Birdlines ago, a GREEN VIOLETEAR was referred to as being in
Maryland in mid-October in Cecil County.
Actually, there have 3 sightings of single GREEN
VIOLETEARS reported in Maryland since August.
The first one, briefly, was at West River in Anne Arundel
County, south of Baltimore, east of Washington DC.
The most-recent, after the Cecil County bird, was further
south in the state, in Howard County, at Clarksville,
between Baltimore and Washington DC, first seen on
October 24, and last seen early in the am on October 26.
SELASPHORUS HUMMINGBIRDS have been occurring in the
eastern US, as they do this time of year.
Among others in the region, a RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRD has been
in the Cape May, New Jersey area at the feeders at
the NJ Audubon center in Goshen. It was first found on
October 22, and has continued through at least October 28.
It's the 5th SELASPHORUS HUMMINGBIRD in Cape May County this
fall, with most (3) identified as RUFOUS.
In upstate Pennsylvania, there have been 2 SELASPHORUS
HUMMINGBIRDS this fall in Lycoming County, where one was found
on October 25.
Last time, here, an ANHINGA was noted as reported
overhead in Chester County, Pennsylvania, on October 24.
Elsewhere in Pennsylvania, considerably further north, a
female ANHINGA flew by the Stone Mountain Hawkwatch, in
Huntingdon County, on Ocober 25, at about 11:45am.
Last time, here, a TOWNSEND'S SOLITAIRE was noted as being in
Massachusetts on the offshore island of Nantucket.
Since then, a TOWNSEND'S SOLITAIRE was seen on Cape Cod,
Massachusetts, at Chatham. Found on October 25, and
present until at least October 28.
Also, a TOWNSEND'S SOLITAIRE was seen in New Jersey, near
the Delaware River, across from Philadelphia, in Cinnaminson,
on October 26 only, in the am.
That Western species has occurred in New Jersey about 10
times. 4 times, we understand, in the northernmost county in
New Jersey, Sussex County, with three of those in November and
once in September.
Some TOWNSEND'S SOLITAIRES in New Jersey have only stayed
briefly. Others have lingered, including 1 at Sandy Hook
in the winter of 2007-2008, and one in Cumberland County in
southern New Jersey, that was found back on December 27,
1998 and overwintered, staying there until April 18,
Another "westerner" seen in the East lately was
an "AUDUBON'S" YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER in
Northampton County, Pennsylvania, on October 26 at Lake Minsi.
Also from the West, a TOWNSEND'S WARBLER was seen at the
Kiptopeake Hawk Watch, in Virginia, at the southern tip
of the Delmarva Peninsula, on October 22.
From further north, a PINK-FOOTED GOOSE was seen at Turner's
Falls, Massachusetts, on October 26.
From the north, GOLDEN EAGLES have been migrating south.
At the Franklin Mountain Hawk Watch, in Oneonta, New York, on
October 28, between 1 and 3pm, there were 9 GOLDEN EAGLES.
Also 17 BALD EAGLES, migrated by, during those 2 hours.
In Pennsylvania, during the month of October, 61
GOLDEN EAGLES were counted migrating south at Hawk Mountain
Further south along the Kittatinny Ridge, 68 GOLDEN EAGLES
were counted during October at
the hawk watch at Waggoner's Gap.
Two interesting observations of other birds migrating
recently in Pennsylvania were:
In Lehigh County, on October 27, over 125 AMERICAN PIPITS at
one time in North Whitehall Township, and in Monroe
County, more than 100 BRANT at the Cherry Valley National
Wildlife Refuge, that same day, October 27.
At the opposite (western) end of Pennsylvania, that day,
about 90 BRANT were counted, migrating, at Presque Isle, in
Both EARED GREBE and RED-NECKED GREBE were seen at Presque
Isle, Erie, on October 30, as was a LITTLE GULL.
CLAY-COLORED SPARROWS have been appearing many places
throughout the eastern US. On Long Island, New York, alone, last
week, they were observed at at least 5 locations: Jones
Beach, For Tilden, the Floyd Bennett Field, Plumb Beach, and
In Manhattan, New York City, birds in city parks lately have
a YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT at Bryant Park, and an immature
RED-HEADED WOODPECKER in Central Park, north of the
Some birds from the North have been coming South:
Among them, NORTHERN SHRIKES, in Maine at Augusta on October
27, and at 2 places recently in Maryland, one in Queen Anne
County, and more recently, found on October 30, in Howard
In western Pennsylvania, a NORTHERN SHRIKE has been in
Crawford County, as has been an AMERICAN WHITE PELICAN,
as of at least October 26.
In Maine, a BOHEMIAN WAXWING was among CEDAR WAXWINGS in the
Acadia National Park on October 29.
New York, there have been numbers of PINE SISKINS, and some
PURPLE FINCHES and WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILLS.
In Maryland, along the seacoast, on October 30, a RED
The Birdline goes out each week to many people, many places.
From Australia, Trevor enjoyed reading about the NORTHERN
WHEATEAR that was, earlier this month, in Pennsylvania.
Furthering my comments about the derivation of that bird's
name, he tells us also another interesting aspect of the
WHEATEAR'S scientific name, OENANTHE OENANTHE:
OENANTHE is also the name of a plant genus, that of WATER
DROPWORTS, and is derived from the Greek OENOS meaning
"wine", and ANTHOS meaning "flower".
Regarding the plant genus, it refers to the wine-like scent of
Regarding the WHEATEAR, it refers to the NORTHERN WHEATEAR'S
return to Greece in the spring, just as the grapevines are in
A nice thought as we just had our first (early) snow here in
the northeast US.
Among birds, by the way, in Trevor's part of the
world, this past month, in Queensland, Australia, these: 11
BLACK-TAILED GODWITS between October 11 & 18, one
WANDERING TATTLER during that time, 1 RUDDY TURNSTONE October
10, and 12 RED KNOTS on October 1.
All of these, of course, are migrants from probably way-north,
from Siberia, although the mostly-American WANDERING TATTLER
is very rare in Siberia. Of course, it is called
"WANDERING" for a reason.
If you missed the summary of last season's Winter Bird Counts
that was here last time on the Birdline, it is, among
other Birdlines, in the Archives in the FONT
Birds were mentioned in diverse places ranging from Texas to
Alaska to the French islands of Saint-Pierre and
Also, from the above website page, a link, among others, to
the birds in the Pumicestone Region of Queensland, Australia.
Now, some interesting notes of birds in the country with the
most species of birds in the world, Colombia.
FONT has not done tours in Colombia, nor do we in
the future have plans of doing so.
The following is given here as interesting information:
As noted Colombia, in South America, is the country with
the most species of birds of any country in the world. As
of this month, October 2011, the total number of species that
have been found in Colombia is 1,889.
That's up from 1,869 species in 2007, 1,871 species in 2009,
and 1,879 species in 2010. Species "new" for
the country have continued to be discovered.
Among them, this past year, these:
YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER and SCISSOR-TAILED FLYCATCHER, both
new records for South America, and both vagrants from the
Also: RUFOUS-BREASTED WOOD-QUAIL, WHITE-BELLIED PARROT, and
MASKED WATER TYRANT, newly-confirmed Colombian species, that
occur in northern Ecuador.
Not yet, but maybe ahead: A review of the bird now called the
THRUSH-LIKE SCHIFFORNIS (formerly THRUSH-LIKE MANAKIN)
concludes that at least 5 new species should be recognized
from it. 3 of them occur in Colombia.
As a matter of interest, here are the latest numbers for the
countries with the second and third most bird species: Peru
has 1,834, and Brazil 1,785.
There certainly is a connection with birds between continents.
Even though Central America is in actuality part of
North America, there's yet, in the anecdote that follows, a
poignant story about an individual bird with a
long-distance migration. It's a story that relates to
Pennsylvania and Nicaragua, with North Carolina having played
Recently, a WOOD THRUSH in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, flew
into a window. Sadly, upon that impact, it died. The bird
was seen to have a band. Looking into it showed that the banding
had been earlier in the year, in February, in Nicaragua at the
El Jaguar Reserve.
So, that WOOD THRUSH had been banded where it wintered, and
found later in the year to have died in the area where it
The banding of it, and other birds, at the reserve just
mentioned in Nicaragua, was a cooperative effort with Audubon
That partnership has been part of 60 years of effort by
the Bird Banding Laboratory. There are records, from during
that time, of over 346,000 songbirds (and woodpeckers) banded.
Of those birds, only about 80 have been recaptured in the
United States during the breeding season, from April to
Other than the WOOD THRUSH that died in Pennsylvania,
only 2 of the 80 birds in the U.S. were WOOD THRUSHES, and
they had both been banded in April probably during their
northward migration. Never had one been banded where it
wintered and found where it bred (but unfortunately, not
A photograph of that particular WOOD THRUSH, as it was being
banded in Nicaragua last February, by Lili Duriaux Chavaria,
is in: www.ncaudubonblog.org
Earlier this fall, a birder in Maryland made some
comments on the internet about the hazards experienced by
migrating birds, again relating to them and glass.
Apparently, during migrations, a large number of birds
unfortunately strike windows.
The birder in Maryland works in Anne Arundel, where there
is a high-rise reflective glass building. Since 1991, he has
observed the problem, that is most pronounced in the spring
and fall seasons.
With, as he has noted over the years, about twice as many
strikes in the fall as in the spring.
He has records of about 70 species, with a total of about
500 individuals, during the 20 years.
This year, the RUBY-THROATED HUMMINGBIRD sadly reached the 100
threshold. In second place, has been the WHITE-THROATED
SPARROW with nearly 40 deadly strikes.
Most of the birds strike at night, or at least they are
present at dawn. The HUMMINGBIRDS, however,
overwhelmingly strike in daylight.
Known casualties, during one week, this fall, included
SWAINSON'S THRUSH, MAGNOLIA WARBLER, BLACK-THROATED BLUE
WARBLER, PINE WARBLER, TENNESSEE WARBLER, WILSON'S WARBLER,
plus YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER and SPARROWS.
Apparently, clear weather has been the most deadly, but fog
can also be bad.
And, now, just one more account of the hazards had
by migrating birds - referring to an incident that
happened lately, and that's been publicized a great deal on
That incident was in West Virginia, at Laurel Mountain,
where there is a wind turbine facility. What is noted
here is from those at the American Bird Conservancy who have
been investigating the occurrence.
Nearly 500 birds died, mostly BLACKPOLL WARBLERS, but other
species as well. The situation was at a power substation
associated with the facility, and not, as we understand it,
resulting from the turbines themselves.
At the substation, lights were left on at night. They should
not have been, and especially during a night with
bad visibility. The birds were flying low over the ridge.
Some, after they crashed, had broken limbs. Others appeared to
have died of exhaustion, having been disoriented, and their
migratory flight disrupted.
More information may be found in the website for the
American Bird Conservancy: www.abcbirds.org
Sorry for the all the bad news here pertaining to birds
succumbing to hazards, but an awareness is good so that
efforts can be made to reduce such hazards that the birds
Armas Hill has presented the Birdline, originally from
Philadelphia, on the phone and internet for decades (3), and
on the radio in Delaware for years (10).
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