March 19, 2021

Because of continuing COVID-19 cases in many states and provinces, the purpose of this report is to keep homebound birders caught up rare bird sightings across the ABA Area. The ABA encourages readers to respect state, provincial, and local suggestions with regard to 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 traveling to see a rare bird. Stay safe and healthy, everyone. We’re almost through this. 

There remains a long list of continuing rarities in the ABA Area, many of which we’ve seen not only the entirety of 2021 but as far back as the late fall of 2020. The Northern Jacana (ABA Code 4) in Arizona certainly fits that bill, as does the Streak-backed Oriole (4), there even if it’s stay hasn’t been quite as long. The Redwing (4) in British Columbia made an appearance this week as well, as has the Hawfinch (4) in Yukon Territory. At least two Golden-crowned Warblers (4) are still being seen in Texas, along with multiple Crimson-collared Grosbeaks (4) and Blue Buntings (4), and in Florida, both the Black-faced Grassquit (4) and the Red-legged Thrush (5) hung on into this week.

The inclusion of Hawaii in the ABA Area certainly increased the possibility for some bizarre potential ABA 1sts, but I don’t know that anyone predicted Inca Tern. But a young bird was, indeed, discovered at South Point on the island of Hawai’i this week. This South American species is typically associated with the Humboldt current in western South America, but has a pattern of vagrancy that has taken it as far north as Guatemala and Costa Rica in recent years.

That wasn’t the only 1st to report this week, as in New York a Tundra Bean-Goose (3) in Saratoga would represent a state 1st. It’s certainly plausible that this bird could be the one that spent some time near Philadelphia early this year, not to mention the speculation that that bird was the same as the one that spent some time on the Ontario/Quebec border late last year.

In Indiana, a Common Crane (3) was seen amongst migrating Sandhill Cranes this week near the town of Demotte.

Iowa’s 12th or so record of Eurasian Wigeon, a handsome male bird, was seen in Scott. 

Minnesota had a Mew Gull in Washington, one of a few records for the state and evidently present since the beginning of the month.

And in Arizona, a Red-billed Tropicbird (3) was brought into a rehabber in Phoenix, where it would represent the state’s 9th record.



Omissions and errors are not intended, but if you find any please message blog AT 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.