Friday, May 31, 2013

A rare pair of Kings

Mark K. was sitting down for some sushi at Carolina Beach in New Hanover County, NC one evening after a day of birding when his friend Ken glanced up at a nondescript bird perched on the power line.

"I don't believe I've seen that kind of bird before."  And for once those words from a novice/non-birder were indeed cause for excitement.  Gray Kingbirds are quite rare in Norther Carolina, and when they appear it usually is not for long. 

Gray Kingbird with (can somebody identify the bee?)
Mark made the ID and got the word out.  Subsequent searching by other birders revealed not one, but two Gray Kingbirds.  Possibly a pair looking to nest?  Apparently that would not be unprecedented in North Carolina, but all previous attempts have been down in Brunswick County, so this could represent the northernmost attempted breeding for the species if they should make a go of it.
Gray Kingbird
A great find by Mark and Ken!  Hopefully other birders can keep tabs on this pair and report on their behavior.

Apparently I was premature in my personal NC vs. ABA list comparison because the gap has just shrunk to 22!