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#ABArare – Pied Wheatear – Alaska

On July 4, 2017, Alexander Harper discovered an apparent Pied Wheatear near the jetty at Cape Nome, Nome, Alaska. Pending acceptance, this is a 1st Alaska and ABA Area record.

Photo: Alexander Harper

Cape Nome is a south-facing headland southeast of the town of Nome, Alaska. The jetty where the bird was seen is on the farthest south point, about 30 minutes by car from the town of Nome. There are three passenger flights per day to Nome via Anchorage.

Pied Wheatear is a wide-ranging and common Old World species, breeding from southeast Europe across to China and wintering primarily in East Africa.  Presumably, this individual is from the East Asian population though Pied Wheatear has no named subspecies.

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Nate Swick

Nate Swick

Editor, Social Media Manager at American Birding Association
Nate Swick is the editor of the American Birding Association Blog, social media manager for the ABA, and the host of the American Birding Podcast. He lives in Greensboro, North Carolina, with his wife, Danielle, and two young children. He is the author of Birding for the Curious and The ABA Field Guide to Birds of the Carolinas.
Nate Swick

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  • Brandon Holden

    you should add a link to purchase carbon offsets – for anyone who boards a plane to see a single bird for their list(s)

  • E

    The picture here is not the bird that Alex found — I believe he just included this image as a comparison to his bird.

    The image posted is from the following website:

    • Thanks. Fixed.

  • Peter Pyle

    I don’t know all of the Palearctic wheatears well, but the photo possibly matches Eastern Pied or Variable wheatear (O. picta) better than Pied Wheatear. I’ll look forward to being enlightened.

  • Monte Taylor

    A few comments, the Wheatear at Cape Nome (the rock quarry location) east of Nome is no more than 18-20 minutes at the posted speed limit from Nome and the bird had been most often seen just before the jetty on the beach side of the road. Here’s a link to images (below) since the only image provided wasn’t even the bird in question, as I understand it. Looking forward to some concensus on what species this individual turns out to be as have received several comments thru emails on my images from sources in Europe and Asia of it being Pied, Variable, and Eastern Pied.

    Monte Taylor – Tustin Ranch, CA

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