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Rare Bird Alert: March 17, 2017

Continuing rarities in the ABA Area this week include the famous Black-backed Oriole in Pennsylvania, and the Streak-backed Oriole (4) in Arizona. A Rose-throated Becard (3) continues in south Texas, as does a Redwing (4), now apparently singing, in British Columbia. The Hawfinch (4) in Anchorage, Alaska, is still coming regularly to a feeder and a Western Spindalis (3) is still being seen into this week in south Florida. There are a handful of Pink-footed Geese (4) continuing in the northeast, but their numbers are declining with every week.

Perhaps the most interesting new bird in the ABA Area this week was an Ivory Gull (3) present for a few days in Flint, Genessee, Michigan. The bird was first discovered at the end of last week and present through the weekend. Sadly, it was not in good health and died in the early days of this week.

One first record to report, from Utah where a Common Crane (4) was discovered among a flock of migrating Sandhill Cranes in Grand. The bird was present only one day. 

Most rarity-ridden locale of the week has to go to Florida, which has had an impressive run of Bananaquit (4) so far this year. Two were discovered in the last week, one in Miami-Dade and another in Broward. And an Elegant Tern was photographed in Pinellas, one of a few eastern records of this species.

In Georgia, a Ruff (3) was photographed on St. Simon’s Island.

Alabama had a Cinnamon Teal in Limestone.

Good for Texas was an American Black Duck photographed near Dallas.

In New Mexico, a Black-capped Gnatcatcher (3) was discovered in Hidalgo.

The Arizona Tufted Flycatcher(s) (5) have apparently returned for another season, and one was seen in Cochise this week.

In Nevada, a Brown Thrasher was photographed in Clark.

Worth noting for California was a young Slaty-backed Gull (3) in Monterey.

Idaho’s 5th record of Tufted Duck (3) was a nice male near Caldwell.

In Colorado, a Red-shouldered Hawk was seen in Larimer.

Wisconsin had a Cinnamon Teal in Sheboygan.

And back up around to Newfoundland where a Ruff (3) was found in Renews.


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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