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Rare Bird Alert: July 7, 2017

The first week of July always seems to be one of the slower weeks of the ABA Area’s rarity year. This year was keeping to that trend, more or less, until news broke of a really big find in western Alaska mid-week. But before we get to that, the continuing rarities are still all in Arizona, where the Tufted Flycatcher (ABA Code 5), Flame-colored Tanager (4), and Common Crane (4) all continue into this week.

Switching up to Alaska, where the quantity of east Asian vagrants has been waning but the quality is still pretty impressive. An apparent Pied Wheater was discovered near Nome this past week, a potential 1st for Alaska and the ABA Area of the primarily Central Asian species. It’s an extraordinary capper on what was already a very good year in western Alaska for extralimital passerines and shorebirds.

Nunavut also gets to boast a surprising 1st this week, with a dead Purple Gallinule salvaged near Kimmirut, on the southern end of Baffin Island, for a territorial 1st record and perhaps a farthest north record by a significant margin for this species.

Quebec becomes the latest, and likely not the last, place this summer to host Black-bellied Whistling-Duck, with a small flock in Montérégie.

Good for Alberta was a Band-tailed Pigeon near Calgary.

Noteworthy for British Columbia was an Indigo Bunting in Abbotsford and an Ash-throated Flycatcher at Port Alberni.

A pair of Rose-breasted Grosbeak were found in Washoe, Nevada, though the female of the pair might be a Black-headed.

In Arizona, a Nutting’s Flycatcher (5) has returned, this one in La Paz.

Illinois had a young Wood Stork in Franklin.

Incredibly, Michigan’s 3rd Fork-tailed Flycatcher of 2017 was found in Delta this week.

Always worthy of note in the Mid-Atlantic, a nice male Ruff was showing off in Atlantic, New Jersey.

And in New Hampshire, a Yellow-nosed Albatross (4) was photographed on Isles of Shoals, quite possible the same individual that was seen in Maine the week before.


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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