[Tweeters] Re: Least Flycatchers in Washington State

Bill and Nancy LaFramboise billnan321 at gmail.com
Tue Jun 2 04:26:29 PDT 2015


I found Joshua's post very interesting and the paper by Steve also. Hoping
to give Joshua and Tweeters something to think about and NOT finding fault
with Steve's conclusions; here are some thoughts and observations.

Having lived and birded in eastern WA for 22 years, we were aware of many
birds typically thought of to be "Eastern" species. There were Least
Flycatchers routinely at Sullivan Lake (Pend Oreille) in the early 90's.
In that area (and elsewhere) were also Northern Waterthrush, American
Redstart, Bobolink, Black-capped Chickadees, Eastern Kingbirds, etc. We
were aware that many of these species have ranges in the East, up through
and across Canada, and then drop down into WA.

Also around in our E WA days were multiple Common Grackle, Blue Jay, a long
list of "eastern" warblers (most likely vagrants??), Rose-breasted
Grosbeak, Baltimore Oriole, Eastern Phoebe, Veery, Northern Mockingbird,
and Indigo Bunting.

On the other hand, now that we live in Florida, we are amazed at the amount
of "Western" birds that are here. Not just the ones like Burrowing Owl
that have a remnant population from who knows when, but also many
flycatchers (Western, Tropical, and Cassin's Kingbirds, Scissor-tailed,
Ash-throated, Vermilion, Brown-crested, Sulphur-bellied Flycatchers, and
Say's Phoebe). We have seen Green-tailed Towhee, Swainson's Hawk (not all
of them over-winter in Argentina after all), Western Tanager, Black-headed
Grosbeak, and many more. One weekend in Gainesville we saw Bullock's Oriole
and Black-chinned and Calliope hummers; backyard birds for us in Richland!)
Rufous Hummingbirds are now regular here. California and Thayer's Gulls
have been documented. Some western species are vagrants but some occur
regularly enough that they are considered rare (annual) but not surprising.


So, one can wonder how much is due to range expansion, weather related
"invasions", or observer awareness and how much relates to remnant ancient
migratory routes that we do not know much about? We do NOT pretend to know
the answers. Keep studying status and distribution - it is a fascinating
aspect to add to your birding pleasure!

Nancy LaFramboise

On Mon, Jun 1, 2015 at 8:38 PM, Joshua Glant <josh.n.glant at gmail.com> wrote:


> By the way, that article was written in 2005. The situation has surely

> changed in the last 9 years! I hope I can see a Least Flycatcher, and other

> eastern (Washington or otherwise) birds this year!

>

> Joshua Glant

>

> Mercer Island, WA

>

> Josh.n.glant at gmail.com

>

>

> On Jun 1, 2015, at 5:33 PM, Joshua Glant <josh.n.glant at gmail.com> wrote:

>

> Hello Tweets,

>

> Until just now, I had thought of Least Flycatchers as a regular and

> long-time member of our state's avifauna. But I love reading research

> papers, and today I read one that taught me otherwise. If you like reading

> research papers too, here is the one I'm talking about, written by Mr.

> Steven G. Mlodinow. (Mr. Mlodinow, if you're reading this, I really enjoyed

> your article!)

>

> https://sora.unm.edu/sites/default/files/journals/wb/v36n04/p0310-p0316.pdf

>

> The prospect of Eastern birds spreading westward excites me, in a way. Who

> wouldn't want to see Rose-breasted Grosbeaks, Indigo Buntings, Blue Jays

> and Broad-winged Hawks more often? I know I would!

>

> Good birding, and what a wonderful world, Joshua Glant

>

> Mercer Island, WA

>

> Josh.n.glant at gmail.com

>

>

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>

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