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Rare Bird Alert: July 14, 2017

The potential ABA Area 1st Pied Wheatear in Nome, Alaska, continued into at least the early parts of this week, providing a welcome and exciting respite from the long-staying Tufted Flycatcher (ABA Code 5) and Flame-colored Tanager (4) in southeast Arizona, and the amazingly consistent Common Crane (4) in the northern part of the same state.

We turn first to Florida this week, which has been a little quieter since an impressive Caribbean influenced spring, but a Black-faced Grassquit (4) in Miami-Dade is the first of that species in the ABA Area in a couple years.

Black-faced Grassquit in Miami-Dade, Florida. Photo: Shane Runyon/Macaulay Library (S38076850)

At the same site in Everglades National Park, birders found a nesting pair of Western Spindalis (3), lingering from the influx of that species earlier this year. And up near Destin in the panhandle, a Red-footed Booby (4) was found wrecked onshore.

Two 1st records to report this week, both from the opposite side of the continent as the grassquit. In British Columbia, a Curve-billed Thrasher near Burns Lake represents a provincial 1st. The bird looks to be from the nominate eastern subspecies.

And in Alaska, a Rock Wren in Gustavus is a state 1st originally found last week but unfortunately overshadowed by the excitement surrounding the Nome wheater. This makes three 1st records for Alaska this month, one from the southeast, one from the southwest, and one from central Asia.

Stint season is upon us again, and at least two have been seen in the ABA Area away from Alaska so far this month. A Red-necked Stint (3) on Whidbey Island, Washington, was continuing to show well at last report.

Another Red-necked Stint (3) in San Luis Obispo, California, only stayed a very brief time. Pelagic birders exploring the Farallons in San Francisco this week found a Blue-footed Booby (4).

Arkansas’s 3rd record of Broad-billed Hummingbird was a stunning individual at a feeder in Arkadelphia.

In Kentucky, a Brown Pelican was at a lake in Barren.

Quebec had a Tropical Kingbird in Bridgeville this week, one of fewer than 10 records for the province, and a Yellow-crowned Night Heron was seen in Montérégie.

In Massachusetts, a Bar-tailed Godwit was photographed in Chatham.

And in Newfoundland, a Common Ringed Plover was found on the Burin Peninsula.


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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