Wednesday, March 4, 2015

The Time My Scientist Cousin Randomly Texted Me A First State Record

I live somewhat vicariously through my cousin, who had the good sense to pursue ornithology.  I'll be  sitting at my dumb desk on some sunny day, feeling myself get old and fat, and then she'll post some pictures of herself out in the field banding birds and smiling and, man, I tell ya, it's really just enough to make a guy go crazy.

Anyway, she's been working in Mississippi for the past couple of years but she's coming to DC and we've made plans to hang out. We were texting back and forth about it and she - impromptu of nothing other than a shared love of birds - sent me a picture of a yellow-rumped warbler. But not just any yellow-rumped warbler:

Can you read what I said there in green? I said: "Did you take that pic? Audubon's subspecies, rare in Mississippi." You can clearly see from the yellow throat that this is the Audubon's subspecies of yellow-rumped warbler, typically restricted to the West. She confirmed that, yes, she had netted this little fella in Mississippi.  I checked eBird to see just how many Audubon yellow-rump records there were in the Magnolia State.

So let's see that's, uhhh, zero?  Zero records? My cousin just randomly sent me a picture of a bird - one of thousands of birds she has banded, and it's a first state record? What a gal. Good birds compliment good genes in this family.

[NOTE: I doubt it's an actual state record, but I don't know for sure. It's a first in eBird, at least, and that's still good.]

She sent me a couple of other pictures of this little guy, so please enjoy.


Josh Adams said...

According to this it might be the 3rd state record (assuming no records are awaiting a vote):

NickL said...

Thanks, commenter, but that appears to be a link to a Louisiana report, not Mississippi...?

Josh Adams said...

Facepalm. Yea, looks like I didn't filter through my search results very thoroughly. I wondered why there was an Orleans county in MS.

All the MS links I could find are dead now. It'd be pretty cool if someone like the ABA would keep a standard database of some of this stuff. Even coming up with a list of review species can be difficult for some states.

Given the fact that the much-better-birded LA only has two accepted records it seems like this could actually be a first record.

NickL said...

Josh - Ha no worries. I was in touch with a master MS birder friend of mine and he said he's only seen one Audubon's in the state in his 30+ years. So, there are records for sure, but few.

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