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Rare Bird Alert: December 14, 2018

Notable continuing birds in the ABA Area this week include the Great Black Hawk (ABA Code 5) in Maine, both Roadside Hawk (4) and Golden-crowned Warbler (4) in Texas, and a Red-footed Booby (4) in California.

We’ve certainly become accustomed to annual records of Pink-footed Goose (4) in the ABA Area. In recent years the species has been fairly reliable in the northeast part of the continent as the breeding population in northern Europe continues to increase. But Pink-footed Geese in the rest of the continent are still pretty uncommon, and one in Weld, Colorado, is a real outlier. It remains to be seen whether it will be accepted by the bird records committee as a natural vagrant, in which case it will be a 1st state record, but it’s not completely implausible and several birders have made the trip to see it anyway.

The goose was not the only 1st record for the week. A Hammond’s Flycatcher in Iowa, Wisconsin, represents a 1st for this western flycatcher in that state.

And in Newfoundland a Golden-crowned Sparrow at a feeder in Renews represents a 1st for the province.

Pennsylvania had a nice Black-throated Gray Warbler in Centre this week.

In Maryland, a Barnacle Goose (4) was reported but the location is not being made public at this time.

Noteworthy for Michigan was a young Black-legged Kittiwake in Genesee.

Minnesota’s 2nd record of Tufted Duck was seen in Duluth this week. It was only last winter when the state’s 1st record was seen in the same area.

Good for California was a Brown Thrasher in San Joaquin this week.

In Nevada, two Groove-billed Anis were seen in Clark. 

And in Arizona, a female-type Streak-backed Oriole (4) was photographed in Maricopa. 


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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