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Rare Bird Alert: January 12, 2018

It was a relatively slow week in rare birds this week, with the continuing ABA rarities almoat as numerous as the new birds of note. The ABA 1st record Mistle Thrush is still holding court in Miamichi, New Brunswick. Texas boasts both Blue Bunting (ABA Code 4) and Tamaulipas Crows (4) in the lower Rio Grande Valley. The Hawfinch (4) is still being seen in an Anchorange, Alaska, neighborhood. California has at least 3 good ABA Area birds sticking around in Garganey (4), Nazca Booby (4), and White Wagtail. In Arizona, the Sinaloa Wren (5) is still being seen and may stick around as others have in the past. And Pink-footed Goose (4) and Barnacle Goose (4) are being reported at a number of spots in the northeast.

With the largest state list in the ABA Area, it’s a big deal when California gets a potential new species. They added Citrine Wagtail at the end of last year and this year starts off with a Tropical Parula (3) in Orange. The bird has been on private property, but local birders have been able to arrange opportunities to see it to great effect.

Tropical Parula is regular now in south Texas, but rare anywhere else. One in California was an unexpected, but nonetheless appreciated. Photo: Robert McNab/Macaulay Library

There was one other 1st to report this week. The Minnesota 1st Tufted Duck (3) mentioned last week managed to cross the Mississippi River into  Pierce, Wisconsin, where it represents a 1st record for that state as well.

North Dakota had a Clark’s Nutcracker in Hettinger.

Arizona’s 3rd record of White-winged Crossbill, and the 2nd this winter, came from Coconino.

Notable for New Mexico was an Eastern Towhee photographed in Socorro.

Texas had an apparent American Black Duck in the Dallas area.

New Jersey had an Eared Grebe in Hunterdon.

In New York, a Townsend’s Solitaire was seen in Nassau

And in Maine, a Varied Thrush turned up in Kittery.


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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