The first weekend of 2021 revealed a rare sight along the Potomac River just outside of Washington, DC. A male Painted Bunting—native to Florida, Louisiana, Texas, and Central and South America—was spotted on a rainy dreary day in a Maryland park. Once the word was out among birdwatchers, hundreds of enthusiasts ventured out to witness the rare sighting. A head-scratcher for sure… what was a warm-weather bird doing so far from its native habitat? Bird watchers speculate that climate change may be responsible for this rare sighting. Well yeah, probably, but I just can’t go there yet. And after a year like 2020, my preference is to take this as a sign of brighter days ahead.
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