WI Rare Birds: February

This is probably commonsense advice for seasoned birders, but it’s good to keep an eye on rare bird alerts (RBA) from neighboring states, both if you’re looking for a weekend trip and to know what might show up in your state. There are several forums, such as social media groups, e-mail lists or websites. On social media, search groups for “RBA” and you might find one for your state of interest. Otherwise, some states have separate e-mail lists for the RBA, or subject lines that indicate a rarity (e.g. “ALERT”). Every state seems to have a different M.O., so eventually you’re likely to find which service gets you the best and fastest information.

Continuing from last month’s post, there has been lots of luck just across the border for Canal Park (Duluth, MN). The black-legged kittiwake(s) look to be overwintering, and are still making appearances even close in to shore! Another gull to keep an eye out for on our lakefront is mew gull. Interestingly, mew gull was almost annual in the state 1986-2008, but hasn’t been found since. Some of my friends remember the mew gull that showed up every fall/winter along Lake Michigan for a decade (1998-2008)! Maybe, eventually, one will return and stick around. A birder friend pointed out that last year’s American 3-toed woodpecker frazzled more birders than it dazzled, which is quite true 🙂 This year, a group found one in far northern Minnesota during the Sax-Zim Birding Festival. As mentioned in last month’s post, some bird feeders have won the “rarity lottery” this year. What will be the next feeder bird to show up? Maybe tomorrow’s snowstorm will bring some birders a little luck. Feeder birds that have been spotted this month in Wisconsin’s history:

  • sage thrasher
  • curve-billed thrasher
  • green-tailed towhee
  • black-throated sparrow
  • lark bunting
  • black-headed grosbeak
  • Scott’s oriole
  • Eurasian tree sparrow

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *