By Mike Busch

The Long Island Wildlife Photography group managed to find and get some great shots of two fairly uncommon birds, a Painted Bunting and a Townsend’s Warbler this week.  Both birds are way outside their normal range.

The Painted Bunting normally winters in South Florida, the Caribean, Mexico, and Central America.   While the birds posted below are probably non-breeding females or immature males with pale green and yellow coloring, the breeding plumage is a vivid mixture of blue, green, yellow and red.  Unfortunately, this makes them a target for poachers who illegally sell them as cage birds.

The Townsend’s Warbler is also way off course.  These are west coast birds that spend the winter in Mexico and Central America and range all the way up to Canda and Alaska.

One thing is for sure, if a bird gets off course over Long Island, the odds are great that multiple members of the group will see it and share it with the rest of us.

This week’s cover shot goes to Vincenzo Giordano with a Harbor Seal looking like many humans felt on New Year’s Day after a late night out.

Thanks to Jim Botta for helping pick out the photos and don’t miss another great video from Natalie Ann on the last page!

Painted Bunting – Dan Fiore

Townsend’s Warbler – Steven Williams

Snow Goose – Nancy Viscardi-Ricigliano

Snow Bunting – John M Martello

Sharp-Shinned Hawk – Dan Fiore

Ring-Necked Pheasant – Daryl Ramrattan

Peregrine Falcon – Jeff Gross

Semipalmated Plover – Daryl Ramrattan

Red-Tailed Hawk – Chris Giroffi

More Photos on Pages 2-8