Utah Bird Records Committee
Opinion solicited for Record 2013-35



Solicited by:  Ryan O'Donnell
Submitted: 14 Sep 2013
For Record #: 2013-35

Email sent 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

Hello Ryan

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 on PABU
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.

Best Wishes
Steven Mlodinow
Longmont CO
member of the Washington Bird Records Committee