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Rare Bird Alert: April 7, 2017

Things are starting to pick up as the weather warms across the ABA Area. Many winter rarities are moving on with only a small handful remaining. Arizona hosts most of them, as the Tufted Flycatchers (ABA Code 5) look to be settling in for another crack at breeding. The Streak-backed Oriole (4) might never leave at this point, but the White Wagtail (3) looks like it has moved on despite making it into the very beginning of this past week. The feeder visiting Hawfinch (4) in Anchorage, Alaska, was seen into this week as well. Few Pink-footed Geese (4) remain, those one was in Maine this past week.

It was a good week for Ruff (3) in the Lower 48 this week, in addition to birds in more expected sites like Newfoundland and California, one was discovered in Charleston, South Carolina. And Michigan did very well, with  Ruffs in both Muskegon and Monroe.

Ruff have been all over the continent in the last couple weeks, including South Carolina where this bird was photographed. Photo: Nate Dias

One first record to report, a late breaking one at that. A Little Ringed Plover (4) was found on Midway Atoll in Hawaii, representing a state 1st there.

In North Carolina, a Red-billed Tropicbird (3) was found onshore at Cape Hatteras, Dare.

Down in Georgia, a Black-headed Gull (3) was at Jekyll Island.

And in Florida, a Least Grebe has been seen by many in Palm Beach.

Ohio had an incredible run of cormorants this past week, when the state’s 2nd Great Cormorant was discovered in Cuyahoga, followed not more than a day later by the state’s 3rd Neotropic Cormorant at the same site. And if that isn’t all, a Say’s Phoebe was also seen in the same county.

In Iowa, a Fish Crow turned up in Polk.

Missouri had a Varied Thrush in a yard in Livingstone.

In Louisiana, a Gray Kingbird was noteworthy at Grande Isle.

Texas had a Short-tailed Hawk, a light phase bird, photographed in Bandera.

In Kansas, a White-tailed Kite was found in Kiowa.

Good for New Mexico was a Whimbrel in Bernalillo.

In Utah, a Pacific Loon was found in Emery.

Not always the most exciting vagrant, a Eurasian tree Sparrow  was photographed in Port Elgin, Ontario.

And in Newfoundland, at least 2 Ivory Gulls (3) were seen at St. Phillip’s around ice flows.


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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