aba events
Nikon Monarch 7

    #ABArare – Northern Wheatear – New Mexico

    On April 7, Brenda Wright and Coen Dexter found a female Northern Wheatear in DeBaca County, New Mexico. The finders were birders from Colorado passing through New Mexico who had stopped at Bosque Redonodo Lake where they came across this stunner. Pending acceptance, this is a first state record for New Mexico and one of only a few records for the southwest.

    13743703654_ef17097907_b

    photo by Nick Pederson, used with permission

    The wheatear was originally seen near Fort Sumner, about 158 miles east of Albuquerque. More specifically, it was seen 1 mile east of Motel 8 on US-60. It was refound two days later (4/9), 200-250 yards south of the original location, just north of where the road turns east. It is west of the road about 150 yards in a grove of cottonwoods and olives, per Nick Pederson on the AZ-NM listserv.

    Northern Wheatear is almost unique among North American breeding birds in that it migrates to the eastern hemisphere, over-wintering in sub-Saharan Africa. The population in Alaska and northwestern Canada and that in Nunavut consist of two different subspecies which share wintering grounds but reach it by two separate, but equally impressive, routes. There has been no speculation as to which subspecies this individual represents, but both seem to be equally likely.

    Northern Wheatear is uncommon throughout the rest of the ABA Area, though somewhat more regular in the northeast United States and Atlantic Canada. Records elsewhere are very rare indeed, and the NM bird is preceded in that corner of the continent only by records in Arizona (1996), Southern California (1994, 2001, 2011), and one exceptional record from Baja California Norte (2008).

    The following two tabs change content below.
    Nate Swick

    Nate Swick

    Nate Swick is the editor of the American Birding Association Blog. A long-time member of the bird blogosphere, Nate has been writing about birds and birding at The Drinking Bird since 2007, but can also be found writing regularly at 10,000 Birds. In the non-digital world, he's an environmental educator and interpretive naturalist. Nate lives in Greensboro, North Carolina, with his wife, Danielle, and two young children, who are not yet aware that they are being groomed to be birders.
    Nate Swick

    Latest posts by Nate Swick (see all)

    • Ted Floyd

      Here’s earlier coverage on the remarkable migration of North America’s breeding wheatears:

      http://blog.aba.org/2012/02/the-transhemispheric-wheatear.html

    • Ted Floyd

      And here’s Wheatear migration coverage in Birding magazine:

      “News and Notes: Trans-Atlantic Travelers,” by Paul Hess. Birding, September 2012, p. 28.

      The basic gist of Paul’s piece is that North America’s Northern Wheatears are the only passerines that regularly cross the Atlantic Ocean.

    • Pingback: Rare Bird Alert: April 11, 2014 « ABA Blog

    Birders know well that the healthiest, most dynamic choruses contain many different voices. The birding community encompasses a wide variety of interests, talents, and convictions. All are welcome.
    If you like birding, we want to hear from you.
    Read More »

    Recent Comments

    Categories

    Authors

    Archives

    Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    • Book Review: How To Do Ecology October 21, 2014 5:37
      I’ve often heard that there are two career options for young birders: go into ecology or biology and spend your working hours birding, or go into a more profitable field and use your spare time to bird. […]
    • Open Mic: 2014 Camp Avocet–an intern’s perspective October 13, 2014 5:38
      I don’t think there is any doubt in anyone’s mind that Camp Avocet was totally, undeniably awesome this year, so I won’t spend too long telling you all that. In mid-August 2014, a committed staff and a crew of very enthusiastic and almost unbelievably skilled campers assembled in Lewes, in southern Delaware, for the second […]
    • Open Mic: Birding Isleta Grande October 6, 2014 5:20
      There is a very good spot for birding in Central Veracruz that has been unnoticed by birders. Isleta Grande is a small village located a half hour from Xalapa. […]

    Follow ABA on Twitter

    Nature Blog Network