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Rare Bird Alert: November 13, 2015

Noteworthy ABA rarities continuing in to this week include one of the four Northern Jacana (ABA Code 4) in Texas, interestingly the one farthest north. The Sinaloa Wren (5) is sitting tight in Arizona and the Streak-backed Oriole (4) was seen this week as well.

Bird of the week honors this time around goes to British Columbia, where an Oriental Greenfinch (4) was photographed in Victoria. This is a potential 1st provincial record, but it’s actually the third time this species has been seen in British Columbia. Neither of the previous individuals passed the provenance test, and the odds of this one following suit are largely dependent on whether or not it can be identified to subspecies even though the timing and weather are in its favor. But first it needs to be found again, as it has not been seen since the initial discovery.

Photo by Geoffery Newell

Photo by Geoffery Newell

Also notable for BC, a Northern Parula was seen at Vaseux Lake.

Yet another potential 1st with a cloud over it comes from Pennsylvania, where a decent candidate for the state’s 1st record of Dusky Flycatcher was found, and photographed well by many birders, in Adams. Despite the extensive photo gallery and the recordings of the bird’s vocals, the jury is still out on it. The consensus is mixed, with many leaning towards late Least Flycatcher. In any case, it’s worth mentioning here even if it’s identity falls the wrong way for a state 1st.

A potential 1st Empid with a little more going for it comes from Texas, where an apparent Pacific-slope Flycatcher has been extensively photographed and recorded in Cameron.  Not a first but still a bird of note, yet another Dusky-capped Flycatcher of the fall was found in Hidalgo.

And the last state 1st is the flashiest. A White-eared Hummingbird was photographed at a feeder in Mobile, Alabama, this week, and subsequently banded. This is only the 3rd record in the east, all, notably, along the stretch of Gulf Coast from Mississippi to the Florida panhandle.

Starting out west with the other birds of note for the week, a Yellow-throated Warbler was found in St. David, Arizona, and a Ruddy Ground-Dove (3) in Pima.

Idaho’s 5th Hooded Warbler was found this week in Boise.

Oregon has had a remarkable year for Red-throated Pipits (3), and the state’s 6th total and 3rd of the fall came off the ocean at Newport. Yet another Common Ground-Dove was also found in Clatsop, and a repositioning cruise in Oregon waters had both Mottled Petrel (3) and Flesh-footed Shearwater (3) among the usual suspects.

In Washington, a Black-throated Blue Warbler and a White Wagtail (3) were seen near Tacoma, and a Hooded Warbler was photographed in Clallam.

Alaska has seen a Costa’s Hummingbird hanging in despite show and rapidly dropping temperatures in Anchorage.

Nebraska had a Black-headed Gull (3) in Lancaster.

Missouri’s 12th Rock Wren was photographed in Polk.

In Wisconsin, an Ash-throated Flycatcher in Ozaukee was a nice symbol of the upcoming vagrant flycatcher season.

Michigan had a Varied Thrush in Ostego.

Ontario’s 4th record of Common Ground-Dove was seen this week at Sioux Lookout, the farthest afield this species has been seen so far in this remarkable season.

Newfoundland had a Common Gallinule at Bally Haley.

In Massachusetts, a MacGillivray’s Warbler was photogenic for several birders in Middlesex.

What was only Connecticut’s 5th Franklin’s Gull was found this week in Bridgeport.

In New York, a Harris’s Sparrow was visiting a feeder in Loudenville.

New Jersey had a Mountain Bluebird in Atlantic.

Virginia also had a Ash-throated Flycatcher, a brief visitor in Northampton.

And in North Carolina, the state’s 3rd Burrowing Owl, and the first since the 70s, was seen in New Hanover.


Omissions and errors are not intended, but if you find any please message blog AT 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 <>, 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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