Recently blogger Kim posted the picture below with a plea to help name this rather splendid bird.
I tried. I failed. I sought help. I talked to a like minded colleague who likes a bit of a birding challenge. Both of us clearly need to find more things to do with our spare time.
Anyway, I’m pretty confident that the bird is a Red-Legged Honey Creeper.
But this does cause a bit of a problem. The Red-Legged Honey Creeper has never been recorded in the USA! Now this is interesting!
If you look at this map you can see that it is not recorded north of southern Central America or Cuba. Now there has been a bit of weather in that part of the world of late and I have to wonder if this is a bird that has been picked up by hurricane Irene and dumped in Michigan.
Now, if all this is true, this is a startling record.
However, (and I sort of get the feeling this is a rather large “however”) you can buy these birds over the net as cage specimens – so it’s also possible that the bird is an escapee and somewhere a bird fancier is mourning the loss of his (her?) rather splendid pet.
What are people’s thoughts?
UPDATE: 9th September - thanks to the people at Michigan Audubon.
I’ll leave the post as it is – but here is an update. There is a tropical bird display where this picture was taken!
So, no long distance migrant, so heartbroken bird owner, but a cracking bird none the less!