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Rare Bird Alert: March 31, 2017

Continuing birds that have been with us much of the winter begin to clear out as those we have recently noted in thie space take their place. Arizona, more than other places, sees the intersection, as the Tufted Flycatchers (ABA Code 5) reported recently continue as does the near-resident Streak-backed Oriole (4). The Black-backed Oriole in Pennsylvania is still being seen by those birders still making the effort to find it. And the Yellow-legged Gull (4) looks to be more reliable of late in Newfoundland. The Hawfinch (4) in Anchorage, Alaska, continues to visit its feeder.

Arizona leads the way in new birds as well, with a White Wagtail (3) found in Pima, the state’s 2nd and oe of only a few for the interior west.

The Arizona White Wagtail continued into a second day in Pima, Arizona. Photo: Gordon Karre/Macaulay Library (S35529764)

There were two first records to report this week (well, technically three but involving two birds). In Utah, a Black-throated Green Warbler  was videoed in Logan, a 1st for the state. It is reported that Utah was the last state in the Lower 48 to record this species. 

And in Virginia, a Prairie Falcon has been fairly reliable in Alexandria, along the Potomac River, a 1st there. DC birders have reported the bird flying across the river into the district where it also represents a 1st.

A Brown Booby (3) was photographed on a ship near Port Penn, Delaware, this week.

In New York, a Mew Gull was seen on Staten Island. No report as to which subspecies it is.

Though in Massachusetts, a “Common” Mew Gull was discovered in Barnstable.

A Barnacle Goose was found near Alburgh, Vermont. There are fewer than 10 records for the state.

In Wisconsin, a Brant was found in Columbia.

Kansas had a Vermilion Flycatcher in Johnson, this week, particularly notable as it was in the eastern part of the state.

In Oklahoma, a Broad-billed Hummingbird was visiting a feeder in McIntosh.

A couple groups of Brown Jay (3) were seen this week in Starr, Texas. It has been some years since that species was regularly encountered in the ABA Area. (UPDATE: Per comments, this report appears to be from an erroneously entered eBird checklist)

In California, an apparent Heuglin’s” Lesser Black-backed Gull  in Monterey is a noteworthy discovery. It is a potential 1st record is this taxa is ever split from Lesser Black-backed Gull, as some authorities recommend.

And in British Columbia, an Indigo Bunting was photographed in Port Alberni.


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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