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Rare Bird Alert: November 16, 2018

Noteworthy continuing rarities in the ABA Area this week include the Gray Heron (ABA Code 5) in Newfoundland. Both Golden-crowned Warbler (4) and Roadside Hawk (5) continued to be seen into the past week in Texas. The Red-footed Booby (4) has been sitting tight in California, and a Bananaquit (4) was seen in Florida at least into the beginning of last week.

The end of the year always seems to produce excellent birds from Florida, and 2018 appears to be no exception, with the season’s 1st LaSagra’s Flycatcher (4) found in Miami-Dade. Also in the impossibly birding Miami-Dade, a 3rd Key West Quail-Dove (5) was reported from a banding station in the county, an incredible run of this often very difficult Caribbean vagrant.

One of the most extraordinary records of the year came this week from Ontario, where a White-crowned Pigeon was photographed in Renfrew. This is potentially a provincial 1st record and, by far, the farthest north this species has ever been recorded.

Nevada also had a 1st record this week, when a Field Sparrow was found in Clark. Not long after that record, the same site produced the state’s 5th Winter Wren.

In California, a Eurasian Skylark is an excellent find in Del Norte. 

Colorado had both a Harris’s Hawk and a American Black Duck in Larimer. More, a Golden-crowned Sparrow was seen in Boulder.

frigatebird sp was photographed in Dane, Wisconsin, this week. Unfortunately the photos cannot be parsed to species.

Good for Louisiana was a Sage Thrasher in New Orleans. 

North Carolina has a Bar-tailed Godwit (3) in Carteret for the second straight year.

In New Jersey, a LeConte’s Sparrow was seen in Cape May.

New York becomes the latest state to score a Gray Kingbird this fall, with one found in Suffolk.

And in Massachusetts, Essex was hopping this week, as it usually is in the colder months, with a Black-throated Gray Warbler and a Pink-footed Goose (4).


Omissions and errors are not intended, but if you find any please message blog AT 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 <>, the richly illustrated journal of ornithological record published by the ABA.


American Birding Podcast: The Internet of Wildlife with Mike Lanzone

One of the more exciting aspects of birding and birding science in the 21st Century has been the reveal of a great many secrets of bird movements and migration, much of it the result of technology. Increasingly small trackers that are fitted to various bird species enable scientists, and those of us on the sidelines, to follow along, sometimes in real time, with where these birds are going. Mike Lanzone s the 2017 recipient of the ABA’s Chandler Robbins Award for Conservation and Education, and he’s the co-founder and CEO of Cellular Tracking Technologies, the people who develop the devices and figure out the best way to use them. He joins me to talk about how it all works and what amazing things he has planned.

Also, the 2018 ABA Awards recipients are out, and they are an amazing group of birders, conservationists, and scientists. And I share some thoughts about that Central Park Mandarin Duck.

Join the ABA in Thailand early next year for Birding and Photography. Get more information at the ABA Travel!

Subscribe to the podcast at Apple PodcastsStitcher, and Google Play, and please leave a rating or a review if you are so inclined! We appreciate it!


The Cattle Egret Chronicles

In March of this year, I was blessed to have the opportunity to travel to and write about the birding in Beaumont, Texas, a magnificent meeting point of avifauna from the north, south, east, and west of the ABA Area. Within moments of arriving in one of Beaumont’s premier birding hotspots, Cattail Marsh, I had [read more…]

Blog Birding #387

Kelp Gull is one of the most mysterious regular vargants to the ABA Area, and Amar Ayyash at Anything Larus tries to figure out why, and whether we are overlooking these birds.

The overwhelming majority of records in North America are adult type birds, which begs a reoccurring question, are we overlooking young Kelp Gulls? [read more…]

Rare Bird Alert: November 9, 2018

Noteworthy continuing birds in the ABA Area include a trio from our some of North America’s birding hotspots. A Golden-crowned Warbler (ABA Code 4) continues in south Texas, a Key West Quail-Dove (5) is seen on and off in southern Florida, and the long-staying Sinaloa Wren (5) was seen once more in southeastern Arizona.

The [read more…]

#ABArare – Gray Heron – Newfoundland

On November 2nd, Karen Mercer discovered an ABA Code 5 Gray Heron in Renews, Newfoundland. This individual, unlike the one found offshore earlier this fall, was easily seen by many birders in subsequent days. This is a 4th record for Newfoundland and only about the 10th for the ABA Area.

Photo: Dave Brown/Macaulay Library

[read more…]

#ABArare – Spotted Redshank – Michigan

On November 2, Alan Ryff and Maggie Jewett discovered an ABA Code 4 Spotted Redshank in a farm pond in Washtenaw County, Michigan. The bird was refound the next day by other birders and since November 3 has been seen each day at the same site more or less without fail. This is a 2nd [read more…]

Blog Birding #386

A pursuit of a songbird by an Accipiters is one of the great, and underrated, chases in world, but it can be deadly for both if a window pane is involved. Ron Dudley of Feathered Photography has more.

In writing back I identified the birds as a Cooper’s Hawk and a female House Finch, suggesting [read more…]

Rare Bird Alert: November 2, 2018

The craziest rare bird news of the week has to do with a returning, which is not something we say often. But the rediscovery of the ABA’s 1st Great Black Hawk (ABA Code 5) in Maine this week represents another chapter in what is turning out to be the wildest rare bird story of the [read more…]

Birding Photo Quiz: August 2018

Wait. What? The August Photo Quiz? But haven’t we already done October? Correct, we’ve already done October. Long story short: We simply forgot to post the August Photo Quiz. Sorry about that! And without further ado . . .

This bird is rather obviously an adult male Northern Harrier. That white rump, a field mark [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.
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