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Rare Bird Alert: January 20, 2017

Some weeks we have a lot of rarities to report, and some weeks we don’t. Unfortunately, this week fits mostly in the second category, but there are still a great number of persisting ABA vagrants throughout the ABA Area. The long-staying Amazon Kingfisher (ABA Code 5) in Texas has been joined in the state by a Rose-throated Becard (3). The British Columbia Red-flanked Bluetail has stuck through this week, though the Idaho bird has disappeared. The two rare gulls in California made it into the week, but only one made it out. The Ross’s Gull (3) was unfortunately taken by one of the resident Peregrine Falcons, but the Black-tailed Gull (4) is still hanging around. A Bananaquit (4) in south Florida is putting on a good show, and in Arizona, both a Nutting’s Flycatcher (5) and a Streak-backed Oriole (4) continue. The Yellow-legged Gull (4) was seen again this week in Newfoundland, and Pink-footed Geese (4) and Barnacle Geese (4) continue to be seen in a number of states and provinces in the northeast.

The most notable new bird for the week was a lovely male Falcated Duck found among a large flock of wigeon in  Skagit, Washington. The bird has been fairly easy since its discovery, and is the 5th record for that state.

The Washington Falcated Duck has been seen every day since its discovery this week. Photo: Grace Oliver/Macaulay Library (S33729421)

In Colorado, a Glaucous-winged Gull is a noteworthy find in Arapahoe.

Texas had a southerly Black-legged Kittiwake on South Padre Island this week.

I’ve inadvertently neglected to mention this bird this year, despite it’s presence for at least two weeks, but Nebraska has hosted a Golden-crowned Sparrow near Creighton.

In Wisconsin, a California Gull was found in Winnebago.

Pennsylvania’s 5th record of Townsend’s Warbler was coming to a feeder in Columbia.

An Anna’s Hummingbird on the Outer Banks, Dare, North Carolina is that state’s 3rd.

And yet another Western Spindalis (3) was found in Florida, this one in Miami-Dade. It’s the 4th individual to be reported already this year.


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.
Nate Swick

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