Sunday, January 11, 2009

Rare 'dinky' bird migrates to U.S. for first time

CHOKE CANYON, Texas - Birders with binoculars and cameras are flocking to a remote state park in search of a small yellow-chested bird that apparently crossed the U.S. border for the first time from its high-mountain habitat to the south.

At 5 inches with beige and yellow markings, the pine flycatcher doesn't look like much, but its unprecedented migration from Mexico and Guatemala is exciting birders all over the country.

The bird, which appears to be alone, was first spotted last month and as recently as Friday. The sightings have been confirmed by photographs and recordings of its chirping.

This story reminds me of a time when I was working at Fish and Game back in the late 80s when my father-in-law called me.

"I have a bird in a tree in my backyard that I've never seen before. I tried looking it up but all I could find is a picture of a bird that they say is extinct! Should I kill it and bring it in?"

You may have a bird that was thought to be EXTINCT - and now we may have ONE speciman - that has survived and it's right here in IDAHO - IN YOUR VERY OWN BACKYARD?????

"Yes, kill it and bring it in."


Dee said...

That bird is beautiful. How nice that it too snuck across the border!
As for the extinct bird-----yeah, that sounds like a man's reasoning.

I had between 40 and 50 goldfinches in my trees this morning ! There was no yellow coloring on the males, but the females all looked the same as they do the rest of the year. And the pointed tails and white wing bars. Quite a sight.

jaci said...

Ack! I remember when my dad would confront the orangutans that lived next door for shooting birds with their sling shots. He pulled rank on them: "I'm a Federal Officer and shooting a song bird is a Federal Offense..." scared the dickens out of the little monsters. I would just faint to have a rare bird like this visit my feeder!! I would die to add him to my Life List...

jpogue said...

Well Jaci, I don't believe it was really a rare bird. Probably something normal he just hadn't seen before. I remember it just cracked me up that he thought he may have an "extinct" bird in his yard and wondered if he should kill it. Elmer is his father's son!

kate said...

OOoh, god, that is SUCH a Turner thing to do!! Funny!!

Oh man, I'd love to go birding in Texas some day...there are some AMAZING birds down there.

kate said...

Jaci, when I read your comment I thought "Wow! They must have lived next to a zoo if they had orangutans next door."

Yes, I'm afraid I did.