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Rare Bird Alert: March 2, 2018

Mistle Thrush in New Brunswick is still being seen, though much less frequently than before. In Arizona, a Sinaloa Wren (5) appears to be setting up for the warm season and may stay awhile. The Texas Blue Bunting (4) is still around, as are the Garganey (4), Black-tailed Gull (4), and Nazca Boobies California. Pink-footed Goose (4) is present in New York and Massachusetts, with an additional Barnacle Goose (4) in the former.

These last couple weeks have proven excellent for Ruff (3) in the ABA Area, with the most notable seen this week in Victoria, Texas. These early spring birds are almost certainly individuals that have overwintered in the Americas and are heading northward with returning shorebirds.

This Ruff in Victoria Co, Texas, is one of many seen throughout the ABA Area in the last couple weeks. Photo: Mark Terry/Macaulay Library

Other noteworthy Ruff (3) in the ABA Area include one in McIntosh, Georgia, and another in Jasper, South Carolina.

One of the more interesting birds of the period was a Bananaquit (4) that landed on a cruise ship and was released by the crew in Lee, Florida. Obviously, some birders are wary of counting ship-assisted birds, particularly those as overtly ship-assisted as this one, but there are no ABA listing rules preventing it. Notably, the bird looked to be from the white-chinned Cozumel population.

Another Tufted Duck (3) was found in the Mid-Atlantic this week, in Harford, Maryland.

In New Jersey, a Brown Booby (3) was seen onshore in Monmouth. 

In Maine, a Slaty-backed Gull (3) was photographed in Augusta.

Nova Scotia has had a Eurasian Collared-Dove, still quite rare in the northeast of the continent, in Annapolis, since last month.

In Newfoundland, a Mew Gull was seen in St. John’s.

A nice-looking adult Laughing Gull was seen in Ozaukee, Wisconsin.

In Iowa, a Great Black-backed Gull has been present in Jackson.

And a great bird in the interior west, a Eurasian Wigeon was photographed in Salt Lake, Utah.


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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