Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Leaning Up Against That El Dorado

Well I promised something rare, so here you go. This is a female Common Rosefinch, one of two or three that visited us on Buldir Island last summer. It's a rare migrant in the Western Aleutians (and virtually unrecorded on mainland North America), and we were lucky to have them.

As you can see.....they are incredibly plain. I can't think of many birds that are plainer. Pretty much homely. They are the Bean Goose of passerines. But make no mistake...the bird addicts of The Lower 48 would give an arm and a leg (at least) to see one of these on their home turf.

But despite her bland appearance, she was a welcome visitor, spending much of her time right outside our cabin, often with the only Common Redpoll that made it onto the island. One time I looked out the window and she was sitting on some Snowy Owl talons that were drying on the railing.....unfortunately there is no epic picture to accompany this anecdote.

In terms of vagrants, Buldir enjoyed relatively few migrant songbirds in 2010. Aside from the rosefinches, there were a few Rustic Buntings (which are face-melting), some Eastern Yellow Wagtails, some Bramblings, a Cliff Swallow and the aforementioned Common Redpoll. I think that's about it. We did pretty good on other fronts though, so I can't complain.

Well I know this blog was quick and dirty, not the sprawling urbane wordscape that you've come to expect...but I'm a busy man, what can I say? Here's your educational link of the day (via Rob Fowler), for bird and cat fanciers alike: Feral Cat Predation on Birds Costs Billions of Dollars a Year.

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