aba events

Announcing the 2016 ABA Awards Recipients!

The ABA Board of Directors recently voted to make three presentations of ABA Awards in 2016. The awardees… [read more]

Announcing the 2016 ABA Awards Recipients! Announcing the 2016 ABA Awards Recipients!

2016 AOU Check-list Proposals, Part 1

It's time, once again, for split and lump season, or at least the first part of the long prelude to changes… [read more]

2016 AOU Check-list Proposals, Part 1 2016 AOU Check-list Proposals, Part 1

The TOP 10: Craziest ABA Vagrants of 2015

By Nate Swick and George Armistead For the last couple years the annual Top 10 Best Vagrants post… [read more]

The TOP 10: Craziest ABA Vagrants of 2015 The TOP 10: Craziest ABA Vagrants of 2015

Introducing the 2016 ABA Bird of the Year!

We're excited, at last, to share this year's ABA Bird of the Year and artist. Thanks to artist… [read more]

Introducing the 2016 ABA Bird of the Year! Introducing the 2016 ABA Bird of the Year!

Photo Quiz: December 2015 Birding

Hmm... Well, it's a decent photo, and the bird is well presented. This can't be all that hard, can it? It's… [read more]

Photo Quiz: December 2015 Birding Photo Quiz: December 2015 Birding

The ABA’s Spark Bird Project Puts Binoculars in the Hands of Kids

What could a kid discover if they had the tools we birders often take for granted? What could they find? Birds,… [read more]

The ABA’s Spark Bird Project Puts Binoculars in the Hands of Kids The ABA's Spark Bird Project Puts Binoculars in the Hands of Kids
Nikon Monarch 7

Panama Canal Cruise With Jeff and Liz


Cruise ships are the new hot thing in birding circles. Repositioning cruises up the Pacific coast offer fabulous opportunities to find deep-sea pelagic species with all the comforts of a ship-borne vacation, and trips to the Caribbean can be great chances to catch up with endemic Caribbean species. And now you can cruise with the ABA and Carefree Birding!

MIA_CTG_ONX_PTY_SJO_GUA_PVR_SJD_SAN_430x330Next spring, you can join ABA President Jeff Gordan and adjutant Liz Gordon on a cruise from Miami to San Diego aboard the Celebrity Infinity, with stops in Colombia, Panama, Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Mexico. There will be much birding in the neotropics, there will be colorful birds and migrants on their wintering grounds, and there will definitely be fun.

For more information on this opportunity, please see the ABA’s Events website!

Rare Bird Alert: May 27, 2016


Sorry this is up a little late, folks. I just returned late last night from a few days of seabirding in Hatteras and had to complete it the next morning. Onward and upwards! Continuing rarities in the ABA Area include the Little Egret (ABA Code 4) in Maine, which is sticking around this year just like it did last year. The Gray Heron (5) in Newfoundland was refound this week a fair distance from its original location. In Florida, the Bahama Mockingbird (4) has been present and easy to find this week. And in Arizona, both the Slate-throated Redstart (4) and the Tufted Flycatcher (5) continue into the week.

While not the rarest bird in the ABA Area this week, a White-winged Tern (4) that spend a few days in Manitowoc, Wisconsin, was arguably the most exciting. Not only are inland records of this species exceedingly rare, and not only did a great many birders in the upper midwest get to see it during its brief stay, but it was the first record for Wisconsin since the 1870s!

Photo: David La Puma

Photo: David La Puma

It’s not often that a 2nd state record overshadows a 1st, but a Tropical Kingbird in Bayfield, Wisconsin, was seen around the same time as the tern, and is a 1st for that state.

Louisiana also got a 1st record this week, a White-crowned Pigeon seen from a cruise ship heading towards New Orleans in Plauquemines, is certainly an unusual circumstance.

Alaska also got a 1st state record this week, though from the opposite direction that all the Asian birds are coming from. A well-photographed White-faced Ibis at Klawock is a 1st record.

And it is spring rarity season in western Alaska, and the reports from the islands and the western edge of the mainland have been exciting. Most notable is potentially the ABA’s 3rd record of Intermediate Egret (5), see from inaccessible Shemya Island. Birders on Shemya also had a Eurasian Hobby (4), this week. Reports from Gambell and the Pribiloffs include many notable, but annual in the far reaches of the continent, birds including Lesser Sand-Plover (3), Common Greenshank(3), Terek Sandpiper (3), Long-toed Stint (3), Common Sandpiper (3), Slaty-backed Gull (3), Long-billed Murrelet (3), Olive-backed Pipit (3), Temminck’s Stint (3) and Wood Sandpiper.

New Hampshire also had a state 1st in the inevitable and not terribly exciting category. A Eurasian Collared-Dove in East Kingston is another sign of the species’s inexorable spread across the continent.

And in California, a Black Guillemot seen from a NOAA ship west of Fort Bragg is also a potential 1st for the state, as best as I can determine. Also notable, a Glossy Ibis in Los Angeles and a Hudsonian Godwit in Humboldt.

Noteworthy for British Columbia was a Ferruginous Hawk in Osoyoos, and a repositioning cruise in BC waters had a Flesh-footed Shearwater (4).

Very nice for Nevada was a female Hooded Warbler in Tonopah.

Utah had a Tennessee Warbler in Bountiful.

We don’t often get to mention Wyoming in this spot, but the state had a trifecta of good birds this week. A Thayer’s Gull in Fremont was the 12th, a Worm-eating Warbler in Goshen is the 11th, and an adult Little Blue Heron in Natrona is the 14th.

Arizona had a second Flame-colored Tanager (4) for the season in Cochise, and a Berylline Hummingbird (4), and a Plain-capped Starthroat  (4) were at the same feeding station at Madera Canyon in Santa Cruz.

New Mexico had a Groove-billed Ani in Eddy.

In Texas, a Green Violetear (3) visited a feeder in Uvalde, and two Brown Boobies (3) visited the state this week, one wrecked inland in Dallas, and one on the coast in Matagorda.

Arkansas also had an inland Brown Booby (3) this week at Lake Hamilton, which has hosted the species before.

Nice in the interior of the continent, a Laughing Gull was found in Taney, Missouri.

Iowa had a potential Crested Caracara in Boone. 

In Minnesota, a pair of Black-bellied Whistling-Ducks were photographed in La Sueur.

Michigan had both a Eurasian Tree Sparrow in Chippewa and a Swallow-tailed Kite in Marquette.

Gulf Stream pelagics out of Dare, North Carolina, netted multiple Trindade Petrels (3), and a Fea’s Petrel (3) this week.

In New Jersey, a Curlew Sandpiper was found in Cumberland.

Quebec had both a Fork-tailed Flycatcher (3) in Mauricie and a Lark Bunting at Côte-Nord, this week.

A good bird in the maritimes, a Red-headed Woodpecker was visiting a feeder in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, this week.

And Newfoundland saw several birds blown over from Europe this week, including 3 Black-tailed Godwits (3) at Bonavista, a “Eurasian” Whimbrel at Cape Race, and a sharp Ruff (3) at Goulds.


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.

Townsend’s Lark-Bunting

In the early part of the 19th Century, the great wide west of North America was still a book whose pages were still unwritten to the builders of the young nation pressed up against the eastern seaboard. Dozens of expeditions were launched to fill in those empty spaces with information – reports of economic potential, [read more…]

21st Century Audubons

John James Audubon, by John Syme – The White House Historical Association, Public Domain.

John James Audubon walked the woods, fields, and mountains of our ABA area, with a muzzle-loading shotgun in hand, looking for birds. Birding, if you will. He would come across a flock of small passerines–warblers, perhaps–and a report would echo [read more…]

#ABArare – Berylline Hummingbird, Plain-capped Starthroat – Arizona

On May 21, an ABA Code 4 Berylline Hummigbird was observed coming to a feeder in Santa Rita Lodge in Santa Cruz County, Arizona, by a tour group led by Barry Zimmer that was staking out a Code 4 Plain-capped Starthroat that had been first discovered the day before.

Photo: Andy Benson

Santa Rita [read more…]

Blog Birding #275

The Two-Bird Theory has seen wide adoption in recent years, but Steve Tucker of Bourbon, Bastards, and Birds has another idea to share, the One Bird Theory.

The one bird theory is simple, though a bit cumbersome to explain. If a Ruff is seen in Oregon one day, and another Ruff is seen in Washington [read more…]

Rare Bird Alert: May 20, 2016

Migration is reaching its end. Continuing ABA Area rarities are drying up. You might be forgiven in thinking that the party is slowing down as the summer approaches and breeding commences for most North American birds. But you would be mistaken, friends, because spring vagrant season is not over until Alaska has something to say [read more…]

2016 State of the Birds Calls for Continent-wide Commitment to Bird Conservation

The American Birding Association is proud to be a member of the North American Bird Conservation Initiative (NABCI) Committee, which today published The State of North America’s Birds 2016, a comprehensive report that, for the first time, assesses the conservation status of all bird species that occur in three nations, Canada, the continental United States [read more…]

ABA Area Big Years In Progress: May 2016 Update

We’re about 6 weeks shy of the halfway point of 2016, and three birders are making significant efforts towards putting together an ABA Area Big Year that could topple Neil Hayward’s record of 749, set in 2013. All three birders have no doubt been buoyed by an impressive year in which a great number of [read more…]

Blog Birding #274

It’s spring in New Jersey, and though Cape May gets much of the accolades, there are other parts of the Garden State worth exploring, as Don Freiday of Freiday Bird Blog shares.

Everybody knows I love Cape May, but from early May through early June there is place that eclipses the Cape May birding mecca. [read more…]

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