a committee of the New York State Ornithological Association
of New York Rarities
and Photographs by Angus Wilson
This adult male Brewer's
Blackbird (Euphagus cyanocephalus) spent
several weeks in suburban garderns on the southshore of Staten
Island (Richmond County), New York.
Brewer's Blackbird (Euphagus
cyanocephalus) is a rare visitor to New York State, especially
to the eastern and southern parts of the state. On the coast,
records tend to be from the late fall (Oct and Nov) whereas in
the western parts of the state, reports tend to come from the
spring - perhaps reflecting birds that have overshot the nearest
breeding grounds in neighbouring Ontario. On Tuesday 9th Feb
1999 Dick Veit sent news of a male Brewer's Blackbird that was
frequenting a suburban yard on the south shore of Staten Island.
The homeowner, who had correctly identified the bird and called
it in to a local birder, reports that it had been around for
about a week.
The following morning, I joined Dick Veit and Tom Brown shortly
after day break. The male Brewer's Blackbird was easily picked
out among the small group of Brown-headed Cowbirds, Red-winged
Blackbirds and Starlings coming to seed put out by the homeowner.
The Brewer's Blackbird was calling loudly (a harsh check)
and regularly broke into song (if you can call it that) - a grating Ksheeek.
A little nervous of our presence in the narrow street, it shuffled
up onto the crest of the house and then took flight vanishing over
the houses. The flock did not return to the yard during the next
couple of hours that I was there. I did see the bird once more,
however, as it perched high in a tree several streets away.
Here are the three pictures I managed to snatch as the bird shuffled
along the edge of a sunlit roof before taking flight.