Bird Notes from West Houston

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Rarity last week

On Monday, Apr. 3, a customer called the store and said he had an unusual bird coming to his finch feeder. As he described it, the only bird that matched the description was a Lesser Goldfinch, Carduelis psaltria. We told him how rare a Lesser Goldfinch is in Houston, so he came into the store to look at our field guides to make sure that he was actually seeing one. Upon examining the field guides, he was positive of his identification. After the store closed on Tuesday, I went to his house. After fighting traffic to get there, I stepped out on the backporch to see a bright yellow streak fly above my head. I'm sure that was him, but he never came back that evening. So, on Friday I went back at 5:30 armed with my camera. We sat on their back patio and about twenty minutes later he showed up! I got several shots of him. (I have to get the film developed before I can proclaim I got "good" shots!) About 6:30, he came in for one last meal and then left for the night. That was the last time anyone saw him. We're not sure why he left, but so far he hasn't come back to the feeder.

Check the birds at your feeders! Rarities show up in this area, probably more than we realize. If you see something that is unusual, look it up and let someone else know about it. Try to get photos of it to document the sighting. Video is even better. You never know when something rare will show up in your yard.

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