Welcome back to the Rare Bird Alert after an off week in which I was out of the country. We’ve got two weeks to cover for this period. Bur first, rare bird continuing in this last week of February include both Little Stint (ABA Code 4) and Red-flanked Bluetail (4) in California, Bahama Mockingbird (4) and La Sagra’s Flycatcher (4) in Florida, and the ever-unbelievable Steller’s Sea-Eagle (4) now, once again, in Maine.
We start in Florida, which boasts a long-awaited 1st record this month. No, it’s not some Carribbean vagrant, but a Great-tailed Grackle at a gas station in Pinellas. This species has expanded rapidly across the western 2/3rds of the ABA Area in the last few decades, but has seemed unwilling to move into the southeast, or perhaps it’s that birders in the area overlook them among abundant and very similar Boat-tailed Grackles. Nonetheless, the eyes have it, and this species is, at long last, on the Florida list.
Also in Florida, and oddly more expected, a Bananaquit (4) was seen in Monroe.
Also of note from the southeast, a Green-breasted Mango (3) was revealed this week to be visiting a feeder in Ocean, Mississippi, in late December and early January, representing a 1st for the state.
Up to Nova Scotia, where a Gray Heron (4) was present in Yarmouth this week.
Massachusetts hosted a Varied Thrush in Hampden.
In Maryland, a Northern Lapwing (4) in Baltimore is a very nice bird so far down the Atlantic coast, and a first for the county.
Kentucky birders enjoyed a Neotropic Cormorant in Lyon.
And way out to Hawaii, where a Gray-tailed Tattler was noteworthy on Kauai.
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.