Day two of winter listing and the tactic is to get the species you have not seen before during the winter period (winter list life ticks but not lifers, that is something else entirely) and the rest will take care of themselves. You need to think about which species will not hang around at the first frost, vagrants that are displaced and lingerers that should be sunning themselves in Cancun. Last year we had Marsh Wrens in Yarmouth County but they legged (or is that winged) it before the winter season began and so a winter tick was lost. It-a-they turned up again, same place in Yarmouth it being Broad Brook Park and so we tried again. Lingering thoughts about whether to stick around Cape Island ‘just in case’ were put aside. The Brewer’s Blackbird, so diligently searched for had surely left, or been eaten or succumbed to whatever dangers may befall a small bird all alone in Nova Scotia, so we could go about the plan. Marsh Wren, Yellow-breasted Chat and Yellowthroat, Vesper Sparrow, Eastern Bluebird and American Coot along with any other fripperies that might be on offer – House Finch for example.

The wren is a chatterbox, literally, and so was easy enough to see. The chat is a bugger and is not easy to see, in fact I’m sure it has moved elsewhere. Having failed on the chat we were just leaving the spot when Johnny called asking where we were? The reason being he’d just found the Brewer’s in the same place, the washout on Daniel’s Head road and it was happily sitting on the rocks once again. Calls were made and Mike got there quickly, gleefully reporting that the bird was there. We were a minimum of 50 minutes away, Alix a touch further and so Mike bravely agreed to babysit the Brewer’s while we made our way there. For once the fellow road users had a healthy disregard for the speed limit and we moved briskly from point A to point B where we rejoiced in the non-descript Brewer’s Blackbird still being in situ. Alix arrived too and so we left him to it, after chipping Mike out of the block of ice he was occupying, and headed home for a warm.

On the way home we chanced upon two Rough-legged Hawks, one roadside and reasonably happy to pose for a snap.

Later Alix said the Brewer’s had flown but been relocated at a feeder c800m away as the blackbird flies, but then it had been flushed by the feeder owner and had vanished once more.

Then the rain came, bring along a guest, a southeasterly of spiteful intent.

After a warming bowl of gruel, it is a fast day, I went back and scattered some corn around the Brewer’s favoured spot in the hope that, if it did return, it would find and ‘all-you-can-eat-so-long-as-it-is-corn’ buffet to keep it interested. And still the rain came.

Brewer’s Blackbird is rare in Nova Scotia and a species that really benefits from documentation via photos, due to its similarity to both Rusty Blackbird and even a runt grackle. Only two of the previous 30 NS records had benefitted from such confirmatory evidence and so this was at least the third ever photo documented record for Nova Scotia. Its rarity naturally elicited an interest from those scholars of vagrancy elsewhere in Nova Scotia and will no doubt continue to do so while it remains. This was the second record for Cape Island after a 1994 bird had spent time in Johnny’s yard, so it was a local goodie too.

In the absence of the Brewer’s I went sea watching, but despite the foul weather little was moving. I was not despondent however as I only need one good bird to pass and was encouraged in my damp vigil by thoughts of a Ross’s Gull that had recently flown past New Hampshire, these are the sort of things we sea watchers mull over when we haul our sorry carcasses out from the warmth of home for another wet and windy vigil. Anyway, as I said, little was moving and so I headed back to ‘the spot’ where Eric and Anne Mills were also getting wet, not seeing the Brewer’s. A passing truck flushed a bird that I saw in the wing mirror, then it landed behind me and Eric and Anne got their tick. After a quick call, so did Paul.

Out on the high seas, Ronnie had been Lobstering and was heading to port. The light was failing but the blackbird was not, despite a hulking Herring Gull that also had a taste for corn. Thirty minutes from dock and Ronnie thought, by text, that it was a no hoper. Two more birders arrived (the Clarences) and saw the bird, the rain got worse. I decided to go home when Ronnie rang; he was now on dry land and heading over. I went back and staked the bird out, not as bad as it sounds; you just watch it to make sure it is there when the twitchee arrives or are at least able to explain which way it went.

So I sat, happy that the bird was mostly showing, at least it was when it was not sheltering in the rocks, I mentioned the rain right? Then a big red truck comes along and me, fearing it was a local beach walker, was already out the car door before it had stopped, ready to explain about the bird, how somebody was rushing to see it and the unlikelihood of their body ever being found if they flushed it. No worries though, it was Ellis, Ronnie’s brother who was also twitching the bird. So now we had the situation of Ronnie’s brother and nephew and most of his birding friends had seen the bird, it was getting dark and the rain had decided to ratchet up the moisture a notch or two just for fun.

Eventually Ronnie appears. The Brewer’s had been out of view for perhaps 6.37 minutes or so, maybe gone to roost or feed the resident Ermine! We peered, it hopped and just after four of the clock all of those Yarmouth and Shelburne birders who wanted it now had a Brewer’s Blackbird. Tomorrow is another day and we all hope that the Brewer’s remembers how easy the corn was to find and decides on a sea view for breakfast and we hope our friends from the big city connect too. After a quick look in the morning we will resume our Yarmouth birding (and shopping but pah! who cares if we run out of cat food?). Maybe the Vesper will stick, the bluebirds wire sit, the chat show, the coot paddle and the store have electricity, unlike the last time we tried.

As ever, big thanks go to Johnny and Sandra for the calls and Mike for freezing his nuts off while keeping an eye on the prize.

Left is a Rusty Blackbird, right the Brewer’s, just so you can see the difference.

Sad news on the Virginia Rail from the previous post, it was reported found dead today.


Brewer’s Droop

Nothing knocks the wind out of your sails more than missing a tick on home turf. Sadly, that very thing happened on Nov-30, 2018 when Johnny and Sandra Nickerson found a Brewer’s Blackbird at Daniel’s Head. Ervin was close by and able to photograph it before it slipped away to who knows where? We were 15 minutes too late to add this rare, western blackbird to our Nova Scotia life lists. Much time has been spent since searching all likely Brewer’s hang-outs but to no avail. It may just be poddling around somewhere locally, as they do, but I think we have to write this one off as just another twist in in the ‘funny’ year. Had our other car not been being re-shod for winter, I’d have been at Daniel’s Head at the time myself, such is life. Here is the eBird checklist with Ervin’s diagnostic photos.


All has not been gloom or even doom. During the search on December-1st I came up with a Cape Island tick, Virginia Rail. I had pulled over on The Guzzle for about the fourth time that morning, looking for a Greater Yellowlegs I’d seen a couple of days prior. Why you may ask, it’s only a greaterlegs! Well we are now into Winter Listing Season. From December-1st to the end of February it is a new list to think about. In Canada winter listing is popular, it is a great motivator for those who might otherwise curl up in front of the fire instead of getting out and getting frostbite on their ass. I only started a few years ago but, through the wonders of eBird, I was able to construct my winter list from checklists entered. Moving to Nova Scotia put a different slant on the thing entirely because we actually have birds!

Think I’m being harsh? Today, December-1st I saw 66 species on Cape Island alone. In seven of the twelve winter seasons (the whole three months) I had in Quebec  I saw below 66 species, often well below. Obviously it is horses for courses and Quebec in winter must have other things to recommend it, although I struggle offhand to think of any.

The day started in the yard with 36 species. I had meant to get on but birds kept popping up, My first yard Evening Grosbeaks, a Northern Mockingbird and a Bohemian Waxwing along with a good channel movement of water birds. After that I did the rounds looking for the Brewer’s and finding stuff for the winter list, very enjoyable and I’m still missing a Northern Cardinal (they always do this, both regulars will be back in the yard tomorrow).

Here are some Virginia Rail shots. Not stunning but good enough.


Towards the end of November, a couple of year birds I thought I’d miss showed up. A Dickcissel on Daniel’s Head and an American Coot found by Paul Gould at Yarmouth. The year list remains modest and there is still the possibility of Common Redpoll (missed today), House Wren, Lark Sparrow, a fancy vireo, Yellow-throated Warbler, Short-eared Owl, towhee, Long-billed Dowitcher, Redhead and Ruddy and a shrike so still room for improvement.

Incidentally, the Australia talk went well. If you want to see the shots and maybe even test yourself on Australia birds I uploaded them as three YouTube files. Search for Australian birds ID and you should find them.

Here are the rest of the so-so shots.

Fine Margins

When you get a call for a rarity you brace yourself for a period of anxiety. How long will it take to get there and will it stay? The quality of the rarity adds or subtracts from the anxiety, by quality I mean just how rare is it. People who don’t chase rare birds don’t quite get it, but there is a self-applied pressure that is only removed by seeing the bird. In the scheme of things all of this is a little silly, but it matters if it matters to you. On November-4th Alix called me and told me he’d sent a photo via Facebook, I looked and saw what he knew I would see. He was with Paul Gould who first saw the empid (a type of flycatcher for birder-lite’s) at Cape Forchu and they had managed to get good views and photo documentation, they’d need it too because empids are pigs to identify, normally, fortunately Hammond’s Flycatcher is perhaps the most straightforwards within certain parameters.

Everything was abandoned, we picked up Mike and got to Cape Forchu as quickly as possible, it was then that I realised I’d left the camera at home!. Ronnie, who beat us there by some distance, stayed with the bird as it fed beside the busy main road. When you stand on a main road, and bear in mind that the Cape Forchu road goes nowhere, you realise just how much traffic we now have to accept as the norm. Fortunately the sun was keeping the bushes warm and the flycatcher busied itself with whatever food it could find. We got there and had a nervous five minutes or so before the bird flicked past and we all got our view. Sandra allowed me to take a few shots using hers camera for my photographed list, before she went about getting some video and a few stills.

Despite the traffic, the endless traffic, the bird seemed settled, happy even in its temporary new home. It kept vanishing but we always re-found it 10-15m further along the road, keeping low, on its own over about ten minutes. We had maybe three minutes total of viewing time accumulated when it flew over the road and into the taller trees behind us. Fearing that our presence on the road might make it reluctant to return, we left the site and fully expected it to continue along the sunny edge and that those already travelling or yet to come would be OK for finding it, we were wrong. Nobody managed to see it that day and it was well looked for the next with zero results. After, it struck me that, had I just sauntered to Cape Forchu instead of being positive in my driving, we might have missed it, so fine are the margins between success and failure.

The flycatcher was part of a little blip of birds, it probably was affected by the hurricane that hit pacific Mexico then swept up through the continent before petering out as a rain event. It was the fourth for Nova Scotia, all in the south but the first not on an island (Bon Portage or Seal). With it, or at least in an unusual abundance for here was a lot of Ruby-crowned Kinglets, each checked just in case it had a Hutton’s look about it (look up Hutton’s Vireo). The bird was unexpected and Paul and Alix deserve great credit for finding and identifying it and, as if it needed any confirmation, you don’t look, you don’t find.

The rest of the images here are just a mixed bag from various days, captions below. Of interest to me, and others, was the Common Tern. Sometimes a photo can mislead and, although I identified this as a Common Tern in the field, very good for November, on the screen it had some bulk about it. I suspect it is all down to how much it ate and how hard it was working flying into a northerly wind. The plumage was interesting too, not quite right for a bird of the year – or at least how you’d expect one to look, and not right for a winter adult, not that we get much chance to see them in that plumage.

Hammond’s Flycatcher Cape Forchu Nov-04, 2018. Not a flock, two angles of the same bird.



Great Blue Heron on The Cape.

Immature White-rumped Sandpiper looking very rusty and with a slight kink in the bill, perhaps damage.
One Bohemian Waxwing amongst one adult and and a bunch of immature Cedars, The Hawk, CSI.
Baltimore Oriole, Kenney Rd, CSI.
Common Tern, Cripple Creek CSI Nov-08.
Northern Rough-winged Swallow, another great find by Alix. This one was at Overton, Nov-09, the latest for NS.
Red-necked Stint Werribee, Sept-25, 2018 although the bill looks very short, within range for that species? Below is a normal one. More shots of these and other stuff in the Australia pages.
Red-necked Stint Werribee Sept-25, 2018 (1)

Two to go

It seems that 2018 is slipping by very fast now. Two months to go before a new notebook, two months to go until everything is brand, shiny new. Despite my bird malaise in the first part of the year, I feel that our Australia jaunt has reversed that particular negative polarity and I’m back to seeing more than I miss. It is a delicate thing, the balance between a good and a bad year. So far this will go down as a good one, very much despite the gull. I know; I should be over it. I see a field opening up for a professional birder counsellor, someone who has been there and can talk you through the rough dips. Given what birders are willing to spend away from birding though they’d have to work for Chicken feed which, funnily enough, has proved very attractive to the many White-crowned Sparrows that swamped the south of Nova Scotia this year and, to a lesser extent, Chipping Sparrows too.

I got a year tick today, a nice one for here though, Western Kingbird. Paul Gould re-found it about a week after Dorothy Cameron had seen it briefly just up the road. The spot is Pope’s Road, Upper Woods Harbour and it is always birdy. Sandra and I had already been up there today looking for a Yellow-throated Vireo Paul saw yesterday (Oct-30) but no luck, we did see that rare and elusive Cooper’s Hawk though, well rare and elusive in NS perhaps five years ago, now more commonly seen that Northern Goshawk and yet it remains a species we have to add to eBird, it must change soon though.

Ronnie, Mike and myself went off over to The Cape again on October-27. The weather was a bit mixed but once again it was pretty birdy with one major Cape rarity – Hairy Woodpecker! I very much doubt that there have been too many recorded over there although there are records for Seal Island further offshore, interestingly one at the same time as ours. Seeing a woodpecker there, albeit a common, gives hope that one of either Black-backed (nice) or American Three-toed (very much yes please) might just show up some time. In Quebec both species pass through Tadoussac bird observatory at the Sagueney/St-Lawrence River confluence annually, so the possibility is always there.

The Hump, as it is now known, on Daniel’s Head has been good recently, especially for Lapland Longspurs. The area is right of the semi-trailed parking lot, the place where they built a tank and filled it with silt from the wharf. It is very weedy and perfect for sparrows of all sorts. I predict a Grasshopper although I am always verging on the over-optimistic in that respect. The Longspur flock peaked at 25, it had whittled down to 9 last time I looked. The only drawback with the spot is that the local sea-starers, those old guys who drive a truck around, park up, look at the sea for three minutes than repeat the process elsewhere, drive around the top too, flushing everything. If we do get a good bird it might prove tricky to beat them to the flush.

This time last year we were still basking in the fall-out birds, with White-eyed Vireo and Yellow-throated Warbler pretty easy to find around CSI if you really wanted to. To put the fall-out into context, I have yet to connect with either species anywhere this year, let alone on CSI. True I am not chasing any, preferring to find my own or see a local one. I’m also missing American Coot, House Wren, Lark Sparrow and Dickcissel still, and so my year list of 259 in Nova Scotia is actually not so bad – especially as I was on the other side of the planet throughout September. Of the birds listed there I think there is only an outside chance of connecting with a couple, the rest are probably done for the year unless there is a decent storm that comes our way, hauling a few birds with it.

Finally, on November-27th at the County Museum on Parade Street, Yarmouth I will be giving an illustrated talk about our recent trip to Australia. Starting at 7pm it is called ‘Australia – a long way from home’ and I hope to share a few of the experiences we had with the fantastic birds and animals of that island continent. The talk is free and is a ‘one-off’ so if you miss it, you miss it.

Western Kingbird Pope’s Rd Oct-31, 2018
Western Kingbird Pope’s Rd Oct-31, 2018
White-throated Sparrow The Cape CSI Oct-27, 2018
Snow Bunting Daniel’s Head Oct-26, 2018
Snow Bunting Daniel’s Head Oct-26, 2018
Northern Parula The Hawk CSI Oct-27, 2018
Northern Mockingbird The Hawk CSI Oct-24, 2018
Palm Warbler The Cape CSI Oct-27, 2018
Pectoral Sandpiper The Cape CSI Oct-27, 2018
Various shorebirds (three species) The Cape CSI Oct-27, 2018 I’m sure you can name them!
The Sharp-shinned Hawk that we call ‘leave them alone you bastard’ who keeps chasing our sparrows, Clam Point daily!
The Sharp-shinned Hawk that we call ‘leave them alone you bastard’ who keeps chasing our sparrows, Clam Point daily!
Hairy Woodpecker The Cape CSI Oct-27, 2018
Lapland Longspur Daniel’s Head CSI Oct-24, 2018
Ruby-crowned Kinglet The Hawk CSI Oct-29, 2018
Red-eyed Vireo Plastic Factory Rd CSI Oct-22, 2018

Make that Sparrow Month!

The White-crowned Sparrow influx continues with birds everywhere. Our Clam Point yard had 21 this morning (October-24), quite remarkable considering I’d only recorded the species there twice before, both records being in 2017. Using the yard as a yardstick, it is likely we have three figures around the island, maybe more. A ride down Chebogue Point in Yarmouth County yesterday gave us a conservative count of 85, very conservative as they were everywhere in the large, weedy fields that make the place sparrow haven. Going back to the yard, we also peaked at four Rusty Blackbirds but we don’t seem able to tempt in a Lark Sparrow or Dickcissel either there or elsewhere on CSI – so far.

The weather has been shunting between blowing a gale and not blowing a gale with cold in the wind to the point of discomfort. On October-22 we had a very birdy day, the sort you step out and know that you are going to see something, or at least miss something seen by others, and so it was. Despite a good checklist from The Hawk, with barely a look at shorebirds, I managed not to find a kingbird seen earlier that sounds like it was a Grey. The cold wind certainly kept the birds low while the attendant hawks kept them low or panicking, neither state conducive to getting a good look at thing. I did see a pale bird twice, once distant with a flock of Cedar Waxwings and one flushed over the car, but not good enough views to give a positive ID. The eBird checklist for the search is here, I should have realised a Big Day would have been possible and gone for it.


The day before Ronnie, Alix, Kathleen and I went on The Cape. We hoped for a good rarity but it was not to be, however it was a good visit and Kathleen’s sharp ears picked up a Pine Siskin overhead, always good to get a new bird for The Cape. I didn’t take too many photos but the general birding was good and I’ll get over there a few more times this year yet. I can’t help but wonder just what gets on there and that we miss, but I don’t wonder for too long for that way further madness lies.


Note the abundance of Kelp Flies!

The gunning season is in full swing and the ducks are finally starting to turn up with flights offshore of sea duck heading south. I find it odd that the DNR, recently renamed in a complete waste of taxpayer money, cannot be reactive to changes in bird populations. This past year was a rubbish breeding season for most species. The poor weather from May through early August meant that nests failed, and you can see this by the lack of young birds around, and I don’t mean grackles and starlings but other species, Common Eider say, and yet not only was the ducking season started earlier, they did not adjust the ‘harvest’ limit to compensate. If the weather patterns continue and we get poor breeding seasons in succession there will not be enough birds out there to leave a viable population, if I know this then why don’t those charged with managing the ‘harvest’? There is also the question of what you can take. In a previous post I mentioned the number of Wilson’s Snipe we saw at Miner’s Marsh was as many as I had seen on CSI since I’ve been here, three years, so why can you shoot ten or 12 PER DAY in Shelburne County (or anywhere, answer because the DNR is run by hunters).

I have yet to see a Bobcat in NS and yet I can get a hunting permit, go out and shoot the first FIVE I find, every permit holding hunter can, FIVE. This harks back to when we competed with for them for food, we raised chickens and they tried to eat them, not now, not for twenty five years or more, so why is the DNR allowing this. People get more upset when a bunch of pet geese in Halifax get hit by a car than the wholesale loss of their wildlife through crappy management and cash-fuelled pulping because they are completely detached from it. I could ask questions all day about this stuff but it is not my place too. There are supposed to be people out there who advocate for change, better evaluation and regulation but where are they? I just don’t know.

Philadelphia Vireo, Pope’s Road Woods Harbour, Oct-2, 2018.

Sparrow Day

I know, two blog posts in quick succession after a severe drought, get over it! There are some days in a year when it is undeniably birdy; today was one of those days. It was pretty obvious from the get-go that bird of the day would be White-crowned Sparrow and we ended up with four in our yard alone. They were also elsewhere else on the island and it was harder to find a White-throated than a White-crowned which is not the normal state of things. There were other bonuses to including an island year-tick Rusty Blackbird and a nice selection of migrants on one of our little secret spots. On the sea birds were moving with Red-throated Loons leading the field with 67 birds in just over an hour past Daniel’s Head but, perhaps the news some were awaiting was the relocation of the American White Pelican (and if anyone refers to it as Percy I will think very much less of you) on Daniel’s Head too.

It was one of those days (today, Oct-19, 2018) when working birders chuck in a ‘sickie’ if they can because there were things to find but not enough eyes out there to cover the bases. I did have a good look for a Pine warbler that had been on Plastic Factory Road but couldn’t find it.

Before I put up the photos here is a little guide to oft referenced spots but which you might not know about. I’ll start with the Goat Man’s Drive. This is a spot where we get sparrows, rare sparrows sometimes so it is worth knowing. First of all it is called the Goat Man’s drive because he has/had two goats which you see from time to time and not as a reference to the guys legs, although I’ve never seen him in shorts so I may have got that wrong. You don’t go down the Goat Man’s drive because he asks us not to, so we don’t. To find it, turn on to Daniel’s Head Road. On the left is a new house then some swamp dwellers, a gap and then a house set back with utility poles running up to it. Try to pull off the road and just sit and watch and birds will appear, he liberally sprinkles corn daily for his Chicken (untickable) and the sparrows munch on what is left.

The other thing to mention is hotspots. If you bird CSI and there is not a hotspot for the site, and we have plenty, please use the one for the whole island and put the location in the comments section. That way all the eBird reports are together, making sifting for research easier, thanks.

The year goes well enough. I have 257 for NS and 210 for CSI. I’ve posted a couple of recent bit from Australia, hope you enjoy them.

Rusty Blackbird Clam Point

American White Pelican on Daniel’s Head Oct-19, 2018

Odd looking Chipping Sparrow with a white eye-ring not normally associated with the species.

Welcome to CSI

Contrary to popular belief, it is not always the hardened birder who finds all the birds, pretty often a non birder or someone with a casual interest will see a good bird. Nowadays most people’s first instinct is to whip out their phone and take a few images, it is a process that is working remarkably well and go one of two ways. Either the person has the nous to alert someone who they know is interested in birds and they are relied upon to spread the message to the birding world. The other scenario is where a rare bird is photographed but the image and therefore the possibility to see the rarity only emerges after the event and, just to be clear, this happens with some people who should actually know much better. It was a great delight then when Sonia Newell contacted Alix who put the word out about an American White Pelican here on Cape Sable Island.

The bird was said to have flown off but, how far was not known and so I dashed out dialing and letting people know of the possibilities. I suspect Baker’s Flats as an option, large water body, some fish, it seemed a logical choice if the pelican were not where it had been initially seen. As I passed the flats I scanned but no sign of the pelican. The next stop was Island Bait Road at Centreville. It gives a good view of the creek and therefore an obvious vantage point. As I turned into the road there was the pelican out in the middle. I called Johnny to tell him it was here, I beat him to it by a minute but he didn’t mind, this was a new bird for Cape Sable Island and therefore a CSI and Shelbourne tick which are rarer than Unicorns these days for Johnny.

After a couple of minutes the pelican flew over the channel and settled onto a rock where it saw for a good while as a steady stream of admirers showed up. I went home for lunch and popped back later, it was still on the rock. As Ervin and I watched it it took off and gained a little height, oh no! Then it came down again tight against the busy road. We zipped around and had great views and photo ops and car after car slowed for a look, a few realised a little later than others but I am sure the recent rain will have washed the rubber off the road by now.

With most of the Nova Scotia birder base being resident in the Halifax area, it was squeaky bum time as they had to decide whether to get going and try to beat the dusk or play it tepid and be there the next day. Blain and Amber MacDonald took the chance and arrived on-site at 07:25pm, yes pm, but the power of Swarovski meant that reasonable views were had as the large, white bird fed 40m from the road. The next day those who waited were also rewarded as the pelican continued to linger in the same area.  I looked for it today (October-18, 2018) and it was not to be seen however the weather is somewhat shite.


Since getting back from Australia much time has been spent sorting photos and I’m getting through them slowly. Meanwhile here are a few images of birds seen since pour return. I am posting the odd Australia thing as I get stuff done, see the tab at the top marked ‘Australia’.

Yellow-breasted Chat Summerville Regional Park
Pied-billed Grebe – French Basin Trail
Eurasian Wigeon (male) French Basin Trail
American Wigeon French Basin Trail
As many Wilson’s Snipe as I’ve seen in three year on CSI and the DNR allow 12 to be ‘harvested’ per day per hunter – brainless. These were Miners Marsh.

Orange-crowned Warbler, CSI.
Wood Duck – Baker’s Flats. I can’t help thinking ducking season is a poor time to chose for a CSI vacation.
Rose-breasted Grosbeak CSI
Boreal Chickadee CSI

Prairie Warbler CSI
Chipping Sparrow Cape Forchu
Eastern Kingbird CSI