Poor Tropical Bird Blown Off Course and in Southern Maine
This poor thing is like a snow bird who didn't make it down to Florida.
Imagine a older person dropped in the middle of Maine from Florida. Their loud yellow Crocs, their purple feather featuring shirt...they would stick out like a sore thumb. Just like this warm-weather bird called a purple gallinule. The Bangor Daily News reports it was spotted in southern Maine on Jan. 16, hundreds of miles from home. There was also a report of one in Bar Harbor. That one was able to be caught and brought to a wildlife rehabilitator, but sadly died.
There are a couple of reasons why such a tropical bird, who usually winters in southern and tropical swamps, was in Maine. Winds from storms might have thrown them off course or their little birdie GPS isn't working properly.
Vagrancy with certain types of birds isn't common, but it does happen. Sometimes it's a species way of checking out a new area - but they know how to get back home. But a lot of tropical birds that come to Maine just don't make it. Hell, that's why most of us in the winter wonder why we're in Maine.
A lot of times, rehabilitators and biologists choose will leave the misplaced birds alone and let nature run its course, especially if the bird seems to be healthy. If you see one of these tropical wonderers...it's going to be nearly impossible to catch them. Hopefully they make it back to warmer climate in time for the early bird specials.