Extremely rare bird spotted on Vancouver Island
Published Saturday, October 19, 2019 7:03PM PDT
Last Updated Sunday, October 20, 2019 6:50PM PDT
VICTORIA - Bird enthusiasts have flocked to Vancouver Island from all over the world to catch a glimpse of a rare bird that has touched down.
Kirsten Mills was one of the first to spot the yellow-browed warbler in Panama Flats on Friday and since then her phone has been ringing off the hook.
“Dozens of people have shown up, lots of phone calls, the internet is all abuzz about it,” said Mills.
The rare bird is normally seen in east Asia and Europe. According to bird experts, it has never been seen here before.
“People are coming from Vancouver and people are booking flights because people come from all over North America to see these kinds of rarities,” said Mills.
Committed birder Ann Nightingale told CTV News Vancouver Island a person living in California heard about the bird and booked a first-class ticket to come see it.
“There are a lot of people in North America – and around the world – that keep lists of the birds that they have seen in a certain region and the opportunity for people to have seen this type of species in North America is extremely limited,” said Nightingale.
The small bird is hard to spot and photograph because of its size, but photographer Geoffrey Newell was able to capture it on camera.
“It is about four inches long, has a strong eyebrow stripe," Mills said. "It is green-yellow on top and pale grey-white underneath."
Vancouver Island is no stranger to special species and Nightingale said many birds get trapped on the island.
“Birds that are traveling across the ocean get here and then find themselves surrounded by water so they are a little more hesitant to leave,” said Nightingale.
Mills hopes the bird will stick around for a few more days so other people can experience the natural gift.