Yeah, yeah I’m late to the party, but I got the idea from the gang over at 10,000 Birds and Nate at The Drinking Bird. Really this turned out to be far more difficult that I thought it would be. But here we go.
1. Boreal Owl: I have seen every Owl east of the Mississippi River except for Burrowing and Boreal Owl. Of the two, I would like to see Boreal the most. This slightly larger cousin of the Northern Saw-Whet Owl, spends most of the time in the vast (but shrinking) boreal forests of Canada, and only a few unlucky individuals make it as far south as New York in winter. They may be more common in the Adirondacks in winter, but 98% of the habitat is inaccessible during this time of year. Of course like most rare owls, you never know when or where they will show up, the last Boreal Owl I know of was actually in Central Park in New York City! But I didn’t see it.
2. Harlequin Duck: This duck at least winters closer to me, from Long Island to Maine, but I so infrequently visit the coast, especially in winter that it is a bird that has eluded me. A better effort by me and I’m sure to get it!
3. Western Tanager: Another ‘common’ vagrant to New York. They periodically show up and I miss them. I guess I could solve the situation by going out west, but that isn’t possible at the moment.
4. Spruce Grouse: With an estimated population of perhaps only 300 birds in New York State, this is one of the most sought after breeding birds in the State. I once traveled north to a remote private bog in search of these birds, with Corey Finger, Tom Williams and Jory Langner. We didn’t find them, but others have. So maybe next year? If not I got to plan a Trip to Algonquin Park in Canada or the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont.
5. Elegant Trogon: If I could find one of these guys in New York, I would win “Birder of the Year” (if such an award existed). When I do finally get to see one, I bet it will be in the same tree as a Western Tanager!