NEWS
10/20/2015 14:25 EDT | Updated 10/20/2016 01:12 EDT

Flight path off course: Tiny Mexico-bound warbler ends up in Calgary

CALGARY — Birders from across Alberta have been making their way to a meadow in Calgary's Fish Creek Provincial Park for a rare glimpse of a lost little bird.

Chris Fisher, author of the book "Birds of Alberta," says the hooded warbler is a long way from home.

He says the warbler's breeding range is east of the Mississippi and the bird that has shown up probably got turned around when he was heading south.

It is yellow like a canary but with a black balaclava.

It's believed to be only the third hooded warbler sighting anywhere in Alberta.

Fisher says with luck, the bird which migrates at night, will flee southward as soon as there’s a hard frost.

"They do tend to get misdirected, particularly during the fall season, so we’ve got a misguided warbler showing up here ... mistaking Calgary for Cancun, Mexico,” he said.

Because of its colour, the bird is difficult to spot in yellowing leaves. It is also small. It fits easily in the palm of a hand and weighs about the same as a wet teabag.

It's the second time this year a rarely seen bird has drawn people to Fish Creek Provincial Park. In January, birders flocked to the park to see a pair of northern pygmy owls.

(CHQR)