A Tropical Kingbird in Berks

Tropical Kingbird, 8 Nov © Drew Weber

A Tropical Kingbird was discovered in farm pastures near Fleetwood, PA on Monday, November 6th. Originally it seemed inaccessible, but in the following days it ranged around enough that it has been viewable from the surrounding roads. A big thanks to Ross Gallardy and Jeff Vinosky in figuring out access.

Instructions for searching:

Adapted by a post by Jeff Vinosky to the PA Discord server. Frequent updates will likely be posted in the RBA on Discord. If you aren’t a member yet, you can join the PA Birds Discord server.

The Tropical Kingbird has been moving around and recently has been viewable from the Walnuttown Mennonite Church lot, looking south towards the creek valley. We have been in contact with the original finders and farm owners and they are agreeable to this as suitable public access.

 

11/13 Revised visitation. The neighbors, Kathy Hefner and Joyce, have graciously taken groups back, and have been able to get a hold of Jimmy who leases the farmland and actively farms it, and we have a green light to walk down Jimmys gravel drive back to the silos and search for the kingbird (Thank you Kathy!). Please continue to park at the church just up the street, walk down the road to the gravel drive and walk towards the abandoned farm buildings. Please ensure we stay off the soy and any other crops that are actively being farmed, and stay away from livestock and electric fences. We go onto their property on our own volition and do not hold them liable for anything. Please remain aware of church hours on Sunday (morning until 1pm off limits) and stay respectful to all parties.

 

Please note, there is no shoulder park or to stand safely on. Please only view from the church lot (which is small, consider carpooling). The bird is visible from here as it makes its rounds through the various pastures (scope is required 1/4 mile + viewing distance). These are all active farms, DO NOT TRESPASS! This includes the gravel road paralleling the creek. That is a private farm road that access has not been granted. The church is also an active church with service Sunday mornings. Sunday mornings are strictly off limits until at least 1pm. That means sunrise to 1pm, NO BIRDER should be present in the church lot on Sunday. Be mindful there also might be the potential for funerals or individuals lingering at the church. If so, the church lot is off limits. Go bird at nearby Lake Ontelaunee until it clears out. Be respectful to the landowners and church and don’t ruin it for others.

One other note, Fleetwood police are very strict enforcers of the law. They will ticket you very quickly if you are standing or parking on the shoulder of the road. Stick to the church lot and do not stray. Once you see the bird, please move on. Do not expect killer looks of this bird.

Please use the notes regarding access in any eBird report you submit. Thank you!

 

Support the local area

Local meat. You can support the local farmers (my cousin!) responsible for restoring and maintaining the area around the creek where the kingbird is frequenting, by pre-ordering some high-quality local meat to pickup on your visit. Check Willow Run Farmstead website for details!