Date: 2/28/18 7:14 pm
From: Josh <opihi...>
Subject: [MASSBIRD] WMB: early Indigo Bunting in the Berkshires, interesting geese at UMass
Hi MassBirders,

A fairly big surprise on Western Mass Birders today: Gael Hurley posted that an Indigo Bunting is visiting a feeder in Washington (Berkshire County)! Here is Gael’s eBird report with very good photos: <>

eBird shows no previous sightings of the species anywhere in the state in the month of February, though according to Manuel Morales there are a few December records, including one from Berkshire County. Marj Rines checked Veit and Peterson, which showed three winter records (January 1955 in Lincoln; December 1961-March 1962 at Marblehead Neck; and December 1977-February 1978 on Nantucket). Folks are speculating whether this bird might have overwintered in the area and just not been noticed until now, as opposed to being an outrageously early migrant; the previous winter records for the species seem to point in that direction…

There have been no further sightings of the Ross’ Goose in Hadley/Amherst since, I think, Tuesday morning. However, Keenan Yakola had a remarkable trio of geese amid a flock of Canadas at the Mass campus pond today: one Cackling Goose, plus a goose with the Cackling that appears to be a hybrid of Greater White-fronted X Canada, plus a Canada that totally lacks any trace of the usual white cheek patches, giving it this really bizarre appearance like a Canada’s body with a Brant’s head and neck stuck on it! Photos on his eBird report here: <>

Reports of Red-winged Blackbird arrivals and peent-ing American Woodcocks are coming in from all over….

Good birding!


Joshua S. Rose, Ph.D.
Amherst, MA

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