March 22, 2024

Continuing rarities in the ABA Area include Berylline Hummingbird (ABA Code 4) in Arizona, Red-flanked Bluetail (3) in New Jersey, and Fieldfare (4) in Wisconsin. The ongoing rarity event in Texas Continues to include Bare-throated Tiger Heron (4), Roadside Hawk (4), Crane Hawk (5), Mottled Owl (5), Gray-collared Becard (5),  Brown Jay (4), Cattle Tyrant (5), Fan-tailed Warbler (4), Golden-crowned Warbler (4), Crimson-collared Grosbeak (4), and Blue Bunting (4).

What we lack in quantity this month, we are making up with quality. One of the more spectacular finds of the year so far comes from California, where a White-tailed Eagle (4) was photographed as it flew past the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, California, furnishing a 1st record for the state and the 1st well-documented record away from Alaska for this species in North America.

White-tailed Eagle is effectively the Old World equivalent of the familiar North American Bald Eagle. It is semi-annual in the western Alaskan island groups but very rare on the mainland. That said, the species is wide-ranging and a strong flyer, and so perhaps more possible on the edges of the continent than records suggest. Despite a few subtle field marks, a young White-tailed Eagle could easily be overlooked in areas where Bald Eagles are common.

There are a number of unsubstantiated records in the eastern part of the continent, the most recent from 1944. Additionally, a sight record from Oswego County, New York, in 1993 was not accepted by the bird records committee at the time but remains a compelling account. Details of the New York sighting can be found on eBird. In any case, kudos to the observers for noting that the weird Bald Eagle flying past was possibly something very interesting.

Elsewhere, a Redwing (4) in Vancouver, British Columbia is the province’s 5th record and further evidence of a notable flight of Eurasian thrushes in the ABA Area this winter.

And in Kansas, a Gray-crowned Rosy-Finch in Sedgwick Co is the state’s 2nd and one of several in the middle of the continent so far this year.

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.