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#ABArare – Ash-throated Flycatcher – Alaska

Lately it seems that everytime I check Birding News, my email, or Facebook there’s a report of a new first state or provincial record. One of the latest is an Ash-throated Flycatcher, first found Nov 7 in Ketchikan by Steve Heinl, Andy Piston, and Will Young. Ash-throated Flycatcher is currently on the Alaska state list only as an unsubstantiated species. One was seen in Juneau on Jul 20, 1999. It was photographed, but only in silhouette, and the records committee felt this evidence was not strong enough to add it to the official list.

ABArare Ash-throated Flycatcher Alaska 01

ABArare Ash-throated Flycatcher Alaska 02photos by Steve Heinl

The flycatcher was found on a south-facing right above the waterfront near downtown Ketchikan. Heinl says this is a great neighborhood for finding late warblers, and it had a Tropical Kingbird Nov 27, 1998. In an email to me, Heinl wrote “As one might expect, the bird is a hatching-year bird, as it still retains juvenile, mostly rufous outer rectrices and rufous-edged secondaries. I finally heard the bird call today [Nov 12] – a short, quick “pip”, sometimes “pip pip”. The call note eliminates Nutting’s Flycatcher (I know, exceedingly remote possibility), which also tends to be smaller billed.”

A visiting birder from Anchorage saw the bird on Nov 12. I am unaware of any reports, either positive or negative, since then.

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John Puschock

John Puschock

John Puschock reports ABA rare bird alerts and manages #ABArare for the American Birding Association. John is a frequent participant in rare bird forums around the web and has knack for gathering details necessary to relocate birds. He has been a birder since 1984 and now leads tours for Bird Treks, as well as for his own company Zugunruhe Birding Tours. He has led tours to locations across North America, from Newfoundland to New Mexico and from Costa Rica to Alaska. He specializes in leading tours to Adak in the Aleutian Islands.
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