April 23, 2021
Because of continuing COVID-19 cases in many states and provinces, the purpose of this report is to keep homebound birders caught up rare bird sightings across the ABA Area. The ABA encourages readers to respect state, provincial, and local suggestions with regard to non-essential travel. The ABA’s Recording Standards and Ethics Committee has released guidelines on how birders should approach this ongoing pandemic and we urge birders, whether they are members of the ABA or not, to consider traveling to see a rare bird. Stay safe and healthy, everyone. We’re almost through this.
Continuing rarities in the ABA Area include Northern Jacana (ABA Code 4) in Arizona, Black-faced Grassquit (4) in Florida, Blue Bunting (4) in Texas, and, at least into the beginning of the week, the European Golden-Plover (4) in Massachusetts.
One of the more surprising finds of the young year comes from Maryland, where a Zone-tailed Hawk was photographed in Baltimore this week. This species has been recorded in the eastern part of the continent in the past, though typically in flight. One picked up while perched is fairly remarkable. This is a 1st record for Maryland.
New York also had a 1st record this week and surprisingly enough it was another swallow, this time a Violet-green Swallow in Saratoga. But that wasn’t the only western vagrant to grace the state this week, a Black-throated Gray Warbler was also seen in Erie, the first for the state away from the New York City area.
Up to Quebec, where a Neotropic Cormorant in Outaouais is an exceptional record for the province, as was a Fish Crow in Estrie.
Massachusetts had a Cave Swallow in Essex this week, notably from the Caribbean subspecies, a first.
Notable for West Virginia was a nice adult White-faced Ibis in Mason.
Down to Florida, where a somewhat expected annually La Sagra’s Flycatcher (4) was sen in Miami-Dade, and a Fork-tailed Flycatcher (3) turned up in Monroe. And in Escambia, in the panhandle, the state’s 4th record of Hooded Oriole.
In Washington, a Black-headed Gull in Pierce was a nice find.
And in California, a sharp Little Stint (3) was seen in San Diego.
Omissions and errors are not intended, but if you find any please message blog AT aba.org 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.