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Rare Bird Alert: December 28, 2018

Noteworthy rarities continuing into the past week in the ABA Area include the Great Black Hawk (ABA Code 5) in Maine, Pink-footed Geese (4) in New York and Colorado, the Golden-crowned Warbler (4) in Texas, the Fieldfare (4) in British Columbia, and a Red-footed Booby (4) in California.

There were no big ABA Area rarities seen this week, but Christmas Bird Counts seem to have resulted in a nice mix of local rarities seen across the continent. There was one 1st record to report, in North Carolina, where a Golden-crowned Sparrow in Currituck will represent the 1st for the state. And if that wasn’t enough, the state’s 3rd record of Black Guillemot was seen in nearby Dare. 

Also good for the Carolinas, a Common Eider is hanging out in Charleston, South Carolina.

For the 4th winter running, a Brown-crested Flycatcher is present in St. Bernard, Louisiana.

Good for Tennessee, a male Eurasian Wigeon was seen at Tennessee NWR.

Virginia had a Say’s Phoebe in Amherst this week.

In Maryland, a Varied Thrush is present in St. Mary’s . 

Notable in the east, a Townsend’s Solitaire is being seen in Indiana, Pennsylvania.

In Massachusetts, a Boreal Owl was found dead in Nantucket, but a living Tufted Duck (3) has been seen near Wilmington.

CBCs were quite productive in Rhode Island, where the state’s 6th Eared Grebe was found near Westerly, and a Magnificent Frigatebird made a flyby at Point Judith.

Ontario also had a Townsend’s Solitaire this week, in Kitchener.

And Wisconsin had a Townsend’s Solitaire as well, in Brown.

Noteworthy anywhere in the Lower 48, a Yellow-billed Loon was found this week in Sully, South Dakota.

Colorado’s 3rd record of Slaty-backed Gull was found at a landfill in Larimer, also in the same flock was a young Glaucous-winged Gull.

In Idaho, a Red-shouldered Hawk was seen in Lewiston, the first for the northern part of the state.

Nevada’s 8th record of Rusty Blackbird was represented by a pair in Clark.

In California, a young Slaty-backed Gull (3) was seen in San Mateo, and a Blue-footed Booby (4) on Southeast Farallon Island.

And in Arizona, a young Black-legged Kittiwake 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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