Date: 7/13/22 1:38 pm
From: Joseph Neal <joeneal...>
“Something’s happening here,

what it is ain’t exactly clear”

– Buffalo Springfield (1967)

Some of you older folks may remember Buffalo Springfield from the 1960s. Of course, they were singing about the political and cultural milieu of the 1960s, but for me it also applies to what’s going on in the bird world. In this regard, I appreciated the extensive exploration of the Limpkin situation by Jerry Butler in the July 11, 2022, Arkansas Democrat Gazette (“Shell Game,” page 1D).

But what’s on my mind this morning are White Ibises in the Ozarks of western Arkansas, where they are unexpected and always of great interest. White Ibises are common nesting birds in the wooded swamps of extreme southern Arkansas, but they are totally unexpected in the forested uplands of northern Arkansas. Nevertheless, by mid to late summer, we usually see a few (1-2), often juveniles that have wandered north after the nesting season.
Most of our local observations are from the Arkansas River Valley in places like Frog Bayou WMA. So it was a wonderful surprise when on Sunday July 10, juvenile White Ibises (9) were observed by Wendy McBride in swampy Lake Sequoyah in Fayetteville and then seen by others.
Back in 2009, National Audubon did an analysis of how rising temperatures would impact various bird species. Arkansas data lead to the prediction that White Ibises would extend range 100 miles north. Here we are, 13 years later.
Dr Vivek Govind Kumar and I spent an hour at Lake Sequoyah this morning. We relocated 5 of the original 9 ibises. This is the same area where Todd Ballinger found Limpkins (2) in mid-May. Vivek and I picked up 48 species in 1-hour this morning. Among them early, southbound shorebird migrants. Besides the locally nesting Killdeer: Least Sandpiper, Pectoral Sandpiper, Greater Yellowlegs, Spotted Sandpiper.


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