Tennessee Bird Records Committee

Actions of the TBRC

Acceptance of 2011-2012 Hooded Crane Record

A Hooded Crane (Grus monacha) was observed at the Hiwassee Refuge in Meigs County TN from December 13, 2011 through January 2012. After extensive research and consideration the Tennessee Bird Records Committee voted 5-1 in March 2013 that a captive origin of this bird was unlikely and accepted the record as a wild bird. Hooded Crane has thus been added to the Official List of  Tennessee Birds.  The TBRC spent a year reviewing this record, including communications with individuals in the zoo world who currently have Hooded Cranes in their collections as well as the manager of the “studbook” for the species in captivity. (TRBC Chair Calhoun thanks Mark Brogie for all the research he did in this area). Their status in captivity is small and well controlled and the four birds that were unaccounted for from Jerry Korn’s collection in Idaho were all pinioned.  The crane at the Hiwassee Refuge was not pinioned, nor could have ever been before, it was full winged and a very strong flier.

The Hooded Crane has shown some pattern of long-distance vagrancy with records from Kazakhstan and eastern India which are both over 1000 miles east of normal breeding grounds in eastern Russia and their regular wintering areas south.  An overshoot to the northeast of its nesting grounds by this distance puts the bird very close to Alaska. The TBRC decided that this crane’s behavior and season of occurrence are exactly what would be expected if a wild Hooded Crane made it to Tennessee from Eurasia.  It was associated with migratory Sandhill Cranes and departed north with them, the same behavior (and with the same Sandhill Crane population) that presumed wild Common Cranes show in North America and have been seen as far east as Indiana and Ontario.

The TBRC decided it was more likely that this Hooded Crane from Eurasia somehow ended up with migratory Sandhill Cranes in North America and over time drifted east to Tennessee, than it being a escaped captive bird.

Hooded Crane
Hooded Crane
Photos by John W. Kuehnel.

Other Recently Approved Reports

  • Swallow-tailed Kite, Elanoides forficatus – Sequatchie County, August 15, 2010, submitted by Shane Williams, accepted: votes 6-0
  • Ash-throated Flycatcher, Myiarchus cinerascens – Franklin County, November 14, 2009, submitted by Ed LeGrand, accepted: votes 6-0
  • Northern Goshawk, Accipiter gentilis – Davidson County, February 21, 2011, submitted by Tony Lance, accepted: votes 6-0
  • Vermilion Flycatcher, Pyrocephalus rubinus – Hardin County, December 30, 2009, submitted by Bill Pulliam, accepted: votes 6-0
  • California Gull, Larus californicus – Marion County, March 29, 2009, submitted by Tommie Rogers, accepted:  votes 6-0
  • Bell’s Vireo, Vireo bellii – Lake County, May 19, 2010, submitted by Scott Somershoe, accepted: votes 6-0

Reports Under or Awaiting Review

  • White-winged Dove, Zenaida asiatica
  • Ash-throated Flycatcher, Myiarchus cinerascens
  • Say's Phoebe, Sayornis saya
  • Cave Swallow, Petrochelidon fulva
  • McCown's Longspur, Rhynchophanes mccownii
  • Common Redpoll, Carduelis flammea

Committee Members

  • Kevin Calhoon, Secretary
  • Mark Greene
  • Don Miller
  • Bill Pulliam
  • Jan Shaw
  • Mike Todd
  • Phillip Casteel, Alternate

Committee Reports

o     1983, “The Official List of Tennessee Birds”, Migrant 51:2-5.

o     1988, “The Official List of Tennessee Birds: Addendum I”, Migrant 59:1-4.

o     1993, “Report of the Tennessee Bird Records Committee”, Migrant 64:53-57.

o     1995, “Report of the Tennessee Bird Records Committee for 1995”, Migrant 67:37-42.

o     1997, “Report of the Tennessee Bird Records Committee”, Migrant 68:94-95.

o     1998, “The Official List of Tennessee Birds 1998 Update”, Migrant 69:7-12.

o     1998, “Report of the Tennessee Bird Records Committee”, Migrant 69:125-126.

o     1999, “Report of the Tennessee Bird Records Committee”, Migrant 70:90-91.

o     2000, “Report of the Tennessee Bird Records Committee”, Migrant 71:82-83.

o     2002, “Report of the Tennessee Bird Records Committee”, Migrant 73:7-8.

o     2004, “Report of the Tennessee Bird Records Committee”, Migrant 75:6-7.

o     2005, “Report of the Tennessee Bird Records Committee”, Migrant 76:91-93.

o     2006, “2005-2006 Report of the Tennessee Bird Records Committee”, Migrant 77:3-7.

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