[wisb] A comment on "repeat" birds, and a few warblers

  • From: Jesse Ellis <calocitta8@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: wisbirdn@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Mon, 17 May 2010 15:54:11 -0500

Hey all-
Over the past few days I've picked up both Magnolia and Cape May Warblers in
my yard in Madison... it's such a pleasure to have them come to you

I've also been thinking a little bit about "repeat" rarity sightings. It's
important, especially at this time of year, to make sure that the rarities
seen at one location are well-described to the public (not just a records
committee), just in case multiple individuals show up. The two I'm thinking
of at the moment are the Schumacher-Wangsness Reeve(s) and the Pheasant
Branch Summer Tanager(s). Please realize I'm not in any way passing judgment
on any reports and descriptions of these birds - they may well be the same
individuals, and they may have even been initially very well described. I
just want to get people thinking. Hey, you're thinking - you're crazy Jesse,
we'd never get two Reeves in one site in Wisconsin. My response is that
Ruffs have a fairly well documented pattern of vagrancy, and of all rare
shorebirds to get, they'd be the one we'd get two of. As for Summer
Tanagers, I personally experienced a situation where I knew of a single
reported male adult Summer Tanager, at the Bass Ponds in Bloomington, MN; I
managed to find a beautiful summer tanager dappled green and red - a lifer.
I was thrilled. I wrote notes, and kept birding. A half hour later an adult
male Summer Tanager appeared, fully red, no green... the bird previously
reported. ! !!! But this sort of thing could be true for many birds -
without good descriptions, or better yet banding records, we can't be sure.
Why bother being sure? It's fun for understanding Wisconsin's bird life, and
I hope everyone on this list is interested in it generally.

Anyway, congrats all on those who've seen these birds, and happy migration
to you.


Jesse Ellis
Madison, Dane Co, WI

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  • » [wisb] A comment on "repeat" birds, and a few warblers - Jesse Ellis