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Rare Bird Alert: June 8, 2018

Notable ABA Area rarities continuing into this week include the Little Egret (ABA Code 4) in Maine, one of the Bahama Mockingbirds (4) that were seen in Florida earlier this spring, and the Tufted Flycatcher (4) in Arizona.

The ABA’s 3rd record of Stygian Owl was a surprise one-day wonder in Monroe, Florida, early in the period. The two previous records of this mysterious species came from Texas and were most likely of the northern Mexican subspecies. This 1st record for Florida is almost certainly of the Caribbean population, which some authorities suggest might be a good species in its own right should the taxonomy of this unusual bird every be worked out. In any case, it was truly a shocker of the sort we’ve been enjoying quite a bit lately.

Photo: Mark Hedden

A couple additional 1st records for the period, both of which are waterfowl related. Vermont becomes the latest state to host Black-bellied Whistling-Ducks, when a pair of them turned up in Addison this week for the 1st time.

And in Nebraska, a small group of Fulvous Whistling-Ducks was seen near Lincoln for a state 1st. Formerly known as quite a wandering species themselves, Fulvous was more or less replaced as the expected vagrant by Black-bellied in recent years. Perhaps we can begin to see both whistling-duck species showing up in the future.

And in Kansas, that state’s 1st record of Bronzed Cowbird was seen in Seward, a displaying male and a female. Also good for that state, a Golden-crowned Sparrow was seen in Geary.

St Paul Island in Alaska had a busy few days when a large flight of Asian vagrants made things exciting. Notable among those were Oriental Cuckoo (4), Common Cuckoo (3), Siberian Rubythroat (4), Eurasian Hobby (4), Gray-streaked Flycatcher (4) and Red-flanked Bluetail (4), along with a large number of more expected vagrants like Olive-backed Pipit and Eyebrowed Thrush. On Adak in the Aleutians, a Falcated Duck (4) was a nice find, as were Great Knot (4) and Eurasian Bullfinch (4) on the mainland in Nome. It might have been Gambell who came up with the unexpected prize, however, when along with a Temminck’s Stint (3), birders found Alaska’s 2nd (and 1st photographed) record of Bay-breasted Warbler.

British Columbia’s 5th record of Crested Caracara was photographed in Bella Coola.

Good for Alberta was a Little Blue Heron at Frank Lake.

California had a Glossy Ibis in Yolo

Clark, Nevada, hosted the very odd combination of a Hepatic Tanager and a Kentucky Warbler this week.

In Wyoming, a Hooded Warbler was captured at a banding station near Centennial.

In Texas, a Mexican Violetear (4) is visiting a feeder in Hidalgo.

South Dakota’s 2nd record of Black-chinned Hummingbird was present at a feeder in Rapid City this week.

Fork-tailed Flycatcher (3) in Genesee, Michigan, is the state’s 5th and the second in 2018.

Good for Ontario, a Painted Bunting was seen in Erieau, and a Virginia’s Warbler captured at the banding station at Long Point.

Indiana’s 2nd record of Roseate Spoonbill was seen in Bloomington.

Notable for West Virginia was a Painted Bunting in Monongalia, the state’s 4th or 5th record.

Pelagics out of Hatteras, North Carolina this week continued to produce with European Storm-Petrel (4) and Fea’s Petrel (3), and a Purple Gallinule was seen onshore in Dare. 

Virginia also has a young Roseate Spoonbill in Fredricksburg.

Continuing in the wader theme, a young Wood Stork was found in Howard, Maryland.

New Jersey had a flock of Black-bellied Whistling-Ducks in Mercer.

In Rhode Island, a Curlew Sandpiper (3) was seen in Westerly.

A boat out of Bar Harbor, Maine, found a Brown Booby  this week.

In New Brunswick, a Black Vulture was photographed in Memramcook.

And in Quebec, good birds include an Acadian Flycatcher in La Haute-Côte-Nord and a Lark Bunting at Bas-Saint-Laurent.


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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