Here are a couple of my favorite birds in odd places from a lifetime of
Best bird out of context -- During my freshman year at college I returned
home for Thanksgiving. Home was about 30 miles north of New York City.
Upon waking in the morning I heard an unusual sound outside the window. In
an *Arbor vitae* tree there was a boreal chickadee, a life bird far out of
range and habitat. As it turned out, this was the vanguard of an almost
unprecedented irruption of boreal chickadees into the area from the far
north. Over the course of the winter I found several others in the general
area, mainly in dense spruce plantings. In the subsequent 45 years, I don't
think there has been another record of this species in the NYC area.
Parking lot -- Ocellated turkey (also a life bird) in a parking area in
Tikal National Park, Guatemala.
Baseball stadium -- A Virginia rail landed on the field during a night game
at Camden Yards, Baltimore.
Inner City -- Snowy owl perched on the top of the IRS building, Washington,
Speaking for my brother, I presume his favorite would certainly be a
yellow-nosed albatross over the Hudson River at Croton Point, 30 miles
inland from NYC, back in the 60s.
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