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Rare Bird Alert: July 28, 2017

Continuing vagrants in the ABA Area are familiar faces by now, leading off with breeding Black-faced Grassquit (ABA Code 4) and Western Spindalis (3) in Florida and Tufted Flycatcher (5) and Flame-throated Tanager (4), along with the continuing (but not-breeding) Common Crane (4) in Arizona. Both Maine and Delaware continue to host individual Little Egrets (4), and a Blue-footed Booby (4) persists in California.

Michigan only added its 1st record of Sharp-tailed Sandpiper (3) in 2015, but the species has been annual since. And that trend continues in 2017 with a bird in Monroe, the state’s 3rd.

Sharp-tailed Sandpiper has been annual in Michigan since 2015. Photo: Brendan Klick/Macaulay Library

It continues to be a great summer for dispersing southern wading birds, and Pennsylvania has been especially fortunate. The latest this week includes a Tricolored Heron in York and a Wood Stork in Potter.

New Jersey also gets into the action with a Roseate Spoonbill in Ocean.

Ontario’s 9th record of Gray Kingbird was an individual at Long Point, and a Tricolored Heron was seen near Toronto.

In Tennessee, a Fulvous Whistling-Duck was among a flock of now-expected Black-bellied Whistling Ducks in Shelby.

Colorado had a pair of notable birds this week with a California Condor in Delores and a Rivoli’s (formerly Magnificent) Hummingbird in Gilpin.

Arizona’s 2nd record of Royal Tern was south of Phoenix, and what looks like the season’s 1st Plain-capped Starthroat (4) was at a feeder in Santa Cruz.

In California, a Flesh-footed Shearwater (3) was seen in Orange.

Amazing for Washington, a pair of Guadelupe Murrelets were spotted from a pelagic out of Westport.

In British Columbia, a Black Phoebe was seen in Richmond.


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)

  • Matt Brady

    The Washington Baikal Teal turned out to be either a female Green-winged Teal or Northern Pintail, depending on the photo the observer submitted (eg, multiple photos of different species were submitted).

    • Thanks. I’ve removed it.

  • Carl

    Where did you hear about the PA Wood Stork? I had not heard about it

    • It was reported on the ABA Rare Bird Alert Facebook group.

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