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 87 C O LO R A D O & W YO M I N G An excellent Ponderosa cone crop brought Clark's Nutcrackers into the Laramie Range in good numbers (m.ob). This same strong Pon - derosa Cone crop also brought big numbers of Pygmy Nuthatches, setting record Wyoming eBird high counts for the species, including an estimated 25 at the Happy Jack Area of the Med - icine Bow N.F., Albany 8 Oct (CP). Wyoming hosted three reports of Pacific/Winter Wrens all from GTNP, Teton (a locality historically known for a small Pacific population) with two singing birds being heard distantly in Cascade Canyon 5 Aug (MF) and a seen bird reported as a Pacific 3 Oct near Leigh and String Lakes (CWo, NS). Adding to ten previous November Wyoming Marsh Wren reports were a single at Evanston, Uinta 6 Nov (MG) and one or two Marsh Wrens in Sheridan 8-10 Nov (JC, PL). Wyoming American Dippers easily had their strongest fall showing in five years, perhaps due to high precipitation totals in the higher eleva - tions pushing birds into areas where they were more easily encountered. A record Wyoming high count for Ruby-crowned Kinglets was set at WHR, Laramie 30 Sep with a conservative tally of 40 birds reported (AHe, BT, IF) while singles in Cheyenne, Laramie 3 Nov (MG), Al - cova Reservoir, Natrona 14 Nov (ZH), and in Laramie, Albany 16 Nov (CP, DE) all added to just a handful of November reports for the state. Wyoming had two Eastern Bluebird reports this season: two at a traditional locale in Sundance, Crook 12 Sep (JA) and one completely unexpect - ed both in date and location in Ucross, Sheridan 16 Nov (DED). Expected, but not detected an - nually in fall in Wyoming, the state managed three Veery reports this year: two birds in Teton 3 Aug (SC); and singles in Carbon 30 Aug (CP) and in north Sheridan 7 Sep (J&KK). A conservative tally of 20 Gray Catbirds 1 Aug in Riverton, Fremont (BH) set a new record eBird high count for Wyoming. The state had a single November Brown Thrasher in Tongue Canyon, Sheridan 15 Nov (JC) adding to just a handful of reports (and the sole eBird report) for that month. Multiple sightings of Chestnut- collared Longspurs in a small area west of Sher - idan, Sheridan on 6 Oct (BS, CW, SK) included a massive flock conservatively estimated at 150 birds. This tally easily eclipses any previ - ous Wyoming tally, and begs the question as to whether these were migrants, or whether this is an area where these birds are summering (with no previous eBird reports). WARBLERS THROUGH FINCHES In a season that sees few sightings of the spe- cies in the state, Wyoming had two fall North- ern Waterthrush reports, both singles, at WHR, Laramie 22 Aug (TF) and at EKW, Natrona 24 Aug (ZH). Wyoming's third confirmed Blue- winged Warbler was found NW. of Casper, Na - trona 17 Aug (RW). Expected annually, the sole Black-and-white Warbler report for Wyoming came from EKW, Natrona 18 Sep (CM). Adding to about 30 prior seasonal reports, Wyoming's sole Tennessee Warbler graced EKW, Natrona 20-24 Aug (AL, ZH, CWe). Adding to about 23 previous fall reports were a handful of Wyo - ming Nashville Warblers, all singles, at Wood- ruff Narrows, Uinta 17 Aug (MB), Green River, Sweetwater 1 Sep (WS), and at EKW, Natrona 1 Oct (CM). Wyoming's eighth fall Northern Pa - rula was found 19 Aug at EKW, Natrona (CM). Wyoming's ninth and tenth fall Chestnut-sided Warblers were reported at Cattleman's Bridge, Teton 22 Aug (RS) and at EKW, Natrona 27 Aug (CM). Adding to about 33 previous fall reports for Wyoming was a stunning male Black-throat - ed Blue Warbler present in Cody, Park from 29 Sep–11 Oct (CN). Much rarer in fall than in spring in Wyoming, this year's only Black - poll Warbler report was of a single in Laramie, Albany 29 Sep (CP). Adding to about 40 total reports, 14 from fall, was a single Palm Warbler at WHR, Laramie 18 Sep (CMc, ph). Wyoming's 12th Pine Warbler, ninth for fall, was found at WHR, Laramie 22 Aug (M&BG, TF). Rarely re - corded in fall migration, Wyoming had two re- ports of single Yellow-breasted Chats with one at rural Riverton, Fremont 1 Aug (BH) and one in rural Crook 4 Sep (KC). Limited to rare August sightings in fall, Wyo- ming's only Cassin's Sparrow was seen in the relatively expected county of Goshen at Table Mt. WHMA 15 Aug (ZH). Wyoming had three reports of fall Fox Sparrow with two Slate- coloreds typical in time and location at Miller Lake, Sublette 5 Aug (BD) and two at Rock Creen Canyon, Carbon 30 Aug (CP); a single Red also typical in time and location in Lara - mie, Albany 25 Nov (SB, LM, DE). Wyoming's fall Harris's Sparrow summary was somewhat subdued with only three reports involving four individuals: two seen at Keyhole Reser - voir, Crook 8 Oct (JA); and singles at Chey- SA Despite perfect textbook habitat, the Laramie Range in Albany apparently has a complete lack of Northern Pygmy-owl records, a species that has known occurrence right up to the Wyoming border to the south (and has been documented in neighboring Laramie and Carbon counties). On 9 Nov, Cody Porter and Doug Eddy were surveying the Laramie Range for Red Crossbills, drawing them in using a tape of Northern Pygmy-owl calls. Porter was rewarded for his "where are the Pygmy-owls" suspicions when at one point, a bird flew in and was photo - graphed. This may be a first county record for Albany and suggests a likely presence of this species in this portion of the Laramie Range. where they have a known breeding population. A Flammulated Owl that perished at a rehab fa - cility in south Jackson Hole, Teton, 18 Sep (fide SP) provided a rare record from an area of the state where their status remains a mystery. An adult and two juvenile Great Gray Owls found at the very southeastern tip of the Wind River range 29 Sep (SG) provided a rare breed - ing record for south-central Fremont while a southerly immature bird reported from the Tunp Mountains, Lincoln 18 Sep (TG) provided a rare county record. An immature Red-headed Woodpecker seen at EKW, Natrona 26 Aug (CM) provided only the third eBird report for this county. Contin - ued evidence that Williamson's Sapsuckers lin- ger in Wyoming through September and even into October came from eight separate reports during this time period, with a seasonal late date of 13 Oct in YNP, Park (WG), while a pair spotted on Casper Mt, Natrona 15 Aug (ZH) tantalizingly hinted at breeding in a latilong where they were first reported Spring 2014. FLYCATCHERS THROUGH LONGSPURS Although the past status of Gray Flycatchers in southeast Wyoming was "rare", the last several migrations have shown them to be uncommon but expected in Albany and Laramie (m.obs). A hike up Canyon Creek, Washakie 1 Aug saw a Wyoming eBird high count of at least 10 Cor - dilleran Flycatchers (MF, CJG). Expected in Wyoming, but very underreported, thus mak - ing it's true fall status unknown, Cassin's Vireos were represented by three single birds: Laramie, Albany 21 Aug (SB, DJ), Steamboat Mt., Sweet - water 25 Aug (DJ) and Death Canyon, Teton 27 Aug (DJ). Wyoming's 15th Philadelphia Vireo, the fifth for fall, was seen at EKW, Natrona 24 Aug (CM, ZH). Wyoming's fifth October War - bling Vireo was at Medicine Lodge S.P, Big Horn 5 Oct (SH). The state's four reports of Red-eyed Vireo, involving five birds, included only the third report for the state after September in Laramie, Albany 3 Oct (CP). Historically, Northern Pygmy-Owls have been considered absent from the Laramie Range of Albany, despite excellent available habitat. This bird was found in the region on 9 November 2015 and provided a first record for the county, fueling suspicions that the species is in fact present in the region. Photo courtesy of © Cody Porter.

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