aba events

Introducing the ABA State Guides

  In one of the ABA’s most ambitious undertakings ever, the association has partnered with… [read more]

Introducing the ABA State Guides Introducing the ABA State Guides

Featured Photo: September/October 2014 Birding

  No preamble, no hints. What do you think this bird is? And, as always, why? Tom Johnson's… [read more]

Featured Photo: September/October 2014 Birding Featured Photo: September/October 2014 Birding

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
Nikon Monarch 7

    Rare Bird Alert: December 19, 2014

    Christmas Bird Count season kicked off this week, and it was this annual census that formed the background for much of the rarity-finding this week. Nearly every significant find reported since last weekend was found on a CBC, just going to show that when you get enough birders out in the field, paying exceptionally close attention to every single bird they see, then you’re going to find some good stuff. The rarities are always out there, it seems, but sometimes that little extra effort is needed to really dig them out.

    One of the more interesting records to come out of this week is that case of the Brown-capped Rosy-Finches in Utah. Brown-capped is the most range-restricted of the three North American rosy-finches, and the least likely to stray far beyond it’s core Front Range..er..range.

    But close attention to flocks of Gray-crowned Rosy-Finches found one Brown-capped Rosy-Finch near Salt Lake City, a bird I mentioned in last week’s roundup and only the 2nd record for the state. Subsequent searches for that bird proved fruitful when another individual, the state’s 3rd, was discovered as well. Could this be a false vagrant, present most years but easily overlooked? Or is this merely an exceptional year for the species in the Great Basin (in which case, surrounding states should be parsing those finch flocks). Time will tell, but it’s certainly an interesting coincidence.


    Two Brown-capped Rosy-Finches were found in Utah in the last 10 days, the 2nd and 3rd ever for the state. Photo by Ryan O’Donnell

    No first records this week so we’ll stay in the west. Montana had a Red-throated Loon this week in Fort Peck.

    Quite rare away from the coast, a Eurasian Wigeon (ABA Code 3) was seen in Boise, Idaho.

    In Oregon, a female-type Indigo Bunting was photographed in Clatsop.

    A pair of Acorn Woodpeckers took up residence at a park in Reno, Nevada.

    Birders on a CBC in Houston, Texas, had a Great Black-backed Gull at a local landfill.

    A number of great birds were discovered in Louisiana this week, including a Mountain Bluebird in Washington, a Spotted Towhee in Orleans, and a dark-phase Ferruginous Hawk in Jefferson Davis.

    In Florida, a MacGillivray’s Warbler was found in Palm Beach, potentially the same individual found there last winter.

    In Miller, Georgia, a Say’s Phoebe and two Ash-throated Flycatchers were found in relatively close proximity.

    A Tufted Duck (3) was found in Anne Arundel, Maryland.

    A pair of Barnacle Goose (4) were seen by many Pennsylvania birders in Monroe.

    In Ohio, a Golden-crowned Sparrow has returned to a Hancock feeder for the 6th consecutive year.

    A Eurasian Tree Sparrow found on the Winnipeg, Manitoba, CBC is the 2nd for the province and yet another record of this non-native species away from its upper Mississippi River core range in the last year.

    In Ontario, a Painted Bunting was found near Oakville and a Western Kingbird near Chippewa.

    New Jersey also had a Barnacle Goose (4), one near Ramsey.

    A well-photographed Le Conte’s Sparrow was a highlight in Eastham, Massachusetts, this week, and a Tufted Duck (3) was found near Falmouth.

    In Nova Scotia, an Ash-throated Flycatcher was seen near Dartmouth, but the real highlight was the eventual identification of a mystery Empid in Kings, present since early in the month, as a Dusky Flycatcher, the province’s 4th record.

    In Quebec, the 2nd Yellow-throated Warbler of the season was found at the port of Montréal, a White-winged Dove was in Îles-de-la-Madeleine, and a Townsend’s Solitaire in Chicoutimi-Jonquiere.


    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 Warbler Guide App, featuring 3-D Images

      Tom Stephenson and Scott Whittle’s landmark The Warbler Guide, published last year from Princeton University Press, was widely considered to be one of, if not the, finest family-specific guide for any group of North American birds. In his review for Birding magazine, Edward Burtt said:

      This is a wonderful book. The many, many photographs are superb, and they illustrate the text clearly and abundantly. The text is concise and broken down into bites that precisely explain each illustration. The authors are to be congratulated for their many insights into the identification of North American wood-warblers, and Princeton University Press for reproducing so many excellent photographs so very crisply.

      This is a book that every serious birder should own.

      One of the most exciting aspects of this exciting book, was the clever way in which the authors used spectrograms, various icons, and an incredible array of photos of warblers from every angle to offer the birder a ton of useful information.

      Their app is equally unique, including 3-D renderings of warblers allowing you to see what the birds look like from any and every angle. It’s pretty cool, and we’re excited to share a sneak peek at some of the artwork that has been created for the app.


      The app is scheduled to hit the Apple store soon. This is only one stop on The Warbler Guide App trail. For more information see Birding is Fun, Drunk Birder, Warbler Watch, and tomorrow, 10,000 Birds.

        Holiday Gifts at the ABA Store!

        We mentioned the great optics deal at Eagle Optics this morning, but I would be remiss in neglecting to mention that the ABA Online Shop is another great place to shop for the birder in your life.

        We have shirts, pins, patches, stickers, and hats, including the very stylish and seasonally appropriate fleece cap [read more…]

          Get Eagle Optics Bins for the Holidays, Add an ABA Membership

          Looking for a last minute holiday gift for a birding friend or family member? Or maybe for yourself?

          Our friends at Eagle Optics have once again made their extremely generous membership offer available for another year. With the purchase of any one of a selection of binoculars, running the gamut from EO’s excellent house brand [read more…]

            Alaska Birding and Blogging Begin

            I am back blogging after an extended break due to our move. We did indeed arrive in Alaska, but there was a lot of trauma involved. The shorter story is: as planned, we left Rapid City on August 24th in our Subaru and our Toyota, with our dog and enough belongings so that we could [read more…]

              Blog Birding #215

              Learning about bird identification often means learning more about bird physiology that we ever dreamed of. Laura Erickson takes that to its extreme with a comprehensive look at bird tongues.

              From the time I was a very little girl, I wondered about bird tongues. Well, actually, I wondered about all tongues. Dog tongues lolled out, [read more…]

                2015 ABA Young Birder Camps Open for Registration!

                The American Birding Association (ABA) is pleased to announce their lineup for the 2015 Young Birder Summer Camps – Camp Colorado and Camp Avocet.

                First on the schedule is Camp Colorado, running from July 6-12, will be held once again in Estes Park, Colorado, bordering along the majestic Rocky Mountain National Park.  Campers will find plenty of [read more…]

                  Rare Bird Alert: December 12, 2014

                  This coming weekend marks the beginning of Christmas Bird Count season, another period on the calender which tends to be good for ABA Area rarities. That seems to be less because December is such a great time for vagrants and more because there are so many birders out covering areas extremely thoroughly. I look forward [read more…]

                    Open Mic: The Deal with Alpha-Codes, Part 2

                    At the Mic: Derek Lovitch

                    Part 1 is is here.

                    Short-hand and acronyms are becoming ever more ubiquitous in our society. Heck, some people receive most of their news in 140 characters or less! Acronyms from the military, from sports, and from slang have penetrated every corner of society.  One respondent astutely wondered “if it [read more…]

                      Open Mic: The Deal with Alpha-Codes, part 1

                      At the Mic: Derek Lovitch

                      You’ve seen it on your favorite listserv. Someone posts a sighting using a four-letter (Alpha) or “banding” code. Someone gets upset. Several posts later, the thread continues. And it goes on, and on…

                      Maine-birds, the listserv (Google Groups) of my home state is no different. And recently, just such a [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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                      • 2014 Iowa/Illinois Young Birder Weekend December 15, 2014 9:37
                        By Carl Bendorf On June 14-15, 2014, Iowa Young Birders and Illinois Young Birders hosted a joint field trip weekend along the Mississippi River.  Twenty four young birders from Iowa, Illinois, and Wisconsin had a great time exploring a variety of habitats. One of the highlights was spending time with special guest, Rachael Butek, 2010 ABA Young […]
                      • Young Birder Blog Birding #35 December 5, 2014 7:22
                        November has truly been “Novembird” for much of the ABA area, with a smattering of great birds spread across the region. The grip of winter is finally beginning to take its hold. Lucky for us, there were several nice posts written by young birders over the past month. Many of us are gearing up for […]
                      • Nine Tips for Leading Bird Walks November 18, 2014 9:39
                        Recently, I have noticed an interesting phenomenon. More and more young birders have been leading bird walks. This is awesome and really helps enrich the young birder community, as well as the birding community as a whole. […]

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