Another rare bird seen in Canada, this time on west coast
Wednesday, December 13, 2017, 3:11 PM - It's been an exciting month for Canadian birders.
Experts and enthusiasts are flocking to Miramichi, New Brunswick after an European mistle thrush was spotted on a residential property. It's the first time the species has been seen in North America, and was likely pushed in when heavy winds separated it from its migrating flock.
Now, Canada's west coast is making headlines with another exceptionally rare bird sighting.
The bright, yellow bird is a summer tanager and it's usually seen in the southern U.S. and occasionally Iowa. It was spotted in a backyard in Vancouver, B.C., some 2,000 km away from its usual habitat.
Like the European mistle thrush, the summer tanager is a migratory bird. It spends its winters in Mexico, Bolivia and Brazil. But unlike its misplaced friend in New Brunswick, who was pushed off course by the weather, experts believe the tanager found its way into B.C. through "reverse migration", a process where young birds migrate in the opposite direction, likely due to faulty genetics.
This is the sixth time a summer tanager has been seen in B.C., and the first time in the Metro Vancouver area.
Wendy Kahle saw the bird on her balcony Saturday. She snapped a photo and posted it to Facebook, the Canadian Press reports.
She says that excited birders started contacting her "within minutes", and they have started showing up at her home after she shared the location of the bird online.
"I had absolutely no idea how rare it was and just how much excitement it brought with it," Kahle said.
Active birder, Liron Gertsman, 17, showed up to visit the bird.
"It was eating peanuts that the lady who found it had put out on her balcony," he told the Canadian Press. "It was even catching some insects. We watched it eat a couple wasps as well."
He told the Press the sighting was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
"It makes you feel really small in a way because this bird is in totally the wrong part of its range. It makes it a really special thing to see a bird that is so rare in this part of the world."
Source: The Canadian Press
WATCH: EUROPEAN MISTLE THRUSH SPOTTED IN NEW BRUNSWICK: