aba events

ABA Checklist Committee Adds Egyptian Goose to ABA Checklist

Yesterday, the ABA Checklist Committee (CLC) unanimously (8–0) accepted the Egyptian Goose (Alopochen… [read more]

ABA Checklist Committee Adds Egyptian Goose to ABA Checklist ABA Checklist Committee Adds Egyptian Goose to ABA Checklist

2014 AOU Check-list Supplement is Out!

Every summer, birders anxiously await publication of the “Check-list Supplement” by the American… [read more]

2014 AOU Check-list Supplement is Out! 2014 AOU Check-list Supplement is Out!

2014 Camp Colorado

July 4, 2014: 10:00 am. I’ve just picked up my rental car at the airport in Denver and am driving by… [read more]

2014 Camp Colorado 2014 Camp Colorado

How to Record Birdsong—Part 1

  Two years ago in this space I wrote a three-part primer on the use of digital audio recorders for… [read more]

How to Record Birdsong—Part 1 How to Record Birdsong—Part 1

Featured Photo: May/June 2014 Birding

Here are three images that appear in the “Featured Photo” column of the May/June 2014 issue of Birding.… [read more]

Featured Photo: May/June 2014 Birding Featured Photo: May/June 2014 Birding

On Stringing…

(with apologies to “Pat Stringer”) Never identify a bird unless you’re 100% positive. At least… [read more]

On Stringing… On Stringing...
Nikon Monarch 7

    ABA Classifieds Back by Popular Demand!

    The retirement of the ABA’s Winging It newsletter meant the launch of the ABA’s exciting new Birder’s Guide series, which we can agree was positive development. What was less agreed upon was the retirement of the ABA’s print classifieds section, which featured ads for businesses and individuals seeking to buy, sell, and trade among the ABA membership. Many members have requested that the print advertisements return, and we’re happy to oblige.

    We’re happy to announce that we hear you and we’re bringing back print advertisements, starting with the next issue of Birding magazine. Advertisers and individuals can get more information on pricing, word count, and deadlines at the classifieds homepage.


    Look for them in the November/December issue of Birding magazine.

      Rare Bird Alert: November 21, 2014

      Lots of weather news this week. A massive cold weather system pushed into the Lower 48 putting much of the ABA Area (aside from Alaska, weirdly) in the deep freeze. It still remains to be seen whether the system will affect the movement of birds, but those that were found this week seem  mostly to be unassociated with that cold air blast. Like last year, this winter is starting out as a good one for Snowy Owls, as the birds have been discovered on both sides of the continent already moving south. An early outlier was found dead in Oklahoma this week.

      The week was good for first records, particularly for those states on the west side of the Gulf Coast, even though neither of the birds in question were found anywhere near salt-water. Whenever a state like Texas, whose list runs 640 large, gets a potential new bird, that has to be the highlight of the week. An ABA Code 4 Common Crane was found among the flocks of Sandhills at Muleshoe NWR in Bailey, Texas. Despite difficult conditions consisting of several thousand Sandhill Cranes, the bird in question has been seen on and off in subsequent days, a good sign for Texas listers this weekend.

      Photo by Justin Bosler, used with permission

      Photo by Justin Bosler, used with permission

      And that wasn’t even the only state first for Texas. A late report of a Gray-crowned Rosy-Finch came in from Dallum, in the far northwest corner of the panhandle for the first record of any rosy-finch in Texas. Also in the state, a pair of Masked Ducks (3) were reported in Cameron. The birds were reportedly very secretive though, refusing to move out of thick vegetation for confirmatory looks, as is their wont.

      A well-photographed Vaux’s Swift in West Baton Rouge. Louisiana, was a great find this week. It’s certainly one of those species that may occur in the southeast more often than people realize, but is easily missed.

      A surprise in Mississippi, a Burrowing Owl has been seen this week by a number of birders in Tunica.

      Good birds in Florida include a Franklin’s Gull in gull-heavy Volusia and yet another Say’s Phoebe for the fall in Palm Beach.

      A stunning adult male King Eider has been hanging out at Chincoteague NWR in Accomack, Virginia.

      In New Jersey, a Calliope Hummingbird is visiting a feeder in Milford, Hunterdon.

      New York’s 2nd record of Cassin’s Kingbird was found in Kings, and a White-winged Dove made an appearance in Queens.

      An early season Barnacle Goose (4) was found in East Windsor, Connecticut.

      In Maine, a Varied Thrush was in Whitneyville and a Western Kingbird on Mount Desert Island

      Returning for year another year, a Yellow-legged Gull (4) was at Bally Haly, Newfoundland.

      A Bullock’s Oriole was visiting a feeder in Gaspésie, Quebec.

      In Indiana, a Prairie Falcon was well-photographed in Union.

      Missouri’s 2nd Calliope Hummingbird endured multiple days of sub-zero temperatures in Christian.

      And remarkable for a vagrant hummingbird in the east, an Anna’s Hummingbird was found away from a feeder in the botanical gardens in Dane, Wisconsin.

      A Golden-crowned Sparrow is notable for Broadview, Saskatchewan.

      A Costa’s Hummingbird was found in Mesa, Colorado.

      Utah’s 4th record of Little Gull was seen from the Antelope Island Causeway in Davis.

      In Nevada, a Lark Bunting in Sparks is a noteworthy record.

      Arizona’s 6th record of Glaucous Gull was found in Santa Cruz, and the state’s 6th record of American tree Sparrow was nearby in Cochise.

      And for New Mexico, a Brant of unrecorded subspecific identify was found in Bernalillo.


      Omissions and errors are not intended, but if you find any please message blog AT aba.org and I will try to fix them as soon as possible. This post is meant to be an account of the most recently reported birds. Continuing birds not mentioned are likely included in previous editions listed here. Place names written in italics refer to counties/parishes.

      Readers should note that none of these reports has yet been vetted by a records committee. All birders are urged to submit documentation of rare sightings to the appropriate state or provincial committees. For full analysis of these and other bird observations, subscribe to North American Birds <aba.org/nab>, the richly illustrated journal of ornithological record published by the ABA.

        Help the ABA Finish Strong in 2014!

        It’s that time of year again, and we certainly understand that you’ll be seeing a lot of these sorts of messages from a lot of wonderful organizations in the coming weeks so we’ll try not to overdue it. But this is just a reminder that we at the ABA are incredibly thankful for the support [read more…]

          #ABArare – Common Crane – Texas

          On the late afternoon on 11/18, Justin Bosler found an ABA Code 4 Common Crane among a large flock of Sandhill Cranes at Muleshoe NWR in Bailey County, Texas. Pending acceptance this is a first state record for Texas.

          Photo by Justin Bosler, used with permission

          Muleshoe NWR is in the Texas panhandle, just [read more…]

            Introducing the ABA State Guides


            In one of the ABA’s most ambitious undertakings ever, the association has partnered with New York–based publisher Scott & Nix, Inc., to produce a series of field identification guides to the birds of the U.S. states.

            The initiative is briskly under way, with three titles already released in 2014: The ABA Field Guide to [read more…]

              The Festival Phenomenon

              Kilted birders take the stage at last week’s Rio Grande festival (note ABA prez Jeff Gordon, far right).

              My flight home from Harlingen, Texas, last Monday—after a wonderful week at the Lower Rio Grande Valley Birding Festival—marked the end of an exhilarating and maybe unprecedented streak: This year, I participated in 15 separate birding [read more…]

                Blog Birding #211

                Despite their often befuddling array of plumages, the transition from juvenile to adult in gulls is a fascinating one. MiaMcPherson, of On the Wing Photography, shares some photos of Ring-billed Gulls of all ages and plumages.

                In February of 2011 I wrote about the age progression of Bald Eagles along with images to illustrate the [read more…]

                  YOUR TURN: Photo Big Days

                  “On April 21, 2014, at 9:28 a.m., in Angelina National Forest, Texas, a team of dedicated birder/photographers armed themselves with cameras and headed out to set a new North American record for the number of species of birds photographed in a 24-hour period.”

                  That’s how Scott Whittle and Tom Stephenson begin the tale of their “Photo Big [read more…]

                    YOUR TURN: Species & Subspecies

                    The October 2014 issue of Birder’s Guide to Listing & Taxonomy features an article by Morgan Churchill titled “Species & Subspecies: A Brief History”. Within, he relates the history of bird classification, from Linnaeus to the present day. If you’ve ever struggled to understand what the Phylogenetic Species Concept is, or why something is a subspecies and not a species, I [read more…]

                      Rare Bird Alert: November 14, 2014

                      It remains to be seen precisely what will happen when the second coming of the polar vortex arrives this week, smack in the middle of November and the rarity month. Crazy weather generally means good things for those who like to seek out rare birds, but it’s hard to shake that ominous feeling with regard [read more…]

                      Birders know well that the healthiest, most dynamic choruses contain many different voices. The birding community encompasses a wide variety of interests, talents, and convictions. All are welcome.
                      If you like birding, we want to hear from you.
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