‘He’s lost’: Southern U.S. bird spotted in Vancouver for 1st time, more than 2,000 km from home

Click to play video: 'Rare sighting brings birders flocking to South Vancouver home'
Rare sighting brings birders flocking to South Vancouver home
WATCH: A sighting in South Vancouver of a bird that's more than 2,000 kilometres away from its normal habitat is drawing birders from far and wide – Dec 12, 2017

B.C. birdwatchers have been flocking to a home on Vancouver’s west side to see a bird that is way out of its element.

A wayward summer tanager has popped up in Vancouver. It usually makes its home in the southern U.S. and sometimes ventures as far north as Iowa, which would put the bird more than 2,000 kilometres away from its northernmost habitat.

Wendy Kahle said the bird showed up in her backyard on Saturday and she posted a photo of it on Facebook, asking birders to identify it. Birders started showing up at her home.

LISTEN: Birdwatchers are aflutter after wayward summer tanager makes first recorded Vancouver appearance
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“It’s just thrilling for me,” Kahle said.  “I was out there all day Saturday and Sunday chatting with people and just seeing the joy. I’m a birder — I’m not as avid as some people — but it just filled me with so much joy,” she said.

Local birdwatchers say this is the sixth time a summer tanager has been recorded in B.C. and the first time one has been spotted in Metro Vancouver.

Summer tanagers mostly migrate to Mexico, Central America and South America but have been seen as far away as Western Europe.

“At this time of year this little guy should be in Mexico,” birdwatcher Doug Kragh said. “He’s a long way from home. It’s a first-year male and, anyway, he’s lost.”

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