American Birding Podcast



Rare Bird Alert: October 19, 2018

Continuing birds of note this week include the Golden-crowned Warbler (ABA Code 4) in Texas and the apparent return of the Sinaloa Wren (5) in Arizona, or at least the return of people seeking it out.

Oh, to be in Florida this week, which was not just rare bird central this week but hosted some extraordinary records. The highlight of which was almost certainly the ABA’s 2nd, and Florida’s 1st, record of Double-toothed Kite in Hernando. The bird was well-photographed but unfortunately not found again following its initial discovery.

Double-toothed Kite was recorded once before in the ABA Area–a young bird at High Island, Texas, that was photographed and originally identified as a Cooper’s Hawk until the ID was corrected a month later. Thankfully, the news on this one got out in more or less real time, but that didn’t help would-be finders.

But that was hardly all that Florida had to offer in the past few days. A European Robin (5) in Broward was also a shock. Such a bird like that poses obvious provenance questions, but the species has occurred before in North America, in Pennsylvania, so natural provenance is at least worth considering. With those two finds sucking out all the air, the discovery of a Key West Quail-Dove (5) in relatively northerly Palm Beach becomes almost an afterthought!

We turn to the other side of the continent for this week’s other mind-blowing record. In British Columbia, an Old World Emberiza bunting, tentatively but not conclusively identified as a Pine Bunting (5), was seen in Victoria. Assuming it is Pine, and I do want to make clear that that is far from definite at this point, this would be the ABA Area’s 5th record and the first away from Alaska.

Less confusing was a Gray Kingbird in Clark, Ohio, that would represent the 1st for that state.

South Carolina also got a state 1st kingbird, with a Tropical Kingbird photographed in Georgetown.

And up to Alaska, where the fall’s first and only state 1st record came from North America rather than Asia. A sharp LeConte’s Sparrow on Sitka would represent a state 1st there.

California continues to be the state of Sulids, with another Masked Booby (3) found this week, this time in Santa Cruz. Also noteworthy for the state, a Blue-winged Warbler in Santa Barbara.

Very good for Nevada was a Wood Thrush well-photographed in Clark.

Colorado had both a Harris’s Hawk in Larimer and a young Western Gull in Arapahoe this week.

In New Mexico, a Couch’s Kingbird was photographed and recorded in Socorro.

South Dakota reports a Neotropic Cormorant near Oahe.

Pennsylvania becomes the latest state to host a Black-throated Gray Warbler this fall, this one in Lancaster.

In St Pierre et Miquelon, a Fork-tailed Flycatcher (3) was a nice find for this French territory that we rarely get to mention here.

Notable in Maine this week was a Western Tanager in Harpswell.

The 2nd record of Painted Redstart for Massachusetts turned up this week on Cuttyhunk Island.

In New York, a Scissor-tailed Flycatcher has been present in Albany for much of the month so far.

New Jersey also had a Black-throated Gray Warbler this week, this one in Mercer.

And in North Carolina, the state’s 2nd record of Common RInged Plover was found at Pea Island NWR  in Dare. 


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.