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Rare Bird Alert: June 15, 2018

June gets an unfair reputation as being a slow month for birding across much of the ABA Area, but 2018 has shown that some exceptional birds can be found in the first month of summer, especially if you’re interested in seeking vagrants. But before we get to that, a quick round up of the notable continuing rarities around the ABA Area. A Mexican Violetear (ABA Code 4) is still being seen in south Texas, as are Tamaulipas Crows (4) from time to time. The Little Egret (4) continues in Maine. Both Eurasian Hobby (4) and Oriental Cuckoo (4) are still being see on St. Paul Island in Alaska, and the Tufted Flycatcher (4) persists in Arizona.

We’ll start in British Columbia, where a Common Cuckoo (3) on Haida Gwaii Island represents not only a provincial 1st record, but a 2nd record for Canada and one of only 4 records of this widespread Asian breeder away from Alaska. This has been a pretty good spring for Common Cuckoo in western Alaska so it is perhaps not surprising that one overshoots even that state.

This sharp Common Cuckoo was seen feeding among livestock in a cattle pasture. Photo: Mary Helmer

Also good for BC, a Black Phoebe was found in Chilliwack.

There are no fewer than five 1st records in the ABA Area this week, including the British Columbia cuckoo. West Virginia gets in on the incredible Roseate Spoonbill influx of the last couple weeks with a pair of birds in Preston representing a 1st for the state.

In Idaho, a well-documented Alder Flycatcher in Boundary is a 1st there, and a Black-throated Green Warbler in Glenn Ferry looks like the state’s 2nd.

Maine had a Western Wood-Pewee on private property in Washington which will be a 1st record there.

And in California, an Eastern Meadowlark in Modoc represents a long-anticipated 1st record, adding to its ABA Area leading state list. Also in California, a Mississippi Kite was seen in Santa Barbara and a Nazca Booby (4)was seen on a boat trip out of San Diego.

Alaska still has some goodies to share, as a Dark-sided Flycatcher (4) and an apparent Kamchatka Leaf Warbler (5) were seen on Adak late last week.

In Washington, a Common Grackle is a good bird in Clallam.

Nevada’s 2nd record of Tropical Kingbird was found in Clark.

Tropical Parula in Cochise, Arizona, represents the 7th for that state.

In Iowa, a Band-tailed Pigeon was seen in Adair and a Black-bellied Whistling-Duck was seen in Pleasant Hill.

Ohio had a Harris’s Hawk in Holmes and got on the Roseate Spoonbill train with the state’s 3rd record in Lorain.

In Tennessee, a Brown Pelican was seen in Hardin.

Yet another Roseate Spoonbill was seen this week in Kent, Delaware, where it will be the state’s 3rd.

Notable for Quebec, a pair of American Oystercatchers were found at Îles-de-la-Madeleine, and a Tufted Duck (3) was seen at Côte-Nord.

And in Newfoundland, a Northern Wheatear was found at Aspen Grove.


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.