Eastern Bluebirds

I saw my first Eastern Bluebird yesterday, and just for laughs, I looked at the Canadian records. I noticed a discrepancy - this observation (https://inaturalist.ca/observations/38380317) is at the top of the ‘normal’ range, and is labelled Vulnerable. Yet an observation in Alberta (way outside the normal range), has no VU label - https://inaturalist.ca/observations/61687622
Why is this so?

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Vagrants generally aren’t given a local conservation status, since they’re not part of a breeding population.


Thanks! However, if they manage to make it back into the general population come winter, would they not be eligible to breed?

I’m not quite sure what you mean by “eligible to breed” - certainly, any bird that ends up in the appropriate place at the appropriate time could potentially breed. Fact is, though, that a lot of vagrants don’t end up back where they belong – there are reasons why the species’ range doesn’t already extend to wherever the bird ended up.
Also, in many cases populations that are locally listed – like the Eastern Bluebirds that you referenced in your first link – are listed because they’re at the edges of their range. Again, there are reasons why species are found in one place and not another, and in many cases the factors that enable a species to thrive decline at the edges of their range.
I suppose I should also point out that the Vulnerable rating that you’re seeing isn’t species-wide. In this case, it’s specific to Saskatchewan. (Novia Scotia also lists them as vulnerable, and Prince Edward lists them as Critically Endangered.) In Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, and New Brunswick, they’re not considered to need any conservation status, and as far as I can find, the same is true of all of the US states that they’re found in.


One oddity of these rankings and the way that iNat associates them with observations – since it’s based purely on geography and not on time, species that are in fact common migrants can come up as Endangered, even Critically Endangered. A good example of that from here in Illinois is Sharp-shinned Hawk – I expect to see 500-1000 of them every fall at our hawkwatch. But since they’re an extremely rare nester in the state, they come up as Critically Endangered.

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Ok, got that. Thank you for that information. It helps a lot. I was just wondering.

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