I was fortunate enough Sunday to see two birds considered rare for the St. Louis area (Painted Bunting and Black Vulture). For example, when I entered "Black Vulture" on my eBird checklist a "rare bird" pop-up came on my iPhone screen.
Tommy Goodwin pointed out that the PABU was acting as if on territory. I would also suggest that the Black Vulture I saw Sunday on the Hamburg Trail in the Weldon Spring CA might also be on breeding territory, even though range maps show both birds farther
south in their range.
Earlier this spring a Black Vulture was believed to be seen briefly by some members on the Bush Greenway Trail at Duckett Creek on the SLAS field trip April 13
along with some Turkey Vultures. This is within a couple of miles or so from the Hamburg trail.
I suggest that if you're in the Weldon Spring CA, don't assume "Turkey Vulture" in all instances. The Black Vulture I saw on Sunday appeared to be flying without comrades. Reports are that Black Vultures are moving northward in their territories. It could very
well be the same bird or mate of the Black Vulture believed seen on the April SLAS field trip.
Note: I don't think either species (PABU, BLVU) is technically considered a "vagrant" or "accidental" when seen in the St. Louis area,
as both might not be far enough from their expected territories to be given that term, even though both are unexpected birds for the St. Louis area. Perhaps someone can clear that up for me? When I think of "rare" I think of a bird like the Connecticut Warbler
-- rarely seen but not unexpected at a particular time and within a particular habitat, if you're fortunate enough to be there at the right time and place.
St. Louis, MO
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