Date: 10/9/19 6:57 am
From: <rcech...>
Subject: RE: [nysbirds-l] Lined Seedeater, Queens
Hey, we had to go to South Africa to see this bird. https://rbc-pix.smugmug.com/Nature/Nature-Images/Wydah



It is common, of course, for grassland birds globally to use melodious songs, and often dazzly tail feathers, in displays customized to their habitats. And this makes them prime targets for the cage bird trade. A couple of years ago, I was involved (as a photo contributor) in a Miami Herald article on the wydah’s appearance in Florida. http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/environment/article180926506.html#storylink=cpy.



Somebody may know whether NE strays are likely to be local escapes, versus vagrants from newly established US colonies. We’ll see how the incursion develops. Wydahs could give a whole new look to the Shawangunk Grasslands one of these days!



Rick



From: <bounce-124003693-3714678...> <bounce-124003693-3714678...> On Behalf Of Robert Paxton
Sent: Wednesday, October 9, 2019 8:41 AM
To: Shaibal Mitra <Shaibal.Mitra...>
Cc: NYSBIRDS (<NYSBIRDS-L...>) <NYSBIRDS-L...>
Subject: Re: [nysbirds-l] Lined Seedeater, Queens



Hi Shai et al.,

So I googled Sporophila lineola and up popped an image of a caged bird with an impressively long and varied (though not terribly melodious) song. I strongly suspect an escaped cage bird.

Yrs.,

Bob Paxton



On Tue, Oct 8, 2019 at 4:41 PM Shaibal Mitra <Shaibal.Mitra...> <mailto:<Shaibal.Mitra...> > wrote:

We birders are good at distinguishing between the improbable (e.g., seeing a Lined Seedeater in New York) and the imponderable (e.g., deliberately driving the Belt Parkway on a morning when one had been granted a reprieve from doing so). With a chance at the former as an inducement for the enduring the latter, I visited the Charles Memorial Park this morning, on the north shore of Jamaica Bay, directly north of the parking area where we stage for visits to the north end of the East Pond.

The male Lined Seedeater was skulky but still present, continuing from at least 7 Sep:

https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S60461352

I'm not sure why this bird has not garnered more attention within the birding community. Lined Seedeater is a trans-equatorial austral migrant and a plausible candidate for natural vagrancy to North America. There is a specimen from the Isles of Shoals, New Hampshire, from 8 August 1935 (MCZ), and records of vagrants north of the regular northern South American austral winter (our summer) range from Costa Rica, and from Guadeloupe--the latter from 6-7 Sep 2017, perhaps not coincidentally almost exactly the date the present bird was found this year.

Shai Mitra
Bay Shore
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