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Rare Bird Alert: November 3, 2017

The New Jersey Common Greenshank (ABA Code 3) continues to be a highlight among returning rarities, with hundreds, perhaps thousands, of birders making their way to Forsyth NWR this week to find it. In Florida, a Thick-billed Vireo (4) is still accommodating birders at Bill Baggs State Park, and the long-staying California Blue-footed Booby (4) in the Farallones is still a pelagic highlight this week.

This week lacked the ABA Area rarities that we’ve become somewhat accustomed to this fall, but there is a very interesting 1st record to report. In Northwest Territories, not a place we typically get to mention in this space, a Blue Jay at a feeder in Thebacha represents a 1st territorial record. Blue Jays are currently showing up across the northwestern part of their range, the result of a region-wide irruption that has been noted in a number of mountain states and provinces. This record, however, is an early outlier.

Blue Jays are currently staging a big movement north and west this winter, with an outlier in Northwest Territories representing a territorial 1st. Photo: Gabriela Koehler/Macaulay Library

In the spirit of outliers, Hawaii hosted a Little Stint (4) near Pearl Harbor this week.

Idaho had a pair of Harris’s Sparrows in Ada.

Good for California was a Tricolored Heron found in San Diego.

Another point in the Blue Jay irruption this fall was one in Croydon, Utah.

Good anywhere in the continent’s interior, a Eurasian Wigeon was found in Pueblo, Colorado.

Texas had a coulple good birds in the western part of the state, a Rufous-backed Robin (3) in Randall and a  Northern Pygmy-Owl at Guadalupe National Park.

Noteworthy for Nebraska was a White-winged Dove in Omaha.

In Louisiana, a White-tailed Hawk in Jefferson has been accommodating for birders.

Alabama had a small flock of Bronzed Cowbirds in Baldwin this week.

It’s been a good month for Say’s Phoebe in the southeast, and no place is better than Georgia which has three, in Lee, Mitchell, and Miller.

North Carolina’s 4th record of Broad-billed Hummingbird was visiting a feeder in Dare.

Ohio’s 2nd Calliope Hummingbird was similarly at a feeder in Delaware.

Delaware had a Swainson’s Hawk in Hockessin this week.

A pair of good birds were reported in Ontario, both near Ottawa, in the form of a Black-throated Gray Warbler and a Razorbill.

The geese have come to Massachusetts with both a Barnacle Goose (4) and a Pink-footed Goose (4) in s a single flock in Westfield. Another Pink-footed Goose was in Barton Cove, and a young White Ibis found in Hampshire

In Quebec, a Cave Swallow was a good find at Bas-Saint-Laurent, and a Black-throated Gray Warbler was seen at La Haute-Côte-Nord.

Nova Scotia’s 5th record of Dusky Flycatcher was found in Shelburne.


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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