North American Birds

VOLUME 70 NO1 2017

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/936087

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V O L U M E 7 0 ( 2 0 1 7 ) • N U M B E R 1 101 A L A S K A wards Ugak I. 20 Sep. Black-capped Chicka- dees were then noted aboard motoring fish- ing vessels offshore 21 Sep and 1 Oct, before flocks of 25 and then 30 were seen departing the island headed e. over the Pacific Ocean 12 Oct. Subsequent observations of mostly single chickadees occurred on boats offshore again 13 & 16 Oct. These observations of- fer rare evidence of chickadee dispersal of which we have mostly anecdotal informa- tion, for instance, Black-capped Chicka- dees on offshore Middleton I. during Jan. Significant Red-breasted Nuthatch records included one near Dutch Harbor 18 Nov (ph., fide SG), the Aleutian's second ever re- port, 2 from Gambell 2-4 Sep (CI, AJL, PEL et al.), another offshore at St. Paul I. 28-30 18 Oct (SS, TGT), and amazingly, Gambell's eighth fall record 25-30 Sep (PEL et al). The American Crow is known to occur in the Region only from Hyder on the extreme southeast portion of Southeast Alaska, and it ranges e. of the Coast Mountains to adja- cent north-central interior British Columbia. After hearing corvids there giving American Crow like calls 6 & 17 Oct and 18 Nov, audio was secured and analyzed calls from a lone bird 25 Nov (GBV). The recordings were identical to American Crow Xeno-Can- to recordings from Florida. Another Tree Swallow wandered into the n. Bering Sea, at Gambell 30 Aug (GHR), the first in fall there since the 1990s. MacIntosh was fortunate to witness the origins and makings of a Black-capped Chickadee irruption off Ko- diak 20 Sep–18 Oct (RAM) when he and others noted small flocks flying out to- Sea, where very rare, at St. Paul I. 6 Oct (St. Paul Tour, ph. TJ, ph. DG). There are now approximately four Pribilof records since the first in 1984. In what was a weak season for Empidonax reports, the most amazing detailed a late Willow Flycatcher in freezing conditions near Seward 25-26 Oct (ph. LHD, SS), likely two months beyond the previous and only other autumn observation. Farther afield in Hyder, an ad. Willow Flycatcher noted feed- ing three fledged juveniles 10 Aug (ph. SCH) established Alaska's first breeding record. Willows remain casual in the Region, with most records comprised of Jun overshoots in the Southeast. The Say's Phoebe near Palmer 30 Oct (IH) was only superseded by a Dec bird at Sitka as the Region's late date. Single Brown Shrikes caused a stir in the Bering Sea, with individuals detected at Gambell 7-17 Sep (CI, GHR, MT, PEL et al.) and St. Paul I. 13 Oct (St. Paul Tour). These con - stituted the fifth in fall and second local record respectively. The Gam- bell middens harbored a Blue-headed Vireo, the Region's second ever, during a storm-related fallout 7 Oct († PEL). Warbling Vireos put in a strong showing away from their typical South- east haunts, i.e. singles e. of Homer 26 Aug (AJL), a first local record, An- chorage's first fall record This trio of fledged Willow Flycatchers waiting to be fed in Hyder thickets 10 August established Alaska's first breeding record of this otherwise casual, primarily late-spring migrant. This observation followed sightings of one to two singing birds in the same area during June. Photo by © Steven C. Heinl. The Gambell middens produced the Region's second fall and fifth documented Common Chiffchaff 1-4 September (here on 1). Note the dark tarsi, smallish bill, brownish auricular and dorsal coloration. Photo by © James D. Levison. Even for a moderate irruption year on the Mainland, this juvenile White- winged Crossbill was out of place offshore in the Bering Sea at Gambell 4-23 August (here on 5). There is one prior St. Lawrence I. record from July 1964. Photo by © Clarence Irrigoo, Jr.

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