Rare birds in the USA update

This December 2014 video, about male goosanders, is called Rare Birds of North America.

From the American Birding Association blog:

Rare Bird Alert: January 30, 2015

By Nate Swick

It was a slower week to be sure, but Texas takes its accustomed place as the center of the ABA rarity world with a couple of notable finds this week. the most accommodating of which is an ABA Code 4 Gray-crowned Yellowthroat, still being seen daily (if not regularly during the day) at Estero Llano Grande State Park in Hidalgo. It’s the first Gray-crowned Yellowthroat in the ABA Area in more than 8 years.

Elsewhere in the valley, a male Blue Bunting (4) was discovered, but not yet refound, at Laguna Atascosa NWR in Cameron.

In Oklahoma, a pair of Yellow-billed Loons, along with 2 Pacific Loons, were seen in Cherokee.

Colorado continues to live up to its reputation as the gull capital of the mountain west with a Glaucous-winged Gull in Arapahoe.

Arizona also had a Glaucous-winged Gull this week, one in Mohave is the state’s 8th. And a pair of Trumpeter Swans were found in Pima, particularly rare in the south of the state.

In Utah, the state’s 2nd record of Purple Finch, one of the darker Pacific coast population, has been visiting a feeder in Washington. In the same county, a Red-throated Loon was also noteworthy.

Another Black-headed Gull (3) was found in Oregon, this time in Clatsop. Assuming this is not the same bird found a couple weeks farther east, this would be the state’s 6th.

In Idaho, a Glaucous Gull in Canyon is a great find.

A Ferruginous Hawk in Gibson, Indiana, is likely the same bird returning for its third consecutive winter.

In New Hampshire, a photogenic Gyrfalcon was seen by many in Rockingham.

New York saw a spate of good birds this week, including a Barrow’s Goldeneye in Oswego, what may be the state’s 2nd in as many weeks Crested Caracara, photographed in Nassau, and a Western Tanager in Suffolk.

Trumpeter Swans continue to be more regular in the southeast as the interior population grows. One was in Prince Edward, Virginia, this week.

And in Florida, a nice Bullock’s Oriole was visiting a feeder in Osceola.

United States snowy owl news

This video is called Snowy Owl (Bubo scandiacus).

From the Cornell Lab of Ornithology in the USA today:

A Snowy Owl Sequel?

They’re baaacck…reports of Snowy Owls are lighting up the eBird maps across the northern United States again this winter. Is this another irruption, or an echo flight? Read the latest with analysis from an eBird project leader at our All About Birds blog.

Sign up for Snowy Alerts: With another influx of owls, eBird is again offering a Snowy Owl Alert service that emails you whenever a new snowy is seen.

Animals on National Geographic covers, statistics

Animals on National Geographic covers, EMILY M. ENG, NG STAFF; SHUTTERSTOCK; ISTOCK

From National Geographic in the USA:

By Cathy Newman

1 January 2015

One-fourth of all the illustrated covers National Geographic magazine has published in its 126-year-long history have featured animals.

The newly published National Geographic: The Covers shows that birds lead in the cover sweepstakes, with apes and gorillas in second place. Snakes and mollusks lag far behind, and in April 2014, a hedgehog made a single, solitary appearance on the cover for a story on wild pets.

Why do birds lead the pack? “It’s not so much about bird species,” points out Kathy Moran, the magazine’s senior editor for natural history. “They’re usually stand-ins to represent environmental issues.” For example, the brown pelican coated in oil on the cover of October 2010, which illustrates a story on the Deepwater Horizon blowout in the Gulf of Mexico.