Hooded warbler mistakes Calgary for Cancun

The hooded warbler, which hails form the East Xoast and usually migrates to Mexico this time of year, has been spotted in Fish Creek Park.

Little lost bird spotted in Fish Creek Park thrills birdwatchers

"Every now and then we get these odd birds in Calgary that have no business being here," said Andrew Hart, president of Nature Calgary. (Tim Dunn)

A tiny, bright yellow bird that's been hanging out in Fish Creek park over the last few weeks has become a bit of celebrity among Calgary birdwatchers.

It's because he's not supposed to be here.

"He was presumably in the process of trying to migrate from the eastern states down to Mexico and somehow got off course," said Andrew Hart, an avid birdwatcher and president of Nature Calgary.

Hart spotted the hooded warbler, which is only about 13 centimetres long, flitting in and out of trees and bushes in the park at Lafarge Meadows.

"I was thrilled to actually see it," he said. "It's actually has been easier to see over the last couple of weeks as the leaves have been falling off the trees."

Dan Arndt, with Nature Calgary's bird study advisory group, took this photo on Oct. 4. He was one of the first birdwatchers to spot the hooded warbler in LaFarge Meadows. (Dan Arndt)

Hart says a storm may have blown the bird off course to Calgary, but can't say for certain.

"It just seems to happen every now and then we get these odd birds in Calgary that have no business being here," he said. 

This isn't the first time a hooded warbler has visited the city.

Hart recalls one landing in the southeast community of Lynnwood 11 years ago, but doesn't think it survived the winter. He hopes this little guy takes off before the cold sets in.


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