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Monday, November 14, 2011

Western Kingbirds being seen in New England, be on the lookout!

Western Kingbird

Note the white edge to the tail.

In flight shows the white edges to the outermost tail feathers and dark tail contrasts with paler back.

There have been several reports recently of Western Kingbirds showing up in New England. One was reported in Westport, CT, and another in New Salem, MA. Another showed up mid-November in 2009 in Rochester, NH. These are all rare sightings and can cause much excitement for birders. Be on the lookout.

The Western Kingbird is a type of flycatcher whose range is in the West, but it's a common vagrant (bird who wandered out of range) to the East. They have a yellow belly, gray head and breast, and a dark tail that contrasts with the gray back. The tail has white edges.

We were lucky to have seen a Western Kingbird on our southern NH property on August 31, 2003 when our friends from FL, Lois and Leon White, were visiting. It was seen well by all of us. Always nice to produce a rare species for your area when birding friends are visiting. Above photographs are of a Western Kingbird I photographed in Sanibel, Florida in Jan. 05.


Tina Coruth said...

Thank you for the heads up! I hope I see one some day. At least now I am prepared if I do.

Chatterbirds said...

That would be a great find for any northeastern birding patch!

LaurenTW said...

Here is some irony: We live in Wyoming and often see the Eastern Kingbird. They follow us up the fenceline..