February 2, 2024

Continuing rare birds in the ABA Area include Bare-throated Tiger-Heron (5), Roadside Hawks (4), Gray-collared Becard (5) Brown Jay (4), Fan-tailed Warbler (4), Golden-crowned Warblers (4), and Crimson-collared Grosbeak (4) in the Lower Valley of Texas, with the Cattle Tyrant (5) still being seen farther north. The Gray Heron (4) continues in Nova Scotia and the Red-flanked Bluetail (4) in New Jersey.

Into the vortex of rarities currently being seen regularly in the lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas comes yet another monster find. The ABA’s and Texas’s second record of Crane Hawk (5)has been seen somewhat regularly near Salineño in Starr Co. It has been more than 30 years since the last ABA Area Crane Hawk, also seen in the valley during the winter of 1987-88. Surprisingly, none of the lower valley rarities have been 1st ABA records, though it increasingly feels like that dam is about to break. As if the region needed more bird stars, a Green-breasted Mango (3) was also seen in Cameron Co.

Kansas boasts a state 1st this week, with the discovery of a Eurasian Tree Sparrow at a feeder in Shawnee Co. This establish non-native has been very close to Kansas in the past, and while it is mostly seen along the Mississippi River between St Louis and southeastern Iowa, there is a fairly significant pattern of vagrancy across the middle of the continent.

Missouri’s 3rd record of Short-billed Gull was seen at Riverlands in St. Charles Co.

Oklahoma’s 2nd Brant, what slooks to be a pale-bellied eastern bird, was seen in Enid.

Louisiana also hosted a Green-breasted Mango (3) this week, at a private residence in Terrebonne Parish.

In Alabama, a Brown Booby (3) spent a short time on a public pier in Gulf Shores, Baldwin Co.

Delaware had a Barnacle Goose (3) in Smyrna.

New Jersey’s 11th or so Western Meadowlark was well-photographed in Sandy Hook this week.

Connecticut had a western duo in the state’s 7th Townsend’s Solitaire in New Haven and the 3rd Hermit Warbler in Stonington.

Quebec hosted yet another Fieldfare (4) for the season, the province’s fifth since fall 2023, in St-Joseph-de-la-Rive.

On Prince Edward Island, a wintery Crested Caracara is hanging on in Kings Co.

St Pierre et Miquelon’s 4th record of Field Sparrow turned up this week.

Wisconsin’s 8th Gray-crowned Rosy-Finch was at a feeder in Lincoln Co.

And in California a young Crested Caracara was seen in Mendocino Co.

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.