Bosque del Apache, New Mexico - SUNGREBE

This photo of a Sungrebe (Heliornis fulica) was taken by Sally King on Thursday, November 13, 2008 at Bosque del Apache NWR; Steve Fettig helped Sally with the ID. The bird was still present in the same place on the Marsh Loop, per Jerry Oldenettel on November 18.



While it seems highly unlikely that this relatively sedentary bird could have made the incredible journey north from central/southern Mexico, anything's possible! I won't theorize as to whether this is a ridiculously rare vagrant (it would be a first U.S. record) or just an unusual escapee, but either way here's the picture... And regardless, many thanks to Sally for getting this sighting out there!

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

it should be counted as a first usa record find.why not?

Andrew said...

Here's a tough one: Which is less likely - that it is a vagrant, or that someone was keeping a sungrebe in captivity, it got loose and made it to BdA?!?

Both are ridiculously unlikely... but is there a third option?

Adventure Birding Company said...

Given the recent ISIS searches (list of species housed in zoos and other collections worldwide), it would appear that this species is essentially not kept in captivity. As a birder wiser than myself once said: "Any bird, any time, any where!"

Peter Alden said...

Great find, a breeding plumage adult female Sungrebein NM! A check of neotropical books says its mainly tropical, but there is a record at 3600 meters (nearly 12,000 feet) in Venezuelan Andes and one in the Sabana de Bogota at 2600 meters (nearly 9000 feet) in the Eastern Andes. That indicates some high flying likely nocturnal migration going on in some populations or individuals. peteralden@aol.com