May 14, 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. 

ABA Area vagrants continuing into this week include Northern Jacana (ABA Code 4) in Arizona, Black-faced Grassquit (4) in Florida, a small handful of Tamaulipas Crows (4) in Texas, and a male Garganey (4) in New Brunswick.

Long a likely next first bird for Texas, Limpkin was been expected even since they began breeding in Louisiana a few years ago. So the discovery of a bird in Fort Bend, south of Houston, is less a surprise than an inevitability. Even so, it represents a 1st for the state, and was joined the day after by a second bird showing that the invasion might be swift.

Along with the Texas bird, another Limpkin in Hot Springs, Arkansas, also a state 1st, suggests that states in the Ohio River valley should be on the lookout for this screaming wading bird.

An adult Heermann’s Gull in Virginia Beach represents a 2nd for Virginia and is potentially the bird that had been hanging out in Georgia and Florida for several months, though that does beg the question as to how it skipped over the Carolinas.

It’s Caribbean season in Florida, where Miami-Dade hosts both a Bananaquit (4) and a Bahama Mockingbird (4).

Pennsylvania had its second Swainson’s Warbler in as many weeks in Blair. 

In New York, a pair of nice birds on opposite sides of the state, a Ruff (3) near Buffalo and a Wood Stork at Suffolk. 

Connecticut had both a Swallow-tailed Kite at Preston and a Little Egret (4) at Westport this week.

Good for Rhode Island was a Wilson’s Plover at Napatree.

On Prince Edward Island, a Glossy Ibis was discovered near the town of Summerside.

Ohio’s 2nd record of Brewer’s Sparrow was discovered and nicely photographed by many birders in Cuyahoga. 

Tennessee’s 4th Green-tailed Towhee was visiting a feeder in Nashville.

Noteworthy in Michigan was that state’s 7th record of Neotropic Cormorant in Macomb. 

Iowa’s 8th Bullock’s Oriole, and its second this spring, was seen in Linn. 

North Dakota had aninteresting pair of vagrants from opposite directions in the state’s 8th Golden-crowned Sparrow in Bismarck and its 3rd Painted Bunting right across the river in Mandan.

Saskatchewan’s 3rd Garganey, a nice male, was seen in Canora this week.

Rarity season begins in Arizona, with both a Tufted Flycatcher (5) and a Plain-capped Starthroat in Cochise, and a Crescent-chested Warbler (4) in Santa Cruz.

And in Alaska, a Sandwich Tern was photographed in Gustavus.



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.