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Rare Bird Alert: June 21, 2013

Worried about the summer doldrums potentially putting an end to our increasingly ridiculous 12 month + streak of first state/provincial records? No need, as this third week of June saw an additional 2 firsts, both from the Mid-Atlantic, discovered just in the nick of time.

The first came in the wake of Tropical Storm Andrea’s passage through the eastern United States when a White-crowned Pigeon was well-photographed at Chincoteague NWR in Accomack, Virginia. It’s unclear, and perhaps impossible to determine, whether or not it was the storm that acted as the mechanism to drive this bird northward, but pigeons are powerful flyers and capable of dispersing long distances. That said this is still the farthest north record of this species by a considerable margin, previously never having been recorded north of the central Florida coast.

The second first record remains pending as of the time of writing. A yellow-belled kingbird, either a Tropical or a Couch’s Kingbird, was discovered in a city park in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Consensus, based on morphology and a report of vocalizations, is building towards Tropical, but either would be a state first for Pennsylvania.

DSFL DeCiccoArguably the most exciting bird in the ABA-Area is the first mainland record of Dark-sided Flycatcher (ABA Code 4) from Barrow, Alaska. All other records of this Asian Muscicapid flycatcher have come from the Bering Sea islands. (photo at left by Luke DeCicco). From the other direction comes an Eastern Phoebe in Yakutat.

Down in British Columbia, a Brown Thrasher on Calvert Island is a good bird.

Oregon has had a Glossy Ibis at Malheur NWR for most of the week.

A Masked/Nazca Booby (3/not recorded) was reported from a seawatch in San Diego.  Also in the state, a White-rumped Sandpiper was in Los Angeles.

A Brant in Henderson, Nevada, is only that state’s 5th record.

In Utah, a Glossy Ibis near Benson would be one of fewer than a dozen for the state.

Notable away form the immediate coast, a Laughing Gull turned up in San Juan, New Mexico.

Colorado had a pair of Pomarine Jaegers in the state, one at the border of Kiowa/Bent, and another in Park. A Tricolored Heron was also found in Fremont.

A Sulphur-bellied Flycatcher in the Christmas Mountains of west Texas is a review species for that state.

A nice bird north of its core range, a Scissor-tailed Flycatcher drew a few crowds in Fremont, Iowa.

A Long-tailed Jaeger in Roseau, Minnesota, is one of fewer than a dozen records for that state.

In Wisconsin, a Tricolored Heron attracted quite a following in Jefferson.

A Purple Gallinule was reported from Arenac, Michigan.

In Quebec, a Tufted Duck (3) is somewhat regular in winter, but one in June, as is this bird in Sept-Îles, is far more unusual.

Newfoundland had a Tricolored Heron in  Renews, and a Scissor-tailed Flycatcher showed up in Nova Scotia.

The Maine vagrant factory at Scarborough Marsh struck again, this time with a Black-necked Stilt this week.

A report, not yet confirmed, of Gray Kingbird comes from Barnstable, Massachusetts.

A pair of  Wilson’s Phalaropes showed up in Anne Arundel, Maryland.

A booby seen offshore in Dare, North Carolina, was determined to likely be a subadult Masked Booby (3).


Omissions and errors are not intended, but if you find any please message blog AT and I’ll 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


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Nate Swick

Nate Swick

Editor, Social Media Manager at American Birding Association
Nate Swick is the editor of the American Birding Association Blog, social media manager for the ABA, and the host of the American Birding Podcast. He lives in Greensboro, North Carolina, with his wife, Danielle, and two young children. He is the author of Birding for the Curious and The ABA Field Guide to Birds of the Carolinas.
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