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Rare Bird Alert: November 17, 2017

Continuing birds include the return of Tamaulipas Crow (ABA Code 3), still being seen reliably at the Brownsville Dump in Texas, the long-staying Blue-footed Booby in California that researchers on the Farallones have been keeping tabs on, a Thick-billed Vireo (4) in Florida, and a handful of Pink-footed Geese (4) and Barnacle Goose (4) scattered around the northeast.

While this week didn’t produce a whole lot in the way of ABA Area novelties, there are a handful of 1st records to report. In Oregon, a Eurasian Skylark in Lincoln represents a 1st for the state. It’s the second in the northwest this fall, following a bird at Neah Bay in Washington. British Columbia may also host vagrant birds as well, but it’s harder to pick those birds out of the resident population on Vancouver Island. Also noteworthy for Oregon this week, a Virginia’s Warbler has been visiting a feeder in Portland.

The second Eurasian Skylark in the northwest in as many weeks, this bird in Oregon also represents a state 1st. Photo: Russ Namitz/Macaulay Library

California also boasts a surprising 1st record this week, when a Band-rumped Storm-Petrel was captured in a net set up for Burrowing Owls on SE Farallon Island, San Francisco. While the subspecific identification of this bird was not noted, it’s likely to come either from the population that breeds in the Hawaiian Islands or the one that breeds in the Galapagos. Given the spate of Humboldt Current breeding birds on the west coast this summer, headlined by the Swallow-tailed Gull in Washington, the latter origin is a compelling thought. Along the same lines, a Red-footed Booby (4) in San Mateo this week was also a very nice bird, particularly so far north.

One last 1st to report, this from from the middle of the continent. A Common Eider was found on a lake in Davidson, Tennessee, furnishing a 1st for the state, the fourth 1st record for Tennessee in the last couple months. Common Eider is far less common as an interior continent vagrant than King Eider.

Down to Florida, where a MacGillivray’s Warbler was photographed in Lee.

Good for South Carolina was a Western Kingbird well-photographed on Seabrook Island.

North Carolina has a trio of noteworthy birds this week, a Bell’s Vireo in Buncombe, a Rough-legged Hawk  in Ashe, and a King Eider in Dare.

Virginia’s 2nd record of Black-chinned Hummingbird was photographed at a feeder in Accomack.

In Maryland, yet another Brown Booby (3), this time in Worcester.

A flyby Pacific Loon was a good bird for Cape May, New Jersey.

New York had a Say’s Phoebe in Orleans.

Good birds in Massachusetts include a Townsensd’s Solitaire in Dartmouth, a MacGillivray’s Warbler in Hadley, and the state’s 4th record of Hammond’s Flycatcher in Middlesex.

Maine’s 2nd Bullock’s Oriole was found on Monhegan Island.

In New Brunswick, a Tropical Kingbird was found on Cape Tourmentine.

Michigan had a King Eider in Belle Isle.

In Wisconsin, a Ash-throated Flycatcher was discovered in Ozaukee.

Snowy Owls continue to make their presence known farther south than typical, and the latest was in St. Charles, Missouri.

Nebraska had a Williamson’s Sapsucker in North Platte, and a surprising two individual Harris’s Hawks in the state, in Knox and in Saline, the 4th and 5th state records respectively.

Good for Texas, a Rose-throated Becard (3) was seen in Hidalgo.

Colorado had a Glaucous-winged Gull in Park and a Brant in Douglas.

Notable for New Mexico, a White-winged Scoter was seen in Chaves.

Arizona’s 3rd record of Couch’s Kingbird has been hanging out in Pima this week.

In Utah, a Brown-capped Rosy Finch was in Grande and a Dusky-capped Flycatcher found in Washington.

Nevada’s 4th record of Thick-billed Kingbird was seen in Clark.


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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