I'm certain that I'm not the entertained the question of whether or not the Scissor-tailed Flycatcher discovered at Deep Hollow Ranch in Montauk this Saturday could possibly be the same bird that disappeared from Krumkill Road in the capital region a few days prior. I'm normally leery of "One Bird Theory," since I generally believe that there are more vagrants out there than we realize and conditions favorable for bringing one individual out of range may transport others. I didn't originally give it much thought. I chased the Suffolk bird since I'd missed the window of opportunity for Albany and happily added a state bird.
Later, after writing up my NYSARC report where I wrote the two records as probable coincidence, I decided to take a closer look. Brendan Fogarty was the first to assess the timing and distance issue, pointing out that even at just 20 mph it would only take about 7 hours of flight time to travel the straight line distance of roughly 45 miles. The hypothetical route taken by a flycatcher between the two locations may not have been so direct, but then again such a bird may fly faster during active migration. At any rate, 7 hours over the course of 2 days seems like a manageable feet. Upon inspecting the plumage in photos from both records, I noticed a number of intriguing similarities. The spacing between the white edges of the greater and median secondary coverts matches up, a feature that seems to be fairly unique to individuals based on Google and eBird image searches. Additionally, in both instances there is a noticeable dark line extending back from the eye of the bird on the right side. https://imgur.com/a/4vtq8fL Albany Image Credits: Sue Barth, Brendan Fogarty, Zach Schwartz-Weinstein Paul Novak, Suffolk Image Credits: Tim Healy, Pat Palladino, Eileen Schwinn Thought that others might be interested in this review and might have more to add. Cheers! -Tim H -- NYSbirds-L List Info: http://www.NortheastBirding.com/NYSbirdsWELCOME.htm http://www.NortheastBirding.com/NYSbirdsRULES.htm http://www.NortheastBirding.com/NYSbirdsSubscribeConfigurationLeave.htm ARCHIVES: 1) http://email@example.com/maillist.html 2) http://www.surfbirds.com/birdingmail/Group/NYSBirds-L 3) http://birding.aba.org/maillist/NY01 Please submit your observations to eBird: http://ebird.org/content/ebird/ --