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Rare Bird Alert: September 28, 2018

Continuing rarities in the ABA Area include the ongoing Sulid show in California, where Nazca Booby (ABA Code 4) and Blue-footed Booby (4) are most notable but other, more expected species, are being seen as well.  Utah’s 1st record of  Blue-footed Booby (4) also continues into the week. In western Alaska, a Red-flanked Bluetail (4), Gray-streaked Flycatcher (4), and White-tailed Eagle (4) are still being see on St. Paul Island. The Arizona Tufted Flycatcher (4) is once again being reported, as are Tamaulipas Crows (4) in Texas. And in British Columbia, the previously reported Black-tailed Gull (4) is still being seen into this week.

We’ll begin in Alaska, as is typically the case this time of year. St Paul Island continues to produce, most recently with the ABA’s 3rd record of Solitary Snipe (5). Soon afterwards, a female Common Rosefinch (4) was seen on the island as well.

Photo: Aaron Lang via Macaulay Library

We have quite a handful of 1st records to report this time around. Starting in New Jersey, where a stunning Yellow-green Vireo was pulled out of a mist-net in Cape May. That’s exciting enough, but the individual was fitted with a geotransmitter backpack upon release, offering the opportunity for researchers and birders to follow this amazing rarity on its journey wherever it ends up.

Though we’re more than a week out, Hurricane Florence’s influence is still being felt on the continent. This is especially true in New Hampshire, where a frigatebird sp, most likely Magnificent but left unidentified, was seen in Cheshire. This is a first frigatebird record for that state.

British Columbia enjoys a little of that west coast Sulid spillover in the form of a Red-footed Booby (4) seen off Haida Gwaii. This is a 1st provincial record.

And in North Dakota, a state we rarely get to mention in this place, a Cassin’s Vireo in Ward represents a state 1st. Additionaly, the state’s 2nd Hammond’s Flycatcher was also seen this month, in Divide.

Alberta had a Northern Parula in Calgary this week, one of very few provincial records.

Utah’s 2nd Great Crested Flycatcher was seen near Bountiful.

Nevada’s 7th Cape May Warbler was seen near Primm, in Clark, at a site that also produced noteworthy Prothonotary WarblerTennessee Warbler, and Kentucky Warbler this week.

Arizona had a Tricolored Heron in Pima, and a Yellow-throated Vireo was seen in Cochise……..

Good birds for Texas this week include a briefly staying Piratic Flycatcher (4) in Kimble, and a Golden-crowned Warbler (4) in Hidalgo. Also notable, a Great Black-backed Gull was seen on Galveston beach.

Louisiana’s 9th Great Shearwater was seen offshore in Plaquemines waters.

North Carolina had a surprisingly long-staying Kirtland’s Warbler in Yancey, about the state’s 7th or so.

And in Quebec, a White-winged Dove was seen at Côte-Nord.


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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