Owl has been in the area for several days. So rare to southern California that it got the attention of TV Media.
Male and female found by Raul Urgelles on 10/16. Only female present today. Apparent influx of this species in FL, LA, and TX.
Amazing Lower 48 first record continues this am
This attractive species breeds no closer than Central Texas and is a very rare bird anywhere in California. Most records are along the immediate coast during migration. This individual was found by Dessi Sieburth and was particularly obliging. Sexes are similar but females are slightly duller with more buff on the flanks with less distinct flank streaks. This individual has white flanks with contrasting black streaks suggesting it is a male. It is customary to separate this species into subspecies groups, a white-lored group S. d. albilora and a yellow-lored group composed of two races S. d. dominica and S. d. stoddardi. Most California records have been referable to S. d. albilora but a few late fall and winter records have been assigned to nominate dominica, although some of those are controversial. This bird shows a mixture of yellow and white in the lores, and photos show the chin to be white which is typical of albilora. The bill appears to be very long and thin which is better for dominica, but there is overlap in all these characters. McKay (Condor 110:569-574, 2008) found that none of the three traditional subspecies were significant evolutionary units nor could they be reliably diagnosed on morphology. This species was formerly included in the genus Dendroica which was merged with Setophaga in the 52nd Supplement to the AOU Checklist. (The Auk 128:600-613, 2011)
2nd State Record
Quite a surprise to find this vagrant in late May feeding among the pigeons in downtown LA!
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