Thursday, January 31, 2013

Target birds for 2013

Last January I posted these targets:

1. Golden Eagle
2. Black Rail
3. Florida Scrub Jay
4. Limpkin
5. Black-bellied Whistling Duck

Amazingly I found all 5 in 2012!

I saw #1 and #2 both on the Mattamuskeet Christmas Bird Count.

...and #3, #4 and #5 at Viera Wetland down in Florida.

I'll have to make up for a phenomenally lucky 2012 with a lackluster 2013 full of dips and failures.

Here are my 2013 targets:

1. Evening Grosbeak - This is the year to see one since there hasn't been an eruption in NC since the mid nineties.  Everybody keeps saying that February is when they'll start showing up at feeders in force.  I hope everybody is right!

2. Atlantic Puffin - my one chance is on the pelagic trip I'm signed up for on Feb. 16.  Given this year's unprecedented Razorbill eruption I'm foolishly optimistic

3. Northern Saw-whet Owl - I've been to all the right places in NC to find this bird (Roan Mountain, Bodie Island in winter), but just haven't!  That needs to change.  It's the last breeding species in NC that I haven't seen anywhere.  Owls are awesome.

4. Black-backed Woodpecker - It looks like I'll be going to Duluth for a conference in June and this might be a possibility

5. Gray Jay - another boreal specialist that I hope to see for the first time in Minnesota