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Rare Bird Alert: February 8, 2019

Continuing rarities in the ABA Area include the ABA’s 1st record of Long-legged Buzzard (no code), still present on St. Paul Island in Alaska’s Bering Sea. The Red-flanked Bluetail (ABA Code 4) in Los, Angeles, California is still being seen into this week, as is the White-throated Thrush (4) in Arizona. Texas is still hosting a Golden-crowned Warbler (4), and the Colorado 1st PInk-footed Goose (4) is still present in that state.

What this week lacks in quantity, it more than makes up for in quality. This is especially true in Florida, where a state 1st Black-tailed Gull (4) was a great find in Daytona Beach. That gull, however, was overshadowed a little by an apparent Dark-billed Cuckoo (5) in Palm Beach.

This individual could be the ABA’s 1st record of the extraordinary South American cuckoo, but it’s not the first time it has been recorded in the ABA Area. A specimen from Texas was documented in February 1986, but was not accepted by the ABA Checklist Committee at the time due to questions about provenance. Given the fact that the 1986 bird and the 2019 bird were both recorded in February, within 3 days of each other, may give cause for the current iteration of the ABA CLC to re-evaluate that old record.

Texas also had a multi-vagrant week, with the state’s 6th record of Red-footed Booby (4) in Galveston, and a Crimson-collared Grosbeak (4) in Hidalgo. The latter had been present for at least a couple weeks.

In Arkansas, a Say’s Phoebe was photographed in Pope. 


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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