Saturday, September 02, 2006

Rare bird in suburbia

Anyone who lives in the suburbs is familiar with the huge shopping centers that pop up every 2-3 months in any open space available. How much shopping can people possibly do? Well, in nearby Bridgewater, there's a huge center with a Target, Home Depot, Costco, Michael's Crafts, Marshall's, and Bed, Bath, & Beyond among others. Strangely, this very shopping center recently was home to a Northern Wheatear, a very rare bird in NJ. This mostly European thrush breeds in Alaska and parts of northern Canada, but nowhere near NJ. A well-known birder was shopping and found it among some House Sparrows right in front of his car. He got several looks at it too. Unfortunately, the bird was never re-found. I looked twice myself yesterday. It's a huge shopping center and worthy of another check over the next few days.

It's nice to know that some bird life finds these shopping centers adequate, but I'd still much prefer it to be actual bird habitat like a forest or marsh.

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