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Rare Bird Alert: May 25, 2017

Migration continues northward, and with it the promise of rare birds. May means the continent’s rarity eyes turn to Alaska, and those birders stationed on island outposts in the Aleutians and the Bering Sea, which are starting to produce in recent days.

But first the ongoing rarities of note, highlighted by the continuing Golden-crowned Warbler (ABA Code 4) in Colorado which has stayed tight for more than a week. Tamaulipas Crow (4) continues to be seen in Texas, as do Sinaloa Wren (5) and Tufted Flycatcher (4) in Arizona. Multiple Bahama Mockingbirds (4) are still being reported in Florida, as well.

As mentioned above, twitcher nation turns its lonely eyes to Alaska at this time of year, and St Paul Island in the Pribilofs has produced a handful of noteworthy rarities including Tundra Bean-Goose (3), Common Pochard (3), and Terek Sandpiper (3). Hawfinch (4) has also been seen in recent days, with individuals on both Shemya and Adak in the Aleutian Islands. Shemya also had Taiga Bean-Goose (4), Olive-backed Pipit (3), and Eyebrowed Thrush (3) this week.

The ABA group with High Lonesome Birding Tours have been some of the lucky birders so come across a Terek Sandpiper this week. Photo: Jeffrey A. Gordon

One 1st record to report this week, from Rhode Island where a Black-whiskered Vireo was found in Newport, one of only a few records of this neotropical species away from Florida or Texas.

And speaking of, at least two Black-whiskered Vireos were seen in Texas this week, one on South Padre Island and another near San Antonio. A Purple Sandpiper was also discovered on South Padre Island.

Keeping in the vireo theme, Florida had its first Thick-billed Vireo (4) of the season in Miami-Dade.

In Virginia, a Bar-tailed Godwit (3), likely of the islandica subspecies, was seen at Chincoteague NWR in Accomack.

Good for inland Pennsylvania, a Brown Pelican was seen in York.

Little Egret (4) has returned to Falmouth, Maine, for yet another year.

Quebec had a Lazuli Bunting in Mauricie this week.

In Michigan, a King Rail was seen in Genessee, where rumor has it it might be breeding.

Wisconsin had a sharp male Western Tanager in Ozaukee.

Arkansas’s 2nd record of Sage Thrasher was found in Greene.

Nebraska’s 4th Band-tailed Pigeon turned up at a feeder in Hall.

In South Dakota, a Neotropic Cormorant was seen at Fort Sisseton, and an Arctic Tern near Pierre.

Utah’s 3rd record of Pacific Golden-Plover was found in Rich.

British Columbia had a number of good birds this week including a Hooded Oriole in Vancouver, a Snowy Plover at Delta, the province’s 9th Prothonotary Warbler in Princeton, and a Red-throated Pipit (3) in Victoria.

In Oregon, a White-rumped Sandpiper was a very nice find in Clatsop. 

Arizona had a pair of noteworthy eastern warblers in a Prothonotary Warbler in Pima and a Kentucky Warbler in Yuma.

And in New Mexico, a Reddish Egret was seen in Chaves and a Canada Warbler in Santa Fe.


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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