South TX Raptor Notes – April 2016

Alex LamoreauxRanges and Distributions2 Comments

From savannas, to subtropical forests, to desert scrub there is no better springtime paradise for hawkwatchers than southern Texas. Huge numbers of migrant raptors slip northward along the coastline, taking the shortest possible route around the Gulf of Mexico, and 11 different species call the southern portion of the state their year-round home. There are even a few species that can … Read More

Winging their Way to a Forest Near You

Cameron RuttBanding, Field Work, Migration, Ranges and Distributions, Research, ScienceLeave a Comment

Amazingly, we’re already well into the second half of April, which probably means a lot more to the rest of you North American birders than it does to me right about now… See, I’ve been stationed here in Manaus, Brazil, for most of the past year, which means that there is vanishingly little seasonal turnover in the mature Amazon rainforest. (If … Read More

Gambel’s White-crowned Sparrows in PA

Alex Lamoreauxdistribution, Featured, Identification, photo study, Ranges and Distributions, Rarities2 Comments

After having a great opportunity to study an adult Gambel’s White-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia leucophrys gambelii) at Arlene Koch’s property last weekend near Easton, while also enjoying the immature Harris’s Sparrow there, I was interested to learn more about this western subspecies’ history in Pennsylvania and the mid-Atlantic. Gambel’s White-crowneds are essentially the western-Canadian counterpart of our more familiar Eastern birds … Read More

Coastal waterbird notes from southern Belize, Fall 2014

Alex LamoreauxBird Sightings, Birding, distribution, Featured, Ranges and DistributionsLeave a Comment

We are spoiled in the United States with many concentrated birding efforts taking place throughout fall and spring migration such as hawkwatches, seawatches, Big Sits, and other surveys which all help to pull in loads of data on bird numbers and distribution, but there are very few endeavors taking place in countries like Belize. Thanks to the Belize Raptor Research Institute, there … Read More

American White Pelican – Prime Hook NWR, Delaware

Alex LamoreauxBird Sightings, Birding, Featured, Ranges and Distributions, RaritiesLeave a Comment

During a DOS Local Patch field trip led by Tim Schreckengost on October 18th, local birder Julie McCall alerted our attention to an American White Pelican that she found foraging and resting among Laughing Gulls in the marsh near the Prime Hook NWR headquarters. The pelican has since been seen almost daily, mostly from Fowler Beach Rd and typically resting … Read More

‘Puget Sound’ White-crowned Sparrows

Alex Lamoreauxdistribution, Identification, photo study, Ranges and DistributionsLeave a Comment

Many species of sparrows vary considerably in appearance and vocalizations across their ranges in North America. In particular Dark-eyed Juncos, Song Sparrows, Fox Sparrows, and White-crowned Sparrows show the most distinct populations. The White-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia leucophrys), one of our largest and classiest-looking sparrow, can be separated into five subspecies: Eastern (Z. l. leucophrys), Gambel’s (Z. l. gambelii), Mountain (Z. l. … Read More

Piping Plovers – Beyond Cute

Jordan RutterBanding, Conservation Issues, Featured, Field Work, General News and Info, Identification, Ranges and Distributions4 Comments

Many birders are familiar with this small migratory shorebird and some know of its endangered status. Not to mention the fact that they’re adorable. But there’s a lot more about Piping Plovers (PIPL) than their good looks. There are two subspecies in three distinct populations of Piping Plovers. The Atlantic coast has its own subspecies (Charadrius melodus melodus) while the internal … Read More

Willow Ptarmigan – 1st for New York!

Alex LamoreauxChase, Ranges and Distributions, Rarities9 Comments

Today myself and 8 fellow PA birders embarked on a weekend-long PSO field trip to the southern Lake Ontario shoreline, however our plans took a very unexpected turn when I noticed a forwarded email. It was from Drew, saying that there was a Willow Ptarmigan on Point Peninsula in Jefferson County reported by Eugene Nichols. Obviously we were all quite skeptical of … Read More

Winter Red-necked Grebe – Centre County, PA

Alex LamoreauxBird Sightings, Ranges and Distributions, RaritiesLeave a Comment

This afternoon I found this adult Red-necked Grebe at the Axemann Rd pond in Centre County. This is only the 2nd January record for the county, and the location is very odd (small, shallow pond along a road). Red-necked Grebes are rare migrants in central Pennsylvania. Typically only single birds or small groups are seen on stormy days during fall … Read More