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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Figure 13. This Berylline Hummingbird, a Pacific-slope species in Honduras that occasionally turns up well out of range on the Caribbean side, was one of at least two found at Río Santiago Nature Resort in Atlántida Department 4-5 (here 5) May 2015. One was also reported at Lake Yojoa, 100 kilometers to the southwest, during the same period. Photograph by John van Dort. N O R T H A M E R I C A N B I R D S 350 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 drought in places, hurricanes are not good news for birds, which suffer many different kinds of negative impacts from them, wheth- er the storms make landfall or not. Not all of the seabirds with redrawn range maps are pelagic, of course. Twenty years ago, we tried to wrap our heads around news of nesting Kelp Gulls on islands off Louisi- ana and a vagrant Kelp Gull north to Indi - ana (Brinkley 1997). Fast-forward in time, and the species has now been found in Texas (many reports), West Virginia, Ohio, Dela- ware, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Colorado, and this year in California (Figure 9). Com- plicating matters, the Louisiana Kelp Gulls were documented hybridizing with Her- ring Gulls, giving rise to offspring known as "Chandeleur Gulls," named for the islands on which hybridization had been detected. But this came to an abrupt end as a result of Hurricane Katrina of 2005, which eroded the islands badly, following severe damage from Hurricane Ivan of 2004. Interestingly, this Kelp Gull colonization has occurred falling tropical cyclone in our reporting area that has produced notable records of sea- birds and often landbirds—an unprecedent- edly long stretch of activity in the context of the historical record. In stark contrast to 1996, we are now very well versed in how to seek out storm-displaced species. Scientists continue to study the relationships between global warming and tropical cyclones, but there is no doubt that the years 1995-2012 were very active: these years saw an average of 3.7 major (Category 3 or higher) storms per season, whereas 1970-1994 averaged just 1.5 per season, for instance. We expect- ed that the El Niño of 2015 would damp- en tropical cyclone activity, which was the case, but predictions that we had entered a new "quiet era" for Atlantic hurricanes (e.g., Klotzbach et al. 2015) were dashed by the 2016 season, which saw 15 named storms, among them seven hurricanes and three major hurricanes. It seems that the pro- tracted "active era" has not concluded, and other than re-filling reservoirs and reducing 1995 but identified 15 years later), Jouanin's Petrel, Parkinson's Petrel, Cape Verde Shear- water, Newell's Shearwater, Barolo Shear- water, Black-bellied Storm-Petrel, Ringed Storm-Petrel, Swinhoe's Storm-Petrel, Tris- tram's Storm-Petrel. Seabirders off the Baja California Peninsula have added White- necked Petrel and Kermadec Petrel. To add to the list, Leach's Storm-Petrel has been split four ways, giving Californians heaps of homework, and Band-rumped Storm-Petrel seems headed the same way, with poten- tially up to five species involved in North American records. Certainly, other than pas- serines, no other order of birds produced as many continental firsts, or splits, during this period as the Procellariiformes. And 1996 was clearly the year in which Atlantic hurricanes made permanent landfall in the minds of birders, notably following Hurricane Fran, which brought scores of Black-capped Petrels and other seabirds as far north as the Great Lakes. Since that year, every subsequent year has produced a land-

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