New York State Avian Records Committee

a committee of the New York State Ornithological Association

Annual Report - 1991


A total of 59 reports representing 35 records of birds for 1991, plus one additional report from 1989, was submitted to the New York State Avian Records Committee. Three of the 1991 reports are still under review. This represents a slight decrease from the number of reports submitted in 1990.

We reiterate the importance of being as specific as possible about location of sightings in reports. This is especially helpful to include township and county and essential for reports close to New York's boundaries. Also, inclusion of the initial observer's telephone number can be helpful should questions arise. We emphasize that the NYSARC reviews all reports submitted to it, and all are placed in its permanent files at the Laboratory of Ornithology.

The list of species which should be reported to the NYSARC has not been printed in several years. The NYSARC will review reports of:

1. Any species new to New York State. A checklist (lacking only three species which are listed under 3 below) appeared in The Kingbird 39:142-156; 1989, and a current checklist is available for purchase from the Secretary of the NYSARC.

2. Any addition to the list of species proven to nest in New York State.

3. Any of the following species found anywhere within New York State: Pacific Loon, Yellow-billed Loon, Western Grebe, Yellow-nosed Albatross, Black-capped Petrel, Mottled Petrel, Herald Petrel, Audubon's Shearwater, White-faced Storm-Petrel, Leach's Storm-Petrel, White-tailed Tropicbird, Red-billed Tropicbird, Brown Booby, American White Pelican, Brown Pelican, Magnificent Frigatebird, Reddish Egret, White Ibis, White-faced Ibis, Wood Stork, Fulvous Whistling-Duck, Ross's Goose, "Black" Brant, Barnacle Goose, Cinnamon Teal, Smew, Black Vulture, American Swallow-tailed Kite, Black-shouldered Kite, Mississippi Kite, Swainson's Hawk, Gyrfalcon, Yellow Rail, Corn Crake, King Rail, Azure Gallinule, Sandhill Crane, Northern Lapwing, Wilson's Plover, Wood Sandpiper, Eskimo Curlew, Whimbrel (white-rumped races only), Eurasian Curlew, Long-billed Curlew, Bar-tailed Godwit, Rufous-necked Stint, Little Stint, Sharp-tailed Sandpiper, Long-tailed Jaeger, Great Skua, South Polar Skua, Mew Gull, California Gull, Thayer's Gull, Ross's Gull, Ivory Gull, Sandwich Tern, Arctic Tern, Bridled Tern, Sooty Tern, White-winged Tern, Common Murre, Atlantic Puffin, White-winged Dove, Northern Hawk Owl, Burrowing Owl, Great Gray Owl, Boreal Owl, Say's Phoebe, Vermilion Flycatcher, Ash-throated Flycatcher, Gray Kingbird, Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, Fork-tailed Flycatcher, Cave Swallow, Black-billed Magpie, Brown-headed Nuthatch, Rock Wren, Bewick's Wren, Northern Wheatear, Mountain Bluebird, Townsend's Solitaire, Fieldfare, Redwing, Sage Thrasher, Bell's Vireo, "Audubon's" Yellow-rumped Warbler, Black-throated Gray Warbler, Townsend's Warbler, Swainson's Warbler, Painted Redstart, Western Tanager, Black-headed Grosbeak, Painted Bunting, Green-tailed Towhee, "Spotted" Rufous-sided Towhee, Bachman's Sparrow, Lark Bunting, Baird's Sparrow, LeConte's Sparrow, Golden-crowned Sparrow, Harris's Sparrow, Smith's Longspur, Chestnut-collared Longspur, Brewer's Blackbird, "Bullock's" Northern Oriole, Hoary Redpoll

4. The following species from upstate New York only:  any species of shearwater or storm-petrel, Northern Gannet, Great Cormorant, Tricolored Heron, Yellow-crowned Night-Heron, Tufted Duck, Common Eider, Black Rail, Purple Gallinule, Piping Plover, American Oystercatcher, Black-necked Stilt, American Avocet, Marbled Godwit, Curlew Sandpiper, Gull-billed Tern, Royal Tern, Roseate Tern, Black Skimmer, any species of alcid, Chuck-will's-widow, Western Kingbird, Yellow-throated Warbler, Summer Tanager, Blue Grosbeak, Lark Sparrow, Savannah "Ipswich" Sparrow, Sharp-tailed Sparrow, Boat-tailed Grackle

5. The following species away from the Adirondacks:

Spruce Grouse, Three-toed Woodpecker, Black-backed Woodpecker, Gray Jay

6. The following species for spring reports only:

Western Sandpiper (upstate New York only), Baird's Sandpiper, Sabine's Gull

7. Any reports of birds seen out of season at least four weeks before early arrivals or four weeks after late departures, as summarized in John Bull's Birds of New York State (1974) or the Supplement to Birds of New York State (1976).

The NYSARC reporting form is reproduced in New York Birders 22(l); 1993, and also is available upon request from the Secretary of the NYSARC. Reports should be sent to the Secretary:

Todd A. Culver, Secretary
New York State Avian Records Committee
c/o Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology
159 Sapsucker Woods Road
Ithaca, New York 14850


Pacific Loon (Gavia pacifica). 1991-28-A: one in Dead Horse Inlet, Brooklyn, Kings Co., 12,14 December (SS, RM).

Northern Gannet (Morus bassanus). 1991-32-A: one off Hawkin's Point, St. Lawrence River, Town of Massena, St. Lawrence Co., 3 November (BD). 1991-33-A: one off Summerville Pier, Rochester, Monroe Co., 29 November (RMcK).

Reddish Egret (Egretta rufescens). 1991-6-A,B: one at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, Queens Co., 18 May (RK, SW). This is the first record for New York.

White-faced Ibis (Plegadis chihi). 1991-31-A: one at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, Queens Co., 13 May (AM), photographs on file.

Fulvous Whistling-Duck (Dendrocygna bicolor). 1991-25-A: one at Perch River Wildlife Management Area, Town of Orleans, Jefferson Co., 3 November (IM). This bird was shot by a hunter and presently is in a private collection; photographs of the specimen are on file.

Black Vulture (Coragyps atratus). 1991-2-A: one, about 4 miles southwest of Mecklenburg, Town of Hector, Schuyler Co., 12 April (JGg).

Gyrfalcon (Falco rusticolus). 1991-8-A: one at Co. Route 57 and Flanders Road at Isthmus to Point Peninsula, Town of Lyme, Jefferson Co., 2 March (RW, JW), photographs on file (Fig. 1).

Northern Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus). 1991-1-A: one off Krumkill Road, Town of New Scotland, Albany Co., 22 March (KA), photographs on file. A photograph of this bird appeared in American Birds 45:510; 1991.

Piping Plover (Charadrius melodus). 1991-34-A-E: one Braddock Bay, Town of Greece, Monroe Co., 29 November-1 December, 15 December (CC, WG, RS, JBd), photograph on file.

Thayer's Gull (Larus thayeri). 1991-12-A: one at Stewart Park, Cayuga Lake, Ithaca, Tompkins Co., 27 February (EB).

Forster's Tern (Sterna forsteri). 1991-10-A: one at Dunkirk Harbor, Lake Erie, Town of Dunkirk, Chautauqua Co., 5 January (WD). 1991-20-A: one at mouth of Salmon Creek, Myers Point, Cayuga Lake, Town Park, Town of Lansing, Tompkins Co., 3 September (JGn). This tern is very rare in New York in winter, especially Upstate, and also very infrequent inland in the state away from the Great Lakes.

White-winged Tern (Chlidonias leucopterus). 1991-5-A: one adult at Cedar Beach, Town of Babylon, Suffolk Co., 12 May (AL). 1991-11-A-E: one adult at Salmon Creek, Town of Greece, Monroe Co., 19 June (SSk, BK, JS, JBt, AC), photographs on file. The Long Island record is the first of this Eurasian species for New York. An account and photographs of the Salmon Creek bird appeared in The Kingbird 42(l):2-4; 1992.

White-winged Dove (Zenaida asiatica). 1991-16-A: one at Indian Hills Horse Ranch, Town of East Hampton, Suffolk Co., 24 August (JA, SR).

Northern Hawk Owl (Surnia ulula). 1991-27-A: one along Co. Route 184 northeast of Pope Mills, Town of Depeyster, St. Lawrence Co., 28 December (RW, JW), photographs on file. This bird persisted until about 22 March 1992, during which time it was seen and photographed by numerous observers (Fig. 2).

Black-backed Woodpecker (Picoides arcticus). 1991-18-A: one at Highland Park, Rochester, Town of Brighton, Monroe Co., 27 May (SB, WG). An exceptional date for a record notable for locality at any season.

Black-throated Gray Warbler (Dendroica nigrescens). 1991-23-A: one at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, Queens Co., 13 October (HB).

Townsend's Warbler (Dendroica townsendi). 1991-14-A: one at Verona Beach State Park, Oneida Lake, Town of Verona, Oneida Co., 8 September (DC).

Blue Grosbeak (Guiraca caerulea). 1991-9-A-C: one at Lyons Falls, Town of West Turin, Lewis Co., 19 June-2 July (JT, DC, DD). 1991-19-A: one off Church Road, Town of Hamlin, Monroe Co., 11 May (RS). 199122-A-F: one at Stony Kill Environmental Center near Beacon, Town of Fishkill, Dutchess Co., 25-29 October (HM, JK, MK, MVW, EP, OW).

LeConte's Sparrow (Ammodramus leconteii). 1991-26-A: one at Sunset Bay, Lake Erie, Town of Hanover, Chautauqua Co., 10 October (TG, JGo).

Sharp-tailed Sparrow (Ammodramus caudacutus). 1991-4-A: one at State University of New York Nature Preserve, Binghamton, Broome Co., 19 May (GC).

Yellow-headed Blackbird (Xanthocephalus xanthocephalus). 1991-24-A: one at Gilgo Beach, Town of Babylon, Suffolk Co., 14 May (SP).

Brewer's Blackbird (Euphagus cyanocephalus). 1991-17-B,C: one, two males, one female off Church Road, Town of Hamlin, Monroe Co., 11, 27 May (RS, KG).

Common Crane (Grus grus)
. 1991-3-A-C: one off Crestwood Road and Route 199, Town of Red Hook, Dutchess Co., 20 April-3 May (WC, BB, CJ). According to a Poughkeepsie Journal newspaper article of 28 April, this bird was previously a captive in Delaware County before escaping, and apparently was identified by its owner. The above locality is about 75 miles due east of its apparent origin locality.

Pink-footed Goose (Anser brachyrhynchus)
. 1991-13-A: one on Spring Lake Golf Club, Town of Brookhaven, Suffolk Co., 19 January (RK). There are several records of this species, frequently held in captivity, from the north shore of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, in Quebec, Canada. If wild, this record would be an addition to the list of New York State's birds, but the Committee decided that a natural origin for this individual could not be established with certainty.


Black-capped Petrel (Pterodroma hasitata). 1991-21-A: four to six at Dryden Lake, Town of Dryden, Tompkins Co., 24 October.

Gyrfalcon (Falco rusticolus). 1991-7-A: one about 4 miles southwest of Mecklenburg, Town of Hector, Schuyler Co., 13 May.

Ash-throated Flycatcher (Myiarchus cinerascens). 1991-30-A: one at Napeague Harbor, Town of East Hampton, Suffolk Co., 31 August.

Gray Kingbird (Tyrannus dominicensis). 1991-15-A: one at Stewart Park, Cayuga Lake, Ithaca, Tompkins Co., 30 August.


Sandhill Crane (Grus canadensis). 1990-9-A,B: one in Town of Big Flats, Chemung Co., 23-27 April, 15 June (RC, BG), photographs on file. This report originally was not accepted owing to a report and the photographs being temporarily mislaid. Following relocation of the photographs plus the submission of a copy of an original report and a new photograph, the record is accepted.



Greater Shearwater (Puffinus gravis). 1989-16-A: one on Alcove Reservoir, Town of Coeymans, Albany Co., 23 September (KA). This bird probably was brought inland by hurricane Hugo, whose remnants had just passed through the Hudson River valley.



Rose-breasted Grosbeak (Pheucticus ludovicianus). 1989-1-A: one at South Dayton, Town of Dayton, Cattraugus Co., 27 January.


Common Black-headed Gull (Larus ridibundus). 1988-17-A: one adult at Lake Champlain, Port Henry, Town of Moriah, Essex Co., 29 October (NM). This report, listed in the NYSARC report for 1988 (Kingbird 41-. 241-243; 1991) under 1988 Accepted Reports, should be deleted, as this bird was not observed in New York waters.


Two additions, Reddish Egret and White-winged Tern, were made in 1991 to the New York State List, which now stands at 438 species.

Respectfully submitted, New York State Avian Records Committee
Kenneth P Able
Robert F. Andrle (Chairman)
Thomas W Burke
Robert O. Paxton
Barbara J. Spencer


Kenneth Able, John Askildsen, Sue Boettger, Howard Boltson, John Bounds (JBd), Jeff Bouton(JBt), Edward Brinkley, Barbara Butler, Carolyn Cass, George Chiu, Anne Clarridge, Richard Clements, William Cook, Dorothy Crumb, William D'Anna, Karl David, Bruce DiLabio, Dean DiTommaso, Joanne Goetz, Thomas Goetz, John Greenly (JGn), John Gregoire (JGg), Kevin Griffith, William Gruenbaum, Bernard Guirey, Carol Jack, Brian Keelan, James Key, Mary Key, Robert Kurtz, Anthony Lauro, Robert Machover, Helen Manson, Irene Mazzocchi, Robert McKinney, Arthur Morris, Sally Phillips, Eleanor Pink, Scott Rea, Gerald Rising, Starr Saphir, Jeanne Skelly, Sharon Skelly, Robert Spahn, Jim Throckmorton, Robert Tuttle, Marion Van Wagner, June Walker, Robert Walker, Steve Walter, Otis Waterman

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