Thursday, December 9, 2010

A pleasant chat.

Last night I got a call from an old birding buddy.  He asked if I wanted to play hooky and go search for the Yellow-breasted Chat that has been hanging out around the buildings at the Alaksen Wildlife Area for the past few days. Would I?  The last chat I saw was at Point Pelee, Ontario, during spring migration when I was a teenager.  I believe it was in the company of the same birding buddy.  It had been a difficult bird to spot, in dense Carolinian understory.

These migratory birds, included within the wood warbler family, although not comfortably, are larger than other warblers, and in British Columbia are most common--which is not to say very common at all--in the relatively arid southern interior, where they inhabit brushy areas near water.  At this time of year, a chat should be gobbling fruit and bugs in Central America.

This one, far from winter home in a cold, wet place, at least had the sense to show itself outside the window of a building full of ornithologists.  And it repays the filling of the feeders by cooperatively appearing several times a day to be admired.


Urban Wild said...

Another victim or global warming? ---or just a bird that likes to be admired by ornithologists? Hope the little fella makes it through the winter.

biobabbler said...

Wow. That is insane. How exciting for you! I've seen one once, and that was at the bottom (I believe) of the Grand Canyon. And that's IT. =) Nice.

Hugh said...

Linda, I don't think anyone has a clue why this bird is here, and it makes you wonder how often this sort of thing happens (the percentage of humans who can identify uncommon birds being vanishingly small). We expect it will remain there as long as it is fed--if it doesn't fall victim to a cold snap or a Cooper's Hawk.

BB, Yes, great fun. It makes 2 for me now.

Dave said...

Great bird and great photos! I'm missing all those Lower Mainland oddities (and rare birds as well).