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Rare Bird Alert: May 5, 2017

Continuing ABA Area rarities include the Garganey (ABA Code 4) in Newfoundland. Florida continues to be full of Western Spindalis (3) and Bananaquit (4), with Black Noddy (3) on and off. Bahama Mockingbird (4) and Thick-billed Vireo (4) stuck around into the beginning of last week.  Arizona birds look to be sticking around for the long haul, as Flame-colored Tanager (4), Streak-backed Oriole (4), and Tufted Flycatcher (5) all continuing.

Adding to the good ABA birds in Arizona was a Slate-throated Redstart (4) in Cochise. This species has been fairly reliable in southeast Arizona in recent years.

Photo: Matt Fraker

Staying out west, California had the first Little Stint (4) of the year in Monterey.

Oregon had a pair of Bar-tailed Godwits in Waldport. The birds were banded and pinned to birds banded in New Zealand.

In British Columbia, a Lesser Goldfinch was photographed in Princeton.

In Colorado, a Red-faced Warbler in Montezuma is a 2nd record for the state.

Good birds in New Mexico include a Kentucky Warbler at a migrant trap in Eddy, and a Whimbrel in Socorro.

An Aplomado Falcon in Balmorhea, Texas, is notable for likely being from the Mexico population.

Iowa had a Brown Pelican among a flock of white pelicans in Marion.

In Minnesota, a Smew (4) was reported in Duluth.

Michigan’s 8th record of Golden-crowned Sparrow in Keweenaw is the latest in a spate of sightings of this species in the upper midwest.

Ohio had a Laughing Gull in Clark.

In Mississippi, a Neotropical Cormorant was photographed in Madison, perhaps the first of the season.

New Jersey had a Swainson’s Warbler in Cape May, no doubt a hot target in the upcoming World Series of Birding this weekend.

In South Carolina, a Limpkin was seen in Greenville.

And in New Hampshire, yet another Ruff, this one in Rockingham, the state’s 8th


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

Latest posts by Nate Swick (see all)

  • Eli Miller

    What bird did Colorado have? A Red-faced Warbler or Red-headed Woodpecker?

  • JR Rigby

    Neotropic Cormorants may be nesting in MS. Here’s a photo of two on nests in Yazoo Co photographed on 22 April 2017.

    • Jared Gorrell

      Wow! That’d be fun if they expanded their range more into the US.

    • Matt Brady

      It’s somewhat hard to believe that Neotropic Cormorant is a rarity in MS. I’d bet that they’re relatively common in Wilkinson County, given how common they are in adjacent Louisiana. It’s just that Wilkinson County is pretty far from anywhere, and is massively under birded. It is good birding though!

      • JR Rigby

        I wouldn’t call them rare anymore, just uncommon. They are certainly regular annually. And there have been several around the state this spring including one in Lee Co which is getting pretty far northeast. As far as I know there are no confirmed nesting records despite suspicions.

  • Brandon Holden

    Ontario – Black-necekd Stilt, Painted Bunting, Western Tanager, White-faced Ibis, Swainson’s Hawk (2), Ruff

  • Josh Kamp

    Also in Michigan, a Neotropic Cormorant found Wednesday evening and continuing until today along with a drake Garganey yesterday and today, both at the Taqhuamenon River mouth in Chippewa County. A female Ruff was posted to ebird in Gratiot county on the 3rd but not identified until later.

  • Zona Birder

    No sign of the Arizona Common Crane in the RBA or as a stand alone post, It’s been there since Friday last and photographed up one side and down the other. Hope you are well Nate and not prevented from noticing it.

    • I’m at biggest week and a little behind. It will certainly be in the next RBA.
      Sent from my phone

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