aba events

Introducing the 2017 Bird of the Year!

It's the moment that surely dozens of you have been looking forward to for hours now, the announcement… [read more]

Introducing the 2017 Bird of the Year! Introducing the 2017 Bird of the Year!

Photo Quiz: December 2016 Birding

The December 2016 Birding is winging its way to ABA members right now. While we wait for the mail to… [read more]

Photo Quiz: December 2016 Birding Photo Quiz: December 2016 Birding

The Kaufman Challenge, v. 0.5

What could be simpler? Learn the names of fifty plants and animals around your home. That’s all there… [read more]

The Kaufman Challenge, v. 0.5 The Kaufman Challenge, v. 0.5

It’s OK to Talk to Strangers – at Least if They Have Binoculars

I was desperate to find another birder, but generally speaking there are few to be found in the Black… [read more]

It’s OK to Talk to Strangers – at Least if They Have Binoculars It's OK to Talk to Strangers - at Least if They Have Binoculars

Open Mic – The Endangered Species Act and Birds: A Wild Success?

At the Mic: Jason A. Crotty The Endangered Species Act (ESA) is difficult to evaluate, as its success… [read more]

Open Mic – The Endangered Species Act and Birds:  A Wild Success? Open Mic - The Endangered Species Act and Birds:  A Wild Success?

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!
Nikon Monarch 7

#ABArare – Common Swift – Newfoundland

On the evening of Saturday, May 19, Ian Jones and Jeannine Winkel discovered an ABA Code 5 Common Swift at Quidi Vidi Lake in St, John’s Newfoundland. This is only the 7th record of the species in the ABA Area, and the second in as many years in Newfoundland.

Quidi Vidi Lake is north of center-city St John’s. The bird has been seen feeding with swallows above the surface of the lake for two days now. It is reported to be easiest to see on the southeast side of the lake, from the boardwalk east of the boat house off of Clancey Rd.

There are six previous records of Common Swift from the ABA Area: two from St. Paul Island, Alaska (1950 and 1986), and individuals from from St. Pierre and Miquelon (1986), California (2013), Quebec (2014) and a previous record for Newfoundland in 2016. There are also five accepted records of swifts accepted only to the genus Apus, which are thought to likely be Common Swifts: Massachusetts (1995, 1996, and 2005), Pennsylvania (1996), and St. Pierre and Miquelon (2006).


Rare Bird Alert: May 19, 2017

We head into the tail end of spring migration, and across much of the continent we’re seeing the slow start catch up with a vengeance. Elsewhere, birds are going about nesting, including vagrants in Arizona that look like they are going to be sticking around awhile. The nesting Tufted Flycatchers (ABA Code 5) are joined in Arizona by a pair of nesting Slate-throated Redstarts (4), the long-staying Flame-colored Tanager (4) is still present and the state 1st Common Crane (4) was present into the beginning of the week. In Florida, most of the Caribbean vagrants have moved on, but the Black Noddy (3) on the Dry Tortugas is still being seen from time to time.

Sticking to Florida, which has been red-hot this spring, a Bahama Woodstar (5) was discovered in Brevard. This is the ABA Area’s 6th record, all but one have been from Florida. Shockingly, in the aftermath of this find, a photograph is what is apparently a different bird originally a few weeks ago, came to light, making 2 different woodstars in Florida this spring.

Apparently the 2nd Bahama Woodstar in Florida this spring, this Brevard County bird has been accommodating to those who have traveled to see it. Photo: Marlo Hill / Macaulay Library (S36932660)

Also seen in Florida this week, a Fork-tailed Flycatcher was found in Hendry, and a Red-footed Booby (4) in Monroe.

An unusual potential 1st, a Black-backed Oriole was reported from near Stamford, Connecticut, this week, but not refound. Notably Stamford is about 150 miles east-northeast from the site in eastern Pennsylvania where the ABA’s potential 1st record of Black-backed Oriole spent  much of the early spring.

Exciting for Virginia, a Albatross sp., possibly Yellow-nosed, was seen near shore in Virginia Beach.

Delaware had a Little Egret not far from the ABA headquarters in Delaware City.

In New Jersey, a Painted Bunting was visiting a feeder near Monmouth.

Noteworthy for New Brunswick, a Tricolored Heron was discovered near Chance Harbour.

Tis the season for wandering Swallow-tailed Kite. Nova Scotia’s 10th or 11th record was photographed in Yarmouth.

Newfoundland’s 3rd record of Painted Bunting showed up at a feeder in Isle aux Morts.

Good for Quebec, a Prairie Warbler was found in Estrie.

In Ontario, a Willow Ptarmigan wandered south to be seen in Toronto, and a couple Swainson’s Hawks have been seen near Niagara.

Manitoba becomes the latest spot with a Ruff (3), with one near Winnipeg

In Michigan, a Fork-tailed Flycatcher (3) has been present in Iosco for a couple days.

Wisconsin’s 5th record of Lewis’s Woodpecker was visiting a feeder in Bayfield.

Good inland, both a Laughing Gull in Dubuque and a Brown Pelican in Johnson are notable for Iowa.

Arkansas had a Lark Bunting in Logan.

A pair of Limpkins were at a lake in Covington, Alabama.

In Oklahoma, a Lesser Nighthawk was photographed in Cimarron.

In South Dakota, a Green-tailed Towhee was seen in Stanley.

We don’t often mention Wyoming here, so it’s especially exciting that there are two nice birds in that state, the 13th Glossy Ibis in Lander, and the state’s 2nd Curve-billed Thrasher near Cheyenne.

In Colorado, a Baird’s Sparrow was worth noting in Larimer.

Utah’s 4th White-eyed Vireo was found, along with a Scissor-tailed Flycatcher in Utah.

Idaho had a surprising California Scrub-Jay near Boise.

Now is the time of year we turn our gaze up to western Alaska, where a pair of Common Pochard (4) were found on St Paul Island, and an Eyebrowed Thrush (4) on Adak, among more expected spring vagrants.

In British Columbia, a Hermit Warbler and an Ash-throated Flycatcher  were both in Victoria this week.

In Washington, a Eurasian Skylark was photographed in Clallam.

A Short-tailed Albatross (3) was seen from a repositioning cruise in Curry, Oregon.

And in Nevada, a White-eyed Vireo was found in Nye.


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.


American Birding Podcast: LIVE from The Biggest Week – The Good Birders Panel

The newest episode of the American Birding Podcast is ready to go!

The ABA was once again excited to have a presence at The Biggest Week in American Birding in northwest Ohio in 2017. At this year’s festival, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt editor Lisa White and ABA President Jeffrey Gordon hosted a keynote panel featuring contributors [read more…]

Note from The Biggest Week

Last week I had the pleasure of attending the Biggest Week in American Birding for the first time as a representative of the ABA. There are a number of high profile birding festivals in the ABA Area and they are all extraordinary for their own reasons, but there’s something about The Biggest Week that is [read more…]

Blog Birding #320

At A Symphony of Feathers, Devin Griffiths explores the joys and concerns inherent in sharing a world with birds.

If you’ve been following along at all, you’ve discovered that I spend a lot of time with birds. I get out with them whenever I can, even if that means just sitting on the patio and [read more…]

#ABArare – Bahama Woodstar – Florida

More from Florida, which has to be reaching rare bird saturation at some point. On May 14, Mitchell Harris found a likely female-type ABA Code 5 Bahama Woodstar at Maritime Hammock Sanctuary in Brevard, Florida.

Photos from back of camera: Mitchell Harris

Maritime Hammock is near the town of Melbourne, Florida, on the sea side [read more…]

Rare Bird Alert: May 12, 2017

The jet stream across North America in the last week has taken a strange, unseasonal, turn, plunging south into the eastern half of the continent and arresting migration east of the Mississippi River. Thankfully that looks to be breaking, and migrants are pushing northward and filling listerv reports from sea to sea.

Continuing notables in [read more…]

How to Listen to the American Birding Podcast

Since we launched the American Birding Podcast late last year, we’ve had a lot of positive feedback about it, for which those of us who have been deep into it really appreciate.

We’ve also gotten a few questions about how to listen to it, and it occurred to me later that subscribing and listening [read more…]

#ABArare – Garganey – Michigan

Though Florida has been getting a lot of attention lately, Michigan has also been seeing a nice run of rarities lately, highlighted by a stunning ABA Code 4 Garganey in Chippewa County, Michigan, first seen on May 5. This is the second Garganey for the ABA Area this spring (following a continuing bird in Newfoundland), [read more…]

Blog Birding #319

Undoubtedly one of the most beloved warbler in North America is a strange little Black-and-White Warbler, with its endearing nuthatch behavior. At 10,000 Birds Corey Finger explains its appeal.

Mid-to-late April keeps birders in the northeastern United States on edge as we want to see every species as it arrives and we don’t want to [read more…]

American Birding Podcast
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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  • Open Mice: Kestrels–An Iowa Legacy May 16, 2017 6:29
    A few years ago, a short drive down my gravel road would yield at least one, if not two, American Kestrels perched on a power line or hovering mid-air above the grassy ditch. Today, I have begun to count myself lucky to drive past a mere one kestrel per week rather than the daily sightings. […]
  • It’s the Maine Young Birders Club! May 13, 2017 4:03
    York County Audubon is helping to launch the Maine Young Birders Club (MYBC)—the first of its kind in the state! […]
  • Announcing the 2017 ABA Young Birders of the Year! February 28, 2017 10:48
    The judges have reviewed all of the outstanding entries. ABA staff has compiled the scores. After much anticipation, we are thrilled to announce the winners of the 2017 ABA Young Birder of the Year Contest! Your 2017 ABA Young Birder of the Year in the 14-18 age group is 18-year-old Johanna Beam from Lyons, Colorado. […]

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