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

    Rare Bird Alert: September 19, 2014

    We’ve been spoiled for great birds in the ABA Area of late, but most of them have come from the less accessible parts of the ABA Area. There’s has been some excellent birding in Alaska, and this week is no different, but there’s nothing like a good old-fashioned big twitch in the ABA Area, and there are few places on the continent more amenable to such a thing as Cape May, New Jersey.

    The Whiskered Tern (ABA Code 5), found late last week at Cape May, New Jersey, has been delighting birders who visit the hawkwatch at the state park all week. One couldn’t ask for a more accommodating mega. This is the third incidence of this species in the ABA Area, and both previous records started at Cape May, the first bird was discovered there before moving across the bay to Delaware. Both previous records stuck around for several days as this one has done, and its schedule has been fairly consistent every day since its discovery.


    This Whiskered Tern, present all week at Cape May, New Jersey, is the 3rd record for the ABA Area. Photo by Mike Crewe.

    There were two first records from elsewhere the ABA Area this week, the first a one-day wonder Crested Caracara photographed but not refound in Washington, Pennsylvania. This species has staged an incredible push into the northeast in the last couple years, though it also seems possible that these many records could consist of one or two birds making a wide circuit in the area.

    The second likely first is one of the more unexpected records in the ABA Area this year, an amazing Berylline Hummingbird (3) photographed visiting feeders in Grand Marais, Michigan, in that state’s Upper Peninsula. This is a species without a strong history of vagrancy beyond the Chiricahuas of southern Arizona, but the photos are conclusive, and hummingbirds have made impressive cross-continent trips before.

    In western Alaska, the birding has continued to be good, highlighted by a Red-flanked Bluetail (4) on St. Paul. Also on the island, several Olive-backed Pipits (3) and a Garganey (3). At Gambell, a likely Tundra Bean Goose (3) was the best bird from Asia, and a shocking  Northern Mockingbird was remarkable from North America.

    A nice haul from British Columbia this week, as both an Ash-throated Flycatcher and a Hudsonian Godwit were seen near Delta, and a  Brown Booby (3) was perched on a buoy at Fraser River Mouth.

    Washington’s 5th record of Little Blue Heron was seen this week in Skagit.

    A great bird for Idaho is a Brown Thrasher near Hailey.

    California was wall to wall with Brown Boobies (3) this week, with one seen in San Diego and four(!) just offshore in San Mateo. A Bay-breasted Warbler was also photographed on SE Farallon Island, San Francisco.

    A noteworthy bird for Nevada is a Chestnut-sided Warbler in Nye.

    A Pacific Golden-Plover in Davis, Utah, is a very nice bird so far inland.

    Jaegers have been across the continent this week, including a Long-tailed Jaeger in Boulder,  Colorado. A Yellow-crowned Night Heron is also a great bird in Larimer.

    In New Mexico, an Arctic Tern was in San Miguel.

    Yet another new Brown Booby in Texas for about the fourth straight week, this time in Harris.

    A Long-tailed Jaeger in Caddo, Louisiana, is that state’s 6th.

    In Arkansas a California Gull was seen in Russellville and a Say’s Phoebe in Desha.

    In Indiana, a quartet of Glossy Ibis were seen in Vermillion.

    A nice find for Florida is a Sulphur-bellied Flycatcher on Long Pine Key in Monroe.

    North Carolina’s 3rd Townsend’s Warbler was on the Blue Ridge Parkway in Jackson. s

    Yet another Long-tailed Jaeger made the cut this week, this one in a little more expected location, offshore in Maryland waters.

    Nice for Maine was a Cerulean Warbler on Monhegan Island.

    A young Common Shelduck (not accepted to ABA list) in Saint-Basile-le-Grand, Quebec, is one of several late summer accounts of the species in the ABA Area that may be wild birds. If accepted, this would be a 2nd ABA record following a bird in Newfoundland this past spring.

    And speaking of Newfoundland, a Worm-eating Warbler on Cape Avalon was a very nice bird. Also on the island, a White-winged Dove in Albany and a Golden-winged Warbler at Bear Pit.


    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.



      #ABArare – Red-flanked Bluetail – Alaska

      Birding on Alaska’s Bering Sea Islands continues to be productive, highlighted recently by an ABA Code 4 Red-flanked Bluetail discovered by Doug Gochfeld, Scott Schuette, and Olaf Danielson at Hutchinson Hill on St. Paul Island.

      Photo by Doug Gochfeld, used with permission. Additional photos available on his flickr page

      Photo by Doug Gochfeld, used with permission. Additional photos available on his flickr page

      Red-flanked Bluetail is an Old World Flycatcher known in the ABA Area almost exclusively from the Bering Sea region, where it is more likely in fall than in spring, but very rare in either season. In addition to the records in western Alaska there are three from the rest of the continent, two coming from islands off the coast of California and a third from British Columbia in January of 2013.

      In addition to the bluetail, St. Paul has seen a run of good birding off late, with notable records including Garganey (Code 3), a number of Olive-backed Pipits (Code 3), and at least two and possibly three different Jack Snipe (Code 4).

      Photo by Doug Gochfeld, used with permission

      This female Garganey is the first record for St. Paul Island in 16 years. Photo by Doug Gochfeld, used with permission

      Other, more-expected, Asian species on the island include Red-throated Pipit, Brambling (multiple), Lesser Sand-Plover , Common Snipe, Gray-tailed Tattler, and Sharp-tailed Sandpiper (triple digits), all of which are Code 3 species.

        Open Mic: The Townsend’s Bunting Story

        At the Mic: Denis Lepage

        Imagine that you are birding along in your favorite patch, like you always do, and suddenly come across one of the most mysterious and sought after bird in the history of North American birding? And what if it was a bird a bird so rare that you didn’t even know [read more...]

          Football Stadiums and Migrating Birds, Two Approaches

          For the most part, there isn’t a ton of overlap between professional football and birds, except perhaps those Sundays in fall with the football fan birder has to make a difficult decision on what to focus their energies. That has changed of late, however, with the construction of a massive new stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota, [read more...]

            Give the Gift of ABA Membership, Win Leica Binoculars!

            There’s no better time to be a birder than fall. The weather is fine, there are good birds all over the place, and the season of festivals and events is right around the corner. We think there’s no better time to be a member of the ABA, too. We’re excited to move into our new [read more...]

              Blog Birding #203

              Migrating birds have it tough. Not only do that have to traverse thousands of miles in difficult conditions, they also occasionally have gulls picking them off like flies on a window when they cross the Great Lakes, as Amar Ayyash at Anything Larus documented recently.

              The assumption here is that the passerines migrate over the [read more...]

                ABA in Delaware, News and Updates

                We’ve arrived. For the last several days the American Birding Association has been busy moving into its new headquarters, at the beautiful refurbished Central Hotel in Delaware City, Delaware. The library is in, the furniture is half out of moving boxes, and the ABA is closer than ever to officially opening the doors, that is, [read more...]

                  #ABArare – Whiskered Tern – New Jersey

                  With all the excellent birds in Alaska recently, you might be forgiven for thinking the birding elsewhere is just ho-hum. But you’d be wrong, as just this afternoon, Louise Zemaitis and Alec Humann spotted an ABA Code 5 Whiskered Tern from the hawkwatch platform at Cape May Point State Park in Cape May County, New [read more...]

                    Rare Bird Alert: September 12, 2014

                    Alaska still leads off the week, as it has for the last several in a row. Though things have slowed down from last time we checked in, the Bering Sea islands are still seeing a steady stream of excellent rarities. This week’s highlight is without doubt the ABA Code 5 Common Chiffchaff seen and well-photographed [read more...]

                      #ABArare – Northern Wheatear – Ohio

                      I questioned whether to include this bird as #ABArare, as Northern Wheatear is a breeder (albeit pretty remotely) in the ABA Area and a semi-regular vagrant to Atlantic Canada and the Northeast US, but as records elsewhere the Lower 48 are relatively scarce, and chase-able records somewhat moreso, I decided just to go for it. [read more...]

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