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#ABArare – Great Black Hawk – Maine

2018 has certainly not wanted for unbelievable bird records. August brings us yet another mind-blower when a raptor discovered and photographed on August 6 in York County, Maine, turned out to be a young Great Black Hawk. The ABA’s 1st record (still pending) of this widespread Neotropical species was discovered on South Padre Island, Texas, this past April.

The bird was seen in the vicinity of Lord’s Pond, near the intersection of pf Maddox Pond Road and Fortunes Rock Road in Biddeford, Maine. This is approximately 30 minutes south of Portland, Maine. Since the bird was reported yesterday it has not been found again, but it could be anywhere in the vicinity.

Great Black Hawk is a wide-ranging neotropical raptor, found from northern Mexico through most of tropical South America. It comes as close to the ABA Area as southern Tamaulipas in Mexico. As mentioned above, a young Great Black Hawk was photographed in south Texas in April of this year. Interestingly, even that was not the first time Great Black Hawk had been documented to occur in the ABA Area. For decades birds were seen by many birders on Virginia Key in Monroe County, Florida. The whole mysterious story is related in depth by Tropical Audubon Society here. Those birds were never accepted by state records committees by virtue of unknown provenance.

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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.