Very Rare Sighting! Second New Bird Sighting for 2020

Michael Ryan

Sometimes in the birding world, a sighting occurs that is makes you go “WOW!” A few days ago we received a picture of a bird that was spotted in the Half Moon Bay Area, just beyond Frigate Bay, close to the KOI Resort. It was certainly an OWL but which one?

This obvious vagrant was first spotted on May 20th, and then a second time a couple of days later. It was reported seen again about 3 weeks after that, around the middle of June. It was observed by at least 4 persons, including Ms. Marah Gumbs, along with a security guard from KOI Resort, and a couple of others. After a careful review, and obtaining confirmation from Whatbird forum for Bird IDs, the Owl was identified as a Striped Owl. The Striped Owl is native to South and Central America, and prior to this sighting, the furthest North that it had been sighted was Trinidad.

St. Kitts and Nevis do not have any Owls that live or breed here. There was once a Burrowing Owl but that died out around the 1900’s, probably due to the introduction of the Mongoose.

Every year, one or two new sightings are seen in St.Kitts and Nevis, and with a few more active Birders, the annual numbers could increase  significantly! This is the second new sighting for the year with the first being a Yellow-throated Warbler.