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#ABArare – White Wagtail – Arizona

Alaskan goodies in the Lower 48, especially as far south as Arizona, are always worth a note here. Yesterday afternoon Doug Backlund found an ABA Code 3 White Wagtail in Pima County, Arizona. This is a 2nd state record for this species, and one of only a few inland records in the Lower 48.

The bird was seen at Ajo Sewage Plant, which is near the corner of North Well Road and Rasmussen Road in Ajo, Arizona. The nearest major city is Tucson, about 2.5 hours to the east. Birders on the scene note that the only viewing is from outside the fence, and that a ladder or a pickup truck to stand in is helpful. A scope is highly recommended.

White Wagtail breed across the Old World, sneaking across the Bering Strait to breed in northwestern Alaska as well. They are a fairly common migrant in western Alaska in fall and spring, but quite rare elsewhere in the ABA Area. Most Lower 48 records are from California, and most of those are within a few miles of the shore. There are only a few inland west records, notably in New Mexico and Nevada. Most vagrant birds are the widespread east Asian ocularis subspecies.

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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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