aba events

Birding Photo Quiz: August 2017

The "Featured Photo" in the August 2017 Birding is timely! How so? Well, we'll give you a huge hint:… [read more]

Birding Photo Quiz: August 2017 Birding Photo Quiz: August 2017

2017 AOS Supplement is Out!

Every summer, birders anxiously await publication of the “Check-list Supplement” by the American… [read more]

2017 AOS Supplement is Out! 2017 AOS Supplement is Out!

Changing the World: the ABA at the First Facebook Communities Summit

The experience, or at least the run up to it, was not unlike fishing. First, you feel a tap. Then maybe… [read more]

Changing the World: the ABA at the First Facebook Communities Summit Changing the World: the ABA at the First Facebook Communities Summit

Happening NOW: Dickcissels on the Move

Dickcissel is a summertime staple of America’s Heartland. However, it has also garnered a reputation… [read more]

Happening NOW: Dickcissels on the Move Happening NOW: Dickcissels on the Move

Hawk “Kettle” Finally makes the Dictionary

Birders have a unique vocabulary, cribbed together from science, literature, and a thesaurus thrown at… [read more]

Hawk “Kettle” Finally makes the Dictionary Hawk "Kettle" Finally makes the Dictionary

Introducing the 2017 Bird of the Year!

It's the moment that surely dozens of you have been looking forward to for hours now, the announcement… [read more]

Introducing the 2017 Bird of the Year! Introducing the 2017 Bird of the Year!
Nikon Monarch 7

Rare Bird Alert: September 22, 2017

This week sees vagrants continuing in western Alaska, shifting southward to St. Paul this time around. Lots of birds moving across the continent in this busiest month of fall migration means lots of wayward individuals, and this week continues the trend of a lengthy RBA we started last week. First, though, continuing rarities are getting scarce with the perhaps never leaving Tufted Flycatcher (ABA Code 5) recorded again in Arizona this week, as well as the long-staying Blue-footed Booby (4) in California.

We start again with Alaska, where exceptional birds continue in the Bering Sea outposts. On St. Paul in the Pribilofs, a Dark-sided Flycatcher (4) was a highlight, along with at least 2 Gray-streaked Flycatchers (4), a Green Sandpiper (4), a Common Rosefinch (4) and a candidate for Kamchatka Leaf-Warbler (5). In the Aleutians, another Kamchatka Leaf Warbler (5) was well-photographed, as well as a Gray-streaked Flycatcher (4) on Adak. Gambell checks in with 2 Siberian Accentors (4).

The long bill and wings suggest that this bird on Adak, Alaska, this week is a Kamchatka Leaf-Warbler rather than the more expected Arctic Warbler. The status of this recently split population in the ABA Area is unclear, but it appears to occur irregularly in western Alaska. Photo: Franklin Haas/Macaulay Library

There were at least 5 potential 1st records this week, starting with South Carolina where a likely Irma-related  American Flamingo (4) was photographed in Charleston by a passing boat captain.

Another potential 1st with unknown, and possibly natural, origins came from Pennsylvania Common Shelduck was found in Luzerne. Some birders suggest that this could be the same bird seen earlier this season in New Hampshire.

Tennessee’s long awaited 1st record of Crested Caracara was discovered in Dyer, along the Mississippi River, this week. The bird was a 3 state rarity, as it was also seen flying into Mississippi, Arkansas and Pemsicot, Missouri, where it was a 2nd record for both.

In Oklahoma, a Masked Duck (4) was found in Tillman, for a 1st record. It has shown well for much of the week to the delight of visiting birders.

And in Colorado, a Tropical Kingbird in El Paso is a 1st record. Other good birds in that state include a Laughing Gull in Kiowa, a Painted Bunting in Adams, and a  Red Knot in Jefferson.

Moving over to British Columbia, a White-winged Dove at Maple Ridge and a Curlew Sandpiper (3) at Delta were both notable.

That same Curlew Sandpiper (3) might have shown up to the south in Boundary Bay, Washington.

In Oregon, an Orchard Oriole was found in Deschutes, the rare OROR in OR.

A Brown Thrasher was found in Boise, the latest of a nice run of southeast species there.

Good for Utah, an American Redstart was in Salt Lake and a Chestnut-sided Warbler in Davis.

September is a fantastic time of year for California, where notable birds include a Little Stint (4) in Monterey, a likely Arctic Warbler in San Luis Obispo, the state’s 3rd record of Fork-tailed Flycatcher in Sonoma, a Louisiana Waterthrush in Orange, and a Hawaiian Petrel (4) offshore in San Francisco waters.

Arizona had an incredible flock of 4 Roseate Spoonbills in Pima.

Kansas had a Frigatebird sp., likely Magnificent given the recent weather but unidentified to species, in Barton.

In Nebraska, a Great Black-backed Gull near Lemoyne was a nice find.

Ohio’s 2nd record of Sooty Tern was seen by many in Tuscawaras, one of the last Irma-related waifs to show up in the middle of the continent. 

In Ontario, an as yet identified Tropical/Couch’s Kingbird was found in Timiskaming.

Quebec ha a nice young Swainson’s Hawk in La Haute-Côte-Nord.

Many birders in Maine and beyond enjoyed a stunning Fork-tailed Flycatcher (3) in Cumberland. Also in the state, a Painted Bunting was photographed on Monhegan Island and a Little Egret (4) has returned (remained?) in Falmouth.

In Vermont, a Northern Wheatear was photographed near Shaftsbury.

Massachusetts enjoyed a nice influx of western birds this week with a Black-throated Gray Warbler in Chatham, a MacGillivray’s Warbler in Orleans, and a Harris’s Sparrow in Minot.

North Carolina had a Ruff (3) in Carteret.

Unusual by range and season, a Black-legged Kittiwake turned up at a lake in Troup, Georgia.

And in Florida, a Zenaida Dove (5) was apparently a one-day wonder near Sebastian,


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.


American Birding Podcast: Bird Tours from the Inside with Rockjumper’s George Armistead

There’s more to a successful bird tour than just pointing out the birds. From logistics to managing personalities, a bird tour guide has to be part ornithologist and part psychologist. Rockjumper Birding‘s George Armistead has led bird tours on all seven continents and has a lot to say on the subject, and he joins me to talk tour tips, places he loves to take birders, and much more.

Also, the new Duck Stamp art for 2018 is out, but I argue that the subject leaves a little to be desired. Plus a whole host of rare birds on opposite ends of the continent.

Resources referenced in this episode include The ABA Blog Hurricane Irma round-up.

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



#MySantaAna Border Wall Update–Your Voice is Needed!

ABA President Jeff Gordon joins hands with other refuge supporters representing a broad coalition of interests along the proposed site of the border wall at the Save Santa Ana protest march last month. Photo ©Stan Sterba

If you want to help preserve and preserve access to some of the greatest birding in the entire [read more…]

#ABArare – Masked Duck – Oklahoma

Though an ABA Code 3 bird, Masked Duck is novel enough to include in this spot as it has been fairly scarce in recent years. On September 17, Joe Grzybowski discovered a female at Hackberry Flat Wildlife Management Area in Tillman County, Oklahoma. In addition to being a good bird for the ABA Area, this [read more…]

Blog Birding #337

Young birder camps change lives and expand horizons. At the ABA’s young birder blog, The Eyrie, Dessi Sieburth shares his experiences at Audubon’s Hog Island Camp.

I attended the camp at Hog Island from June 18th to June 23rd, 2017. Hog Island is a short boat ride away from the mainland in Bremen, Maine. The [read more…]

Rare Bird Alert: September 15, 2017

What a week, highlighted by the vagrant floodgates opening in western Alaska and Hurricane Irma bringing heavy winds and seabirds to many places throughout the southeast. Between those two events, this is the biggest RBA of the fall, both in quality and quantity.

First, a quick rundown of continuing birds. The Swallow-tailed Gull (ABA Code [read more…]

#ABArare – Hurricane Irma Bird Round-Up

Hurricane Irma will not soon be forgotten by those impacted. We’ve all seen the sobering images of the destruction caused by this historically powerful storm, and we at the ABA wish our friends and members in Florida and throughout the Caribbean well as they assess the damage and work to clean up. Irma’s status as [read more…]

Open Mic: A Birders’ Exchange Success Story

At the Mic: Alexander Alvarado


March 2011.

I was finishing my first tour with a group from USA when a company called High Lonesome Bird Tours hired me to be with them. My emotions were very high after my first experience birding with 10 people. The day after I met a guy [read more…]

Happening NOW: Mountain Birds on the Move, But How Extensively?

This past Friday at a local hotspot in Boulder, Colorado, I was mildly surprised by a Williamson’s Sapsucker. The species is routine in the warmer months in the mountains in the western part of my county, but I’d never seen one east of the foothills. A quick check of eBird confirms it:

Williamson’s Sapsuckers [read more…]

Blog Birding #336

What does the torrential rain and wind of Hurricane Harvey mean for what is one of the most environmentally important places on the continent? Laura Erickson explores.

When the worst hurricanes descend upon us, while thousands of people’s homes are still underwater and the death toll of human beings continues to climb, it can seem [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.
If you like birding, we want to hear from you.
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  • Open Mic: Young Birder Camp at Hog Island: Coastal Maine Bird Studies for Teens September 11, 2017 3:07
    At the mic: Dessi Sieburth, an avid birder, photographer, and conservationist, is a 10th grader at Saint Francis High School in La Canada, California. He is a member of the Pasadena Audubon Young Birder’s Club and Western Field Ornithologists. Dessi enjoys birding in his home county of Los Angeles. Last summer, Dessi attended Camp Colorado, […]
  • Introducing the Whimbrel Birders Club! September 7, 2017 2:33
    Whimbrel Birders Club was established at the first annual Illinois Young Birders Symposium in August 2016. We are a birding club truly meant for everyone, no matter your age, disability, or ethnicity. […]
  • Open Mice: Kestrels–An Iowa Legacy May 16, 2017 6:29
    A few years ago, a short drive down my gravel road would yield at least one, if not two, American Kestrels perched on a power line or hovering mid-air above the grassy ditch. Today, I have begun to count myself lucky to drive past a mere one kestrel per week rather than the daily sightings. […]

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