Saturday, June 27, 2009

CT's Next 15 Birds: Two Years Later

Back in the summer of 2007 I began to piece together an article, later published in the Connecticut Warbler, that attempted to predict (AKA 'guess') the next 15 bird species to be added to the CT state list.

The "research" included assembling a 13-member panel to submit their own Top Ten Lists, ranked from most (10 pts) to least likely (1 pt). The results were then sorted in two ways: 1) by number of Top 10 List appearances out of 13, and 2) by number of points received. Got that? OK good. A total of 47 species received votes. Here they are:

Rank


Votes

Points

1

Townsend's Warbler

13

117

2

Swainson's Warbler

11

68

3

Black-chinned Hummingbird

10

70

4

Little Egret

6

39

5

California Gull

6

28

6

White-winged Tern

6

19

t7

Allen's Hummingbird

5

29

t7

Hammond's Flycatcher

5

29

9

Slaty-backed Gull

4

30

10

Garganey

4

18

11

Northern Lapwing

4

15

12

Common Murre

3

26

13

Pacific Golden Plover

3

17

14

Redwing

3

13

15

Black-tailed Gull

3

9

16

Shiny Cowbird

2

16

17

Western Meadowlark

2

14

18

Rock Wren

2

13

19

Reddish Egret

2

12

20

Vermillion Flycatcher

2

11

21

White-tailed Kite

2

9

22

Lesser Sand-Plover

2

7

23

Yellow-legged Gull

2

6

t24

Black-bellied Whistling-Duck

2

5

t24

Sage Thrasher

2

5

26

Lewis' Woodpecker

2

4

27

Great-tailed Grackle

2

2

28

Inca Dove

1

9

t29

Long-billed Murrelet

1

8

t29

Trumpeter Swan

1

8

t31

Black-throated Sparrow

1

7

t31

Common Ground Dove

1

7

t31

Lesser Nighthawk

1

7

34

Anna's Hummingbird

1

6

t35

Fieldfare

1

5

t35

Western Wood-pewee

1

5

t37

Gray Jay

1

4

t37

Western Reef-heron

1

4

39

Eurasian Kestrel

1

3

t40

Broad-tailed Hummingbird

1

2

t40

Cassin's Sparrow

1

2

t40

Clark's Grebe

1

2

t43

Brown Booby

1

1

t43

Common Chaffinch

1

1

t43

Common Ringed Plover

1

1

t43

Mountain Plover

1

1

t43

Violet-green Swallow

1

1


Panel members: Nick Bonomo, Milan Bull, Frank Gallo, Greg Hanisek, Julian Hough, Jay Kaplan, Frank Mantlik, Edward James Raynor, Dori Sosensky, Mark Szantyr, Daniel Williams, Glenn Williams, and Joseph Zeranski.

Since then, the following 5 species have been seen in the state (in chronological order):
Common Ground Dove
"Western" Flycatcher
Broad-billed Hummingbird
Slaty-backed Gull
Western Meadowlark (pending ARCC review)

Note that neither "Western" Fly nor Broad-billed Hummer were even mentioned! Common Ground Dove received one vote (Frank Gallo), Western Meadowlark got two votes (Milan Bull and Frank Mantlik), and Slaty-backed Gull received 4 votes (Nick Bonomo, EJ Raynor, Danny Williams, Glenn Williams). Slaty-back was the only one to make the final Top 15 List. So for those keeping score at home, seven voters have gotten one right; nobody has gotten two yet.

This just goes to show how difficult it is to predict the future! Maybe I'll complain about the weatherman a bit less often now.

Does anybody have thoughts on the above list? What's ranked too high? Too low? What would you have put on your Top 10?

The state list can be found HERE (be sure to remember the 4 newest additions, as this list is not totally up to date).

There are a couple species currently being seen in the eastern US that did not receive votes by the panel: Neotropic Cormorant and Roseate Spoonbill. If I could re-do my list, I might have squeezed in the Neotrop...but has it already occurred in CT? Take a look at the following VERY intriguing 2006 report from Sam Fried:
"10/13/06: possible Neotropic Cormorant, in flight near the CT/NY border on I-84, heading SE. Slightly smaller than DCC, with wings set mid-body, not toward the rear, faster wingbeat. Keep an eye out for this bird."
Yikes. Sounds like one that got away. Sam did a great job noting the structural difference, which is the most important part of the report since it pretty much rules out a runt or southern DCCO. What else could it have been? I'm not sure, but obviously more than this is required for a first state record.

Maryland is currently enjoying their 3rd Neotropic Cormorant (prior records autumn 2005 and spring 2008).

Now onto Roseate Spoonbill, which has dispersed north this month. There have been reports from Indiana (first record), Ontario (first), Virginia (second), and the MD/DE line (Delaware's first, Maryland's third). This seems like as likely a time as any for one to show up in CT.

- Nick

3 comments:

  1. I am not a student of vagrancy, but I was struck by Redwing being higher on the list than Black-bellied Whistling Duck.

    Was Brown-chested Martin added to the list (or at least sighted) before your article?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Roy, that's a nice one. I definitely agree that BBWD is more likely than Redwing, but there was a somewhat recent flurry of winter Redwing sightings in the northeast, which likely prompted that response from the panel.

    And yes, Mark's martin was before the article.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Roy, I just noticed that I forgot about Tina's Western Meadowlark! I've made the correction...

    ReplyDelete