Tony Fitzpatrick

Enjoy this celebration of birding with great food, music, and art while helping the ABA help birds and birders!

At this afternoon party, we will announce the species, and unveil the painting of the 2020 ABA Bird of the Year, by Chicago icon and prominent American artist Tony Fitzpatrick.

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Rare Bird Alert: September 20, 2019

Noteworthy continuing birds in the ABA Area this week include the re-discovered Thick-billed Vireo (ABA Code 4) and Black-faced Grassquit (4) in south Florida. The extraordinary Eurasian Wryneck (5) stuck around into the beginning of the week on Gambell, as did at least one of the multiple Siberian Accentors (4) there. A Red-footed Booby (4) can still be seen in California, as can Little Egret (4) in Maine.

We’re still seeing the effects of Hurricane Dorian this week, especially in New England and the Canadian Maritimes. As birds reoriented after the passage of the tropical storm, quite a few states and provinces saw very good records. The was two 1st record as a result of Dorian, in Newfoundland where a Marbled Godwit at St. George’s is a surprising 1st for the province, which also saw quite a few Sandwich Terns, Royal Terns, and Gull-billed Terns scattered around the island of Newfoundland.

But that wasn’t all, Newfoundland & Laborador’s 1st provincial record of Broad-winged Hawk also turned up in Forteau this week.

St Pierre et Miquelon also had a pair of Royal Terns this week.

Nova Scotia had a great many southern passerines show up, but the most notable record, which may or may not have been a result of the storm, was the province’s 5th Hammond’s Flycatcher at a banding station in Shelburne. 

Good for New Brunswick, was a Gull-billed Tern at Maces Bay.

Down the coast into the United States to Maine, where a Swallow-tailed Kite near the town of Dennysville was likely not a storm waif, at least not entirely, as this is a good time of year for wayward vagrants of this species.

As if to illustrate that point, Quebec also had a Swallow-tailed Kite this week in Les Maskoutains. 

Massachusetts had an extraordinary week, with an impressive mix of Common Ringed Plover, Townsend’s Warbler, and Gull-billed Tern all in Essex. And a research vessel 150 miles off Nantucket encountered Barolo Shearwater (5), Masked Booby (3),  Red-billed Tropicbird (3), and Trindade Petrel (3) in Massachusetts waters.

In Pennsylvania, a Purple Gallinule was a nice find at Heinz NWR in Philadelphia. 

Ontario birders enjoyed a Curlew Sandpiper (3) in Wellington this week.

In Illinois, a Townsend’s Warbler in Cook was a noteworthy find, and an extraordinary record of Fulvous Whistling-Duck breeding in Monroe was certainly surprising.

Nebraska’s 2nd record of Purple Gallinule was a young bird found in Hastings.

Good for Kansas was a Cassin’s Vireo in Hamilton. 

In Utah, a Ruddy Ground-Dove was reported in San Juan. 

A Sulphur-bellied Flycatcher in Monterey, California, was one of about two dozen for the state but the first for the county.

A nice Broad-billed Hummingbird was visiting a feeder at the Malheur NWR headquarters in Harney, Oregon, this week.

British Columbia had a Snowy Plover in Tofino and an apparent female Garganey (4) in Kelowna.

Alaska continues to produce good birds, with a Marsh Sandpiper (5) making an appearance in Adak. And on St. Paul in the Pribilofs, Siberian Accentor (4) and Red-flanked Bluetail (4) add to what has been a very good fall on the island so far.

Hawaii’s 5th record of Hudsonian Godwit, and the second this fall, was seen this week in Hawaii. 

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Omissions and errors are not intended, but if you find any please message blog AT aba.org 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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