Unusual Birds at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences

by Will Cook

On 9/6/2001 I photographed a few unusual birds at the museum in Raleigh, with the help of Becky Browning, the museum's Bird Research Technician. I took 5-10 photos of each bird and will send these on to the Carolina Bird Club's N.C. Bird Records Committee for evaluation. Here are some photographic highlights, much reduced for quick loading. The IDs were made by museum staff - I think all are correct, though I'm not as sure about the western Red-tails (calurus). The birds were photographed in fairly dim incandescent light with a Nikon CoolPix 995. Most of these birds were hit by cars and brought in to rehabilitation centers, where they died. All these specimens (except the MacGillivray's Warbler) are mentioned in DS Lee, JA Gerwin, and RB Browning. 2001. Specimen documentation of unusual, and previously unrecorded birds from North Carolina. Journal of the Elisha Mitchell Scientific Society 117(2): 123-127. Details of the MacG Warbler specimen were published in The Chat x:x.

Ringed Turtle-Dove (Streptopelia risoria). Female collected 5/8/1999 in Manteo, Dare Co. by Jason Wood. Note the pale undertail coverts and pale outer web of the tail feathers (contrasting with the dark inner web), which separates it from Eurasian Collared-Dove.

Lesser Nighthawk (Chordeiles acutipennis). Male collected 12/9/1998 on Mill Creek Road, Carteret Co. by the Outer Banks Wildlife Shelter (OWLS). Top wing is a male Common Nighthawk for comparison.

Cave Swallow (Petrochelidon fulva pelodoma/pallida). Male collected 12/2/1999 at Fort Macon, Carteret Co. by OWLS. (That's Becky's hand.)

Townsend's Warbler (Dendroica townsendi). Male collected 9/20/1999 75 miles off the NC coast.

MacGillivray's Warbler (Oporornis tolmiei). Immature male collected 11/6/1998 in Hyde Co. by Kelly Davis. Note the diagnostic short broad white broken eye ring and long tail. Unfortunately the camera decided to focus on the ruler, so the eye-ring closeup is out of focus.

Western Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis calurus) - specimen A. Adult female collected 11/22/1979 near University Lake, Chapel Hill, Orange Co. by Helmut Mueller.

Western Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis calurus) - specimen B. Adult female collected 12/26/1992(?) near Mooresville, Iredell Co. by the Carolina Raptor Center.

Western Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis calurus) - specimen C. Adult female collected 2/21/1984 near Falls Lake, Wake Co. by Tom Howard.

Krider's Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis krideri). Collected winter 1974-5 at Morrow Mountain State Park, Stanly Co. (NCSM 4504).

All photographs and text ©2013 by Will Cook unless otherwise noted.