A not-so-common common gallinule posts in Patterson Park

More than 200 kinds of birds spotted in Baltimore's Patterson Park

Attention must be paid -- because these things apparently do not happen that often: A common gallinule showed up in Patterson Park this spring, and birders are crowing about that. According to Susie Creamer of the park's Audubon Center, this is only the second sighting of a common gallinule in the park in 15 years. The photo with this post is from Lou Taylor of Reisterstown.

The CG is not your typical “urban bird.” Cousin of the coot, it's a marsh bird that, like many, faces loss of habitat -- wetlands, in particular. Patterson Park having a boat lake, the bird was drawn to it.

Urban birders also spotted a Chuck-Will's-Widow  -- “Kind of a squashed owl,” says Taylor -- in the park, and that was news, too, according to Creamer. She says 204 species have been recorded in the southeast Baltimore park. Remarkably, birders identified 77 kinds of birds in two hours on April 1, and that includes Baltimore orioles, the subject of my Sunday column.

Patterson Park is apparently a migratory stopover for a lot of northbound birds. (Who knew?)

If you’re interested in one of the Audubon Center’s bird walks, the next one takes place Friday, June 10 at 8 am.

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