With birdwatchers combing Vermont for new birds for more than a century now, finding a new species in the state might seem like a folly. But observers discovered and carefully reported a half-dozen new species and one new subspecies of birds for Vermont in 2014, an unprecedented feat.
The Vermont Bird Records Committee, composed of expert birders and ornithologists from Vermont whose primary purpose is to annually validate records of new and rare birds from the state and maintain the faunal list, has just released its annual report.
New bird species found in Vermont in the past year were Prairie Falcon, Ancient Murrelet, Pink-footed Goose, Willow Ptarmigan, Trumpeter Swan, and Brown Booby. Known as ‘vagrants’, these species are normally found far from Vermont. Other notable records included: Garganey (2nd record for Vermont), American Avocet (4th), Brown Pelican (2nd), Hooded Warbler (4th), Summer Tanager (4th and 5th).
The committee also thanked Judy Peterson, who retired from the committee after 22 years of service and as chair or co-chair for longer than anyone could remember.