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#ABArare – White-throated Needletail – Alaska

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#ABArare guru John Puschock sends word of a MEGA in western Alaska.

On June 5, Jess Findlay was hiking down Attu’s Weston Mountain when a swift streaked past him. He was able to snap a few photographs before it flew off. While far from the best photos, they were good enough to show that it was the ABA Area’s fifth White-throated Needletail (Code 5).

Needletail 01

Needletail 02
photos by Jess Findlay

Since the discontinuation of Attours in 2000, the only tour company running spring trips to the legendary island has been John’s Zugunruhe Birding Tours. You can get more information about future trips to Attu at his website.

Prior to this record, Attu has two previous reports of this species (1978, 1984). The other two are from nearby Shemya (1974, 1985). It hasn’t been seen in the ABA Area since 1985.

All sight records likely refer to the migratory caudacutus subspecies.

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Nate Swick

Nate Swick

Nate Swick is the editor of the American Birding Association Blog. A long-time member of the bird blogosphere, Nate has been writing about birds and birding at The Drinking Bird since 2007, but can also be found writing regularly at 10,000 Birds. In the non-digital world, he's an environmental educator and interpretive naturalist. Nate lives in Greensboro, North Carolina, with his wife, Danielle, and two young children, who are not yet aware that they are being groomed to be birders.
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