Date: Sat, 30 Jan 2010 07:45:39 -0800
Reply-To: Charlie <cmmbirds@YAHOO.COM>
Sender: Georgia Birders Online <GABO-L@LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
From: Charlie <cmmbirds@YAHOO.COM>
Subject: Re: out of range bird question
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=iso-8859-1
Leon brings up some very interesting points, most of which point to the fact that we are all still learning about bird ranges and range changes.
For instance, thanks to a handful of hummer banders, we all know that many hummingbirds of several species regularly winter along the gulf coast. But 20 years ago these birds were considered "lost" and "hopeless." Was there any range change there, or was it merely an increase in our understanding?
Bird ranges change, both for anthropogenic and natural reasons. Some bird has to be the first. Most likely a very small percent of these vanguard birds survive. But now and then the conditions are right, and there is an expansion or shift of entire population.
Now I'm not suggesting that is the case here - this is just too big a change in habitat. But it is interesting to wonder about every new bird.
Meanwhile, I hope that the 4 Purple Finches currently in our yard are the vanguard of a winter finch irruption. But I'm not holding my breath...
--- On Sat, 1/30/10, Leon Galis <lgalis@CHARTER.NET> wrote:
> From: Leon Galis <lgalis@CHARTER.NET>
> Subject: [GABO-L] out of range bird question
> To: GABO-L@LISTSERV.UGA.EDU
> Date: Saturday, January 30, 2010, 9:57 AM
> The heart breaking story of the ivory
> gull prompts me to ask you all the question that occurs to
> me every time I see posts about birds that are far out of
> their normal range. As exciting as it is for birders to see
> those birds, it seems that it would be a very bad thing for
> the birds for all kinds of reasons. At a minimum, their
> breeding prospects aren't great. And intuitively, it seems
> that they'd be more vulnerable to predation without the
> benefit of whatever protections their normal habitat
> affords. Has any work been done on mortality rates among
> birds that wander far out of their normal ranges? I can
> imagine that it wouldn't be all that easy to do studies like
> that in a rigorous way, but if there are any, I'd like to
> know about them. Thanks. RIP ivory gull.
> Leon Galis
> Athens-Clarke County
> To search GABO-L archives or manage your subscription, go
> To contact a listowner, send message to
> To view GABO-L information/guidelines, go to
To search GABO-L archives or manage your subscription, go to
To contact a listowner, send message to
To view GABO-L information/guidelines, go to