'It was kind of a shock to see that bird in the backyard'
Sara Fraser · CBC News · Posted: Nov 25, 2018 8:00 AM AT | Last Updated: November 25
After a day of birding on P.E.I., an Island woman returned home to find a rare white-winged dove at her backyard feeder in Stratford.
Nicole Murtagh has been an avid birder for about five years and is always on the lookout for uncommon species.
I think it's just kind of an accident — it got lost and ended up here.— Nicole Murtagh
"It was a very unusual sighting for sure and it was a bird that I'd never seen myself, so it was very exciting for me," said Murtagh.
"This white-winged dove is just sitting on the platform feeder in the backyard with all the other doves and all the other common birds, starlings, things like that. It almost blended in."
Fellow birder Dwaine Oakley picked the dove out of the crowd — he's an instructor with Holland College's wildlife conservation technology program.
"He knew the field marks to look for and it stood out to him," she said.
"It was kind of a shock to see that bird in the backyard."
'Quite far from its home'
This is only the third time a white-winged dove has been documented on P.E.I. — they normally make their home in the southern United States, Mexico and Central America.