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Rare Bird Alert: April 5, 2019

Before we start in on the actual rare birds this week, a brief statement on those that weren’t. April Fool’s Day is probably the worst day on the calendar for birders, who are so well tuned to the unusual and novel. So while this week saw a Hooded Crane reported in Colorado and a Whiskered Tern reported in Arizona, those were not actual sightings. I have to say, though, that this year was generally better on that front than we’ve seen in the not too distant past. So a word of caution to those would-be foolers every year; if you’re going to do the April Fool’s thing, make sure you go big. At least go big enough that it’s obviously a joke. There are way too many people ready to rush out to the car at the first hint of a rarity.

The real, no fooling, rarities sticking it out into this week, the Crimson-collared Grosbeak (ABA Code 4), Yellow Grosbeak (4), and Tamaulipas Crow (4) in Texas, and a Blue-footed Booby (4) in California.

The most exciting find of the week came from Florida, though the bird in question didn’t stick around. A Key West Quail-Dove was photographed in Volusia, this week. Subsequent searches for the Caribbean rarity were unsuccessful.

And along the same lines in Colorado, a Tufted Duck (3) in Larimer appears to be that state’s 1st record. It was also, unfortunately, a one-day wonder.

Michigan’s 9th record of Vermilion Flycatcher, a stunning male, was seen in Van Buren. 

Indiana had a Smith’s Longspur in Montgomery. 

In Ontario, a Western Grebe was seen in Mississauga.

And in Quebec, a Barnacle Goose (4) was present in La Vallée-du-Richelieu.


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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