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Hundreds flock to Maryland park to view ‘exceptional’ rare bird | Environment

A whole lot of individuals have flocked to the Washington DC space to catch a glimpse of a brand new, celebrated arrival who has supplied some welcome reduction following a bruising yr. No, it’s not Joe Biden.

Excited birders have crammed right into a Maryland park, braving rain and dismally low temperatures, to witness the painted bunting, a brightly colored chook that normally reserves its elan for the hotter climes of Florida.

Phrase unfold of the chook’s presence after a posting on the eBird website, inflicting a surge of holiday makers to the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Nationwide Historic Park, discovered on a bend of the Potomac River, a brief journey north-west of Washington. On Saturday, greater than 80 vehicles had been nonetheless in line to get into the park shortly earlier than its sunset closure, the Washington Post reported.

The birders included Jacques Pitteloud, whose day job is Switzerland’s ambassador to the US. “To see it near DC, that was completely unrealistic,” Pitteloud, who has been birdwatching since he was a younger boy, instructed the Publish. The painted bunting was “distinctive”, he added.

The bizarre avian arrival is extremely distinctive, with its good blue head, purple stomach and flashes of inexperienced and purple on its again. The chook noticed within the park was a male – the females are a more uniform green colour.

Painted buntings are about 5in in size, dine on seeds and bugs and like to assemble nests in dense foliage. The species can be one that’s having its most well-liked situations warped by the local weather disaster, according to Audubon, with rising world temperatures inflicting modifications within the vary of the painted bunting together with different species such because the western bluebird, American goldfinch and noticed towhee.

Species in varied international locations at the moment are being pushed north as situations warmth up, with researchers warning final yr that two-thirds of North American chook species are vulnerable to extinction because of the local weather disaster. “Local weather change is disrupting a whole lot of chook species, and due to neighborhood scientists all throughout the nation, we will visualize these disruptions in actual time and plan conservation efforts accordingly,” mentioned Sarah Saunders, a quantitative ecologist at Audubon.

However, for now, individuals close to Washington can not less than benefit from the presence of a flamboyant arrival that’s set to grow to be the newest winged celeb following Barry the barred owl and the “hot duck”, each present in New York Metropolis’s Central Park. “Whereas it’s not a great signal for local weather change, a painted bunting, one among my favourite birds, being in our close by park brings me pleasure!” tweeted Margaret Johnson, a professor on the College of Baltimore College of Regulation.

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