aba events

Featured Photo, a.k.a. New Photo Quiz, January-February 2014 Birding

First things first. The quiz. Here goes: If you just want to play the quiz, that's great. Skip… [read more]

Featured Photo, a.k.a. New Photo Quiz, January-February 2014 Birding Featured Photo, a.k.a. New Photo Quiz, January-February 2014 Birding

Introducing: The Lifelook

One of the most interesting facets of birding culture is its unique vocabulary. From lifers to dips to… [read more]

Introducing: The Lifelook Introducing: The Lifelook

ABA Rally in Plymouth, Massachusetts – It was wicked birdy

The weather and the birding gods smiled on us for the 2014 ABA Birding Rally in Plymouth, Massachusetts.… [read more]

ABA Rally in Plymouth, Massachusetts – It was wicked birdy ABA Rally in Plymouth, Massachusetts - It was wicked birdy

The 2013 Snowy Owl Invasion: It’s getting crazier by the minute

Maybe you've heard.... There's Snowy Owls around. A lot of them. They're turning up on people's houses,… [read more]

The 2013 Snowy Owl Invasion: It’s getting crazier by the minute The 2013 Snowy Owl Invasion: It's getting crazier by the minute

ABA Adds Zino’s Petrel, #982

On 16 September 1995, Brian Patteson photographed a Pterodroma petrel off Hatteras, North Carolina. At… [read more]

ABA Adds Zino’s Petrel, #982 ABA Adds Zino's Petrel, #982

Advice to a Young Birder

You’ve surely seen those rankings of places to live. Some person or committee rates a town or city… [read more]

Advice to a Young Birder Advice to a Young Birder
Nikon Monarch 7

    Rare Bird Alert: April 18, 2014

    This week may be the birdiest one yet for 2014, at least as far as vagrants are concerned. Notable birds were seen in all corners of the ABA Area this week, helped along by strange weather and the overwhelming urge to move.

    Our friends at Cornell’s Birdcast (and you really should be reading Birdcast this spring), explain it thusly, “Scattered light to moderate movements that begin the weekend give way to much more widespread movements to end the period in the West, while moderate to heavy movements will occur in many areas of the East as low pressure organizes and moves off the coast (and begets more Gulf Coast fall outs). ”

    What does that mean? Well, birds mostly. Lots of birds. And when birds are on the move, a not insignificant number of them end up in odd places. And we’re hear to catch them.

    We usually associate vagrant shorebirds with the fall season, but Spring can offer some suprises, not least of which was a Ruff (ABA Code 3) in Beaufort County, South Carolina, the second in the state for the season. There was a time not that long ago that coastal South Carolina seemed like the place for spring Ruff, and in recent years that title seemed to drift up to the coast to Delmarva and New Jersey, but South Carolina might regain the crown with this spring’s showing. The fact that this one is an attractive male bird certainly helps.

    This nice male Ruff was one of a couple seen this week in the ABA Area, photo by Nate Dias

    This nice male Ruff in Beaufort County, South Carolina, was one of a couple seen this week in the ABA Area, photo by Nate Dias

    Elsewhere in the southeast, a Lesser Nighthawk was well-photographed on Grande Isle, Louisiana, and a Glaucous Gull was discovered in Plaquemines.

    Florida had a MacGillivray’s Warbler arrive in Palm Beach.

    In North Carolina, a Purple Gallinule was found in the marsh at Cape Point in Dare.

    Two more of a handful records in the northeast this spring, a Swallow-tailed Kite was photographed in Kings, New York, and another was seen near Guilford, Connecticut.

    A good candidate for Yellow-legged Gull (3) was seen in Lowell, Massachusetts. It’s a species that attract a lot of scrutiny outside of Newfoundland. The state also had a Ruff (3), a female type bird on Nantucket.

    Increasingly expected but still notable in the ABA Area, Vermont hosted a Pink-footed Goose (4) in Addison.

    It was all waders in Nova Scotia this week, with a Little Blue Heron in Richmond and a Snowy Egret in West Lawrencetown.

    In Quebec, a Townsend’s Warbler in Laurentides is one of only a few records, also noteworthy for the province was a Scissor-tailed Flycatcher was out on Gaspé.

    In Indiana, a Swainson’s Hawk was photographed in Montgomery.

    A Spotted Towhee was visiting a yard in Madison, Wisconsin.

    Perhaps an indication that winter is not through yet, a Black-legged Kittiwake was seen in Polk, Iowa.

    Good birds in Colorado include a Lucy’s Warbler in Montezuma, a Yellow-throated Warbler inEl Paso, aScissor-tailed Flycatcher in Huerfano, and aGlossy Ibis in Fremont.

    Good for Alberta was a Lesser Black-backed Gull in Medicine Hat.

    In British Columbia, a White-tailed Kite was seen in Port Alberni.

    No longer chaseable but notable all the same, an oiled King Eider turned up in Ventura, California, where it was taken in by a rehabber.

    In Nevada, a young Lesser Black-backed Gull was seen in Washoe.

    A Black-throated Green Warbler was seen consorting with its superspecies companions (Townsend’s and Hermit) in Santa Cruz, Arizona.

    And in Texas, an Iceland Gull was photographed in Brazoria, and a Great Black-backed Gull was seen near Galveston. Perhaps more remarkable, however, was a Rufous-backed Robin photographed by a game camera in Edwards. No word on whether it has been seen live yet.


    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.

      Wind is a Four Letter Word... Usually

      I’m sure I speak for birders everywhere when I say that for the most part strong wind blows.  (See what I did there?)  Nothing puts wee birds into heavy cover, shakes your scope, and wicks the heat out of your extremities like a strong wind.  Long-anticipated pelagic plans can be dashed when the wind gets the sea [read more...]

        #ABArare – Neotropic Comorant – New Jersey

        On 4/9, Rob Fergus discovered an unusual cormorant in a retention pond in Clinton, Hunterson County, New Jersey. Fergus identified the bird as a Neotropic Cormorant, and after a bit of discussion consensus gathered on that being the correct identification. This would be a first state record for New Jersey.

        Photo by Ellen DeCarlo, [read more...]

          Introducing the ABA State Field Guide Series

          The ABA is excited to announce the publication to two new state-based bird books, published by Scott & Nix, and authored by two current ABA staffers, who just happen to be contributors to the ABA Blog as well.

          Rick Wright handles the American Birding Association Field Guide to Birds of New Jersey, which will be [read more...]

            #ABArare - Slate-throated Redstart - Arizona

            On April 10, an unidentified couple found an ABA Code 4 Slate-throated Redstart at Barfoot Park in the Chiricahua Mountains, Cochise County, Arizona. The bird was subsequently refound and photographed by Mary Dineen. The bird has not been refound since then but may still be present.

            photo by Mary Dineen, used with permission

            Barfoot [read more...]

              The 2014 Big Photo Day Challenge

              Scott Whittle, Tom Stephenson, and friends are trying something big this spring. A Big Photo Day, in which they attempt to acquire identifiable photographs of as many species of birds as possible in a 24 hour period.

              Scott and Tom share the details:

              The Event:

              This April a team of expert birders [read more...]

                Blog Birding #182

                Over at Leica’s Traveling Trinovid blog, John Sterling discusses the bizarre dead-leafing behavior that many warbler employ as they forage.

                 In North America, we have dead-leafing Bewick’s and Carolina wrens, but also four warbler species that are dead-leafing specialists only during the winter: Orange-crowned, Blue-winged, Golden-winged and Worm-eating.  In 1988 I collected foraging behavior data [read more...]

                  Your turn: Birding Urban Arizona

                  Perhaps you’re destined for a long layover at Sky Harbor International Airport and are itching to see a Rosy-faced Lovebird. Or maybe you have relatives who live in Phoenix and still haven’t crossed paths with a Gray Vireo. Local birder Magill Weber offers up her suggestions for places to go and birds to see (including [read more...]

                    Your turn: Birding Vancouver Island

                    Imagine an island in the Pacific with lush rainforests, rugged coastlines, sandy beaches, famous hiking trails, and close to 400 species of birds. Did you think of Canada?

                    That’s what Ann Nightingale asks us in the March 2014 issue of Birder’s Guide to Travel. Ann’s article, “Birding on Southern Vancouver Island”, is an invaluable resource to birders [read more...]

                      Rare Bird Alert: April 11, 2014

                      When it rains it pours in early spring, it seems. Not just in the flood of year firsts returning to North America from parts south, but also in the number and scope of rarities in the ABA Area. Two states pick up first records this week – sure it’s nothing like the streak we saw [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.
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