Saturday, November 24, 2001

European Starling at Fort Sherman

Ken Wysocki and Steve Huggins, visiting birders from Chicago, and Darién Montañez discovered an adult European Starling in winter plumage at Fort Sherman, Colón. The bird was first seen at 2:30 P.M. on the grass just beyond the Shimmy Beach fence behind the last of the row of houses. The bird was walking near (but not with) a few Great-tailed Grackles, and was observed both on the ground and in flight for about 20 minutes. Apart from its white spots, the smaller size, shorter tail and more vertical stance gave it a completely different jizz from that of any other Panamanian bird, making it almost impossible to misidentify, and it should be easy to pick out from even the biggest blackbird flock. This is only the second report of Starling in Panama, the previous one being of another single adult seen twice at Albrook in February of 1979.
This bird did not seem to be particularly tame (it flew off when approached) or starved (it did not rush to feed on the Pringles offered by the observers), so we can only hope that it hitched a ride on a ship and not that it means that hordes of starlings are headed our way.
Also seen at Ft. Sherman were a bunch of Palm Warblers and Yellow-rumped (Myrtle) Warblers (four of which were also seen at the Tarpon Club parking), a male American Kestrel and a drab adult female Tree Swallow (with a flock of Barn Swallows and Gray-breasted Martins).

No comments:

There was an error in this gadget