American Birding Podcast



Rare Bird Alert: October 11, 2019

Either birders have given up or the restlessness of the season has finally captured our long-staying ABA rarities, as none were reported this week. At least not to eBird from whence I usually glean that information.

It’s getting to the end of the season in Alaska, and the long fall is slowly turning into winter, but there are still a few birders in the far flung regions of the state, though they are not long for it. A  White-tailed Eagle (ABA Code 4) was seen in Nome this week, one of very few records for the North American mainland of this Old World equivalent to our Bald Eagle. And on St. Paul Island in the Pribilofs, mid-October brings multiple Rustic Buntings (3), Eyebrowed Thrush (3), and a sharp Gray Wagtail (4).

There is one 1st record to report, and it is once again a southern bird moving north. Alberta’s 1st provincial record of Ash-throated Flycatcher was photographed this week in Edmonton, gamely surviving -10C overnight temperatures.

In the wake of the province’s 1st Brown Shrike, British Columbia has seen some exceptional records in the last week, including a Common Crane (3) at Peace River which is the province’s 2nd, a Green-tailed Towhee in Lumby which is the 12th, and an apparent Red-shouldered Hawk at Metchosinm, the 2nd.

In California, another Nazca Booby (4) was seen in Santa Cruz. 

Utah’s 6th record of Reddish Egret was seen in Moab.

Texas had its second Fork-tailed Flycatcher (3) in as many weeks in Willacy. 

In Arkansas, a Brown Booby (3) turned up at a lake near Fort Smith.

Two noteworthy birds were seen in North Dakota this week, a Black-throated Blue Warbler in Fargo and a Black-chinned Hummingbird at a feeder in Stanley.

Minnesota had a pair of southwestern species with a Black-throated Sparrow near Duluth and a Rock Wren in Minneapolis.

Ontario also had a Black-throated Sparrow this week, in Courtice. This is the province’s 3rd.

Notable for Massachusetts was a Lark Bunting in Essex. 

Virginia had a Kirtland’s Warbler in Northampton this week.

Tennessee’s 2nd record of Virginia’s Warbler was found in Union. Its 1st was only earlier this year. And a Harris’s Hawk in Sevier is notable, though this bird is commonly kept in captivity and local birders are unsure as to its provenance.

Alabama’s 3rd record of Crested Caracara was seen in Baldwin this week.


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.