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Rare Bird Alert: March 3, 2017

Things are beginning to pick up in the ABA Are this week, as the slow turn to spring begins. Though you wouldn’t know it from the weather in the eastern half of the continent this week, which seemed to swing wildly between normal and way above normal. In any case, that brief stint of warm weather came without the accompanying birds of spring.

Continuing rarities in the ABA Area this week include the Pennsylvania Black-backed Oriole, both a Rose-throated Becard (3) and a Golden-crowned Warbler (4) in Texas. The Yellow-legged Gull (4) in Newfoundland has finally made it into consecutive week’s reports. The Redwing (4) is still being seen in British Columbia, as is the Streak-backed Oriole (4) in Arizona, the Brambling (3) in Oregon, and a number of Pink-footed Geese (4) and Barnacle Geese (4) in various places throughout the northeast.

It was a very good week for (Common) Mew Gull in a few spots in the northeast, including New Hampshire’s 2nd record of the European counterpoint to our western North American breeding Mew Gull in Salem.

It was a very good week for Common Gull in the ABA Area, including this bird from New Hampshire. Photo: Kyle Wilmarth/Macaulay Library S34894429)

Massachusetts also had a (Common) Mew Gull this week, in Essex.

And Nova Scotia completes the (Common) Mew Gull triad, as one has been seen for at least two weeks in Eastern Passage.

Delaware’s 2nd record of Pink-footed Goose (4) was discovered among a flock of Snow Geese near Milford. This is the farthest south record of this species in North America.

New York had a Thayer’s Gull in Oswego, in the west of the state.

Noteworthy for Colorado was an American Black Duck in Weld.

In New Mexico, a Rufous-backed Robin (3) was seen in Grant, one of fewer than 20 records for the state. This has been a very good year for this species in neighboring Arizona.

And in Oregon, a sharp Gyrfalcon was seen and photographed by many in Linn.


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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