February 5, 2021
Because of the continuing COVID-19 threat in many states and provinces, 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.
There are lots of continuing rarities in the ABA Area, almost as many as new species to not in this space. Arizona’s Northern Jacana (ABA Code 4) continues, as do Cuban Pewee (5) and Black-faced Grassquit (4) in south Florida. California still hosts a Streak-backed Oriole (4), and the Golden-crowned Warbler (4) is still in south Texas, along with multiple Blue Buntings (4) and Crimson-collared Grosbeaks (4). And the thrush irruption continues in with the still-present Fieldfare (4) in Quebec and Redwings (4) in Nova Scotia and Newfoundland.
And it’s still all thrushes all the time in the northeast, as the irruption makes it to Maine, where not one, but two Redwings (4) were present in the state in January. One at a private home in Washington, representing the state’s 1st record and a more accommodating bird at a public park in Portland representing the 2nd.
Nova Scotia gets something other than a thrush this week, with a Western Grebe seen at Cape Breton.
In Quebec, a Varied Thrush was seen in Montreal this week to go with the province’s Fieldfare.
A Rock Wren near Cornwell, Ontario, was notable but not accessible to birders.
In Indiana, the state’s 2nd record of Common Crane was seen among a flock of Sandhills in Jasper, and a Burrowing Owl was photographed in Vigo.
In Arkansas, an Anna’s Hummingbird was visiting a feeder in Faulkner.
Oregon’s 9th record of Painted Bunting, this time a sharp-looking male, was visiting a feeder in Salem.
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.