1998 REPORT OF THE KANSAS BIRD RECORDS COMMITTEE

This report summarizes records received and evaluated by the Committee for the calendar year 1998, as well as any decisions pending from previous years. Sixty-eight observation records were received by the Committee in 1998; these included 7 sightings from 1997, 60 from 1998, and one record from 1991 which was recirculated. Fifty-seven records were circulated for evaluation; uncirculated records usually were reports of otherwise common birds found at an unusual season, or in a region of the state where their appearance was not expected. All records, whether circulated to the committee or not, are archived in the Natural History Museum at the University of Kansas.

Record submissions are assigned a sequential number in the order in which they are received, with the year of receipt as a prefix. Not all submissions that receive a number are circulated. Birds are listed in phylogenetic order under each of two categories: Records Accepted and Records Rejected. Taxonomy and nomenclature follow the American Ornithologists’ Union Check-list of North American Birds (Seventh edition, 1998).

After the common and scientific name follows the KBRC record number; the number of individuals seen, with age or plumage notes; date(s) of observation; locality, including county; observer(s), with those documenting the record listed first; supporting physical evidence, if any, received by the Committee; and finally, comments and notes on changes in the species’ status on the KOS checklist. Rejected records have the observers’ names omitted and a brief explanation as to the reason for rejection.
 

RECORDS ACCEPTED

Pacific Loon (Gavia pacifica), 98-59, one adult in alternate plumage, 28 June 1998 to 6 July 1998, Milford Reservoir Dam (Geary County), Chuck Otte, mob; 7 photos. A rare summer record.

Pacific Loon (Gavia pacifica), 98-61, one, sex and age unknown, 26 November 1998 to 28 November 1998, Clark County State Lake (Clark County), Galen Pittman.

Red-necked Grebe (Podiceps grisegena), 98-46, one, in nearly complete alternate plumage, 19 May 1998, Cheyenne Bottoms (Barton County), Max Thompson, Mike Rader, Gene Young; 1 photo. This is a late record, and also unusual in that the bird was in nearly complete alternate plumage. There are also very few sightings of this species in Kansas, and most of the sight records are from the eastern third of the state.

White Ibis (Eudocimus albus), 98-40, one adult, 13 May 1998, Big Salt Marsh, Quivira National Wildlife Refuge (Stafford County), Sebastian Patti, Mark Robbins, Chris Hobbs, Town Peterson. Although there have been other records of this casual summer visitor to the state, most sightings have been in mid- to late summer.

Black Vulture (Coragyps atratus), 98-41, one adult, 25 April 1998, Schermerhorn Park (Cherokee County), Sebastian Patti, Galen Pittman, Mick McHugh, David Seibel. Black vultures are found in Missouri not very far from the site of this observation, but are only rarely seen in Kansas.

Black-bellied Whistling-Duck (Dendrocygna autumnalis), 98-42, one adult, 3 March 1998 through 20 May 1998, Red Fox Lane subdivision, Salina (Saline County), David Weible, Victor Sullivan, Diane Weible, mob; 3 photos. Fifth state record.

Black-bellied Whistling-Duck (Dendrocygna autumnalis), 98-34, one adult, 28 March 1998, Crystal Lake, 5163 Harborside Ct, Wichita (Sedgwick County), Bonnie Bricker, Connie Schroeder; 2 photos. This species showed up in many places far north of its normal range this spring; one bird was photographed in Minnesota. Vagrant waterfowl sightings are always best treated with skepticism, since many waterfowl are kept in captivity, and some of these can escape. The absence of a band on this bird and the pattern of dispersion of many other individuals of this species in the (El Niño) spring of 1998 were arguments in favor of accepting both KBRC #98-42 and #98-34. Sixth state record.

Gray Hawk (Asturina nitida), 91-01, one adult, 15 April 1990 and 16 April 1990, Milford Reservoir (Geary County), Dan LaShelle, Chuck Otte, Eric Otte, Michael Anderson, Bob LaShelle. First state record. Added to state list with hypothetical status. This record was rejected when first submitted in 1991, as KBRC members believed that this species did not migrate very far, and was not prone to wander. Given these considerations, the most likely possibility seemed to be that this was a falconer’s escaped bird. At that time there was no disagreement with the identification. A request was received from a KOS member to recirculate this record. Subsequent investigation, including solicited information from Rich Glinski, author of the soon-to-be-published Birds of North America account for this species, indicated that the record could be valid. There are indeed migratory populations of the species, and April is exactly when a migratory overshoot might occur. There is a sight record from Illinois in 1871 (S.F. Baird, T.M. Brewer, and R.L Ridgway, A History of North American Birds, Vol. III, 1874, p. 247). Additionally, information solicited from many falconers indicated that falconers in the USA do not keep this bird, hence it was unlikely to be an escapee. On the basis of this new information the record was accepted; the species’ status remains hypothetical in the absence of physical evidence.

Red-shouldered Hawk (Buteo lineatus), 98-54, one immature, 10 September 1998, near Snake Pond in Recreation area of Cimmaron National Grassland (Morton County), Jeff Chynoweth, Dan Svingen. This species, which favors riparian wetlands, is seldom documented in the southwest corner of the state.

Whooping Crane (Grus americana), 98-58, 2 adults and 1 immature, 12 November 1998, Rocky Ford area, Blue River NE of Manhattan (Riley County), Dave Rintoul, Barbara Hilpman. An "inland hurricane" blew Sandhill Cranes (Grus canadensis) and Whooping Cranes off course in early November 1998, with sight records of the latter in Illinois and Iowa, far east of the normal flight path. This apparent family group provided the first Riley County record of the twentieth century.

Curlew Sandpiper (Calidris ferruginea), 98-55, one, sex and age unknown, 21 August 1998, Lake McCoid (Sewage ponds), near Liberal (Seward County), Ted Cable, Mike Rader. Sixth state record.

Little Gull (Larus minutus), 98-66, one in 1st basic plumage, 2 October 1998, K96 bridge over Arkansas River, Wichita (Sedgwick County), Pete Janzen. Fourteenth state record.

Little Gull (Larus minutus), 98-62, one, sex and age unknown, 14 November 1998, John Redmond outlet channel (Coffey County), Chris Hobbs, Eric Preston, Tom Curtis, Mary Myra; 2 photos. Fifteenth state record.

Mew Gull (Larus canus), 98-26, one adult, 14 January 1998, sandpit at 29th and West St, Wichita (Sedgwick County), Pete Janzen. Second state record.

Mew Gull (Larus canus), 98-13, one adult, 17 January 1998, sandpit at 29th and West St, Wichita (Sedgwick County), Tyler Hicks, Don Vannoy, Pete Janzen, Patty Marlett, Jim Marlett, Darlene Hicks. This is probably the same bird as 98-26.

Mew Gull (Larus canus), 98-21, one in 2nd basic plumage, 24 January 1998, Waconda Lake (Mitchell County), Mike Rader, Scott Seltman. Third state record.

Mew Gull (Larus canus), 98-23, 98-27 and 98-33, one adult, 2 February 1998, outlet tubes at Tuttle Creek Reservoir (Riley County), Jethro Runco, Guy Smith, Dave Rintoul, Galen Pittman, mob; 3 photos (Pittman). Fourth state record, first record verified with physical evidence. Hypothetical status removed.

Mew Gull (Larus canus), 98-65, one in 1st basic plumage, 9 November 1998 to 10 November 1998, Lake Afton (Sedgwick County), Pete Janzen. Fifth state record.

California Gull (Larus californicus), 98-03, one in 1st basic plumage, 30 December 1997, Waconda Lake (Mitchell County), Mike Rader.

Thayer's Gull (Larus thayeri), 98-25, two adults and one in 1st basic plumage, 24 January 1998, Bowersock Dam, Lawrence (Douglas County), Alexis Powell; 4 photos.

Thayer's Gull (Larus thayeri), 98-06, one in 1st basic plumage, 10 January 1998 and 11 January 1998, Tuttle Creek Res. outflow tubes (Riley County), Guy Smith, Dave Rintoul, John Zimmerman.

Iceland Gull (Larus glaucoides), 98-19 and 98-20, one adult (L. g. kumlieni), 24 January 1998, Wilson Reservoir (Russell County), Mike Rader, Scott Seltman. Fifth state record.

Iceland Gull (Larus glaucoides), 98-49, one in 1st basic plumage, 13 February 1998, Hoover Rd. (near Wichita Sanitary Landfill, Sedgwick County), Sebastian Patti, Pete Janzen, Dan Kilby, Don Vannoy. Sixth state record.

Iceland Gull (Larus glaucoides), 98-44, one in 1st basic plumage, 15 March 1998, Cheyenne Bottoms (Barton County), Chuck Otte, Jaye Otte, Mike Rader. Seventh state record.

Iceland Gull (Larus glaucoides), 98-63, one, sex and age unknown, 24 December 1998, Wichita Sanitary Landfill (near K96 bridge over Arkansas River, Sedgwick County), Galen Pittman, David Seibel. Eighth state record.

Lesser Black-backed Gull (Larus fuscus), 98-16, one in 3rd basic plumage, 4 December 1997, sandbar on Arkansas River near K96 bridge, Wichita (Sedgwick County), Pete Janzen, James Barnes, Dan Kilby, Don Vannoy, Fran Vannoy; 6 photos. Fourth state record.

Lesser Black-backed Gull (Larus fuscus), 98-02, one adult, 30 December 1997, Waconda Lake (Mitchell County), Mike Rader. Fifth state record.

Lesser Black-backed Gull (Larus fuscus), 98-30, two, 4th yr. or adult, 24 January 1998, Wichita Sanitary Landfill (near K96 bridge over Arkansas River, Sedgwick County), David Seibel, Mark Corder, Galen Pittman, Phil Wedge, Pete Janzen. Sixth state record.

Glaucous-winged Gull (Larus glaucescens), 98-14, one, 2nd yr., 24 January 1998, Wichita Sanitary Landfill (near K96 bridge over Arkansas River, Sedgwick County), Mick McHugh, Mark Corder, Galen Pittman, David Seibel, Phil Wedge; 1 video tape, but images are not sufficiently distinct to be accepted as conclusive physical evidence. First state record. Added to state list with hypothetical status.

Glaucous-winged Gull (Larus glaucescens), 98-22, one adult, 5 February 1998, outlet tubes at Tuttle Creek Reservoir (Riley County), Guy Smith. Second state record.

Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus), 98-15, one in 1st basic plumage, 16 January 1998, K96 bridge over Arkansas River, Wichita (Sedgwick County), Mark Corder. Fifth state record.

Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus), 98-12, one in 1st basic plumage, 17 January 1998, K96 bridge over Arkansas River, Wichita (Sedgwick county, Tyler Hicks, Darlene Hicks). This is probably the same bird as 98-15.

Black-legged Kittiwake (Rissa tridactyla), 98-57, one, sex and age unknown/first winter, 12 November 1998, outflow tubes at Tuttle Creek Reservoir (Riley County), Guy Smith. Twelfth state record.

Gull-billed Tern (Sterna nilotica), 98-36, one adult, 19 May 1998, wildlife loop at Big Salt Marsh, Quivira National Wildlife Refuge (Stafford County), Max Thompson, Mike Rader, Gene Young, Lloyd Moore; 1 photo. First state record. Added to state list.

Eurasian Collared-Dove (Streptopelia decaocto), 98-32, two, sex and age unknown, 20 February 1998, patio/feeder in Topeka (Shawnee County), Dan Kilby; 9 photos. Second state record, first to be accompanied by physical evidence. Hypothetical status removed.

White-winged Dove (Zenaida asiatica), 98-50, one adult, 24 April 1998 and 26 April 1998, 1729 E. 11th St., Winfield (Cowley County), Max Thompson, Gene Young. Ninth state record.

White-winged Dove (Zenaida asiatica), 98-35, one, sex and age unknown, 7 May 1998, 104 Point Rock, Elkhart (Morton County), Gene Cooper, Lawrence and Ruth Smith; 1 photo. Tenth state record.

White-winged Dove (Zenaida asiatica), 98-47, one adult, 7 June 1998 through 9 June 1998, farmstead south of Bloom (Clark County), Galen Pittman, Eunice Pittman. Eleventh state record.

White-winged Dove (Zenaida asiatica), 98-45, one adult, 18 June 1998, 3637 N. Seneca, Wichita (Sedgwick County), Pete Janzen, Gene Tipton, Phyllis Tipton, Don Vannoy, Sandra Tholen; 2 photos. Twelfth state record.

White-winged Dove (Zenaida asiatica), 98-51, one, sex and age unknown, 11 August 1998, crop field near Clinton (Douglas County), Lloyd Moore. Thirteenth state record.

Greater Roadrunner (Geococcyx californianus), 98-64, one, sex and age unknown, 30 August 1998 to 8 January 1999 (and beyond), rural backyard near Lawrence (Douglas County), Galen Pittman, mob; many photos. This species is found in southwest Missouri and southern Kansas, but a northeast Kansas record may be unprecedented. Additionally, it appears that the bird survived the winter and is still in the vicinity as of the spring of 1999.

Canyon Wren (Catherpes mexicanus), 98-39, one adult, sex and age unknown, 29 October 1945 through 8 April 1946, Warkentine Mill (Harvey County), Alma Ruth, Ruth Rose. This bird was added to the state list in 1992 based on a sighting (and accompanying photographs) from Morton County (KBRC #92-50). That observation was apparently not the first, however, as Alma Ruth, a long-time Harvey County birdwatcher, noted in her journals a sighting of this species in the winter of 1945–1946. Dwight Platt provided a transcript of her description of the bird and its song, and the committee accepted the sight record posthumously. This supplants KBRC #92-50 as the first state record. KBRC #92-50 thus becomes the second state record, but remains the first verified with physical evidence.

Pine Warbler (Dendroica pinus), 98-10, one adult female, 6 January 1998, access road to Rock Creek Park, Perry res. (Jefferson County), Richard Rucker. A rare winter record of a species that has been known to linger in fall migration.

Rufous-crowned Sparrow (Aimophila ruficeps), 98-37, two singing adults, 1 May 1998, Swartz Canyon (Comanche County), Bill Busby, mob = participants of KOS spring field trip. This sparrow may be a regular but highly local breeder in this part of the state.

Chipping Sparrow (Spizella passerina), 98-17, one in 1st basic plumage, 13 January 1998, visiting a feeder at a residence on the east side of Tuttle Creek Res. (Pottawatomie County), Dave Rintoul, Doris Burnett; 4 photos. A rare winter record for the species in this state; several other overwintering chipping sparrows were observed in Minnesota, Nebraska and Indiana during the same time period. There is only one previously documented winter record for this species in the state: a chipping sparrow was found and photographed during the 1991 Garden City Christmas Bird Count (Kansas Ornith. Soc. Bull. 50:1, March 1992).

Black-throated Sparrow (Amphispiza bilineata), 98-38, one adult, 10 March 1998, yard of Paul Griffin (814 Spaulding 67203) (Sedgwick County), Paul Griffin, Dan Kilby; 2 photos. Unseen by other Wichita birders, this bird apparently visited a feeder at this location for many weeks. Eighth state record.

Golden-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia atricapilla), 98-04, one adult, 21 December 1997, Perry Lake (Jefferson County), Bunnie Watkins. This bird was found on the 1997 Perry–Oskaloosa Christmas Bird Count.

Golden-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia atricapilla), 98-18, two in definitive or 1st basic plumage, 3 January 1998, behind Gigot Irrigation, S. Star Rte, Garden City (Finney County), Marie Osterbuhr, Tom Shane, Sara Shane; 4 photos. These sparrows stayed at this location for many weeks.
 

RECORDS REJECTED

Red-throated Loon (Gavia stellata), 98-08, 25 October 1997, dam area, Clinton Reservoir (Douglas County). Identification uncertain, insufficient details to eliminate other species.

Gyrfalcon (Falco rusticolus), 98-56, 14 October 1998, 3 mi. E of Tonganoxie (Leavenworth County). Identification uncertain, insufficient details to eliminate other possible species, or even the possibility that this was a falconer’s escaped bird.

Pomarine Jaeger (Stercorarius pomarinus), 98-11, 9 December 1997, Sundance area, Melvern Reservoir (Coffey County). Identification uncertain, brief observation did not allow time for elimination of other possible species.

Eurasian Collared-Dove (Streptopelia decaocto), 98-48, 20 July 1998, Kinsley (Edwards County). Identification uncertain, brief sighting and lack of vocalization of the bird did not allow elimination of other possible species.

Broad-tailed Hummingbird (Selasphorus platycercus), 98-01, putative adult female, 20 August 1997 through 30 August 1997, Larned (Pawnee County); 2 photos. Originally this record was accepted by a majority of the committee. Two dissenting members pointed out that the tail pattern of the bird in the photographs was not the tail pattern of this species and requested that the record be recirculated. Additional information was solicited from hummingbird expert Nancy Newfield, who agreed that the bird in the photograph was either Allen’s Hummingbird (Selasphorus sasin) or Rufous Hummingbird (Selasphorus rufus), but was definitely not a Broad-tailed Hummingbird. Record was rejected on the second round.

Olive-sided Flycatcher (Contopus cooperi), 98-52, putative adult, 9 June 1998 and 30 June 1998, Walla Walla Rd, west of Junction City (Geary County). Identification uncertain, insufficient details to allow elimination of other possible species. This would be an unprecedented summer sighting of this species, which usually breeds much farther north than Kansas; the latest spring date recorded for the species in this state is June 7.

Kansas Bird Records Committee Members

The following is a list of the members and alternates of the KBRC at the end of the period covered by this report; in addition, Lloyd Moore and Max Thompson served on the Committee until May 1998.

Position #1: Pete Janzen

Position #2: David Seibel, Chairperson

Position #3: David Rintoul, Secretary (May 1998–present)

Position #4: Mike Rader

Position #5: Tom Flowers

Alternate #1: Sebastian Patti

Position #6: Galen Pittman, Secretary (through April 1998)

Position #7: Roger Boyd

Alternate #2: Richard Rucker

Submitted May 1999

David A. Rintoul, KBRC Secretary



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