American Birding Podcast



#ABArare – Corncrake – New York

Looks like November, which for at least the last couple years has been the peak month for the strangest bird vagrancies, is off to a hot start. The most recent is an ABA Code 5 Corncrake found in Suffolk County, New York, by Shai Mitra, Pat Lindsay, Ken Feustel and Sue Feustel, on November 7.

Corncrake occurrences in the ABA Area always seem to require a strange wrinkle. The 2016 bird was captured by a cat, and this recent New York bird was foraging on the shoulder of a highway on Long Island. Photo: Molly Adams/Macaulay Library

The bird was seen feeding on the north shoulder of the Ocean Parkway east of the Cedar Beach marina. The observers report that the bird is skittish, and hugging the shrubline.

From the west bound lane line up the Cedar Overlook cell tower to your left. Also, there is a south facing “Emergency Stopping Only” sign on the north side of the parkway.

Corncrake is a wide ranging Eurasian rallid with an odd history in the ABA Area. It was fairly regularly recorded in North America through the 19th Century but declined significantly in western Europe through the 20th Century which correlated with their near disappearance across the Atlantic. In recent years, Corncrake has turned up more regularly, however. The last three years have seen two individuals in the ABA Area, in Pennsylvania and in Maine.