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Rare Bird Alert: August 4, 2017

August means migration across the continent, the first push of shorebirds and passerines making their way south. Much of that is still going on under many birders’ radars right now, but it’s been hard to miss the dispersal of wading birds this year. Herons, egrets, and storks continue to be the headliners this week, with at least one huge surprise. We’ll get to that, but first the continuing birds.

The Pied Wheatear in Nome, Alaska, was seen again this week after having not been reported for a couple weeks. That’s likely mostly to do with few people out looking for it after the initial rush northward. Breeding Black-faced Grassquits (ABA Code 4) and Western Spindalis (3) continue in Florida. Tufted Flycatcher (5) and Flame-colored Tanager (4) are both still being reported in Arizona. Little Egrets (4) are still present in both Maine and Delaware, and the Blue-footed Booby (4) continues to hang out in California.

There might not be a more dramatic ABA Area vagrant than Jabiru (4), and the giant neotropical stork was seen by several this week in Chambers, Texas, just east of Houston. This is about the 15th record for the ABA Area, all but a few have come from Texas.

Also in Texas, an Aplomado Falcon (3) from what is most likely one of the west Mexican populations was seen in Reeves, and a White-eared Hummingbird turned up in the Davis Mountains.

We have one 1st record to report, in Kansas, where a Brown Booby was photographed perched atop a non-functioning wind turbine in Gray, one of the craziest circumstances involving a state 1st that I can recall recently.

Stint season continues out west in California where a Little Stint (4) was found near San Jose and a Red-necked Stint (3) near Hayward.

Missouri’s 9th record of Wood Stork was found in Vernon this week.

Pennsylvania continues to host a good diversity of southern waders, the latest a Tricolored Heron in Montour.

In Newfoundland, a Common Ringed Plover, the second of the summer for the island, was seen feeding around a dead whale in Biscay Bay.

New Brunswick’s 2nd Burrowing Owl was an exceptional find at Castalia Marsh.

A pair of nice birds for Maine this week, include a Brown Pelican in York and a Black-necked Stilt in Knox.

Connecticut’s 2nd record of Bridled Tern was seen on Falkner Island this week. The location is federally protected and closed to birders.

And sad news from Florida, where a Key West Quail-Dove (4) was picked up by a rehabber in Miami-Dade, and eventually succumbed to its injuries.


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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