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: October 31, 2014

    October ends with another glut of great birds continent-wide as the rarity season really begins to pick up. At least two exceptional ABA Area birds were discovered this week at opposite ends of the ABA Area with a number of other lower level birds scattered throughout. We had two first records reported and several others of which there are fewer that 15 for a given state or province. The most “common” vagrant of the period, however, has to be Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, and a number of individuals were recorded north and east of their southern Great Plains centered range. I only included those states/provinces for which it is still an exceptional bird, but left unmentioned are records of the flashy species in places where they’ve become annual fall vagrants.

    Headlining this week’s rarities are undoubtedly the handful of ABA Code 4 Bahama Swallows seen in Monroe County, Florida, this week. At least three were seen at the Curry Hammock State Park Hawkwatch, and individuals of a couple more were reported nearby. With that kind of influx you wouldn’t expect that this was the first record of the species in the ABA Area since 1992.

    Other notable birds in Florida include a Little Gull (3) in Duval, a Northern Wheatear, also in Monroe.

    Photo by Alexander Harper, used with permission

    Several Bahama Swallows turned up in south Florida this week, the first records of the species in the ABA Area in more than 20 years! Photo by Alexander Harper, used with permission

    I mentioned Florida first only because the Bahama Swallows were so remarkable, but as far as concentration of rarities go, Washington crushes all comers this week. Leading off a parade of rarities is a Eurasian Hobby (4) in Clallum, the 2nd for the state and only the 5th record in the ABA Area away from Alaska. Clallum has also turned into the most recent incarnation of the Patagonia Picnic Table Effect, and recent records include an Orchard Oriole, one of only a few records for the state, a Brambling (3), a Slaty-backed Gull (3), a Cattle Egret, and a possible Eurasian Skylark. Also around, a Black-headed Gull in Pacific and a Little Gull in Skagit. And that’s before we even get to the state 1st Broad-billed Hummingbird at a feeder in Skamania.

    Alaska also had a state first this week, in the form of a wrecked Brown Booby (3) near Sitka. With so many of these birds in California waters this year, perhaps it was a foregone conclusion that one would end up so far north. Also good for Alaska, a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker is visiting a feeder in Homer.

    Mississippi also had a state 1st, in the form of a Sage Thrasher in Harrison on the coast. It was found while birders were looking for the Say’s Phoebe, one of fewer than 5 records for the state.

    Staying in the southeast, a Western Meadowlark was found in Baldwin, Alabama.

    In North Carolina, a nice-looking Franklin’s Gull in Henderson is the first record of that species in the state in several years.

    Neglected last week, a Scissor-tailed Flycatcher was found in Kanawha, West Virginia.

    Pennsylvania also had a Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, this one in Lebanon.

    And Cape May, New Jersey, not only had a Scissor-tailed Flycatcher but a Fork-tailed Flycatcher (3) not far away. Also notable at Cape May, a White-winged Dove and a Ash-throated Flycatcher were seen this week.

    In Connecticut, notable birds include a Western Kingbird at Bridgeport and a Painted Bunting in Stamford.

    A Painted Bunting was also seen in Massachusetts, this one in Suffolk, along with a Ruff (3) in Essex . A Le Conte’s Sparrow in Cambridge is one of about 15 records for the state.

    Maine had a Townsend’s Solitaire in Hermit Island this week.

    Good birds in Newfoundland came from the south, with a White-eyed Vireo at Cape Race and an Indigo Bunting at a feeder in Glovertown.

    In Quebec, a Yellow-throated Warbler was photographed at Laurentides, and the first Pink-footed Goose (4) of the year was in Chaudière-Appalaches.

    Yet another Scissor-tailed Flycatcher was found in Ontario, in Algoma.

    In Manitoba, a reported Yellow-throated Warbler would be a phenomenal bird in far northern Fisher Branch.

    Noteworthy birds in Michigan this week include a Lark Bunting at Allegan and a Townsend’s Solitaire in Macomb.

    In Wisconsin, a Black-billed Magpie was found in Douglas.

    A pelagic trip out of South Padre Island, Texas, had both a Brown Booby (3) and a Red-billed Tropicbird (3).

    In New Mexico, a Groove-billed Ani was in Otero.

    A Magnificent Hummingbird visiting a feeder in Boulder is about the 20th record for Colorado.

    In Utah, a Red-breasted Sapsucker in Logan was a one hour wonder, in addition to being the state’s 11th record. Also in Utah, a  Black Scoter was seen near Rockport.

    A well-photographed Le Conte’s Sparrow in Clark, Nevada, would be the state’s 4th.

    Oregon’s 6th record of Brown Booby was seen from shore in Tillamook.

    A Rufous-backed Robin (3) in San Bernadino, California, was seen by many.

    Good for British Columbia was a Brown Thrasher at Chetwynd.


    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 Prevent Bird WIndow Collisions with The Bird and WIndows Project

      Birds face many threats when they come into contact with urban populations. One of the leading causes of avian mortality in cities is window collisions. In Canada it is estimated 25 million birds are killed each year as a result of bird window collisions and the winter season, which large numbers of birds descend on bird feeders across the continent, is a particularly difficult time for bird window collisions.

      The Birds and Windows Project was developed to use citizen science and active participation to continue to identify the factors that affect collision risk at residential homes.


      Last fall Environment Canada released a report on the leading causes of human related bird deaths, with collisions with houses or buildings tied for second spot with power lines, collisions and electrocutions, behind domestic and feral cats. Most studies on window collisions have focused on tall skyscrapers but based on the sheer number of houses compared to tall skyscrapers, houses represent 90 % of the mortality.  More work is needed; only four studies in the past have focused on bird window collision mortality at houses.

      A new project was developed by Environment Canada to better understand what can be done to reduce bird window collisions at your home and to actively involve average birders in data collection. They are asking you to think about bird window collisions you have observed in the past and would like you to regularly search around your residence for evidence of bird window collisions in the future. This project is North America wide and will be running throughout 2015. To get involved in the Birds and Windows Project, visit: birdswindows.biology.ualberta.ca.

      For more information please visit their website (birdswindows.biology.ualberta.ca). You can also follow them on Twitter and like them on Facebook (@birdsandwindows and Birds and Windows).

        Help the ABA, Win Stuff (x2)

        This is just a friendly reminder that the ABA has a couple important initiatives ongoing that birders may be interested in.

        The first, a survey that seeks to learn how you feel about the ABA and your membership. The survey is not open only to members, if you’re not a member we’d like to know [read more...]

          #ABArare – Eurasian Hobby- Washington

          When it rains it pours. November is the month for rarities and it looks like we’re getting a jump on it this year. One of the more dramatic records of the fall is undoubtedly the news that an ABA Code 4 Eurasian Hobby has been found on 10/26, and is apparently chaseable, in Clallum County, [read more...]

            #ABArare – Bahama Swallow – Florida

            Put a bunch of people on a platform and have them looking at the sky for hours on end, and you never know what might fly by. Birders at the Florida Keys Hawkwatch at Curry Hammock State Park in Monroe County, Florida, had not one, not two, but three ABA Code 4 Bahama Swallows fly [read more...]

              Blog Birding #208

              Compared to the Old World, we birder sin the Americas suffer a paucity of kingfishers, which is a shame as they’re such charismatic and dramatic birds. Fortunately, the one most of us in North America know and love is the Belted Kingfisher, and Laura Erickson shares with us more that we thought we’d want to [read more...]

                Featured Photo: September/October 2014 Birding


                No preamble, no hints. What do you think this bird is? And, as always, why? Tom Johnson’s analysis and answer appear in the print version of the September/October 2014 Birding, arriving soon in ABA members’ mailboxes. For now, though, let’s try to work this bird out together, in the “Leave a Reply” section, below.


                [read more...]

                  Guardians of the Forests

                  A review by Noel Snyder

                  Woodpeckers of the World: A Photographic Guide, by Gerard Gorman

                  Firefly Books, 2014

                  528 pages, $49.95—hardcover

                  ABA Sales / Buteo Books 14365

                  Gerard Gorman’s stunningly illustrated Woodpeckers of the World provides basic information on all of the species in the family Picidae, including the woodpeckers, sapsuckers, flickers, flamebacks, piculets, [read more...]

                    Rare Bird Alert: October 24, 2014

                    As we sit on the cusp of rarity season, the possibilities seem endless. Late October into November has historically been a very good time to look for unusual birds, and while the floodgates have yet to open completely, a few interesting and notable sightings have the birding community, coast to coast, ready for more.

                    We’ll [read more...]

                      Unabashedly Enchanted

                      A review by Julia Zarankin

                      Bird Sense: What It’s Like to Be a Bird, by Tim Birkhead

                      Walker and Company, 2012

                      265 pages, $25.00—hardcover

                      ABA Sales / Buteo Books 13858

                      In his famous essay “What Is it Like to Be a Bat?,” the philosopher Thomas Nagel argues that the nature of consciousness makes it impossible [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.
                      Read More »

                      Recent Comments




                      Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

                      • Book Review: How To Do Ecology October 21, 2014 5:37
                        I’ve often heard that there are two career options for young birders: go into ecology or biology and spend your working hours birding, or go into a more profitable field and use your spare time to bird. […]
                      • Open Mic: 2014 Camp Avocet–an intern’s perspective October 13, 2014 5:38
                        I don’t think there is any doubt in anyone’s mind that Camp Avocet was totally, undeniably awesome this year, so I won’t spend too long telling you all that. In mid-August 2014, a committed staff and a crew of very enthusiastic and almost unbelievably skilled campers assembled in Lewes, in southern Delaware, for the second […]
                      • Open Mic: Birding Isleta Grande October 6, 2014 5:20
                        There is a very good spot for birding in Central Veracruz that has been unnoticed by birders. Isleta Grande is a small village located a half hour from Xalapa. […]

                      Follow ABA on Twitter

                      Nature Blog Network