Bird Enthusiasts Renting Private Jets to See Rare Bird

Trumpeter FinchThis bird is never before observed in Norway

(NRK Østfold) – It is hard for me to explain how fun this is. As a bird lover this is extremely exciting, says a very enthusiastic hobby ornithologist, Jan-Rune Asbjørnsen to NRK.no.

The Trumpeter Finch (Bucanetes githagineus) is a small passerine bird in the finch family that usually breeds in the Canary Islands, across North Africa, and in the Middle East and into central Asia.

– A Very Big Event

It has never before been observed in Norway – now it is spotted in an industrial area in Fredrikstad, Østfold.

– It was first spotted on Wednesday and rediscovered late Sunday night. People come in private jets to see it with their own eyes, says Asbjørnsen.

He says that it is a long time since it has been observed such a rare bird.

– This is a very big event, seen with the eye of an ornithologist. There have not been observed such a rare bird in Østfold since a Song Sparrow was caught on Akerøya in 1975.

Will Talk About It For Years

One of those who has travelled far to see the Trumpeter Finch is Christian Tiller. He has observed more than 400 different bird species in Norway, and hopes to add a new name to his list. Monday, he was passenger onboard a private jet from North Trøndelag County.

– I have a cousin who just has bought a plane, so “I killed two birds with one stone”. I get the opportunity to observe the bird – and to test his plane. Now the bird enthusiast hopes the flight will bring results.

(article continues)

Trompetfink 2

– If I spot it, it is worth the trip. People are going to talk to other bird maniacs for years. If they have seen it and I have not… To fly in a private jet is a bit cool, so if I spot the bird it is fantastic, Tiller says.

He says that this is far from the weirdest thing he has done to see rare birds.

– There are many of us who have flown on day trips all the way up to Finnmark County. I have done it several times. There are even people who have driven from Oslo to Finnmark (about 1400 km/900 mi, editor’s note).

– I’ve got a family now, so I am a bit restricted. However, in the old days I could go on pretty crazy trips, Tiller laughs.

Currently, only one male specimen of the rare bird is observed, and Asbjørnsen thinks it is very unlikely that there are more who have made the journey up north.

– It was probably a navigation error, and then it landed here, he concludes.

Photo on top by: Tommy Andre Andersen

Bottom photo by: Siw Mariann Strømbeck, NRK

Text modified by: Thor Lanesskog, ThorNews

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Categories: Nature, Quirky

2 replies

  1. That’s funny. I just did a post about birds and birdwatching, and the movie “The Big Year.” People go to all kinds of lengths to see birds. Wonder why it’s so far north of where it normally lives?

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