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Rare Bird Alert: March 24, 2017

If you haven’t been paying attention to Cornell’s exceptional Birdcast site in preparation of the coming spring migration, let me just be the first to suggest you do so. Birdcast takes data from eBird and combines it with meteorological predictions to essentially create migration forecasts, telling you where adn when birds will be moving into your area. It’s fantastic, and constantly improving. Consider this recommendation a public service announcement, though one without the storm sirens for inclement weather. Though sirens for inclement migration sounds like something we should work on…

Continuing rarities in the ABA Area include the Black-backed Oriole in Pennsylvania, the Hawfinch (ABA Code 4) in Alaska, and the Yellow-legged Gull (4) in Newfoundland has been easier of late. The Redwing (4) continues in British Columbia, as does the very long-staying Streak-backed Oriole (4) in Arizona. One of the Florida Bananaquits (4) is still around, and there continue to be multiple Pink-footed Geese (4) and Barnacle Geese (4) in the northeast.

Last week I mentioned the apparent return of the Tufted Flycatchers (5) that had spent the last two years in Upper Ramsey Canyon in southeast Arizona. This weeks sees two additional Tufted Flycatchers discovered to the north in Carr Canyon, Cochise. So there are at least 3 and potentially 4 Tufted Flycatchers in the ABA Area right now, and at least one pair is likely to nest.

This Tufted Flycatcher in Carr Canyon is but one of what is apparently the largest incursion of Tufted Flycatchers in the ABA Area ever. Photo: Owen Strickland/Macaulay Library

In Utah, a Eurasian Wigeon was a nice find at Bear River NWR.

Kansas’s 5th record of Williamson’s Sapsucker has been present in Russell for several days and is showing very well.

In Illinois, a Golden-crowned Sparrow was visiting a feeder in Woodford.

Noteworthy anywhere away from Alaska, a “Bewick’s” Tundra Swan was found in Aylmer, Ontario.

Newfoundland had a Slaty-backed Gull (3) join the diverse flock of gulls in St. John’s harbor.

In Massachusetts, a Smith’s Longspur was seen near Saugus, potentially the same bird that was seen at this location at around the same time last year.

Delaware had a sharp male Painted Bunting at a feeder in Wilmington.

Good for District of Columbia this week was a Tricolored Heron.

And in Georgia, a Vermilion Flycatcher was photographed in Charlton.


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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