American Birding Podcast



Rare Bird Alert: July 5, 2019

This past June was recently designated as the warmest ever in recorded history. This past month also had an extraordinary irruption of southern species into northern parts of the ABA Area. It probably oversimplifies the mechanisms that lead to bird vagrancy to lay that entirely at the feet of climate change, but the two phenomena are undoubtedly related. Birds, especially those species already prone to vagrancy, will follow familiar climate envelopes, leading to their presence in unlikely places. I think there can be no doubt that this is at work this summer more than most.

Anyway, a number of familiar birds continue into this week, including the ABA’s 3rd record of Red-legged Thrush (ABA Code 5) in Florida, one or more little Little Egrets (4) in Maine, and the Slate-throated Redstart (4) in Texas. A Red-footed Booby (4) is still being seen in California, as is the Common Crane (4) in Arizona, and the Falcated Duck (4) in Alaska.

A slightly late record, but yet another one indicative of this southern birds north pattern we’ve been seeing, came in late May, where a Dickcissel in Hay River, Northwest Territory, represents a territorial 1st, and an opportunity to highlight a place we don’t get to mention often in this space.

That wasn’t the only 1st record in the western part of the continent, this week. In Colorado, a Yellow-green Vireo singing in Baca would represent a 1st for that state.

And in Washington, a Crested Auklet seen from shore at Discovery Park, in Seattle, is a 1st for that state as well.

A pair of noteworthy birds more common in the Bering Sea were seen on the Alaskan mainland this week. A Common Snipe (3) and an Olive-backed Pipit (3) were seen near Utquiakvik (formerly Barrow). Also, the state’s 4th record of Yellow-billed Cuckoo was seen in Anchorage.

Good for British Columbia was a Northern Parula at Fort Hardy.

Michigan gets on the board with a Black-bellied Whistling-Duck in Oakland, the latest of an overwhelming influx of this species north and east this year.

Notable for Pennsylvania was a Western Meadowlark in Mifflin.

In Newfoundland, a Summer Tanager was seen at St. George’s.

And in Quebec, a Tricolored Heron in La Côte-de-Beaupré and an Orchard Oriole at Montérégie were both good for the province.


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.