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Rare Bird Alert: July 21, 2017

Continuing rarities in the ABA Area include a nesting pair of Black-faced Grassquit (ABA Code 4) and Western Spindalis (3) at the same campground at Everglades National Park in Florida. Arizona also has continuing nesting birds in Tufted Flycatchers (5) and Flame-colored Tanager (4), while a Berylline Hummingbird (4) and Common Crane (4) continue to hang around. And in California, a Blue-footed Booby (4) continues in the Farallones.

We’ll stay in California, where pelagic season is getting interesting with the discovery of a dark=phase Wedge-tailed Shearwater (4) just offshore in San Mateo. The species nests in Hawaii, newly included in the ABA Area, but those birds are all light-phase so this one had to come from either the west Mexico population or one in the southern hemisphere.

A dark-phases Wedge-tailed Shearwater near the North American mainland, like this bird in California this week, is always a great find. Photo: Albert Linkowski/Macaulay Library (S38168338)

Also in California, a good candidate for Nazca Booby (5) was photographed in Monterey, a surprising Wood Stork was discovered in Del Norte, and a Parakeet Auklet was a surprise in San Francisco.

One first record to report (that actually came in after I’d written the rest of this post), a Wandering Tattler was found on the lakeshore at Michigan City, Indiana, a 1st for the state. Incidentally, this site has hosted big-time rarities before. A Lesser Sand-Plover was there in 2013.

Up in Idaho, a sharp male Indigo Bunting was found in Canyon.

Arizona had a Magnificent Frigatebird pass over Pima this week.

Noteworthy for New Mexico is an Eastern Wood-Pewee in Bernalillo and a White-winged Crossbill in Taos.

A pair of Elegant Terns were photographed in Kleberg, Texas. Also good for Texas is a Buff-breasted Flycatcher in the Davis Mountains, and a Varied Thrush in Randall.

Michigan also had a Wood Stork, near Jackson, one of the farthest afield records so far in what looks like it will be a big dispersal year for the species.

Quebec’s 3rd record of Swallow-tailed Kite was photographed in Le Rocher-Percé.

In Nova Scotia, a young Yellow-crowned Night-Heron was found in Cole Harbour.

Maine’s annual Little Egret (4) has apparently returned to its marsh near Portland for another year.

In Pennsylvania, two different Roseate Spoonbills were seen this week, one in Cumberland and another in Lancaster.

Virginia also had Roseate Spoonbills, a pair in Charles City.

In North Carolina, a Black-bellied Whistling Duck was seen in New Hanover.

Kentucky also boasts a Wood Stork this week, in Livingston.

And in Tennessee, a young Brown Pelican was seen in Sullivan, and a Roseate Spoonbill  seen in Blount.


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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