January 19, 2024

Texas leads the way in rare birds with Bare-throated Tiger-Heron (ABA Code 5), Roadside Hawk (5), Mottled Owl (5), Gray-collared Becard (5),  Brown Jay (4), Golden-crowned Warbler (4), Crimson-collared Grosbeak (4), and Blue Bunting (4), all continuing into the middle of January.  Nova Scotia hosts an ongoing Gray Heron (4), and the Red-flanked Bluetail (4) is still being seen in New Jersey. We can also point out that, though we haven’t mentioned it here in some time, the Steller’s Sea-Eagle (3) in Newfoundland is still regularly seen as we head into its third year of residence in the east. 

Exciting news out of Washington this week, when the state’s 1st record, and a first for the Lower 48, of Song Thrush was seen at a private residence in Clallam Co. This is only the 5th record for the ABA Area of this widespread Eurasian songbird, three of which have come, predictably, from Alaska. The remaining bird, notably the ABA’s 1st, came from Quebec not quite 20 years ago. 

Texas adds to its avian wealth in the Rio Grande Valley with the recent discovery of a Fan-tailed Warbler (4) in Cameron Co. This is the 2nd record for Texas, the previous one coming from the Big Bend area. 

Notable for British Columbia, a Hooded Oriole was seen at Cobble Hill. 

The upper Midwest has seen several birds from the interior west this winter, the latest a Gray-crowned Rosy-Finch in Itasca Co, Minnesota. 

North Carolina’s 5th or so Pacific Golden-Plover, especially surprising in mid-winter, was seen Dare Co tis week. 

Interesting birds in Connecticut this week include LeConte’s Sparrow in Westport, and both Little Gull (3) and Dovekie, the latter staging an impressive incursion southward this winter, in Stonington.  

And in New York, a young Purple Gallinule was seen on Long Island. 

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.