February 26, 2021
While COVID-19 cases in many states and provinces are declining, the purpose of this report is to keep homebound birders caught up rare bird sightings across the ABA Area. We do not endorse the pursuit of rare birds beyond your local area. The ABA urges readers to respect state, provincial, and local restrictions on 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 them when deciding whether to travel to see a rare bird. Stay safe and healthy, everyone.
Lots of continuing rarities in the ABA Area this week, as has been the norm for the last few months. Moving from left to right across the continent we find Garganey (ABA Code 4) and Streak-backed Oriole (4) in California, and Northern Jacana (4) in Arizona. In Texas, multiple Crimson-collared Grosbeaks (4) and Blue Bunting (4) are around, as is the Golden-crowned Warbler (4). Redwings (4) continue in Maine, Newfoundland, and Nova Scotia. And down in Florida, both Black-faced Grassquit (4) and Cuban Pewee (5) were reported this week in Florida.
We’ll start in Texas, where weather could be a factor in the movement of some northern Mexico birds north across the border. Cold temperatures in the Tamaulipas mountains has been known to drive vagrants to south Texas in the past. With that in mind, it’s possible that exceptional records like a recent Blue Bunting in San Antonio and a recent Yellow-faced Grassquit in Cameron could be a harbinger of interesting birds to come.
Staying in the center of the continent, Ohio had a Black-headed Grosbeak visiting a feeder in Holmes this week.
In Missouri, a Ferruginous Hawk was discovered in Boone.
Notable for New York was a male Painted Bunting at a private residence in Rockland.
In New Jersey, a Western Tanager was accessible to birders in Middlesex.
And in Massachusetts, a Bullock’s Oriole in Plymouth was a What’s This Bird special, coming from a curious birder posting to that group looking for an ID.
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.