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Rare Bird Alert: October 6, 2017

The summer turn-over is nearly complete, as continuing ABA area notables are winnowing away off to other parts of the world. The California Blue-footed Booby looks to be about the only one remaining into the later parts of the week, after the Oklahoma Masked Duck (3) disappeared earlier this week.

We turn back to Alaska, where a second push of Asian vagrants in the Bering Sea highlights this week. On St. Paul, Dusky Thrush (4) and Hawfinch (4) are excellent landbirds, while a pair of Long-billed Murrelets (3) were seen asea. And on Gambell this week, a Brown Shrike (4) and an Olive-backed Pipit (3) were highlights.

Asian thrushes are always an exciting find in western Alaska, as was this striking Dusky Thrush on St. Paul this past week. Photo: Tom Johnson/Macaulay Library (S39527334)

One potential 1st record from Arizona, which also happens to be noteworthy for the ABA Area as well, a Blue Bunting (4) was reported in Cochise, the first time that species has been reported outside Texas. Also in Arizona, a Rufous-backed Robin was found in Santa Cruz.

Good for California, and anywhere in the Lower 48 for that matter, was a Dusky Warbler (4) in Los Angeles, a Great Crested Flycatcher was also found in Ventura, a county first.

In Washington, a Brown Booby (3) was photographed near Tacoma.

Oregon had a Yellow-throated Warbler visiting a feeder in Corvallis.

In British Columbia, another Black Vulture was seen, this time near Victoria, and a Brown Booby (3) photographed near Richmond.

Still notable for the interior of the continent, a Lesser Black-backed Gull was photographed in Calgary, Alberta, this week.

Utah’s 3rd record of Broad-billed Hummingbird was visiting a feeder in Grand, and a Black-throated Blue Warbler was present in Washington.

Nevada had a Blackburnian Warbler in Clark.

In Colorado, a Couch’s/Tropical Kingbird in Montrose is still unidentified. It would be a 2nd record of either one. Also, a Connecticut Warbler was found in Lincoln.

In Oklahoma, a Williamson’s Sapsucker has been present for several days in Cimarron and a Groove-billed Ani was seen in Tillman.

Nebraska’s 2nd Black Vulture, and the first in the state since 1916, was taken in by a rehabber near Lincoln.

In Saskatchewan, an Anna’s Hummingbird was visiting a feeder in Broadview.

Missouri had a Rock Wren in Rails.

In Michigan, a Ruff was discovered in Tuscola.

Always good for the Great Lakes, a Neotropic Cormorant was present in Whitby, Ontario, this week.

Tennessee had a Kirtland’s Warbler in Unicoi, potentially the state’s 2nd.

In Florida, a brief staying Fork-tailed Flycatcher (3) turned up in Miami-Dade.

North Carolina had a Bar-tailed Godwit in Carteret.

In West Virginia, a Swainson’s Hawk flew over a hawkwatch in Randolph.

Notable so far north, a Black Skimmer was found in Suffolk, Massachusetts.

Quebec also had a Fork-tailed Flycatcher (3) this week, in Anticosti.

In New Brunswick, a Swainson’s Hawk was photographed on Miscou Island.

And in far northern Nunuvut, an American Coot was discovered in Iglulik.


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)

  • Tim Birder

    The kingbird in Colorado was conclusively identified as a Tropical based on calls. Also, a Western Wood-Pewee was seen in Rockingham, New Hampshire on the first of October, which was a state first.

    • Was that the El Paso County kingbird or this new Montrose county bird? There have been two.

      • Tim Birder

        I’m referring to the Montrose bird. The El Paso bird was identified immediately as a Tropical because it was calling quite a lot.

  • Terry Bronson

    The West Virginia Swainson’s Hawk was seen at the Allegheny Front Migration Observatory, which is barely in Grant County.

  • Kirsten Mills

    The black vulture in bc is most likely a previously captive bird

  • Justin Bosler

    For what it’s worth, the first ABA area Blue Bunting was collected in Cameron, Louisiana in Dec 1979.

    • Ah. You’re right. I knew that but had forgotten it.

      Sent from my phone

  • Melissa H

    The Black Vulture on Vancouver Island is now presumed to be an escapee since a raptor rehabilitation facility had an accidental release of one in Duncan , BC.

    More info here


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Recent Comments

  • Steve Hampton, in #ABArare - River Warbler - Alaska... { Photo by Clarence Irrigoo! Great guy that makes birding on Gambell possible. }
  • Nate, in Rare Bird Alert: October 13, 2017... { That's fair about the weather timing. I recall the observers saying something about Hurricane Nate being involved, but how much is not clear. As to... }
  • Gary Bloomfield, in Birding with a Tricorder... { Great essay, Ted! Feel sorry for the guy in the photo who's wearing a red shirt, though. }
  • Steve Shultz, in Rare Bird Alert: October 13, 2017... { I believe the NC swift was seen on Saturday, October 7 (unless the date indicated by the observer on the photo was incorrect). Nate did... }
  • Rick Wright, in #ABArare - Yellow-breasted Bunting - Newfoundland & Labrador... { What a great bird! Sadly topical: }
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