American Birding Podcast



Rare Bird Alert: October 25, 2019

Continuing rare birds in the ABA Area include a Red-footed Booby (ABA Code 4) in California and the Antillean Palm-Swift (5) in south Florida.

This week turned out to be one of the most impressive of what has been a pretty exciting rarity year, with no fewer than five 1st state and provincial records including some real doozies. So without furhter ado, we’ll jump right into it.

The early headliner for the week was a Yellow-browed Warbler (5) in Victoria, British Columbia, the province’s second east Asian mega in the last month. This little Old World warbler represents the 1st record for both the province and for Canada, and was all the more exciting because it showed so well in the days following its discovery. This was the 11th for the ABA Area, with all previous records coming from western Alaska.

But that wasn’t the only individual of this species to show up in the western part of the continent. A second Yellow-browed Warbler for the week was seen in Alpine, California, where it represented a 1st record for that state as well as a 1st for the Lower 48. But these two finds cause one to recall a 2006 sight record of Yellow-browed Warbler from Wisconsin in late October, that at the time was only accepted to the state’s hypothetical list but now looks a whole lot more interesting.

Remarkably, those were not the only incredible records for the period. From Pennsylvania, comes the fairly shocking discovery of a Snail Kite in Erie, obviously a 1st state record and by dar the farthest north record of this species.

A Black-tailed Gull (4) in Tadoussac, Quebec, represents a 1st provincial record of this east Asian larid.

And from Alabama, a White-crowned Pigeon photographed on Dauphin Island would be a 1st record for that state.

From North Carolina, a Lazuli Bunting was reported from Dare, which would be the state’s 5th record.

New Hampshire also had a Lazuli Bunting this week, coming to a feeder in Concord.

In Connecticut, an apparent Western Meadowlark was photographed near Westport.

Massachusetts continues to boast a wonderful run of rare birds including a Purple Gallinule in Norfolk, a Tropical Kingbird in Middlesex, and yet another Townsend’s Warbler in Dukes. 

Nova Scotia saw its first Pink-footed Goose (4) of the season in Cape Breton.

In Ohio, a Purple Gallinule was present in Lorain, and a Sharp-tailed Sandpiper (3) turned up in Wyandot for the state’s 3rd record.

Noteworthy for Michigan was a Lark Bunting at Ontonagon.

In Colorado, a Sprague’s Pipit was seen in Yuma. 

At Washington’s Neah Bay in Clallam, easily one of the finest vagrant traps in the west of the continent, if not all of North America, an Indigo Bunting, an Orchard Oriole, and a Hooded Oriole were found this week. They were joined on the other side of the Olympic peninsula by a Black-tailed Gull (4) in Port Townsend.

And in Arizona, a Ruff (3) was found in Yuma. 


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.