesan and Yohe 2003). Beginning in the early 1980s, too, popu- lations of White Ibis (Figure 3) began to Figure 8. A pair of Clay-colored Sparrows frequented the tidal flats at Hyder, Alaska 7-8 (here 7) June 2015. Although the birds exhibited nesting behavior, a visit on 26 June revealed only one bird and no nest. Photograph by Isaac J. Helmericks. Figure 9. California's first Kelp Gull was recorded at three different coastal locations 27 April–29 May 2015. This photograph was obtained during its brief visit to Half Moon Bay, San Mateo County 20 May 2015. Photograph by Alvaro Jaramillo.

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