June 7, 2024

Many of the exciting Texas birds from the last few months are getting harder to find, but Brown Jay (ABA Code 4) and Mottled Owl (5) were recorded this week. And speaking on long-staying birds, the Steller’s Sea-Eagle (4) that has spent the last two years in Newfoundland was photographed building a nest this week.

The flamingo invasion of summer 2023 is still vivid in many birders’ memories. Perhaps the only thing less predictable than hurricane thrown flamingos scattered across the continent that summer, is the fact that 2024 has boasted it’s own remarkable flamingo sightings. To start, Georgia was oddly left out of the 2023 phenomenon, even more shocking considering that every bordering state boasted at least one, and frequently many, flamingo records that year. But they  finally come due this month when a small flock of American Flamingo (3) was seen on Little Saint Simon’s Island, representing a long-awaited 1st record. A few days later, a solo bird was seen at Port Wentworth for a 2nd record.

But Georgia seems practically predictable compared to New York, where a single American Flamingo shocked birders by turning up in Suffolk Co, at the far eastern end of Long Island. This suggests that birds that inundated the United States last summer not only stuck around, but also might be prone to wandering.

The New York flamingo entertained birders for one day before disappearing, apparently to show up a day later a couple hundred miles northwest in Massachusetts, where visitors to Cape Cod in Barnstable Co, photographed an American Flamingo that, when photos were compared, looked remarkably like the bird seen on Long Island previously, representing a Massachusetts 1st. A flamingo in New England. Who could have guessed.

The bird was not refound and, at last report, had turned up again in eastern Long Island following its short vacation to the Cape. Also noteworthy for Massachusetts, a Swainson’s Warbler was captured at a banding station in Plymouth.

New Jersey also hosted a 1st state record this week, when a group of pelagic birders on a boat out of Brooklyn, NY, documented the 1st record of Fea’s Petrel (3) in New Jersey waters.

Elsewhere in the east, a Black-whiskered Vireo was seen in Dare Co, North Carolina, this week.

Indiana’s 2nd record of Brown Booby (3) turned up on a small pond in Lawrence Co, as this bizarre species is wont to do from time to time.

Illinois had a sharp-looking Black-tailed Gull (3) in Lake Co this week.

Wisconsin’s 2nd Crested Caracara has been delighting birders in northern Ashland Co.

In New Mexico, a Yellow-green Vireo in Eddy Co is the first seen in the state in over a decade.

Arizona’s 2nd Gray-cheeked Thrush was seen in Pinal Co, and a Ruff (3) is present in Maricopa Co.

Oregon’s 7th and 8th White-rumped Sandpipers turned up in Alvord Springs and Seaside, respectively.

Washington’s 5th record of Bay-breasted Warbler was photographed and recorded in Okanogan Co.

Notable for British Columbia, a Costa’s Hummingbird was present at a feeder on Quadra Island.

And in Alaska,  Far Eastern Curlews (4), Common Greenshank (3), and Hawfinches (4) are the highlights from Adak, and an Eyebrowed Thrush (4) was seen on St George.

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.