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Rare Bird Alert: December 29, 2017

The ABA first Mistle Thrush continues to be seen in eastern New Brunswick, with the bird’s hosts, the Gadds, comtinuing to go above and beyond in helping birders find it. California continues to host one or more Nazca Boobies (4) and the continuing Garganey (4). Tamaulipas Crows (4) were seen once again in Texas this week, and multiple Pink-footed Geese (4) and Barnacle Geese (4) are present in a handful of states and provinces in the northeast.

California hosted another White Wagtail (3) this week, in San Bernardino. The species is fairly regular in Alaska but a real rarity anywhere else in the ABA Area.

Outside of Alaska, California has the most records of White Wagtail in the ABA Area, the latest this week. Photo: Tom Benson/Macaulay Library

We have one 1st record to report this week, in Colorado, where an apparently pure Red-breasted Sapsucker has been seen by many birders this week in El Paso.

In British Columbia, a Lesser Goldfinch has been visiting a feeder in Victoria.

Washington had a nice-looking Blue Jay in Bow.

A nice bird in Arizona, a Rough-legged Hawk was photographed in Apache.

In Texas, a Common Redpoll was seen in Amarillo, up in the panhandle.

Nebraska’s 6th record of Harlequin Duck was seen in Burt.

Illinois also had a Harlequin Duck this week, in Clinton in the south of the state.

Noteworthy for Virginia, a Black-throated Gray Warbler was seen in James City.

Yet another Fork-tailed Flycatcher (3) in the ABA Area in the last half of 2017, this most recent bird in Plaquemines, Louisiana.

And in Florida, both an Elegant Tern and a Brown-crested Flycatcher were seen in Miami-Dade.


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.
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