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

Come Visit the ABA!


One of the more exciting things about our move from Colorado to Delaware is that now the ABA offices are smack dab in the middle of some of the most exciting birding spots in North America. All that means that birders are coming through our backyard with some regularity. Why not stop by and say hello?


The ABA’s headquarters in Delaware City, Delaware

Beginning this spring the ABA will be hosting bird walks, heron watches and evening cruises, right from our front porch! Our first will be a Woodcock Walk at Lum’s Pond State Park on March 26. Come join us as we seek out the bizarre and fantastic timberdoodle.

For a full schedule of events at ABA HQ, as well as information on Delaware City, be sure to have a look at our Visit the ABA page! We’d love to see you out on the front porch!

Rare Bird Alert: February 12, 2016


We’re nearly halfway through February and many of the rarities present since the beginning of 2016 are still around. Birders doing Big Years in 2016 certainly picked a friendly year to do so. Texas leads the pack with continuing Blue Bunting (ABA Code 4), multiple Northern Jacanas (4) three different Crimson-collared Grosbeaks (4) and Golden-crowned Warbler (4). The long-continuing Sinaloa Wren (5) and a Streak-backed Oriole (4) are in Arizona. The British Columbia Redwing (4) is still around, as is the one in Nova Scotia. In Ohio, the Brambling (3) is still present and the Kelp Gull (4) was discovered again this week. A long-staying, but inconsistently seen, Brambling (3) is also continuing in Idaho.

And we have new rares, too! One comes from Florida, where a female Black-faced Grassquit (4) was seen at Long Key State Park in Monroe, Florida. Notably, the last ABA Area grassquit was found at nearby Bahia Honda almost exactly one year ago.

Photo: Angel Abreu

This Black-faced Grassquit is the 3rd ABA Area record in the last 4 years. Photo: Angel Abreu

And speaking of returning rarities, Texas adds to its riches with a pair of ABA Area notables, a White-throated Thrush (4) in Hidalgo and a Common Crane (4) in Terry. Both are birds that were in the state last year around the same time.

In California, a Kelp Gull (4), or to be more specific *the* Kelp Gull was found in Los Angeles. Close scrutiny reveals it to likely be the same bird that was present south of San Francisco last May. This is a new species for Los Angeles county, which provisionally places it one bird ahead of San Diego in the long-simmering friendly rivalry to be the birdiest county in the ABA Area.

In Montana, a Mew Gull in Flathead is noteworthy.

Nebraska had a Varied Thrush in Howard.

Minnesota also had a Varied Thrush this week, in Cass.

A Ferruginous Hawk was found in Barton, Missouri, in the west of the state.

In Tennessee, a small group of Black-bellied Whistling-Ducks was discovered near Sevierville.

A Pacific Loon was photographed in Lauderdale, Alabama.

 In addition to the grassquit, a Broad-billed Hummingbird was also in Florida this week, at a feeder in Collier.

Georgia is the third state this week to have a Varied Thrush, one was photographed in DeKalb.

In North Carolina, a small group of Atlantic Puffins were seen off Hatteras.

A pelagic in New Jersey waters had a Great Skua off Cape May. The bird was also seen in Delaware waters, where it represents the 2nd record for the state.

In Connecticut, a Hermit Warbler in Barkhamsted is the state’s 2nd record.

Newfoundland had a Fieldfare (4) near Lumsden this week, the second Euro thrush in as many weeks in the Maritimes.

In Ontario, a “Bewick’s” Tundra Swan in Shrewsbury was a nice find, as was a Townsend’s Solitaire near Athens.


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.


The Champions of the Flyway Need Your Help!

I recently got the news that I would be part of a four member team representing the Cape May Bird Observatory , the LEICA Cape May Bird Observatory American Dippers (and, along with several other teams, the U.S.A.) in an amazing and important event, Champions of the Flyway, which takes place each year in [read more…]

Malheur Occupation: How Does Nature Nurture Shape the Adults We Become?

A Guest Post by Dave Irons

I was eleven when I first visited Harney County and Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. Our family spent most of a long weekend up on Steens Mountain, where I caught and ate trout from Fish Lake and gazed down from the east rim onto the dry white expanse of the [read more…]

January Gems

As many of you probably know, I am doing an Alaska big year. As the year goes along, I don’t plan to do a detailed report on this ABA blog, I am going to summarize my January birding here to give you a taste of the possibilities of winter birding in Alaska. You can read [read more…]

Blog Birding #262

There may still be militants occupying Malheur’s headquarters, but the rest of the refuge is open, and Steven Shunk at Nature Travel Network thinks you should get out there.

It’s still a little frigid in the basin, and more snow will fall. Frenchglen and other remote outposts will be quiet for several more weeks, but [read more…]

#ABArare – White-throated Thrush – Texas

On February 5, multiple observers reported an ABA Code 4 White-throated Thrush at Estero Llano Grande State Park in Hidalgo County, Texas. Interestingly, a White-throated Thrush was found at Estero almost exactly one year ago, on February 6, 2015.

Photo: Ben Horstmann

Estero Llano Grande is located just south of Weslaco, Texas. From Hwy [read more…]

Announcing ABA Contest Prize Winners

In December, we ran a membership drive to close out the year. It was a huge success! Over 1,300 people participated and we are happy to announce that Aaron Cargill and and T. J. Jirasevejinda of New York, NY are the winners of the Leica Trinovid HD 8×42. Thank you to all who joined and [read more…]

Rare Bird Alert: February 5, 2016

The suite of continuing rare birds in the ABA Area is mostly unchanged into February, though many of the following were seen only into last weekend and may have moved one. The Brambling (ABA Code 3) in Ohio remains through the week, as does the Northern Jacana (4), Golden-crowned Warbler (4), and Crimson-collared Grosbeak (4) [read more…]

ABA Big Year Membership Drive: January Winner and February Prize

Congratulations to Corey Finger of Queens, New York! He’s the recipient of a selection of birding books from Houghton-Mifflin-Harcourt for signing up the most new members in the month of January! Birders who hang around on the internet may know Corey as the proprietor of 10,000 Birds, one of the internet’s most popular bird blog. [read more…]

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If you live nearby, or are travelling in the area, come visit the ABA Headquarters in Delaware City.

Beginning this spring we will be having bird walks, heron watches and evening cruises, right from our front porch! Click here to view the full calender, and register for events >>

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