A bird that has never been seen in North America before has been spotted in a family’s back yard and is drawing crowds from all across the continent. Peter Gadd is a bird lover, but he never expected that a “mega-rarity” bird would land on his property in New Brunswick, Canada.
The bird is a European mistle thrush and it is the very first time one has been seen and recorded in North America.
Gadd said the thrush landed near a mountain ash tree on his lawn and has been eating the red berries ever since.
“I saw a bird and thought, ‘OK, that’s a little different,'” Gadd told CBC News, after he spotted the bird over the weekend. He and his wife couldn’t find it in any of their bird identification books so they sent photos to bird experts who excitedly got back to them.
The bird is widespread in Europe and has also been found in Iceland, but this one was a very long way from home. Bird experts speculate that the thrush was probably brought to the East Coast by heavy winds that separated it from its flock.
As news spread of Gadd’s discovery, bird lovers from across Eastern Canada and the United States have been coming by to see it. Gadd says the bird has drawn more than 100 people in the first three days.
“Some of the people here this morning are doing a big year where they will travel all over North America and see how many birds they can see. They are now up to about 760 birds. Four of those people were here this morning from Tennessee, Michigan, Florida and Iowa,” he told CTV News.
He hopes the bird will survive the cold and stay throughout the winter. Temperatures have been around 15 degrees below zero, but the thrush is considered a “hardy” bird. This particular thrush is gobbling up the berries on Gadd’s mountain ash tree, but should it run out of food, Gadd has raspberries, blueberries and plums on hand.
Gadd said he has told his neighbors things might get a little crazy around his home for a while as people have stopped by with their binoculars, scopes and cameras ready to get a glimpse of the rare bird.
You can read more on his unique sighting blog here.