December 15, 2023

Texas’s ridiculous run of rarities continues into this week with Bare-throated Tiger-Heron (ABA Code 5), Gray-collared Becard (5), Crimson-collared Grosbeak (4), Golden-crowned Warbler (4), Roadside Hawk (5), Mottled Owl (5), and Brown Jay (4) all seen this week.  The Red-flanked Bluetail (4) in New Jersey continued at least through the beginning of the week, and in California, a Little Stint (4) is still ebing seen on and off again as it has through the fall.

Florida leads the way with new birds added to the list in 2023, and that streak continues into the end of the year with a 1st state record Brewer’s Sparrow in Palm Beach Co, originally seen at the end of last month.

Texas has also had quite a year, with the most recent surprise being the state’s 1st Yellow-footed Gull (3) in Amarillo, a bird that has been present for at least the last month but was only correctly identified recently. Texas and neighboring New Mexico have both added this species in the last two years.

New Mexico fills in a long-overdue gap in Nutting’s Flycatcher (3) states, with a state 1st seen in Sierra Co. The species is regular in recent years in both Arizona and Texas, though not especially close to the New Mexico border in either.

And in South Carolina, a Hermit Warbler in Sumter Co is a state 1st and only the second record of this western warbler in the southeast.

Minnesota joins the Ancient Murrelet party with a bird this week in Two Harbors, which might be the same individual seen a couple weeks ago in northern Wisconsin.

And in British Columbia, a Baikal Teal (4) in Numukamis Bay is not the first record, but the first documented by a birder and not a waterfowl hunter. A Brambling (3) in Kitimat is also noteworthy for the province.

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.