What are the odds?

Slaty-backed Gull in Gloucester, MA on 23 December 2007 – Photo by Phil Brown Part 1: On 6 December 2007 at about 8PM, in the midst of an intense winter storm, a resident of Lillooet, BC heard a thump on their front door. Thinking the dog wanted to come in, they opened the door to

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Wandering Flamingos

A fascinating story of two flamingos, one from the Yucatan that provides a very rare undisputed US record of a wild bird, and another from the Old World (via a Kansas zoo) that shows how widely an escaped bird can wander. Details and a great comparison photo are on the Louisiana Ornithological Society website

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More Siberian vagrants

In my previous post about Siberian birds I made a tenuous connection between an above-average season for vagrants in the Bering Sea and a few vagrants farther south and east. Updates from Gambell by Paul Lehman show a continued surge of Siberian birds, highlighted by North America’s first Sedge Warbler, and even more of the

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Rare bird news

An eventful few weeks for bird records in North America: The long-anticipated first nesting record of Lesser Black-backed Gull in North America (even though it hybridized with a Herring Gull) – on Appledore Island, Maine. Green Violetear reaches Maine – the farthest northeast record to date. 19 Aug 2007 on Mount Desert Island; photo here

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Distinguishing Trumpeter and Tundra Swans

The separation of Trumpeter and Tundra Swans has been a perennial challenge. Both are obviously swans, and given decent looks they are easy to distinguish from Mute Swan, but criteria for separating Tundra Swan from Trumpeter Swan are subjective and often vague, requiring experience and/or direct comparison. Until recently there were relatively few places where

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Updates and Corrections for the Sibley Western Guide

p 143 – Pacific Golden-Plover: on adult male breeding the labels pointing to undertail coverts and flanks are reversed. p. 252 – White-throated Swift: name is incorrect, Whited-throated Swift p. 279 – Greater Pewee: map is a duplicate of Buff-breasted Flycatcher map. The summer range of this species should extend slightly farther north in Arizona,

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