Date: 12/4/18 11:32 am
From: Tom Crabtree <tc...>
Subject: [obol] Re: Most unexpected rarity?
The only non-AZ records in Ebird for Streak-backed prior to that time were the one in Death Valley in ’77; a stakeout in San Diego in 1984-85 and a single observer record from Parker Dam, CA in 1991. It has subsequently become more established. The Utah Bird Records Committee doesn’t list any records prior to 2013, nor does Ebird. I agree with Jeff, that the Bluebirds are more unusual, but the Streak-backed was a shocker at the time and provides a convenient, round number (25 year) starting point for the discussion.


From: Jeff Gilligan [mailto:<jeffgilligan10...>]
Sent: Tuesday, December 04, 2018 11:16 AM
To: <tc...>
Cc: OBOL Oregon Birders Online
Subject: Re: [obol] Most unexpected rarity?

I haven’t thought through all of the possible candidates, but I think it is less expected than the Steak-backed Oriole. That species had already occurred in fall in Utah as I recall, and it already had a history of fall vagrancy to southern Cal and Arizona, and maybe elsewhere. Don’t get me wrong though, I am happy to have seen it.


On Dec 4, 2018, at 11:11 AM, Tom Crabtree <tc...> wrote:

While viewing the two Eastern Bluebirds on Sunday with Owen Schmidt, Jeff Gilligan, Steven Rogers and others, we marveled at how unlikely a sighting this was. For one thing it was two birds, not a single one that wandered out to become the first Eastern Bluebirds ever seen on the West Coast. They were 600 miles from the closest prior sighting in Cassia County, ID. They were 750 miles from the closest location of multiple birds (5) in Greycliff, MT; 900 miles from records of birds seen in December north of Edmonton, Alberta (which must have really shocked the discoverers); and about a thousand miles from the closest breeding population of the species in Theodore Roosevelt National Park in western North Dakota. We can debate all winter how they got here, but it made me think of another question: Is this the most unusual, unexpected rarity to show up in Oregon in the last 25 years? In my mind this is on a par with the Streak-backed Oriole that showed up at Malheur NWR Headquarters in September 1993. At the time there had only been three sightings in the US outside of Arizona, the closest being in Death Valley National Park in 1977, about 550 miles away.

What is your nominee for the most unexpected rarity in Oregon since then?

Tom Crabtree, Bend

Join us on Facebook!