Yesterday afternoon (3/7), Russell Cannings discovered an adult male Baikal Teal (ABA Code 4) near the Holden Creek estuary south of Nanaimo, on Vancouver Island, British Columbia. Several other birders were able to find the bird before sundown, and it was found again the next morning (3/8). According to BC Rare Bird Alert this is the 4-6th record for the province.
Photos were taken, we’ll update this post when they’re made public.
Detailed information on finding the bird along with a map is available at BC Rare Bird Alert. I would encourage would-be chasers to reference that sight. Questions and inquiries can be directed to Russell there. He reports the following with regard to the bird’s location:
I’ll let you choose your root to this location, but people coming from Hwy 19 can probably most easily get there by exiting just before the Duke Pt ferry terminal (Signed “Duke Pt Industrial Park – Cedar), then turning left immediately to cross the overpass, then right on Gordon; pass the farm buildings, then an immediate right onto the unsigned track. Coming from Nanaimo or points north you can either stay on Hwy 19 toward Duke Pt and take the exit as mentioned above, or if you’re coming along Cedar Rd (becomes “Harmac Rd” on Google Maps), you’ll cross the Nanaimo River then take your second left onto Gordon Rd, which is a gravel road. After passing a marsh then a patch of forest, you’ll take an immediate left once you see the open fields/farm
Baikal Teal is known from just over 20 records of about 30 individuals in the ABA-Area, most of which come from the western Aleutians in fall. There are accepted records for this species all along the Pacific coast from British Columbia to southern California with some as late as April. Interior records from Colorado, Ontario, Oklahoma, Louisiana, North Carolina, and Ohio have been questioned because of uncertain provenance (ABA Checklist 7th Edition, Pranty, et al), but one from Maricopa, Arizona, in 2010 apparently passed muster.
The species went through a significant population decline in the 1980s, but has since rebounded dramatically which may be behind the recent increase in North American reports for this species.
Are birding apps increasing convenience while decreasing the capture of important natural history details? [read more...]
Another week of relatively sparse vagrant reports, but the news across the rest of the continent has been one more of quantity rather than quality. The first part of 2014 has been noteworthy for the impressive numbers of White-winged Scoters, Common Mergansers, Long-tailed Ducks, and Greater Scaup present in impressive numbers in places where they [read more...]
A nice trend developed in my yard this winter when a flock of Bushtits began regularly blitzing my suet. They especially seemed to like snowy mornings which gave me a great excuse to linger over coffee on weekends at the breakfast table awaiting their arrival. Until this season, I had only seen Bushtits in my [read more...]
By Douglas Futuyma
New York’s famed Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge (JBWR) has been damaged beyond recognition. It will never again be such a wonderful resource for birds and birders unless it is repaired – and that may depend on the voice of birders everywhere.
Whether by personal experience or by its reputation, birders throughout North [read more...]
The ABA is thrilled to announce the winners of the 2014 Young Birder of the Year Contest! Fifteen-year-old Alec Wyatt from Colorado Springs, Colorado and thirteen-year-old Chloe Walker from Murfeesboro, Tennessee took top honors and will receive the grand prize of a Leica Trinovid binocular courtesy of Leica Sport Optics, ABA’s Legacy Sponsor. [read more...]
You may have heard this saying–it’s sort of funny–about dialogue in university humanities departments: “The disagreements are so bitter because the stakes are so low.” It’s funny, as I said, but I also think it’s unfair. What’s at stake is human thought, and isn’t the grandest and most precious thing about our species?
Apparent [read more...]
When I was fifteen, I received as a Christmas present the three-volume Audubon Society Master Guide to Birding. Accompanying promotional material promised the reader something on the order of sixty never-before disclosed secrets to field ID. One that I recall was a new way to tell the waterthrushes apart–by the shape of the supercilium.
Thirty [read more...]
There’s scarcely a more charismatic raptor in North America than Northern Goshawk, and a team with the Idaho Bird Observatory and Boise State University has been doing some interesting work on the breeding biology of this fantastic species and, fortunately for us, writing about it. Rob Miller explains.
The Northern Goshawk (Accipiter gentilis; hereafter “goshawk”) [read more...]
A little while ago in this forum, we talked about “the next big idea”–make that big ideas, plural–for bird conservation. Let’s shift gears a bit now, to the somewhat more elusive matter of birding ethics.
Ethical behavior is a frequent concern for the birding community, and that’s a good thing. It means we’re aware. We [read more...]