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Rare Bird Alert: August 25, 2017

Our cadre of continuing ABA Rarities continue to shift as the fall migration begins in earnest in mid-August. The Little Stint (ABA Code 4) in Massachusetts has stuck around into this week, as has the Blue-footed Booby (4) in California. The Common Crane (4) in Arizona continues to be the strangest long-staying individual, and the Tufted Flycatcher (5) in the same state was also seen this week. Florida birders reported the continuing Bahama Mockingbird (4) and Black-faced Grassquit (4) this week as well.

It’s definitely stint season now, and while Red-necked and Little are expected somewhere along the coasts nearly every year, stint in the continent’s interior are much less common. A Red-necked Stint (3) in Henderson, Kentucky this week represents a 1st record for that state.

A Red-necked Stint in the continent’s interior is an exceptional bird. Photo: Jamie Baker/Macaulay Library

Nevada also had a first record this week, and an indication that the wader dispersal consists of more tha just flashy Wood Storks and spoonbills. An adult White Ibis in Clark is a very nice find.

And up an New York, a bird with a more unknown provenance. A Common Shelduck was found on private property in far upstate Clinton county. This was on the heels of a young bird in New Hampshire. While one might be willing to initially discount this bird, its location, just south of the St. Lawrence River, is not far from where shelducks that were more widely accepted as natural vagrants have been seen in Quebec in the not too distant past.

And speaking of odd provenance, a Barnacle Goose (4) was found in Dane, Wisconsin, this week. While the species is generally accepted in the northeast, there has been considerable discussion about these birds seen in the Great Lakes.

It’s now the time of year where we start to look with excitement at western Alaska, and the first fall vagrants of the season were recorded this week, a Dusky Warbler (4) on Gambell, and a Baikal Teal (4) on Attu.

California typically sees excellent vagrant searching in the fall as well, most recently a stunning adult Nazca Booby (5) was seen in San Francisco, and a Hawaiian Petrel (4) was seen from an NOAA ship in Ventura waters.

Good for Wyoming, a nice adult Sabine’s Gull was seen in Fremont.

Colorado’s 3rd record of Crested Caracara was discovered in Douglas, and a Bronzed Cowbird was seen in Weld this week.

In Kansas, a Calliope Hummingbird was visiting a feeder in Johnson.

Missouri had a Swallow-tailed Kite in Stoddard.

Michigan also boasted a Swallow-tailed Kite in Hillsdale.

Good shorebirds in Illinois include a Ruff (3) in Fulton.

Indiana’s 5th record of Magnificent Frigatebird was seen in Lake.

In New Jersey, the second Wood Stork of the fall was seen in Monmouth.

Massachusetts had a Bar-tailed Godwit in Barnstable.

In Connecticut, a Brown Booby (3) was photographed on a crab boat in Long Island Sound.

And in Vermont, a pair of Glossy Ibis were found up in Addison.


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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