American Birding Podcast



Rare Bird Alert: May 10, 2019

Apologies in advance for any missed rarities this week. I’m writing this post from the Biggest Week in American Birding and things are rather busy. Please include any omissions in the comments and I’ll be sure to include them next week.

Continuing rarities in the ABA Area include the Slate-throated Redstart (ABA Code 4) in west Texas, the Pink-footed Goose (4) in Quebec, one or both of the Little Egrets (4) in Maine, and a Red-footed Booby (4) in California.

We were excited about Alaska last week, as the rarity season is creeping closer, and the 1st major card of the spring was thrown down at the end of last week with the discovery of an ABA 1st record of Pallas’s Gull (no code) on Shemya Island, which is, unfortunately, not accessible to non-military personnel. This stunning central Asian gull is widely considered to be one of the world’s most spectacular gull species. This individual stuck around into the week.

That wasn’t the only exciting find on Shemya, as the same checklist that contained the Pallas’s Gull also contained a couple Eurasian Coots (ABA Code 5). There was plenty of fun to be had on the mainland too, as a Falcated Duck (4) seen in Anchorage attracted a lot of Alaska birders. And if that wasn’t enough, a Black-tailed Gull (4) was found in Cordova.

We have a number of 1st records to report this week, starting in New York where a Common Greenshank (3) was seen in Suffolk. This is not only a state 1st bit only the 3rd record for the Lower 48 of this widespread Old World shorebird.

Oklahoma also boasted a 1st record, with a Common Black-Hawk photographed in Comanche. 

A 1st for Texas is always a big deal, especially when that bird is also a first for the Gulf of Mexico, as a Black Turnstone photographed in Jefferson last week was. In the same county a few days later, a Gray Kingbird was subsequently discovered as well. And down in the Valley, a Gray-crowned Yellowthroat was seen at Sanata Ana NWR in Hidalgo, crossing the river between the US and Mexico.

And in Maine, a Zone-tailed Hawk found in Bridgeton would represent a 1st for the state, adding to their exceptional raptor year. Also notable, a Kentucky Warbler was seen in Portland.

Noteworthy for Newfoundland and the entire continent, a Garganey (4) was seen at Plum Point.

Ontario’s 2nd record of Lesser Nighthawk was salvaged at Long Point, unfortunately no longer a living bird.

Notable for Massachusetts was a Townsend’s Warbler in Provincetown.

Pennsylvania had a Brown Booby (3) in the Delaware River near Philadelphia.

In New Jersey, a Curlew Sandpiper (3) was photographed near Hieslerville, and a Brown Booby (3) seen off Cape May. Also good, a Wilson’s Plover turned up in Monmouth. 

In North Carolina, Bermuda Petrels (3) were seen in the Gulf Stream off Hatteras on consecutive days.

Florida continues to rack up the Caribbean rarities with a Zenaida Dove (5) in Miami-Dade, as well as a Bananaquit (4) in the same county. Not onw, but two La Sagra’s Flycatcher (4) were seen this week, in Miami-Dade and Palm Beach. 

In Ohio, a White-winged Dove was seen in Cincinnati.

Minnesota’s 9th record of Black-throated Gray Warbler was discovered in Dakota. 

And in Colorado, a Painted Redstart turned up in Kiowa. 


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.