The ABA’s “Field Ornithology” posts allow for quick dissemination of ornithological news. They are meant to complement North American Birds, which is the longstanding “journal of ornithological record” for birders across North America, from Alaska to Panama and the West Indies. The journal’s mission has been to provide an overview of the changing panorama of the continent’s birdlife—that is, avian status and distribution. More recently, the journal’s scope has expanded to include taxonomy, identification, and behavioral issues, making North American Birds a more holistic journal of North American field ornithology. If you have a topic of interest for possible inclusion as a web-post or as an article in North American Birds, please contact Editor Michael Retter.

Just Another Small-billed Elaenia

December 8th, 2021|1 Comment

On 26 Nov 2021, Susan Zelek photographed an unusual bird at Waukegan Beach, Lake Co, Illinois. It turned out to be a Small-billed Elaenia—the fourth ever for the ABA Area, following two other ABA Area records in 2021 and the ABA Area’s first, also in Illinois, in 2012!

New Distributional and Temporal Records for Birds of the Mexican State of Guerrero

December 7th, 2021|0 Comments

This is a detailed, comprehensive report of bird records from the Mexican state of Guerrero. It treats 94 species, of which 41 are first records for Guerrero. Nine species are resident, and 53 species are described as either data deficient, or their status is currently misrepresented in print.

Lesson’s Seedeater in Québec

October 25th, 2021|3 Comments

A potential ABA Area first, a Lesson’s Seedeater, appeared at Pointe-aux-Outardes, Québec, an intriguing location where a misoriented South American migrant might be expected to turn up. As always with out-of-range seedeaters, especially the striking adult males, provenance must be considered, but could this bird plausibly be a wild vagrant?

Hurricane Nora Report

October 22nd, 2021|2 Comments

Hurricane Nora walloped the Pacific coast of Mexico, making landfall 28 Aug 2020 south of Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco. ABA Area birders realized the impact of Hurricane Nora in the form of a trifecta of spectacular out-of-range storm birds: two Yellow-footed Gulls and a Magnificent Frigatebird.

Early Fall 2021 at Gambell

September 20th, 2021|2 Comments

Fall 2021 has been exciting at Gambell. Highlights from late Aug through mid-Sep include a “Siberian” Common Chiffchaff (representing one of no fewer than four Phyllloscopus species present) and an especially cooperative Middendorff’s Grasshopper Warbler. Common Snipe, Willow Warbler, Dusky Warbler, Little Bunting, and Mountain Bluebird were also notable.

Hurricane Ida Report

September 7th, 2021|2 Comments

Hurricane Ida slammed into Louisiana on 29 Aug 2021, then veered northeast toward New England and the Canadian Maritimes. In the following days, storm-chasing birders encountered the usual post-cyclone waifs such as Sooty Tern and Magnificent Frigatebird, plus astonishing records of Bulwer’s Petrel and Wedge-tailed Shearwater.

The data behind mysterious bird deaths in New Mexico

September 18th, 2020|63 Comments

When we arrived at midnight, we found a macabre scene. Several hundred Violet-green Swallows were strewn across the bank of the Rio Grande. Dozens of birds had stuffed themselves into the few natural cavities, and many more were dead amongst the vegetation.

Hurricane Laura Report

September 8th, 2020|5 Comments

Weather, and its effects on birds, has long been a key point of focus for many birders. There is perhaps one weather-related birding event, however, that piques birders’ interests more than any other...