Because of COVID-19 related Stay-at-Home orders in many states and provinces, the purpose of this report is to keep homebound birders caught up rare bird sightings across the ABA Area during spring migration. 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 unusual time 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.
Noteworthy continuing birds in the ABA Area include Berylline Hummingbird (ABA Code 4), Eared Quetzal (4), Crescent-chested Warbler (4), and Streak-backed Oriole (4) in Arizona, along with Black-faced Grassquit (4) in Florida, and Little Egret (4) in Maine.
Shorebird season starts off with a bang this week in Rhode Island of all places. Little Rhody is a tiny bullseye for rarities to hit but a Terek Sandpiper (3) at threaded the needle to hit Napatree Beach in the southeast corner of the state. This is obviously a 1st record for the state but only the 4th of this distinctive sandpiper on the Atlantic coast. Terek Sandpiper is somewhat regular on the far Aleutians in Alaska, but extremely rare elsewhere in the Americas.
It was not the only 1st record for the week, and not even the only 1st record that is also a great ABA Area bird. In Nova Scotia, a Gray Heron (5) in Kentville represents a 1st for the province and the 1st ABA Area record away from either Newfoundland or Alaska.
North Carolina also got an apparent 1st record this week with a one-day wonder Cassin’s Kingbird in Chatham. And that wasn’t all, as the state proved to be a Tyrannus magnet with a Fork-tailed Flycatcher (3) earlier in the week in Hyde, the state’s 4th.
Birders can’t get out to the really hot rarity sites in Alaska this spring, but there are still people out birding in other places. They’ve found good stuff, too, like an Oriental Greenfinch (4) this week in Unalaska.
In Nevada, a Mississippi Kite was a nice find in Clark.
Montana’s 5th record of Hudsonian Godwit was seen in Flathead this week.
Minnesota had a Least Tern in Hennepin, one of about two dozen records for the state.
In Quebec, a White-winged Dove was photographed at a Haute-Côte-Nord.
Newfoundland’s 4th record of Rufous Hummingbird was visiting a feeder in Renews.
Notable for Vermont, a nice Yellow-headed Blackbird was seen in Rutland.
Massachusetts had a vocalizing Tropical Kingbird in Middlesex this week.
New York had a very nice looking Purple Gallinule seen by many birders in Nassau.
Pennsylvania has a singing Swainson’s Warbler in Indiana.
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.