June 4, 2021

Noteworthy ABA Area rarities continuing into this week in the ABA Area include both Berylline Hummingbird (ABA Code 4) and Tufted Flycatcher (5) in Arizona, the return of the annual Little Egret (4) in Maine, a small flock of Tamaulipas Crows (4) in  Texas, and Black-faced Grassquit (4) in Florida.

Southern birds coming north is a pretty well-established patter for vagrancy, but this year has been exception in that regard. The poster bird for this movement, at least so far, comes from Colorado, where a stunning Yellow Grosbeak (4) has been visiting a feeder in Huerfano. This represents a 1st for the state of Colorado, a similar sort of record as the Golden-crowned Warbler that visited the state a few years ago. Yellow Grosbeak has been represented in the ABA Area from records in Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas, and this is the farthest north record of this gorgeous bird.

This week has not wanted for incredible stories featuring state 1sts. Take, for instance, the story of the Heermann’s Gull , currently at Cape May, New Jersey, and representing that state’s 1st there. This individual bird has had quite a journey, after spending the winter in Florida and turning up in Georgia and Virginia, as noted in previous incarnations of this column.

But the journey to Jersey say this bird, identified by wear patters on the wings and head, also made a turn up to Bristol, Massachusetts, where it represented that state’s 1st Heermann’s Gull record, and was also spotted cruising past Newport, Rhode Island, where it was also a 1st Heermann’s Gull , presumably on its way south. The big mystery is how was it missed in all the other states it had to have passed through.

Other impressive 1sts for the week come from Wisconsin, where an Arctic Loon in Bayfield represents a 1st, even more impressive as the bird is in its breeding finery.

Minnesota becomes the outlier for Limpkin records this year, with one in Washington representing that state’s 1st record.

Missouri also got a 1st this week, with a Broad-billed Hummingbird visiting a feeder on the Missouri side of Kansas City.

And in Wyoming, a Bell’s Vireo in Niobrara is a surprising 1st, given that they breed nearby in Nebraska, which probably suggests little birder effort in the eastern part of that state then much of anything else.

And to Quebec, where an attractive male Steller’s Eider at Point-des-Monts technically represents the province’s 2nd record, but since the first came from 1898 perhaps it is an honorary first. Other good birds in the province include a male Vermilion Flycatcher at Bois Sainte-Dorothée, and a Glossy Ibis at Lourdes de Blanc Sablon.

Staying in eastern Canada, a Tricolored Heron was discovered at Cape Freels in Newfoundland.

Good for Maine, a Fork-tailed Flycatcher (3) was seen in York at the end of May.

Connecticut’s 2nd record of Black-bellied Whistling Ducks, a flock of 6, were seen in Litchfield, and a frigatebird sp, likely Magnificent, was seen in Old Lyme.

North Carolin had a pair of Cinnamon Teal at Cape Hatteras in Dare. 

South Carolina also had a Fork-tailed Flycatcher (3) this week, in Townville.

A very interesting elaenia sp was seen on Cudjoe Key in Monroe, Florida, this week. This could be a Caribbean Elaenia, a species that was once on the ABA Checklist bit removed because the bird in question could not be identified. We’ll check back on this bird as it develops.

Ohio’s 2nd record of White-tailed Kite was seen this week in Harrison. 

Oklahoma’s 2nd Common Black-Hawk was photographed in Wichita Mountains NWR.

An Arctic Tern in Mitchell, Kansas, would represent a 5th record for the state.

Nevada’s 2nd Pine Warbler was seen in Primm.

In Washington, a White-rumped Sandpiper in Snohomish would represent the state’s 10th.

Good for British Columbia was a female Hooded Oriole at Cache Creek.

And the latest from Alaska is a Pallas’s Bunting (5) seen by birders newly arrived this week on Gambell.



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.