February 2023

Vol. 51, No. 1

Hot Birds: February 2023

Smith's Longspur by Sam Zhang
A Smith’s Longspur in Hadley was the most shocking and most cooperative rarity of the season. After Scott Surner detected it on December 12, It remained in the area for at least a month, and was counted during the Northampton Christmas Bird Count. Only the fourth state record, it frequently fed within inches of the roadside, even with birders watching from the other side of the road. Sam Zhang took the photo.

Northern Lapwing by Lisa Schibley
Tony Baldasaro was in the right place at the right time to photograph a Northern Lapwing flying north up Plum Island on December 17. December 26, Miles Brengle came across it or another lapwing at Maplecroft Farm in Ipswich. Although access to the area was closed temporarily due to misbehavior by a few visitors,the area reopened. The bird remained at the farm through early 2023. Lisa Schibley took the photograph above.

Bullock's Oriole by Janice Strong
Two Bullock’s Orioles seen in Massachusetts this season were both one-and-done sightings. Janice Strong photographed this oriole in Concord on November 10. A mockingbird soon chased it off and it was never seen again. A few days earlier, Suzanne Sullivan and John Keeley had a similarly brief encounter with one in Rockport on November 5. In Arlington, a third oriole visited a private feeder in mid-November.

Trumpeter Swans by Bette Robo
A quartet of Trumpeter Swans in Uxbridge bounced from one body of water to another. They were reported from at least four separate ponds as well as a backed-up stretch of the Blackstone River. The Trumpeter Swans reported recently in the Northeast are thought to originate from the Great Lakes population that was established by a captive-release program. Bette Robo took this photograph.

Loggerhead Shrike by Brendan Burke
When birders on the weekly bird walk at Bear Creek Sanctuary in Saugus encountered a shrike on December 4, they reasonably assumed it to be a Northern Shrike. Later examination of Brendan Burke’s photos photographs (see above) indicated that it was a Loggerhead Shrike—, much more rare for the place and time. Birders continued to spot the Loggerhead at least through January 15. This was the third record in the state over the past 12 months.

Western Tanager by Bette Robo
A bright male Western Tanager appeared at a suet feeder in Barnstable on November 20 for at least a month. A significantly less colorful one turned up in early January at Sagamore Recreation Area and Scusset Beach, where it was admired by numerous birders. Bette Robo took the photograph above.

blog comments powered by Disqus
Bird Observer logo

Our mission: to support and promote the observation, understanding, and conservation of the wild birds of New England.

Bird Observer supports the right of all people to enjoy birding and nature in a safe and welcoming environment free from discrimination and harassment, be it sexual, racial, or barriers for people with disabilities.
© Copyright 2024 by Bird Observer, Inc.