Report - 2005
REPORT OF THE NEW YORK STATE AVIAN RECORDS COMMITTEE
The New York State Avian Records Committee (NYSARC) reviewed 146 reports
from 2005, involving 82 separate sightings, and an additional six reports
from 2004 or earlier. Reports were received from all over the state,
with 31 of the 62 counties represented. The overall acceptance rate remains
high at 86%. The Committee encourages the observers of any rare bird
in New York State (NYS) to submit reports, not just the initial finders.
By archiving multiple reports we retain a fuller account of the sighting,
and the independent viewpoints help to corroborate important details,
especially highly subjective features such as size, flight style and
vocalizations. Individual rather than collaborative reports are preferred.
It is important not to skimp on the details under the (often mistaken)
assumption that the missing information will be provided by others. The
names of contributors (reports and/or photographs) are listed alongside
accepted reports and in a listing at the end of this document. On behalf
of the New York State Ornithological Association (NYSOA), the Committee
wishes to thank all of the contributors for their efforts. Where possible,
the narrative will include the name(s) of the original finder(s) even
if they have not submitted a report to us. Naturally, however, we would
very much prefer that all finders actively contribute to the permanent
record of their discovery. We also extend our appreciation to the cadre
of hard-working Kingbird Regional Editors, who have taken pains to encourage
the proper documentation of rare birds. Last but not least, the Committee
wishes to thank Betsy Brooks (Braddock Bay Bird Observatory, Rochester,
NY), Paul A. Buckley, James Dean (Smithsonian National Museum of Natural
History, Washington, D.C.), Jon Dunn, Dick Forsman, Julian Hough, Jeremy
J. Kirchman (New York State Museum, Albany, NY), Blake Mathys (Rutgers
University, New Brunswick, NJ), Killian Mullarney, and Mark Robbins for
their expert evaluations and other information that enhanced the review
process or added substance to this Annual Report.
HOW TO SUBMIT REPORTS
Advice on how to prepare and submit a report is provided within the
NYSARC section of the NYSOA web site:
An on-line reporting form allows observers to compose a written report
and attach up to five digital image files. A list of species requested
for review by NYSARC (“The Review List”) is also provided,
along with illustrated copies of all previous Annual Reports. The Committee
is very grateful to Carena Pooth (NYSOA Vice-President, Website Administrator
and Director of the Young Birders Club) for updating and continuously
improving the NYSARC website. In addition to the online reporting form,
observers are welcome to send documentation (written and photographic)
via e-mail or regular mail. All reports and other correspondence for
the Committee should be sent to:
Jeanne Skelly, Secretary for NYSARC
420 Chili-Scottsville Rd., Churchville, NY 14428
OTHER COMMITTEE NEWS
Voting on the 2005 reports was finalized at the NYSARC Annual Meeting
held at the Greene County Accelerator Building in Coxsackie on 11 Aug
2007. The Committee would like to thank Rich Guthrie for arranging use
of this excellent venue. During the day-long session, the Committee finalized
the second and third rounds of voting, reviewed potential additions to
the New York State Checklist and discussed other items of business. The
latter included requests to re-evaluate two past decisions in light of
new information. The first concerns New York’s only Azure
Gallinule (Porphyrio flavirostris). This unique record
for North America has been dogged by questions of origin, and these concerns
were deemed sufficient for another prominent checklist Committee to reverse
their acceptance of the record. The second follows a request to re-evaluate
a 1992 report of a Black-backed Wagtail (Motacilla
lugens) in response to changes in wagtail taxonomy that were announced
by the American Ornithologists’ Union (AOU) Checklist Committee
The Azure Gallinule (NYSARC 1986-39-A)
was found dead in Fort Salonga, Suffolk Co., on 14 Dec 1986, the victim of
a domestic cat (see Boyle et al. 1987; Spencer and Kolodnicki 1988).
To date, this remains the only record for North America, but questions regarding
its natural origins have persisted. The identification is not in doubt. After
acceptance by NYSARC (NYSARC 1988), the ABA Checklist Committee (ABA-CLC, Gill
1990) and the AOU Checklist Committee (AOU-CLC, AOU 1991), a local ornithologist
approached members of the ABA-CLC with information to suggest the bird had
escaped from a private bird collection shortly before its discovery. This communication
prompted the ABA-CLC to reconsider the record and eventually reverse their
previous acceptance, thus removing the species from the ABA Checklist (Dunn
1999). No change has been made by the AOU-CLC (see Pranty 2007). Upon request,
the ABA-CLC kindly provided NYSARC with access to the written arguments that
led them to this decision, including copies of letters from the aforementioned
ornithologist that were sent to J. Van Remsen, Jr. and to Mark Robbins stating
that an unnamed aviculturist claimed to have owned and then lost the gallinule
in question. During the original first and second round deliberations, the
NYSARC members considered the possibility of an escape or human-assisted transport
but were unable to find any evidence to support either scenario. As a family,
the gallinules have a well-documented propensity for long-range vagrancy (Remsen
and Parker 1990), and this perception contributed in large measure to the original
acceptance of the record (NYSARC 1988). In its more recent discussions, the
Committee was in contact with the above mentioned ornithologist and made a
number of additional inquires, but was unable to discover the whereabouts or
identity of the Long Island aviculturist or uncover any facts that could support
the claim of ownership. Due to the lack of any verifiable new information pertinent
to this question, the Committee ruled that no action would be taken and that
the initial acceptance should stand.
The wagtail report concerns a calling
bird that flew over four experienced observers on 21 Dec 1992 as they stood
on the shore of Deadhorse Bay, Brooklyn, Kings Co., submitted as a Black-backed
Wagtail, Motacilla lugens (NYSARC 1992-26-A/B). The bird was seen
only in flight, and therefore the identification relied heavily on recollections
of its call and limited views by the lead observer. Two reports were submitted
outlining the circumstances of the sighting, complete with renditions of the
call note and an authoritative analysis of the likely identification. Although
some members of the Committee agreed that this may indeed have been a wagtail,
the record was not accepted, due in large part to the brevity of the sighting
and an inability to definitively determine the species involved. The reasoning
behind this decision was not transmitted in the published Committee Annual
Report (NYSARC 1995). At the time, the AOU treated Black-backed Wagtail and
the very similar White Wagtail (M. alba) as two separate species,
both of which have occurred in North America (AOU 1982) and could thus present
an additional hurdle to acceptance of the record. In 2005, the Black-backed
versus White Wagtail question was rendered less critical when the AOU decided
to re-lump the two into one species (AOU 2005). With this in mind, the current
Committee revisited the original deliberations to determine whether the change
in taxonomic status would provide sufficient grounds for a re-evaluation of
the record that could potentially arrive at a different outcome. After examining
the original reports and the comments made by the Committee at that time, the
current members agreed that even without the complication of two black-and-white
wagtail species, the limited details provided in the two reports were not likely
to be sufficient for acceptance as a first state record. Consequently, the
Committee agreed to take no further action.
Members of the public may request
a copy of any report submitted to NYSARC regardless of whether it was accepted
or not. Individuals may also ask the Committee to revisit a past decision if
there is relevant information that was not available to the Committee at the
time. As per NYSOA guidelines, requests of either kind must be made in writing,
must state the reason for the request, and should be directed to the Secretary
at the address given above.
Highlights of the 2005 Annual Report include the first state record
of Common Ringed Plover (Charadrius hiaticula), an
unprecedented influx of Cave Swallows (Petrochelidon
fulva), and a considerably smaller, but equally noteworthy, influx
of Swainson’s Warblers (Limnothlypis swainsonii).
A trio of Whooping Cranes (Grus americana)
in April and a single bird in August were a thrilling new sight for New
York but are known to hail from an on-going reintroduction experiment.
Vagrant flycatchers were headlined by a Gray Kingbird (Tyrannus
dominicensis), the first in thirteen years.
2005 Reports Accepted
Cackling Goose (Branta hutchinsii)
2005-2-A/D One, Hempstead Town Park, Lido Beach, Nassau,
2-16 Jan (Shaibal S. Mitra, Patricia Lindsay, Angus Wilson, Dick
Gershon, Nikolas Haass, ph S. Mitra, A. Wilson, Angel Souto).
2005-9-A One, Further Lane, East Hampton, Suffolk, 31
Dec (Shaibal S. Mitra, ph S. Mitra).
2005-11-A Two, Barker Centennial Park, Somerset, Niagara, 26
Mar (William W. Watson).
2005-12-A/B One to seven, Rte 18, Town of Yates, Orleans, 26
Mar (William W. Watson, Willie D‘Anna, ph Dean DiTommaso).
2005-30-A One, Long Point State Park, Cayuga Lake, Cayuga, 5
Mar (Curtis Marantz).
2005-54-A One, Bacon Hill, Northumberland, Saratoga, 27
Oct (Barbara Putnam, ph B. Putnam).
2005-57-A/B Three, Ring-necked Marsh, Iroquois NWR, Orleans, 29
Oct - 12 Nov (William W. Watson, Michael Morgante).
2005-73-A One, Countryside Sand & Gravel Ponds,
Dayton, Cattaraugus, 30 Oct (Michael Morgante).
Since Cackling Goose was split from Canada Goose (B. canadensis)
in 2004, birders in NY have looked for and found the nominate form of
this newly recognized species with some consistency. Whether this reflects
a genuine increase in occurrence or better detection makes for an interesting
discussion. All of the 2005 reports pertain to the nominate subspecies B.
h. hutchinsii, commonly know as “Richardson’s” Canada
Goose prior to the split. This population nests in the central Canadian
Arctic and winters in the central United States and northern Mexico.
As with previous years, the majority of reports came from western NY,
with smaller numbers from Long Island and elsewhere. In general, only
passage migrants are found upstate, with wintering individuals more likely
on Long Island. Flocks containing multiple individuals are more likely
in Region 1, as shown by the 2005 records of seven birds in Orleans Co.,
three in Genesee Co., and two in Niagara Co. Cattaraugus had its first
county record, though it is conceivable that this form was simply overlooked
in the past. Due to the numerous accepted reports of this species, NYSARC
removed Cackling Goose from the Review List, though regional documentation
is still encouraged. Reports of other less likely races of Cackling Goose,
such as the truly diminutive B. h. minima, should be thoroughly
documented and submitted to NYSARC.
Common Eider (Somateria mollissima)
2005-62-A/D One, Irondequoit Bay Outlet, Monroe, 14-17
Nov (William W. Watson, Dominic Sherony, Gerald S. Lazarczyk, Robert
G. Spahn, ph D. Sherony: see p. 357, R. Spahn).
Irondequoit Bay Outlet,
copyright Dominic Sherony
click photo to enlarge
This female Common Eider was seen for at least a week, often at exceptionally
close range, and provided an unexpected opportunity for non-coastal birders
to study a species that is rare away from saltwater. Based on the excellent
photographs accompanying two of the reports, the Committee agreed that
this was not S. m. dresseri, the subspecies that winters
in large numbers along the coast of eastern Long Island. Although some
members felt that it most closely resembled the Pacific subspecies, S.
m. v-nigra, it was not clear that the northern subspecies S.
m. borealis, which has been collected in NY and regularly
ranges south to Massachusetts, could be definitively ruled out (see Spahn
1998). Field identification of Common Eider subspecies is an area of
active study, with the differences in female and immature plumages being
the least well understood (Knapton 1997).
Western Grebe (Aechmophorus occidentalis)
2005-60-A One, Cumberland Head, Plattsburg, Clinton, 2
Nov (William E. Krueger).
Once a great rarity in NYS, Western Grebe has become a more frequent
visitor in the past decade, with reports being about equally divided
between spring and fall. The description of the pattern of white, black
and gray on the face/neck/back, combined with the long, dull yellow bill,
was adequate to eliminate Red-throated Loon (Gavia stellata)
and Red-necked Grebe (Podiceps grisegena) that were also present
on Lake Champlain. The description of the pattern of black on the face
and bill color, plus lack of white on the sides, argued against the less
likely Clark’s Grebe or a hybrid.
Audubon’s Shearwater (Puffinus lherminieri)
2005-45-A Three individuals, seen on a pelagic out of
Belmar, NJ to waters southeast of New York Harbor, 20 Aug (Paul A. Guris).
Audubon’s Shearwater is regularly found on pelagic trips to Hudson
Canyon during the mid- to late-summer, and NYSARC has accepted five September
sightings since 1978, with a number of credible reports not submitted
for review. These three individuals were found during an organized pelagic
trip led by Paul Guris and were well described. The first two were found
approximately 43 miles east of Belmar, NJ (39° 53' 48" N, 73° 09'
03" W) and the third was 76 miles east of Belmar (39° 39' 34" N,
72° 30' 14" W), in both cases within the NYS pelagic boundaries.
The size comparison with Cory’s Shearwater (Calonectris diomedea)
and the detailed plumage description eliminated Manx Shearwater (P.
puffinus), which has been noted in NY in almost every month of the
American White Pelican (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos)
2005-23-A/B One, main pool, Montezuma National Wildlife
Refuge, Seneca, 20 May - 2 Jul (William W. Watson, Mark
2005-39-A One, near exit 19 on the NYS Thruway, Kingston, Ulster, 28
Jun (Michael Shanley).
2005-79-A One, White Lake, Oneida, 14
Aug (Andrew VanNorstrand).
A signature species of the Great Plains, American White Pelicans have
become quite regular in upstate NY, with the wetlands at Montezuma National
Wildlife Refuge (MNWR) being a favored location in spring and to a lesser
extent in summer. The timing of the Montezuma and Kingston sightings
maintains this trend. The August bird from the Adirondacks (northeastern
Oneida Co.) was more unusual.
Magnificent Frigatebird (Fregata magnificens)
2005-55-A One male, Bayport, Suffolk, 6
Nov (Gail M. Black).
Like many reports of vagrant frigatebirds in the northeast, this record
lacked the detail to identify the species with absolute certainty. After
some debate, the Committee chose to accept it as a Magnificent Frigatebird
because the description was fully consistent with this species, and the
individual occurred in the context of a massive displacement of birds
by Hurricane Wilma, which crossed southern Florida from the Gulf of Mexico
on 24 Oct and moved rapidly northeast on a vector roughly parallel to
the Atlantic seaboard. Multiple Magnificent Frigatebirds are known to
have been propelled north, with more than 70 on Bermuda and 7-8 reaching
Nova Scotia and St. Pierre. One apparently made it as far as the British
Isles on 7 Nov. Numerous frigatebird sightings between NY and Georgia
in the first week of November are likely to be displaced individuals
returning south (Dinsmore and Farnsworth 2006, McLaren and Mills 2006).
Even though the circumstances strongly favor a Magnificent Frigatebird
originating in the Gulf of Mexico or Caribbean, the Committee notes that
other species of this genus have occurred as vagrants in North America,
and strongly urges observers to document any frigatebird seen in NY in
as much detail as possible. This is underscored by a female Lesser Frigatebird
(F. ariel) photographed on 11 Sep 2005 by hawkwatchers in Brownstown,
Michigan, at the western end of Lake Erie (Brennan and Schultz 2006).
White-faced Ibis (Plegadis chihi)
2005-21-A One subadult, north marsh, Jamaica Bay Wildlife
Refuge, Queens, 14 May (Angus Wilson).
This ibis was viewed briefly from the West Pond walking trail before
it disappeared into a tidal creek. The red facial skin and eye were indicative
of White-faced rather than Glossy Ibis (P. falcinellus). The
lack of white feathering around the eye and gape and the adult-like maroon
color and iridescence of the plumage suggest an older subadult rather
than a first-summer bird. The report raises the valid question of hybridization,
but there is nothing in the description that would be inconsistent for
a subadult White-faced Ibis. Although the nesting range of this species
is concentrated in the marshlands of the Great Basin, with most birds
wintering on the central Gulf Coast into Mexico, it is interesting to
note that the majority of NYS records have occurred on Long Island rather
than the interior or western part of the state, the exceptions being
two historical specimens (1844 and 1908) from Grand Island, Erie Co.,
and a well-documented bird from Montezuma NWR, Seneca Co., in 2003 (NYSARC
Gyrfalcon (Falco rusticolus)
2005-3-A/C One, Route 89, Varick, Seneca, 27
Feb (Michael Harvey, Jay McGowan, Matthew Medler, ph M. Harvey, J. McGowan,
This adult gray-morph Gyrfalcon was documented with a nice set of reports
and excellent photographs. The observers rightly considered the possibility
of an escaped falconry bird and carefully looked for signs of captivity
but found none. Harvey’s report considered not only other North
American raptors but also discussed European species and the possibility
of a hybrid. Falconers in North America do keep a variety of European
species, including Lanner Falcon (F. biarmicus) and the very
Gyrfalcon-like Saker Falcon (F. cherrug), as well as hybrid
falcons, so this cautious approach is well justified. Although some hybrid
combinations may be very difficult to separate from a pure Gyrfalcon,
it was felt that there was nothing in the description that was incompatible
with the identification of Gyrfalcon, an assertion that was supported
by the photographs.
Seneca Co., 27 Feb 2005, copyright Daniel Lebbin -- click
photo to enlarge
Wilson’s Plover (Charadrius wilsonia)
2005-19-A/B One, Sagaponack Pond, Bridgehampton, Suffolk, 6-8
May (Shaibal S. Mitra, Angus Wilson).
This male Wilson’s Plover was found by Hugh McGuinness on 6 May
and seen again by a number of observers on the following two days and
again by McGuinness on 9 May. Interestingly, a female Wilson’s
Plover was found just south of the NY/NJ border at Sandy Hook on 10 May,
remaining until the 19th. At times the plover was difficult to locate,
most likely when it moved to the northern shore of the large cove at
the southern end of the Pond. The combination of the large black bill,
white collar, and the tall pinkish legs eliminated any other species.
The rusty tones on the rear crown and cheeks indicated breeding plumage.
The location on the south shore of Long Island and the late spring date
are typical for reports of Wilson’s Plover in NYS, and perhaps
reflect pioneering individuals venturing into suitable habitat north
of the core breeding range.
Common Ringed Plover (Charadrius hiaticula)
Common Ringed Plover
Jamaica Bay WR, Qeens Co., 9 Sep 2005
copyright Martin Lofgren
click photo to enlarge
2005-70-A One adult, Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, Queens, 13
Sep (Martin Lofgren, ph M. Lofgren: see p. 356).
Whilst photographing a confiding Buff-breasted Sandpiper (Tryngites
subruficollis) and other shorebirds on the partly-drained East Pond
at Jamaica Bay WR, Martin Lofgren took several photographs of a worn Charadrius plover,
presuming that this was the expected Semipalmated Plover (C. semipalmatus).
Only later, as he reviewed his images more carefully, did Lofgren realize
that this was in fact more likely a Common Ringed Plover, a familiar
species from his native Sweden. In submitting the extant photographs
to NYSARC for review, Lofgren readily acknowledged that the potentially
diagnostic call was not knowingly heard nor was the presence or absence
of partial webbing on the feet looked for. Understandably, other birders
present on the East Pond, including members of the Committee, were not
alerted to the bird's presence.
extensive deliberations, the Committee examined numerous photographs of both
Common Ringed and Semipalmated Plovers, looked at similar worn adults in the
field, and consulted with several shorebird experts in Europe and North America.
There was general agreement that the structure of the bill, positioning of
dark feathering above the gape, extent of the black breast band, absence of
a yellowish orbital ring and other features were fully consistent with Common
Ringed Plover and inconsistent with Semipalmated Plover. This represents the
first record for NYS and one of only a handful for North America south of the
high arctic breeding sites in the Nunavut Province of Canada (1,000 pairs),
Greenland (30-60,000 pairs) and northwestern Alaska (several hundred pairs),
all of which migrate to Europe, Africa and Asia for the remainder of the year.
South of the arctic, there are accepted records from Newfoundland (24-28 Aug
1980, 14-16 Aug 2001, 20 Aug - 17 Sept 2006), Nova Scotia (7 Oct 1989),
Quebec (27-28 Jul 1989, 7 Jul 2000), Prince Edward Island (2 Oct 1989), Maine
(26 Aug - 5 Sep 2003), Massachusetts (5 Sep 1990), and Rhode Island (15-22
Sep 1991) (Mills et al. 1990, Auchu 2000, Ellison and Martin 2004,
Clarke and Brown 2007). There are also records from the Caribbean, including
Barbados and Trinidad (Raffaele et al. 1998; Kenefick et al. 2007).
It is conceivable that Common Ringed Plovers occur in the northeast on a more
frequent basis but are missed because of their considerable similarity to Semipalmated
Plover, especially in juvenile plumage. Careful scrutiny of “ringed plovers” by
well-prepared observers may ultimately lead to more sightings, which of course
will need to be very extensively documented with written descriptions and preferably
accompanied by photographs.
Black-necked Stilt (Himantopus mexicanus)
2005-20-A/C One, Little Reed Pond, Montauk, Suffolk, 6-8
May (Shaibal S. Mitra, Angus Wilson, Rex Stanford, ph A. Wilson, R. Stanford).
2005-38-A/B Three, Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, Kings/Queens, 19
May (Shaibal S. Mitra, Douglas Gochfeld).
The occurrence of Black-necked Stilt on Long Island has increased slightly
in recent years. The Committee received three reports and two photographs
of a Black-necked Stilt discovered on 1 May by Vicki Bustamante on Little
Reed Pond in Montauk, this elegant shorebird remaining until 10 May.
On 19 May, three birds were found together on the West Pond at Jamaica
Bay Refuge but were gone the next day.
California Gull (Larus californicus)
2005-56-A/B One, Sir Adam Beck Power Station, Niagara
River, Niagara, 12 Nov (William W. Watson, Willie D‘Anna).
The first California Gull found on the Niagara River occurred in 1992,
and, amazingly, the species has been recorded there every year since.
Most records are from the power plants on the lower river, where the
2005 bird was observed. There are also nearly annual reports from above
Niagara Falls, where the river is much wider; however, most of those
are on the Canadian side of the river and therefore are generally not
submitted to NYSARC. This year’s bird is believed to be the same
individual that had been present for at least three consecutive prior
years, based on its habit of perching at the base of the power dam on
the NY side and the barely noticeable red spot on its lower mandible.
Thayer’s Gull (Larus thayeri)
2005-13-A One first winter, Lake Edward on Perinton
Parkway, Perinton, Monroe, 7 Dec (Dominic Sherony, ph
D. Sherony: see p. 356).
, Lake Edward, Perinton, Monroe Co., 7
Dec 2005 copyright Dominic
Documentation of Thayer's Gull is problematic because of difficulties
in separating first cycle plumages from Kumlien's Iceland Gull (L.
glaucoides kumlieni) and more advanced plumages from American Herring
Gull (L. argentatus smithsonianus) (Olsen and Larsson 2004,
Howell and Dunn 2007). There are also uncertainties about the taxonomic
status, with reason to think that Kumlien’s might reflect a stable
hybrid population formed by post-glacial contact between Thayer’s
and nominate Iceland Gulls (L. g. glaucoides). Because of these
concerns, the Committee requires identifiable photographs or meticulous
descriptions for acceptance of Thayer’s reports. The Perinton bird
was documented by two photographs and the bird was observed on two different
days. Comparison photographs of an additional first cycle bird somewhat
intermediate between Thayer and Kumlien’s were also provided. The
Committee considered the first individual characteristic of a Thayer's
Sandwich Tern (Sterna sandvicensis)
2005-46-A Two, Breezy Point, Queens, 31
Aug (Shane Blodgett).
Shane Blodgett found these two Sandwich Terns roosting among several
thousand Common Terns (S. hirundo) and an estimated 1,000 Black
Skimmers (Rynchops niger) on the open beach and dunes near Breezy
Point. One of the two birds had plumage characteristics of a juvenile
and repeatedly tried to beg from the other bird. Sandwich Tern remains
a rare species in NYS and is easily confused with other Sterna terns,
especially in late summer and fall when local nesting species transition
into basic plumage. The report described both birds in excellent detail,
leaving no doubt regarding their identity. The late summer date and proximity
to a barrier beach inlet is fairly typical for Sandwich Tern records
on Long Island.
Arctic Tern (Sterna paradisaea)
2005-40-A/C One first summer, Moriches Inlet, Cupsogue
County Park, Suffolk, 3-12 Jul (Shaibal S. Mitra,
Sean Sime, Shane Blodgett, ph Rob Jett).
This Arctic Tern was found on 3 Jul by Shai Mitra as he and others sorted
through a large group of Common (S. hirundo), Least (Sternula
antillarum), and Black (Chlidonias niger) Terns near Moriches
Inlet on the south shore of Long Island. The close proximity of this
bird to Common Terns of various ages allowed for the detailed comparisons
necessary to make this difficult identification. Sean Sime, Shane Blodgett,
and Rob Jett found a similarly plumaged Arctic Tern at this same location
on 12 Jul and also provided excellent written descriptions. Recent reports
from Long Island suggest that individual Arctic Terns appear for only
brief periods, often just one day, before moving on, and thus these two
sets of reports might actually involve different individuals.
Thick-billed Murre (Uria lomvia)
2005-7-A Two, Shinnecock Inlet, Suffolk, 29
Jan (Rex and Birgit Stanford, ph R. Stanford).
2005-71-A One, Montauk Point State Park, Suffolk, 27
Dec (Seth Ausubel).
Rex and Birgit Stanford provided an excellent written description and
accompanying photographs that clearly document an adult Thick-billed
Murre and a first-winter bird at Shinnecock Inlet. After reviewing their
photos, they concluded that there might have been two different adults
present, totaling three birds, but in the opinion of the Committee, the
photo documentation did not support the presence of a second adult. The
December murre was originally found on 17 Dec by Tom Burke and the Point
South party whilst participating on the Montauk Christmas Bird Count.
Eurasian Collared-Dove (Streptopelia decaocto)
2005-50-A/C One, Church Road, Hamlin, Monroe, 1-17
June (Robert G. Spahn, Jeanne Skelly, Dominic Sherony, ph R. Spahn).
This Eurasian Collared-Dove was discovered by David Tetlow not far from
the location where the first accepted record for the State occurred in
2002 (NYSARC 2002-26-A/B). Although the Committee is aware of the continuous
spread of Eurasian Collared-Doves across the southern United States and
northeastwards, there are still only three previously accepted records
for NY. Considering the location, it is possible that this individual
is the same as the 2002 sighting. Analysts have commented on the striking,
but as yet unexplained, failure of Eurasian Collared-Dove to expand into
the northeast during a time when the species has already reached the
prairie states of western Canada. Since this species is occasionally
kept in captivity—a known source of some extralimital records—observers
are strongly encouraged to look for bands or other signs of recent captive
origin. Observers are also reminded to carefully rule out the frequently
released form of Ringed Turtle-Dove (S. risoria).
White-winged Dove (Zenaida asiatica)
2005-41-A One, Buffalo Street, Silver Creek, Chautauqua, 8
May (Marilyn Pecoraro-O’Connell).
This dove was noted at a ground feeder as the observer was getting ready
for work. Fortunately, she opted to pause and study the bird carefully
because it disappeared as soon as she went to retrieve a camera. Even
in the absence of photographic documentation, this complete description
was deemed acceptable.
Great Gray Owl (Strix nebulosa)
Great Gray Owl,
Vincent, Jefferson Co.,
24 Mar 205
click photo to enlarge
2005-6-A/D One, Gosier Road, Cape Vincent, Jefferson, 23
Feb - 24 Mar (Shaibal S. Mitra, Gerry Smith, Rex & Birgit Stanford,
Curtis Marantz, ph S. Mitra, R. Stanford: see p. 357, C. Marantz).
2005-28-A One, found injured on Route 3 in Natural Bridge, Jefferson, end
of Feb (Gerry Smith).
The Cape Vincent Great Gray was found by Gerry Smith on 23 Feb and was
documented by three written reports, several photographs and a newspaper
article. During its long stay, this wonderfully cooperative owl was watched
and photographed by many people and was last noted by Smith on 17 May.
The second record, detailed in a newspaper article written by H. Michael
Jalili and submitted to the archive by Gerry Smith, describes a Great
Gray Owl that was injured after colliding with a car on Route 3 in Natural
Bridge in late February. The owl was taken to a rehabilitator and released
on 1 Mar in Dexter, Jefferson Co. NYS marked the southern boundary of
a substantial incursion during the winter of 2004/2005. Approximately
600 were reported in Quebec by February, but relatively few were recorded
south of the St. Lawrence River (Bannon et al. 2005). Likewise,
several hundred were located in southern Ontario, but these again found
sufficient food so that only a minority had to travel south of Lake Ontario
Boreal Owl (Aegolius funereus)
2005-53-A One, Lake Road, Wilson, Niagara, 23,
28, 31 Jan & 10 Mar (Willie D’Anna, ph W. D’Anna).
Marg Partridge found this Boreal Owl on private property, and it was
relocated on several more occasions. Digital photographs were obtained
using binoculars and leave no doubt about the identification. The winter
of 2004/05 will be remembered for its Boreal Owls, of which at least
two found in 2004 (2004-61-A/B and 2004-71-A/E) continued into 2005.
Lake Road is only a few miles from Wilson-Tuscarora State Park, where
a Boreal Owl was found on 18 Dec 2004 (NYSARC 2004-83-A).
Chuck-will’s-widow (Caprimulgus carolinensis)
2005-26-A/E One, Wheeler & West Roads, West Monroe, Oswego, 21 & 29
May (Kevin McGann, Bill Purcell, Charles C. Spagnoli, Jeanne Skelly,
A single Chuck-will’s-widow was heard singing over a period of
nine days near the Three Mile Bay WMA, a mostly wet, wooded swamp with
drier upland areas favored by this bird. The song descriptions were detailed
and convinced the Committee of the identification. Chuck-will’s-widow
had been recorded in the same general location previously.
Say’s Phoebe (Sayornis saya)
2005-37-A/B One, Jones Beach West End, Nassau, 23
June (Shaibal S. Mitra, Seymour Schiff, ph S. Mitra).
This western tyrant flycatcher was discovered by Max and Nellie Larson
near the Coast Guard Station and relocated by several additional observers
as it moved east along the barrier beach before reappearing near the
original spot. Excellent written details and accompanying photographs
convincingly documented this one-day visitor. The mid-summer date is
unprecedented, as previous NYS records have occurred in the fall (Sept-Oct)
or winter (Dec-Feb), and hints that western vagrants occur more frequently
during this period than is generally assumed.
Gray Kingbird (Tyrannus dominicensis)
2005-49-A/F One, Manitou Road at Salmon Creek, Greece, Monroe, 1-4
Oct (Jeanne Skelly, Dominic Sherony, William W. Watson, Willie D’Anna,
Gerry S. Lazarczyk, Robert G. Spahn, ph J. Skelly, D. Sherony, W. D‘Anna,
This cooperative Gray Kingbird was discovered by David Tetlow along Salmon
Creek and was watched and photographed over its four day stay by many
additional observers. This represents the tenth record for NYS and the
first since 1992. Gray Kingbird remains a rare visitor to the northeast
as a whole, and the only other reports for fall 2005 were from New Jersey
on 19 Oct and another in Maryland on the same day.
Scissor-tailed Flycatcher (Tyrannus forficatus)
2005-32-A/C One, Mt. Loretto Unique Area, Staten Island, Richmond, 5
Jun (Seth Wollney, Angus Wilson, Steve Nanz, ph A. Wilson, S. Nanz, sketch
Rich McGovern found this Scissor-tailed Flycatcher hawking insects over
a small pond on 5 Jun but, unfortunately, it had gone by the following
day. This bird represents at least the third record for Richmond Co.
and was seen by many observers during its brief stay, three of whom provided
excellent details and photographs. The early summer date is fairly typical
for this southern species.
Purple Martin (Progne subis)
2005-76-A One adult female, Golden Hill State Park,
Somerset, Niagara, 5 Nov (Michael Morgante).
Ordinarily rare after September, the previous late record for Purple
Martin was 28 Oct, but there is a single record for February (Crowell
1998). This female martin was well seen from Golden Hill State Park,
found over Lake Ontario while observers were watching the incursion of
Cave Swallows (Petrochelidon fulva) occurring at that time.
Other large dark swallows were considered but eliminated as possible
Cave Swallow (Petrochelidon fulva)
2005-52-A/C, Three, under Lake Ontario Parkway bridge
at Salmon Creek, Greece, Monroe, 3-17 Nov (Robert G.
Spahn, Gerald S. Lazarczyk, Dominic Sherony, ph R. Spahn).
2005-61-A Four, Derby Hill Bird Observatory, Mexico, Oswego, 6
Nov (Bill Purcell).
2005-64-A Three, Fairhaven State Park, Cayuga, 16
Nov (Gregg Dashnau, ph G. Dashnau: see p. 356).
2005-75-A Forty-two, Golden Hill State Park, Somerset, Niagara,
5 Nov (Michael Morgante).
Fairhaven Co. Park,
Cayuga Col, 11 Nov 2005
copyright Gregg Dashnau
click photo to enlarge
The late fall of 2005 witnessed a spectacular incursion of Cave Swallows
into the northeast, shattering records at many locations. The greatest
numbers were recorded on the southern shore of Lake Ontario, with the
majority of birds flying west. We received nine reports detailing some
52 birds. In reality there were a great many more than this, perhaps
something in the order of a thousand. By far the largest counts were
made at Hamlin Beach State Park (Monroe Co.), where the major passage
occurred from 3 Nov through to 6 Nov. Strong winds from the southwest
were met by an approaching low-pressure system, and a trickle of birds
grew into a deluge on 6 Nov when the front passed through. During that
one day, observers counted a remarkable 579 Cave Swallows, giving a cumulative
total of 761 for the four-day period! A few Cave Swallows lingered as
late as 17 Nov, when birds were found roosting under a bridge and were
photographed. A specimen was also found at this location on 17 Nov and
deposited in the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology collection. It is
speculated that subsequent northwesterly winds pushed the surviving birds
east and south towards the coast, with multiple sightings in the latter
half of November from Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island,
southern New Jersey, coastal Virginia and North Carolina. For fuller
accounts of this spectacular incursion see Spahn and Tetlow (2006) and
Sullivan et al. (2006).
this was an unprecedented event and, in reviewing the reports submitted, the
Committee concentrated on two concerns: one, that not all of the individuals
that were counted were seen well enough to be rigorously identified; and two,
that individuals may have been counted two or more times, either as they passed
observers spread along the lake front or by circling around one particular
area. The latter was of greatest concern in discussion of the extraordinary
daily counts from Hamlin Beach, given that comparable numbers were not seen
to the west or east. Commentary by members intimately familiar with the circumstances
did much to clarify these issues. On the days when large numbers of Cave Swallows
were seen, they were typically observed in small groups flying quickly by,
and thus it was impossible for an observer to completely study every individual.
Apparent size, shape, and flight-style were used to quickly rule out most other
swallow species. When it was possible, observers noted plumage characters such
as the buffy throat and lack of a very pale forehead patch to rule out Cliff
Swallow (P. pyrrhonota). Very few other lingering swallow species
were found along Lake Ontario during this November event and, in fact, no Cliff
Swallows were reported. Therefore, the Committee felt reasonably assured that
almost all of the birds reported as Cave Swallows were correctly identified.
second concern—double-counting—was considered more likely if these
birds had been actively foraging rather than strictly flying west. For example,
birds could have been foraging into the wind along the lake edge, where they
were counted, and then might have circled back inland with the wind, only to
then return to the lake to forage once more. Observers did make an effort to
look inland as well as along the lake and very few birds were noted to be flying
east. Given these qualifiers, the Committee voted to accept the total number
of birds as reported. Cave Swallows have undergone a remarkable change in their
frequency of occurrence since the first fall record (and second ever) in November
1998 (1998-59-A). Almost every year the number of sightings has crept upward,
predominantly along Lakes Ontario and Erie and, subsequently, Long Island’s
south shore. The long-term significance for this species and the underlying
causes are essentially unknown.
Mountain Bluebird (Sialia currucoides)
2005-8-A/B One, Ellis Hollow, Dryden, Tompkins, 6
Mar (Jay McGowan, Curtis Marantz, ph J. & Kevin McGowan).
Brian Sullivan found this Mountain Bluebird on 6 Mar, and it was subsequently
seen by many birders. Details of plumage suggest that this was probably
a first-year male based on the extent of blue, but the possibility that
it was an adult female cannot be entirely ruled out.
Townsend’s Solitaire (Myadestes townsendi)
2005-31-A One, Jones Beach West End, Nassau, 29
May (John Heidecker, ph J. Heidecker).
2005-51-A One adult, Wilson, Niagara, 12-14
Apr (Willie D’Anna, ph W. D’Anna).
2005-74-A One adult, Kingston, Ulster, 12
Nov (Mark Dedea, sketches M. Dedea).
Previous NYS records for Townsend's Solitaire have come from the eastern
part of the state. Thus, to have three separate sightings spread across
the state over a one year period is notable. The reports of the sightings
from Jones Beach and Wilson were accompanied by excellent photographs.
The third report from Kingston included a thorough description and excellent
sketches. David Gardner discovered the solitaire at Jones Beach.
Cortland Co., 8 Jan 2005
copyright Chris & Diane
click photo to enlarge
Varied Thrush (Ixoreus naevius)
2005-4-A/B One adult male, home of Mr. & Mrs.
Arnold Talentino, Cortland, Cortland, 7-8 Jan (Kevin
McGann, Chris Tessaglia-Hymes, ph K. McGann, C. & Diane Tessaglia-Hymes:
see p. 356).
2005-68-A/B One male, Webster Park, Webster, Monroe, 1
Dec - Mar 2006 (Jeanne Skelly, Dominic Sherony, ph D. Sherony).
Varied Thrush has been reported with less frequency in the state in recent
times compared to the 1980s, so it was encouraging that we received two
reports for 2005. Both of these male Varied Thrushes were photographed,
and the observers provided excellent descriptions of these very distinctive
birds. The Webster Park thrush, found by Mike Davids and David Tetlow,
remained for most of the winter and was seen by many observers, although
it could be difficult to locate at times.
Veery (Catharus fuscescens)
2005-81-A/B One, Webster Park, Monroe, 5-23
Dec (Steven Daniels, Robert G. Spahn).
This Veery was chanced upon in thick brush on 4 Dec by Andy Guthrie whilst
searching for the Varied Thrush (Ixoreus naevius) (2005-68-A/B)
discovered a few days earlier. This record represents one of few documented
winter records of Veery in North America, the vast majority wintering
in central and southeastern Brazil (Remsen 2001). Meticulous documentation
is obviously necessary for such extraordinary records, and the details
associated with these observations were of a very high quality, including
notation of vocalizations and flank color, in addition to the distinctive
rusty tones to the upperparts.
Black-throated Gray Warbler (Dendroica nigrescens)
2005-63-A/C One, Forest Park, Queens, 13-19
Nov (Seth Ausubel, Arie Gilbert, Curtis Marantz).
This Black-throated Gray Warbler was found by Seth Ausubel on 13 Nov
and represents the 14th record for NYS. The warbler, considered an adult
female or hatching-year male, was seen by many birders until the last
reported sighting on 19 Nov.
Yellow-throated Warbler (Dendroica dominica)
2005-58-A/B One, private residence, Jamesville, Dewitt, Onondaga, 14
Nov (Brenda Best, Dorothy Crumb).
This Yellow-throated Warbler visited the yard of Nancy Strait. The Committee
agreed that the two observers gave an excellent and complete description
of this distinctive species. The behavior of this individual, picking
insects or spiders from a screen porch, is not atypical, and the late
date of observation is consistent with previous records.
Swainson’s Warbler (Limnothlypis swainsonii)
2005-14-A/G One, Forest Park, Queens, 12-17
Apr (Douglas J. Futuyma, Seymour Schiff, Michael Higgiston, Shaibal S.
Mitra, Lloyd Spitalnik, Angus Wilson, Jean Loscalzo, ph L. Spitalnik,
A. Wilson, Ed Lam).
2005-18-A One, Hempstead Lake State Park, Nassau, 1
May (Shaibal S. Mitra).
2005-33-A One, Great Kills Park, Staten Island, Richmond, 27
May (David W. Eib).
These three reports of Swainson’s Warbler were part of an extraordinary
influx of southeastern landbirds to coastal NY during the spring of 2005
(Mitra and Lindsay 2005; Veit et al. 2005). The very confiding
Forest Park bird was amply documented by seven reports, nine photographs,
and excellent descriptions. A full account of this record was published
by the finder Jean Loscalzo (see Loscalzo 2005). The second bird was
found by Matt Bayer and Al Wollin at Hempstead Lake State Park and resighted
by a number of birders. The final record from Staten Island was of a
bird seen briefly but adequately described by David Eib. These constitute
the 12th-14th records for NYS. Additional reports came from Central Park
(details not yet submitted) and from eastern Long Island (see 2005-25-A
below). All previous accepted records have occurred within a relatively
narrow window of time (29 Apr to 20 May), with hints of similar influxes
in 1973 (two records) and 1975 (two records).
Nelson’s Sharp-tailed Sparrow (Ammodramus nelsoni)
2005-43-A One, Town of Champlain, Clinton, 2
July (William E. Krueger).
This species is most commonly found away from the coast during spring
and fall migration, and thus a July record from the shores of Lake Champlain
in Clinton Co. is quite unexpected. The description of the plumage and
song eliminated the two most likely contenders, Saltmarsh Sharp-tailed
(A. caudacutus) and LeConte’s (A. leconteii) Sparrows. In 2002,
another Nelson’s Sharp-tailed Sparrow was reported on 30 Jul from
near this same location (NYSARC 2002-23-A/B), raising the exciting possibility
that the species might be extending its breeding range into this corner
of the state, and further scrutiny of suitable habitat there during late
June and July might be rewarding.
Dark-eyed “Oregon” Junco (Junco hyemalis oreganus or J.
h. montanus or J. h. shufeldti)
2005-35-A One, Lake Road, Wilson, Niagara, 31
Jan, 6 & 13 Feb (Willie D’Anna, ph W. D‘Anna).
This “Oregon” Junco was digiscoped and a thorough and lengthy
description was provided. The discussion isolated the race to three of
five possible subspecies in the “Oregon” group of Dark-eyed
Juncos. Pink-sided Junco (H. h. mearnsi) was ruled out by virtue
of the dark contrasting hood present on this bird. Based on the photographs,
there does not appear to be any issues concerning a possible hybrid.
Harris’s Sparrow (Zonotrichia querula)
2005-1-A/D One, Baldwin Harbor Town Park, Baldwin, Nassau, 2-16
Jan (Shaibal S. Mitra, Patricia Lindsay, Arie Gilbert, Angus Wilson,
Nikolas Haass, ph S. Mitra, A. Wilson, sketch N. Haass).
2005-78-A One, Derby Hill Bird Observatory, Mexico, Oswego, 11
May (Gerard Phillips, ph G. Phillips).
Both reports provided thorough documentation. The immature on Long Island
was discovered on 2 Jan by Shai Mitra and Patricia Lindsay during the
Southern Nassau Christmas Bird Count and was viewed by many observers
during the following two weeks. In addition to photographs the sparrow
was portrayed with an excellent field sketch by Nikolas Haass. It
associated with a flock of White-throated Sparrows that also included
single nominate (Z. leucophrys leucophrys) and Gambell’s
(Z. l. gambelii) White-crowned Sparrows. The second report,
documenting a bird at Derby Hill, was also accompanied by clear photographs
of an adult in alternate plumage. The winter date of the Long Island
bird and the spring date of the Lake Ontario bird are consistent with
previous records from these general areas.
Blue Grosbeak (Passerina caerulea)
2005-17-A One, Flats Road, Athens, Greene, 8
May (Jeremy Taylor).
Jeremy Taylor identified this Blue Grosbeak, which was first observed
by his parents at their feeder in Athens the previous day. Although his
report was not terribly detailed, the description of a large blue songbird
with a heavy bill and chestnut wing bars was fairly straightforward.
2005 Reports Origins Uncertain
Barnacle Goose (Branta leucopsis)
2005-72-A/B One, Eisenhower Park, Nassau,
24 Dec sporadically to 24 Jan 2006 (Angus Wilson, Brendan Fogarty, ph
A. Wilson, B. Fogarty).
At this time, the Committee has concerns on the origins of Barnacle Geese
due to the fact that they are routinely kept and escapes are well known.
There were no questions concerning the identification of this bird, since
the reports included two excellent photographs. The fact that the same
flock at one point also contained a Greenland Greater White-fronted Goose
(Anser albifrons flavirostris) was encouraging. However, comments
that the bird “seemed tame” created further concern, and
the park itself was quite urban in character. The Committee continues
to discuss and debate the status of Barnacle Goose in NYS.
Gyrfalcon (Falco rusticolus)
2005-80-A One, Ocean Parkway at Cedar Beach, Suffolk, 18
Dec (Ken Feustel).
The Committee struggled over this record with two concerns. First, during
the period that this falcon was being observed, information appeared
on the NY list that this bird had allegedly been lost recently by a falconer.
Various inquiries turned up a report to the NYS agency which monitors
falconry of a Gyrfalcon X Peregrine Falcon (F. peregrinus) hybrid
lost near Massapequa Park, about five miles in a direct line from Cedar
Beach where the bird was seen most often. Second, the identity of this
hawk was questioned on the basis that it might have been a Gyrfalcon
X Peregrine Falcon cross. The coloration of the mantle could support
this viewpoint. After much debate, it was believed that the bird was
possibly correctly identified but the concerns about origin persisted.
2005 Reports Origins Unnatural
Trumpeter Swan (Cygnus buccinator)
2005-27-A/B Two, near Carncross Road, Savannah, Wayne, 20
May (William W. Watson, Gerald S. Lazarczyk).
2005-69-A Two adults, three young, south side of Atlantic
Ave, one mile east of county line, Wayne, 4-6 June (Robert
G. Spahn, ph R. Spahn).
Trumpeter Swans continue to be found in the lake plains region of the
state. Bob Spahn provided photographic evidence of a family group of
fledglings and untagged adults in western Wayne Co. This breeding pair
is believed to be progeny of birds introduced into western NY or Ontario,
Canada. Although this species does not yet meet the NYSARC criteria for
a fully established introduced species in NY, it is clearly moving in
that direction. Birders are encouraged to continue documenting the occurrence
and confirmed breeding of this species.
Whooping Crane (Grus americana)
2005-22-A/G Three, Ripley Hawkwatch #2, Chautauqua, 6
April (Bill Dietz, R. Gilbert Randell, Jann Randell, Leonard DeFrancisco,
Melvin Freeborough, Tom Wasilewski, Robert Sundell, sketches R. Randell,
L. DeFrancisco, M. Freeborough).
2005-44-A One, Number Four Road, Lowville, Lewis, 12
Aug (Chris Reidy).
The dedicated hawkwatchers gathered at Ripley are quite used to seeing
migrant Sandhill Cranes (G. canadensis), having logged an impressive
59 in 2004 alone, and were about to add three more for the 2005 count
when, at around noon on 6 Apr, three cranes were spotted from watch site
#2 flying east about a quarter of a mile away. The five observers, Jann
Randell, Gil Randell, Mel Freeborough, Bill Dietz and Tom Wasilewski,
immediately realized that these were not Sandhills but in fact Whooping
Cranes. Two additional observers, Len DeFrancisco and Bob Sundell, situated
at site #4, were contacted by radio and were also able to study the birds,
albeit at greater distance. Gil Randell contacted Tim Sullivan of the
US Fish & Wildlife Service, and David Stilwell wrote back to provide
further information about the birds. The Lewis Co. bird was found along
the Black River floodplain, standing in a wet hayfield beside two Great
Blue Herons (Ardea herodias). All four birds belong to a captive-raised
population that has been introduced to the east in hopes of establishing
a second migratory population as a hedge against any environmental catastrophe
that might afflict the remaining wild population, which migrates between
the Gulf Coast of Texas and western Canada. Most of these introduced
birds winter in northern Florida and are being trained to migrate to
Wisconsin in the summer but can evidently wander off course. The aggregate
reports for both submissions adequately address the identification of
these spectacular birds and allowed unambiguous confirmation of their
origins. Included with the Ripley materials is a letter from the US Fish & Wildlife
Service (NYSARC 2005-22-G) confirming that one of the trio (bird “1-03”)
was fitted with a satellite transmitter and that the resulting telemetry
data confirmed the location. The companion birds are believed to be “9-03” and “18-03”.
Two days earlier, the cranes were monitored in a field next to the Chagrin
River in Lake Co., Ohio and, after passing Ripley, were recorded again
near Holland Center, Grey Co., Ontario, on 13 Apr before heading towards
the Quebec border. The Lewis Co. crane sported color leg bands (right
leg: green above red and left leg: tan above green) and is identified
as #309, a female hatched in 2003. According to the Whooping Crane Eastern
Partnership, crane #309 began her spring 2005 migration in Jones County,
North Carolina on 30 Mar accompanied by two other cranes. They were next
spotted east of Lake Huron, Ontario, but on 8 May, #309 was found alone
on the northern shore of the St. Lawrence River, northeast of Lake Ontario.
It then reappeared in west central Vermont on 9 Jun, where it remained
to 30 Jun. The two missing flock mates were captured in Michigan on 30
Jun and transported to Wisconsin. Crane #309 was then reported from Lewis
Co., NY on 11 Aug and lingered in the area until 27 Oct. On 12 Dec this
crane was resighted in Beaufort Co., North Carolina, having completed
a successful round trip migration. There is no historical evidence that
Whooping Crane has occurred in NY, but in the 1880s some bred as far
east as central Illinois and occasional wintering birds were recorded
from New Jersey southwards (Lewis 1995). Because these cranes are part
of an experimental population that is not established and will require
quite some time to gain that status, they are not yet eligible for addition
to the NYS Checklist.
2005 Report Accepted in Revised Form
Rufous/Allen’s Hummingbird (Selasphorus rufus/sasin)
2005-77-A One female, home of Bob & Lorraine Sherman,
Glenwood, Town of Concord, Erie, 27 Nov (David F. Suggs,
ph Lorraine Sherman).
This Rufous (S. rufus) or Allen’s (S. sasin)
Hummingbird was discovered in the first or second week of October and
remained until 8 Dec. The observers provided notes, a sketch and photographs.
In spite of the careful study and observations, we were unable to determine
the exact species. The photos were sufficient to determine the age and
sex and eliminated Broad-tailed (S. platycercus) and Calliope
(Stellula calliope) Hummingbirds, but Allen’s could not
be ruled out in favor of the more likely Rufous.
2005 Report Reviewed - No Decision Rendered
Hooded Merganser (Lophodytes cucullatus) X Common Goldeneye
2005-16-A One, Lake Ontario, Fairhaven State Park, Cayuga, 12
Mar (Kevin McGann, ph K. McGann).
The proposed parentage seems to offer the most plausible explanation
for the unusual appearance of this bird and is consistent with similar
examples also thought to be this combination. However, other hybrid combinations
might also look similar, and without stronger evidence, such as seeing
both parents attending to the bird as a duckling or DNA testing, the
Committee felt the parental lineage could not be determined with true
2004 Reports Accepted
Yellow-throated Warbler (Dendroica dominica)
2004-87-A One male, Derby Hill Bird Observatory, Oswego, 23
Apr (Gerard Phillips, photo by G. Phillips).
Gerard Phillips photographed this Yellow-throated Warbler that was originally
found by a couple visiting from Quebec. The yellow superloral portion
of the supercilium is strongly suggestive of the nominate subspecies
(D. d. dominica), which nests on the eastern coastal plain.
Cave Swallow (Petrochelidon fulva pallida)
2004-88-A One specimen, Rye, Westchester,
16 Dec (Thomas W. Burke, ph Andy Guthrie).
This recently expired Cave Swallow was found lying on the sidewalk under
a bridge supporting I-95, where it had presumably roosted and succumbed
to the cold during the night. The specimen was deposited in the American
Museum of Natural History collection (AMNH 836153) and represents the
first record for Westchester Co and Region 9. Based on measurements taken
by Peter Capainolo, the bird is very likely of the southwestern subspecies pallida,
the population comprising the vast majority, if not all, of the late
fall incursions to the northeast, but research does continue into the
molecular aspects of this issue.
2004 Report Origins Uncertain
Barnacle Goose (Branta leucopsis)
2004-86-A One, Hoosic River, Schadicoke, Rensselaer,
14 Mar (Richard Guthrie).
This Barnacle Goose was discovered and photographed by Rich Guthrie during
a Hudson Mohawk Bird Club field trip. The photos leave no issue concerning
identification. The Committee continues to view the status of this Eurasian
goose as problematic due to the past history of known releases/escapes.
However, the Committee also recognizes that at least some of these individuals
are very likely to be of wild origin and will continue to carefully monitor
the patterns of occurrence. Reports from any time of the year are strongly
1994 Report Accepted
Northern Gannet (Morus bassanus)
1994-62-A One, Cuba, Allegany, 13-14
Dec (Winnie Hettinger, ph W. Hettinger).
This first-year bird was found in a parking lot around the time when
Lake Erie was beginning to freeze over. It was brought to the Songwings
Wildlife Rehabilitation Center in Belfast, Allegany Co., kept overnight
for observation, then banded and released at a water treatment plant
in Olean, Cattaraugus Co., where warm water from the plant keeps the
Allegheny River open. This is the first record of Northern Gannet for
Allegany Co. and one of very few non-coastal records away from the Great
Reports Not Accepted
Reports are not accepted by NYSARC for various reasons. Often, the material
submitted to the Committee was considered insufficient or too vague to
properly document the occurrence and/or eliminate similar species. Simply
stating the species observed and the location is rarely enough for acceptance.
Likewise, saying that it “looked just like the illustration in
the field guide” is unlikely to be sufficient. Records are never
rejected because the observer is unfamiliar to the Committee or has had
records rejected in the past. Every effort is made to be as fair and
objective as possible, but if the Committee is unsure about a submission,
it tends to err on the conservative side, preferring not to accept a
good record rather than validate a bad one. Descriptions prepared from
memory weeks, months, or even years after a sighting are seldom voted
on favorably. The Committee cannot overstate the importance of taking
field notes of uncommon or rare birds while the bird is under study or,
if this is not possible, immediately afterwards. It is very helpful to
include a photocopy of your field notes with the report. This helps the
Committee to know what was seen at the time of the observation, before
field guides or other sources of information were consulted. Field sketches,
no matter how crude, can be extremely useful in illustrating what you
saw. Lastly, when writing a report, it is very important to explain how
you settled on the identification. What did you see or hear that clinched
the identification for you? This vital aspect of a good report is frequently
omitted. Providing a detailed answer to this question will greatly enhance
the report and further improve your birding skills. All submissions,
whether accepted or not, remain in the archive and can be re-evaluated
if additional substantive material is presented. The Secretary or Chair
can advise on whether the new information is sufficient to warrant re-evaluation
by the Committee.
2005 Reports Not Accepted
Black Brant (Branta bernicla nigricans)
2005-67-A One, Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, Queens, 30
The Committee agreed with the observer that the combination of dark belly
and relatively extensive white throat pattern indicate something other
than a typically plumaged Atlantic Brant (B. b. hrota). However,
distinguishing Black Brant from other relatively dark-plumaged populations
of Brant, and from possible intergrades between these and Atlantic Brant,
is complicated and requires more detail than the observer was able to
discern during his brief view of the bird as it flew overhead.
Western Grebe (Aechmophorus occidentalis)
2005-65-A/D One first winter, Spearman Road, Cumberland
Head, Plattsburg, Clinton, 27-28 Nov.
The Committee was concerned that the description of this bird, particularly
the dirty or dark appearance of some of the neck, and the lack of a good
description of the overall shape of the bird, might not adequately eliminate
Red-necked Grebe (Podiceps grisegena). The sketch provided could
not be clearly assigned to Red-necked or Western Grebe. In addition,
the observers made no mention of or comparison to the Western Grebe seen
in the same general location almost four weeks earlier.
Mississippi Kite (Ictinia mississippiensis)
2005-34-A One adult, William H. Pouch Scout Camp, Staten
Island, Richmond, 11 Jun.
The Committee thought that although possibly correct, the identification
was not supported by definitive field marks. The description of the bird
was brief and lacked sufficient information (shape, coloration or tail
characteristics) to separate it from other species.
Swainson’s Hawk (Buteo swainsoni)
2005-42-A, One, Letsonville Road, Schroon, Essex, 6
The observer had brief views of this hawk as it perched on top of a telephone
pole just before taking flight. Very few details of the appearance of
the hawk were provided in the report, and these do not eliminate other
possibilities. The timing and location are also decidedly unexpected
for this western species; to date NYS records are concentrated in a rather
narrow period of migration.
Gyrfalcon (Falco rusticolus)
2005-5-A One, Glens Falls, Warren, 21
This hawk was observed by naked eye, first as it flew over a car and
then as it perched in a tree. The limited description was insufficient
to establish the identification as a Gyrfalcon. Unfortunately, the narrative
did not articulate how the bird was identified other than stating that
it looked like an internet photo which was viewed at some unspecified
time after the observation.
Thayer’s Gull (Larus thayeri)
2005-10-A One third cycle, Van Cleef Lake, Seneca, 19
Three photographs accompanied this report and were somewhat suggestive
of a Thayer's Gull, a challenging identification in this plumage. In
carefully reviewing the photographs and description, the Committee felt
that as a whole the details were more suggestive of a female American
Herring Gull (L. argentatus smithsonianus). In particular, the
largely black underside to the outer primary and sharply defined white
spot are not expected for Thayer's Gull. Although eye color is known
to be highly variable, the paleness of the eye was also less than ideal
for Thayer's Gull and well within the range of a subadult Herring Gull.
The overall structure of the bird and the blackish rather than gray primary
tips argued against Kumlien's Iceland Gull (L. glaucoides kumlieni).
Sandwich Tern (Sterna sandvicensis)
2005-47-A Two, Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, Queens, 4
These two terns were observed bathing in shallow water near the shingle
island at the north end of the East Pond at Jamaica Bay WR. A prominent
yellow tip to the slender bill and black legs were the only field marks
noted in the report. Although possibly correct, the details provided
did not sufficiently exclude other species of terns, including adult
Common Tern (S. hirundo) in transitional plumage with a pale
tipped bill. Among the basic important field marks not addressed in the
report were the expected larger and paler aspects of a Sandwich Tern
and the presence/absence of a crest. The Committee also felt that the
East Pond of Jamaica Bay was very atypical habitat for Sandwich Tern,
which in NYS at least has shown a very strong preference for ocean beaches
and inlets. Even Royal Tern (S. maxima), a species that occurs
regularly on the nearby barrier beach, is very unusual at this location.
Black Guillemot (Cepphus grylle)
2005-59-A Fourteen, Lake Champlain, east of Cumberland
Head, Clinton, 8 Nov.
Using a telescope, this experienced lake-watcher studied a flock of approximately
14 birds flying down Lake Champlain between Cumberland Head, Clinton
Co., NY and Grand Isle, Grand Isle Co., Vermont, where the observer was
located. For most of the observation period, the flock was thought to
be in Vermont waters but then definitely crossed over into NY. The observer
estimates that the birds were viewed from a distance of between 1,200
meters (1,312 yards) and 2,400 m (2,625 yds). Ten of the birds appeared
brilliant white in the sun and were considered adults, with four duskier
birds at the rear of the flock identified as juveniles. After two rounds
of review, the Committee agreed on two general concerns. The first was
the sheer number of birds involved. Even for an Atlantic coastal report
of Black Guillemots, a flock of this size would be quite exceptional.
The species is typically seen in ones or twos rather than in larger flocks,
although admittedly this may not hold true in the very high arctic where
Black Guillemots can be one of the most numerous birds and will concentrate
into flocks in pursuit of localized prey. Second, the Committee felt
that several details in the description were in conflict with the identification.
For example, the statement that the legs were dark rather than red and
that the wing patches were easier to see when the birds were traveling
away from the observer rather than side on were quite contrary to Committee
members’ expectations and field experience. Given the considerable
distance involved, the Committee felt that other possibilities could
not be rigorously excluded by the details provided and that at least
one important candidate family was not even discussed by the observer.
The occurrence of Black Guillemots on freshwater was less of a problem.
Although very rare, there is clear precedent for the occurrence of single
Black Guillemots on lakes in the northeast, several of which have been
well documented. Based on the exceptional number of birds involved, the
fact that they were moving across the lake in an uncharacteristic fashion
and the above mentioned flaws in the description, the Committee voted
not to accept this unique report.
Willow Flycatcher (Empidonax traillii)
2005-24-A One, Van Cortland Park, Westchester, 16
The extensive database of arrival dates collected and published in The
Kingbird indicates that the large majority of Willow Flycatchers
arrive on their NYS breeding grounds in the later half of May. Thus this
report from Van Cortland Park in the outskirts of New York City would
be unusually early. The observer provided a sketch of the bird, suggesting
that it was indeed an Empidonax flycatcher, but the level of
detail was insufficient to determine the species.
Bicknell’s Thrush (Catharus bicknelli)
2005-83-A One, Webster Park, Webster, Monroe,
2005-84-A One, Hamlin Beach State Park, Hamlin, Monroe, 19 & 27
These two reports relied on the interpretation of daytime calls given
by Catharus thrushes grounded near the shore of Lake Ontario
during fall migration. The birds themselves were not seen. The observer
had previously spent time carefully reviewing tapes of nocturnal flight
calls and considered these daytime calls inconsistent with those of Gray-cheeked
Thrush (C. minimus), which were noted separately. Banding studies
indicate that Bicknell’s Thrush is a rare fall migrant in the western
NY regions and approximately only 1% of the “Gray-cheeked/Bicknell’s” Thrushes
captured in Region 2 appear to be Bicknell’s. It is thus conceivable
that the identification of these two was correct, however, the Committee
was concerned that the reliability of the vocal criteria used to distinguish
between the two species is not well-established and that calls are likely
to vary, especially if comparing nocturnal flight notes with vocalizations
made by landed birds during daylight. The Committee also lamented the
absence of documentation in the form of recordings, recognizing that
even the ablest ear must have some uncertainty. That said, the observer
is to be credited for trying to push the envelope in terms of using call
notes as field identification criteria to aid in separating these extremely
similar and skulking species. Combining the study of call notes (preferably
recorded) with visual inspection and photography could be of value in
understanding the migration patterns of these very closely related thrushes.
Yellow Wagtail (Motacilla flava)
2005-48-A One, Champlain, Clinton, 13
This small bird was first noticed when it perched on a fence post alongside
a wet pasture on the shore of Lake Champlain. The observer initially
suspected an American Pipit (Anthus rubescens) but, on viewing
the bird by telescope, noted bright yellow undertail coverts. The yellowish
underparts became paler towards the breast and on the lower chest the
dull wash was overlaid with brownish speckles giving the impression of
discontinuous streaks. The flight was described as undulating, typical
of wagtails, but no flight call was heard. The crown appeared to be darker
than the olive-gray back, with an off-white superciliary stripe that
extended well behind the eye. A dark cheek patch, faint malar stripe
and pipit-like impression were also noted. The wings were dark with whitish
streaks and lacked prominent wingbars. The tail was black but not especially
long. After allowing a few seconds of study by telescope, the bird dropped
into the weedy vegetation and was not seen again. The observer acknowledged
that the report probably lacked sufficient detail and documentation for
acceptance as a first state record but correctly felt that it was
worth archiving. The Committee felt that although aspects of the description
were consistent with a yellow-type wagtail, there were several other
species that also needed to be considered, such as “Western” Palm
Warbler (Dendroica palmarum palmarum).
Swainson’s Warbler (Limnothlypis swainsonii)
2005-25-A One, New Suffolk Ave, Cutchogue, Suffolk, 12
This report comes from a private yard on the North Fork of Long Island
and falls within the timeframe of the unprecedented incursion of southeastern
land birds to New York City and central Long Island, during which a total
of five Swainson’s Warblers were reported (Mitra and Lindsay 2005;
Veit et al. 2005). The bird was seen in the open for a few seconds before
flying across the street into a hedge and vanishing for good. The Committee
agreed that the details noted were generally consistent with Swainson’s
Warbler but felt that, considering the great rarity of the species involved,
some additional points were needed to firmly rule out Worm-eating Warbler
(Helmitheros vermivorum) and other potential confusion species.
Nelson’s Sharp-tailed Sparrow (Ammodramus nelsoni)
2005-15-A One, 6 1/2 Station Road, Goshen, Orange, 9
The description of this sparrow was suggestive of a sharp-tailed sparrow,
but it did not provide enough critical detail and analysis to exclude
several other possibilities. The inland location renders Saltmarsh Sharp-tailed
Sparrow (A. caudacutus) very unlikely, but comparison of the
bird to this species would have been very helpful. Nelson's Sharp-tailed
Sparrow is a very late migrant in spring, typically passing through NY
in late May. Although the marshes in Goshen might provide suitable habitat
for an individual of this species to overwinter, such a record would
be extremely unusual.
“Ipswich” Savannah Sparrow (Passerculus sandwichensis
2005-82-A One, Stone Ridge, Ulster, 29
The distinctive “Ipswich” Sparrow occurs as a regular winter
visitor to coastal sections of NY, strongly favoring sandy areas close
to the ocean. Inland sightings are decidedly rare and require careful
documentation to exclude other subspecies of Savannah Sparrow or even
other sparrow species. The Committee felt that this description of a
large, pale Savannah Sparrow may have been an “Ipswich” but
that the incomplete details provided were not sufficient to safely rule
out other possibilities.
Black-headed Grosbeak (Pheucticus melanocephalus)
2005-29-A One male, one female, Stillwater Lake, Fahnestock
State Park, Putnam, 20 May.
The observer reported a pair of Black-headed Grosbeaks. Neither bird
was adequately described nor were any photos taken. The first bird sighted
was described as a female, and the Committee cautions that separation
of female and immature Rose-breasted (P. ludovicianus) and Black-headed
Grosbeaks requires significant study. The scant details provided did
not allow an assessment of what species this could have been. Under the
behavior section of the report, the observer states that the female was
joined by a male, but no description of this second bird was provided.
2004 Report Not Accepted
Yellow Rail (Coturnicops noveboracensis)
2004-89-A One, Mt. Loretto Unique Area, Staten Island, Richmond, 13
Although very spare, this report had two important virtues: it was a
candid field impression from the time of the observation, and it described
several field marks of Yellow Rail. The report, which came to NYSARC
as an email sent to a local listserve, is, however, very much lacking
in many important details needed to separate this bird from Sora (Porzana
carolina) or other possible species. Given how rarely Yellow Rail
is sighted in this state, the Committee felt that the sketchy details
provided were inadequate for acceptance.
1907 Report Not Accepted
Eurasian Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus)
1907-1-A One specimen, from specimen collection at Rutgers
University, labeled as NY 1907 (Blake Mathys).
Blake Mathys provided the Committee with two photographs, one each of
the ventral and dorsal aspects of a Eurasian Kestrel specimen that he
had uncovered whilst reorganizing the bird skin collection at Rutgers
University. The specimen carried two labels, one a Smithsonian Institution
label with the hand-written notation “New York, August 3rd, 1907” with “Sep?” written
elsewhere on the tag, and a second label from the private collection
of B. S. Bowdish with the penciled notation “Falco tinnunculus
64410'.” Beecher S. Bowdish was a nineteenth and early twentieth
century ornithologist who collected specimens, eggs and nests and published
a number of ornithological papers. He is known for his studies of Puerto
Rican birds, was an early convert to the merits of banding rather than
collecting, and was one of the founders of the New Jersey Audubon Society.
Although born in Phelps, NY, he resided for most of his life in Demarest,
New Jersey, and died on 21 Feb 1963 at the advanced age of 91.
photographs were forwarded to Dick Forsman, an expert on Eurasian raptors,
who confirmed the identification to species and suggested that this was most
likely an immature male. The Committee concurred with the identification and
turned its attention to the question of whether the specimen was secured in
NY or some other location. The Smithsonian was contacted but has no record
of this specimen. The fact that the Smithsonian tag lacks an identification
number and there is no record of the specimen being transferred to the Rutgers
collection is an indication that it probably was never actually part of the
Smithsonian collection, even though there are other specimens from Bowdish.
Beecher Bowdish’s journals are held by the New York State Museum in Albany,
but there is no mention of a Eurasian Kestrel specimen in the notes in that
timeframe. However the notes do affirm that he was working in the NY and New
Jersey areas. Along the same lines, his journals make no reference to the handwritten
identification number he apparently assigned to this specimen.
the lack of a clear indication as to where the bird was collected, the Committee
decided that it could not be assumed to be a wild bird taken in the field in
NYS. A likely scenario is that Beecher Bowdish received this specimen from
someone else and had added it to his collection. Given his publications and
involvement in ornithological research, he would have been aware of the rarity
of this species in North America.
Seth Ausubel, Brenda Best, Gail M. Black, Shane Blodgett, Thomas W.
Burke, Rafael G. Campos-Ramirez, Mark Chao, Ed Coyle, Dorothy Crumb,
Steven Daniels, Willie D’Anna, Gregg Dashnau, Mark Dedea, Leonard
DeFrancisco, Bill Dietz, Dean DiTommaso, Julie Dowd, David W. Eib, Ken
Feustel, Howard Fischer, Brendan Fogarty, Melvin Freeborough, Douglas
J. Futuyma, Yolanda Garcia, Dick Gershon, Arie Gilbert, Paul H. Gillen,
Jr., Douglas Gochfeld, Paul A. Guris, Andy Guthrie, Richard Guthrie,
Nikolas Haass, Michael Harvey, John Heidecker, Roger Heintz, Winnie Hettinger,
Michael Higgiston, David Hoag, Rob Jett, William E. Krueger, Ed Lam,
Gerald S. Lazarczyk, Daniel Lebbin, Tim Lentz, Patricia Lindsay, Martin
Lofgren, Jean Loscalzo, Curtis Marantz, Kevin McGann, Jay McGowan, Kevin
McGowan, Matthew Medler, Charles E. Mitchell, Shaibal S. Mitra, Michael
Morgante, Steve Nanz, David Nyzio, Marilyn Pecoraro-O’Connell,
Gerard Phillips, Bill Purcell, Barbara Putnam, Jann Randell, R. Gilbert
Randell, Chris Reidy, Dana Rohleder, Mason Ryan, Seymour Schiff, Michael
Shanley, Lorraine Sherman, Dominic Sherony, Sean Sime, Jeanne
Skelly, Gerry Smith, Christine Sousa, Angel Souto, Charles C. Spagnoli,
Robert G. Spahn, Lloyd Spitalnik, Birgit Stanford, Rex Stanford, David
F. Suggs, Robert Sundell, Jeremy Taylor, Chris Tessaglia-Hymes, Diane
Tessaglia-Hymes, Andrew VanNorstrand, Richard R. Veit, Tom Wasilewski,
William W. Watson, T. Michael White, Angus Wilson, Seth Wollney.
SUBMITTED ON BEHALF OF THE NEW YORK STATE
AVIAN RECORDS COMMITTEE:
Angus Wilson (Chair), Jeanne Skelly (Secretary),
Jeffrey S. Bolsinger, Thomas W. Burke, Willie D’Anna, Andrew Guthrie,
Shaibal S. Mitra and Dominic Sherony.
AOU. 1982. Thirty-fourth supplement to the American Ornithologists’ Union
Check-list of North American Birds. Auk 99: 1CC-16CC.
AOU. 1991. Thirty-eighth supplement to the American Ornithologists’ Union
Check-list of North American Birds. Auk 108: 750-754.
AOU. 2005. Thirty-eighth supplement to the American Ornithologists’ Union
Check-list of North American Birds. Auk 122(3): 1026-1031.
Auchu, C. 2000. A Common Ringed Plover at Les Escoumins, Québec. Birders
Journal 9: 192-195.
Bannon, P., S. Denault, Y. Aubry and N. David. 2005. Québec Regional
Report. North American Birds 59(2): 234-235.
Boyle, W. J. Jr., R. O. Paxton and D. A. Cutler. 1987. The winter season,
Hudson-Delaware Region. American Birds 41: 260-263.
Brennan, C., and J. Schultz. 2006. A Second North American Record for
Lesser Frigatebird (Fregata ariel). North American Birds 60(1):
Clarke, J., and D. Brown. 2007. An influx of Common Ringed Plovers (Charadrius
hiaticula) in southern Newfoundland in autumn 2006. North American
Birds 61: 170-173.
Crowell, K. L. 1998. Purple Martin (Progne subis),pg 397-398
in Bull’s Birds of New York State (E. Levine, editor).
Cornell University Press, Ithaca, NY.
Currie, H. G. 2005. Ontario Regional Report. North American
Birds 59(2): 258-260.
Dinsmore, S. J., and A. Farnsworth. 2006. The Changing Season: Weatherbirds. North
American Birds 60(1): 14-26.
Dunn, J. L. 1999. 1998-99 ABA Checklist Report. Birding 31(6):
Ellison, W. G., and N. L. Martin. 2004. The fall migration 2003: New
England Region. North American Birds 58: 36-41.
Gill, F. 1990. ABA Checklist Report, 1988-1989. Birding 22(3):
Howell, S. N. G., and J. Dunn 2007. Peterson Reference Guides: Gulls
of the Americas. Houghton Mifflin Inc.
Kenefick, M., R. Restall and F. Hayes. 2007. Field Guide to the Birds
of Trinidad & Tobago. Christopher Helm.
Knapton, R. W. 1997. Identification of female Common Eider subspecies
in Canada. Birders Journal 6: 134–136.
Lewis, J. C. 1995. Whooping Crane (Grus americana), The
Birds of North America Online (A. Poole, Ed.). Ithaca: Cornell Lab
Loscalzo, J. 2005. A Swainson’s Warbler in Forest Park, Queens. Kingbird 55:
McLaren, I., and E. Mills. 2006. Weather and birds: a review of a remarkable
season. Nova Scotia Birds 48: 8-9.
Mills, E., I. A. McLaren, F. Lavender and B. Maybank. 1990. A Common
Ringed Plover in Nova Scotia. Nova Scotia Birds 32
Mitra, S. S., and P. J. Lindsay. 2005. An unprecedented spring incursion
of southeastern North American landbirds to coastal New York. Kingbird 55:
NYSARC. 1988. Report of the New York State Avian Records Committee 1987. Kingbird 38(4):
NYSARC. 1995. Report of the New York State Avian Records Committee 1993. Kingbird 45(2):
Olsen, K. M. and H. Larsson 2004. Gulls of North America, Europe,
and Asia. Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ.
Pranty, B. 2007. More on the ABA Checklist Committee. Birding 39(4):
Raffaele, H., J. Wiley, O. Garrido, A. Keith and J. Raffaele. 1998. A
Guide to the Birds of the West Indies. Princeton University Press,
Remsen, J. V. Jr. 2001. True winter range of the Veery (Catharus
fuscescens): lessons for determining winter ranges of species that
winter in the tropics. Auk 118: 838-848.
Remsen, J. V., Jr., and T. A. Parker III. 1990. Seasonal distribution
of the Azure Gallinule (Porphyrula flavirostris), with comments
on vagrancy in rails and gallinules. Wilson Bulletin 102: 380-399.
Spahn, R. G. 1998. Common Eider (Somateria mollissima), pg 166-167
in Bull’s Birds of New York State (E. Levine, editor).
Cornell University Press, Ithaca, NY.
Spahn, R., and D. Tetlow. 2006. Observations on the Cave Swallow Incursion
of November 2005. Kingbird 56(3): 216-225.
Spencer, B. and W. Kolodnicki. 1988. First Azure Gallinule for North
America. American Birds 42: 25-26.
Sullivan, B. L., R. O. Paxton, J. C. Burgiel and R. R. Veit. 2006. Hudson-Delaware
Regional Report. North American Birds 60(1): 44-48.
Veit, R. R., J. C. Burgiel, M. Powers and R. O. Paxton. 2005. Hudson-Delaware
Regional Report. North American Birds 59(3): 409-414.