West Texas: Blackpoll Warbler -- first report: June 20
On the morning of June 20 Heidi Trudell found a male Blackpoll Warbler in Alpine. The bird was behind the cactus garden at the Sul Ross campus, Brewster County. She was not able to relocate it at lunch time.
(originally on the North American Rare Bird Alert page)
...there are papers that suggest college campuses are havens for insect diversity* so where are the papers that suggest college campuses are havens for bird diversity? Abilene's first Scarlet Tanager was a window kill on the ACU campus. Principia College racked up over 40 species (dead) in about 2 years. There's even a fantastic blog that tracks window kills (or the lack thereof) on the OU campus - surprising diversity there, too! Dead ones don't even scratch the surface, though they're harder to document (like that lovely blur of a shot I took).
Ultimately there's a wealth of information everywhere we look - the beauty of being in an under-studied area is that any information is more than what there was before. Most of this county is either inaccessible because it's privately owned, or inaccessible because it's illegal to collect in the national park. Either way, there's a lot of work to do! And a lot of it is just being in the right place at the right time!
* College Campuses: Patches of Insect Diversity, Opportunities for Entomological Discovery, and Means for Enhancing Ecological Literacy
Alfred G. Wheeler, Jr