Warning

 

Close

Confirm Action

Are you sure you wish to do this?

Confirm Cancel
BCM
User Panel

Site Notices
Posted: 7/2/2015 8:16:13 PM EDT
From the Bloomington, IN Herald Times, and posted without permission. Some folks get excited over the strangest things. Wonder if it tastes like condor or spotted owl?

Fork-tailed flycatcher makes its way to Indiana
A fork-tailed flycatcher perches on a barbed wire fence in Daviess County on Tuesday. Amy Kearns | Courtesy photo
A bird usually found several thousands of miles away in South America created quite a stir Tuesday for people across Indiana.

Dozens of people interested in birds flocked to Daviess County Tuesday after a text that read: "There is currently a Fork-tailed Flycatcher north of West Boggs Lake, Loogootee, Daviess Co. 727 N. just east of 1100 E. In a barbed wire fence row across from silver mailbox on north side of road."
The text was sent by Amy Kearns, a nongame bird biologist with the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, who was out conducting a survey of loggerhead shrikes, a state endangered bird, with Lee Sterrenburg, a Bloomington birder.
Kearns spotted the bird, which normally takes up winter residence in Venezuela — that is, during summer in the Northern Hemisphere — while the two were out looking along fence rows close to open fields. Such areas are often insect-hunting grounds for loggerhead shrikes, the bird they had set out to find.
"I had never seen this bird before, but I knew what it was because I've seen it in my bird books," Kearns said. "We were really shocked, of course."
Kearns and Sterrenburg think the bird is an immature male, because its tail is not quite as long as an adult tail and it has some slightly different coloring on its body. Sterrenburg has seen fork-tailed flycatchers before, in South America and Costa Rica.
"It's a very distinctive bird," Sterrenburg said. "Identifying it was not the hard part."
What was difficult was keeping up with the bird. After that first text, the two watched it for about 25 minutes and then it flew off. By that time, many people were already traveling to the area to get a look, most for the first time in their lives. People traveled from Indianapolis, Evansville and Bloomington, according to Sterrenburg.
After watching the bird fly away, Kearns and Sterrenburg took off in the direction it had flown, expecting to find it nearby.
That didn't happen.
Almost two hours later, and 4.5 miles from the first place where the bird was seen, Kearns and Sterrenburg stumbled on the fork-tailed flycatcher, while they were again searching for loggerhead shrikes. "It was truly amazing to find it a second time," Sterrenburg said. "It was like finding a needle in a haystack. We're out looking for shrikes, looking for white-breasted birds perched on a fence wire." And there it was, perched on a barbed wire fence next to an eastern kingbird and near two red-headed woodpeckers.
"There were a whole bunch of people on the way there and some were already there," Sterrenburg said. "When we found the bird at the second site, eight or nine people showed up right away." He said that some of the neighbors, including the woman who owned the field and her daughters, also came out to look at the bird, "so we showed it to a bunch of people, not just the birders."
Sterrenburg said fork-tailed flycatchers have been known to suddenly appear in North America. The species winters in southern South America and usually migrates up to Venezuela, with some traveling a little farther north into the Caribbean.
"It overshot Venezuela and the Caribbean and ended up in Daviess County," Sterrenburg said, adding that the bird found the ideal habitat, a savanna-type setting in Indiana's Amish country where there are open fields surrounded by wooden fence posts, barbed wire and some bushes along the field's edges.
"That bird was looking for the exact same habitat we were were looking for," Sterrenburg said. "It kind of makes sense that it would end up there."
This is the second time a fork-tailed flycatcher has been spotted in Indiana. The first time was in 2008 in Owen County.
Kearns speculated that storms systems may have affected the bird's migration route. If a fork-tailed flycatcher was coming to Indiana, she said Daviess County would be the perfect place to go. "If it was going to be anywhere in Indiana, it makes sense that it's in Daviess (County)."
Link Posted: 7/2/2015 8:18:25 PM EDT
[#1]
I guess there is something to see in Loogootee after all.
Close Join Our Mail List to Stay Up To Date! Win a FREE Membership!

Sign up for the ARFCOM weekly newsletter and be entered to win a free ARFCOM membership. One new winner* is announced every week!

You will receive an email every Friday morning featuring the latest chatter from the hottest topics, breaking news surrounding legislation, as well as exclusive deals only available to ARFCOM email subscribers.


By signing up you agree to our User Agreement. *Must have a registered ARFCOM account to win.
Top Top