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.

An Overview of Early Fall 2022 Southern Rockies Irruptions and a Primer on Bird Irruptions

February 2nd, 2023|0 Comments

Some folks lament the transition into cold weather seasons, as days grow shorter and nights dip toward frigid temperatures, but for many birders, fall and winter provide an opportunity to observe a fascinating and sometimes unpredictable phenomenon: dispersal and migration following the breeding season.

Red-legged Honeycreeper Irruption along Northern Gulf Coast

December 14th, 2022|4 Comments

Four Red-legged Honeycreepers were discovered in Louisiana and the Florida Keys on the same day in mid-Oct 2022 in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Karl. Subsequently, reports kept surfacing until an astonishing total of eleven locations in three Gulf Coast states and The Bahamas had played host to the species.

Hurricane Fiona Report 2022

October 11th, 2022|1 Comment

Hurricane Fiona tore through the West Indies before heading north all the way to Canada’s Atlantic Region, where it was the strongest recorded storm for the latitude. It brought with it Canada’s first Trindade Petrels, as well as Sooty and Bridled terns, White-tailed Tropicbird, Black-capped Petrel, and Magnificent Frigatebird.

ABA Area’s First Icterine Warbler at Gambell, Alaska

September 27th, 2022|2 Comments

An ABA-Area first Icterine Warbler at Gambell tops off an amazing early fall in Alaska thus far. This misoriented migrant may have made an incredible over-Arctic journey from its breeding grounds in Scandinavia to St. Lawrence Island, where it joined an already spectacular roster of vagrants found in September 2022.

Invasion of the Northern Lapwings

March 25th, 2022|0 Comments

The 2021−2022 invasion of Northern Lapwing into the ABA Area continues into spring as several more reports of this striking Palearctic plover occurred in Mar 2022. Read all about the lapwings that turned up from Newfoundland and Labrador south to Virginia, as well as the weather phenomenon that brought them to the ABA Area.

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...

Free Digital Collection of “Missing” Southeast Arizona Bird Vocalizations

August 7th, 2020|Comments Off on Free Digital Collection of “Missing” Southeast Arizona Bird Vocalizations

SEAZ Birds: The Missing Tracks is a 117-track, 75-species, five-disc digital collection. It includes regular species with missing calls (such as Crissal Thrasher), regional specialties and subspecies (such as Elegant Trogon), rare birds (such as Rufous-capped Warbler), and long-expected state-firsts not yet on the Arizona Checklist (such as Rusty Sparrow).

The Bird We Always–Never Knew

March 12th, 2020|2 Comments

The Mexican Duck, Anas [platyrhynchos] diazi, is considered by the American Ornithological Society and the ABA to be a subspecies, but many ornithologists believe it probably warrants full-species rank. This article reviews the basic natural history and field identification of this little-known member of the ABA Area’s avifauna.