Submitted: 14 Sep 2013
For Record #: 2013-35
to Ryan from Steven Mlodinow:
From: Steven Mlodinow
Date: Sat, Sep 14, 2013 at 1:50 PM
Subject: Re: Expert opinion on Painted Bunting vagrancy
To me, the ID is obvious, so I trust this is not an issue.
I will leave the bill part up to experts, though do note that
anatomic abnormalities (from bill structure to tumors) occur at a
much higher rate in vagrants than normal migrants banded on the
Farallons; indeed, the abnormalities may be linked to the vagrancy.
So, PABU was reviewed in CO through 2009 with 33 records, nearly all
from May, with one from 21 April in Adams County, which is not far
from Denver and thus not in the southeastern corner of the state.
Additionally, this is the statement in NAB from CO for spring 2013
Four Painted Buntings this spring was about twice the average;
singletons were at Brett Gray Ranch, Lincoln 18 May (D Maynard),
Bonny Reservoir 20 May (GW, S Larson), C.B.R., El Paso 23 May (m.
ob.), and Cottonwood Canyon, Baca 26-28 May (Tom & Kay McConnell,
Dick Filby, Denise Landau).
So, in my mind, this bird is perfectly acceptable unless the bill
abnormality is something common to birds in captivity.
member of the Washington Bird Records Committee