Nikon Monarch 7

aba events

#ABArare – Eurasian Wryneck – California

On September 25, and ABA Code 5  Eurasian Wryneck was discovered by a Naval officer on San Clemente Island, Los Angeles County, California. This is potentially a 1st California record and only the 2nd living record of this bizarre Eurasian woodpecker in the ABA Area.

San Clemente Island is maintained by the US Navy and is inaccessible to all but a handful of researchers studying the island’s endemic subspecies of Loggerhead Shrike.

Eurasian Wryneck is widespread in the Old World, but known in the ABA Area by a single record of a live bird, from St. Lawrence Island in western Alaska (2003). Other records include a 1945 specimen from Cape Prince of Wales on the Alaskan mainland, and a desiccated bird found in Indiana that was presumed to have been trapped in a shipping container.

The following two tabs change content below.
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

Latest posts by Nate Swick (see all)

  • Mickey Haddow

    Well, if the advice of America’s Happiest Birder is to be taken about this bird, then “in ones dreams you should fully accept and swallow this report!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

    • Chris F

      Monte only wishes in his dreams he could be on San Clemente! (Actually he is having a good time at Gambell). I think the photo says it all!!!! I have seen a lot in China and they all looked like the bird in the photo.

  • Rick Wright

    Nice one!

    I’m confused about how many records there are of this species in the ABA Area. I had believed that there were only two records of living birds from Alaska, the first of them collected, but the specimen record here says that that 1945 bird was the _second_, making the 2003 bird here the third. So is the California bird the third or the fourth for the ABA Area (all of them living when encountered)? And if it’s the fourth, what was the first?

    • jmorlan

      My understanding is that the Alaska bird was found dead by a local and not seen alive. The note that it was the 2nd record appears to be an error. As far as I know, the 2003 Gambell record and the California record are the only records of birds actually seen alive in North America.

      • Mark Brown

        Alfred M. Bailey in the Auk says “Dwight Tevuk secured a male at Wales Alaska on September 8, 1945.” He then states that he sent the specimen to Friedmann. In search of Arctic birds says: two Eskimos Dwight Tevuk and Arthur Nagozruk sent specimens of many rare visitors from Asia, including the first ever Wryneck for North America. (Vaughn 2010) I think that means three live birds? Secured means shot?

        • jmorlan

          Yes, Tevuk found the first bird dead and sent it to Bailey who wrote it up in the Auk. Tevuk and others collected other “rare visitors” not other Wrynecks. I don’t see any other records evidenced.

  • Pingback: Rare Bird Alert: September 29, 2017 « ABA Blog()

American Birding Podcast
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

  • Steve Hampton, in #ABArare - River Warbler - Alaska... { Photo by Clarence Irrigoo! Great guy that makes birding on Gambell possible. }
  • Nate, in Rare Bird Alert: October 13, 2017... { That's fair about the weather timing. I recall the observers saying something about Hurricane Nate being involved, but how much is not clear. As to... }
  • Gary Bloomfield, in Birding with a Tricorder... { Great essay, Ted! Feel sorry for the guy in the photo who's wearing a red shirt, though. }
  • Steve Shultz, in Rare Bird Alert: October 13, 2017... { I believe the NC swift was seen on Saturday, October 7 (unless the date indicated by the observer on the photo was incorrect). Nate did... }
  • Rick Wright, in #ABArare - Yellow-breasted Bunting - Newfoundland & Labrador... { What a great bird! Sadly topical: }
  • Older »




ABA's FREE Birder's Guide

If you live nearby, or are travelling in the area, come visit the ABA Headquarters in Delaware City.

Beginning this spring we will be having bird walks, heron watches and evening cruises, right from our front porch! Click here to view the full calender, and register for events >>

via email

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

  • Open Mic: Young Birder Camp at Hog Island: Coastal Maine Bird Studies for Teens September 11, 2017 3:07
    At the mic: Dessi Sieburth, an avid birder, photographer, and conservationist, is a 10th grader at Saint Francis High School in La Canada, California. He is a member of the Pasadena Audubon Young Birder’s Club and Western Field Ornithologists. Dessi enjoys birding in his home county of Los Angeles. Last summer, Dessi attended Camp Colorado, […]
  • Introducing the Whimbrel Birders Club! September 7, 2017 2:33
    Whimbrel Birders Club was established at the first annual Illinois Young Birders Symposium in August 2016. We are a birding club truly meant for everyone, no matter your age, disability, or ethnicity. […]
  • Open Mice: Kestrels–An Iowa Legacy May 16, 2017 6:29
    A few years ago, a short drive down my gravel road would yield at least one, if not two, American Kestrels perched on a power line or hovering mid-air above the grassy ditch. Today, I have begun to count myself lucky to drive past a mere one kestrel per week rather than the daily sightings. […]

Follow ABA on Twitter