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Rare Bird Alert: May 19, 2017

We head into the tail end of spring migration, and across much of the continent we’re seeing the slow start catch up with a vengeance. Elsewhere, birds are going about nesting, including vagrants in Arizona that look like they are going to be sticking around awhile. The nesting Tufted Flycatchers (ABA Code 5) are joined in Arizona by a pair of nesting Slate-throated Redstarts (4), the long-staying Flame-colored Tanager (4) is still present and the state 1st Common Crane (4) was present into the beginning of the week. In Florida, most of the Caribbean vagrants have moved on, but the Black Noddy (3) on the Dry Tortugas is still being seen from time to time.

Sticking to Florida, which has been red-hot this spring, a Bahama Woodstar (5) was discovered in Brevard. This is the ABA Area’s 6th record, all but one have been from Florida. Shockingly, in the aftermath of this find, a photograph is what is apparently a different bird originally a few weeks ago, came to light, making 2 different woodstars in Florida this spring.

Apparently the 2nd Bahama Woodstar in Florida this spring, this Brevard County bird has been accommodating to those who have traveled to see it. Photo: Marlo Hill / Macaulay Library (S36932660)

Also seen in Florida this week, a Fork-tailed Flycatcher was found in Hendry, and a Red-footed Booby (4) in Monroe.

An unusual potential 1st, a Black-backed Oriole was reported from near Stamford, Connecticut, this week, but not refound. Notably Stamford is about 150 miles east-northeast from the site in eastern Pennsylvania where the ABA’s potential 1st record of Black-backed Oriole spent  much of the early spring.

Exciting for Virginia, a Albatross sp., possibly Yellow-nosed, was seen near shore in Virginia Beach.

Delaware had a Little Egret not far from the ABA headquarters in Delaware City.

In New Jersey, a Painted Bunting was visiting a feeder near Monmouth.

Noteworthy for New Brunswick, a Tricolored Heron was discovered near Chance Harbour.

Tis the season for wandering Swallow-tailed Kite. Nova Scotia’s 10th or 11th record was photographed in Yarmouth.

Newfoundland’s 3rd record of Painted Bunting showed up at a feeder in Isle aux Morts.

Good for Quebec, a Prairie Warbler was found in Estrie.

In Ontario, a Willow Ptarmigan wandered south to be seen in Toronto, and a couple Swainson’s Hawks have been seen near Niagara.

Manitoba becomes the latest spot with a Ruff (3), with one near Winnipeg

In Michigan, a Fork-tailed Flycatcher (3) has been present in Iosco for a couple days.

Wisconsin’s 5th record of Lewis’s Woodpecker was visiting a feeder in Bayfield.

Good inland, both a Laughing Gull in Dubuque and a Brown Pelican in Johnson are notable for Iowa.

Arkansas had a Lark Bunting in Logan.

A pair of Limpkins were at a lake in Covington, Alabama.

In Oklahoma, a Lesser Nighthawk was photographed in Cimarron.

In South Dakota, a Green-tailed Towhee was seen in Stanley.

We don’t often mention Wyoming here, so it’s especially exciting that there are two nice birds in that state, the 13th Glossy Ibis in Lander, and the state’s 2nd Curve-billed Thrasher near Cheyenne.

In Colorado, a Baird’s Sparrow was worth noting in Larimer.

Utah’s 4th White-eyed Vireo was found, along with a Scissor-tailed Flycatcher in Utah.

Idaho had a surprising California Scrub-Jay near Boise.

Now is the time of year we turn our gaze up to western Alaska, where a pair of Common Pochard (4) were found on St Paul Island, and an Eyebrowed Thrush (4) on Adak, among more expected spring vagrants.

In British Columbia, a Hermit Warbler and an Ash-throated Flycatcher  were both in Victoria this week.

In Washington, a Eurasian Skylark was photographed in Clallam.

A Short-tailed Albatross (3) was seen from a repositioning cruise in Curry, Oregon.

And in Nevada, a White-eyed Vireo was found in Nye.


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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