Though COVID-19 cases in many states and provinces are declining, the purpose of this report is to keep homebound birders caught up rare bird sightings across the ABA Area. 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 ongoing pandemic 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. We’re almost through this.
As has been the case for most of this year, the list of continuing ABA Area rarities is longer than the new birds to report this week. California continues to host the odd couple of Streak-backed Oriole (ABA Code 4) and Garganey (3), Blue Buntings (4) and Crimson-collared Grosbeaks (4) aplenty in Texas, along with Golden-crowned Warbler (4). Arizona has Common Crane (4) and Northern Jacana (4), a pair as unusual as California’s. In Florida, Black-faced Grassquit (4) and Red-legged Thrush (5), are still around as are Redwings (4) in Nova Scotia. And back in this space, the Canada 1st Hawfinch (4) from Yukon had a surprise reappearance.
Resaca de la Palma State Park in Cameron, Texas, is seeing a bit of a Patagonia Picnic Table Effect situation, as the recent discovery of a Golden-crowned Warbler (4) comes on the heels of Blue Buntings and Crimson-collared Grosbeak. This is the second Golden-crowned Warbler of the winter in south Texas.
One 1st to report, from Oregon where an apparent Winter Wren in Benton was photographed and, perhaps more importantly, extensively recorded. This comes not long after a likely Winter Wren was well-documented in Washington.
Out to Hawaii, where a Great Egret in Honolulu is the state’s 6th.
In Ohio, a Gyrfalcon has been present and relatively easy to find in Mahoning, which is certainly noteworthy as far south as it is.
And in Nova Scotia, a nice adult Slaty-backed Gull (3) was seen in Sambro.
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.