May 15, 2020

Because of COVID-19 related Stay-at-Home orders in many states and provinces, the purpose of this report is to keep homebound birders caught up rare bird sightings across the ABA Area during spring migration. 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 unusual time and we urge birders, whether they are members of not, to consider them when deciding whether to travel to see a rare bird. Stay safe and healthy. everyone.

Arizona is the place to be these days, with Crescent-chested Warbler (ABA Code 4) and Berylline Hummingbird (4) sticking around into this week.

A new addition to those persisting ABA Area rarities is a male Flame-colored Tanager (4) seen in Cochise (where else?). The species is widespread in Central America and was not recorded north of the border until 1985. Since then it has been somewhat regular, and has bred a handful of times.

But that was hardly the least expected bird in Arizona this week, that honor goes to a Black Turnstone found in Yuma, the state’s 2nd record. Also, the Common Crane (4) that has spent time the last couple years in Coconino, was found once again.

One 1st to report, from Nebraska, a Great Kiskadee was found in Gage. In recent recent years Kiskadees have also turned up in South Dakota and Kansas so this one was, in some ways, overdue.

Colorado’s 3rd record of Mexican Whip-poor-will was recorded in Fremont. 

In Alberta, notable birds include a Great-tailed Grackle in Calgary, and the province’s 3rd Crested Caracara near Wood Buffalo National Park.

British Columbia had a Dickcissel in Agassiz.

Very good for Wyoming, and a rare opportunity to mention the state here, was a Cape May Warbler in Hereford.

Utah had a pair of Harlequin Ducks in Box Elder, rare for the state despite the species nests in neighboring Idaho.

Very good for Nevada was a Hooded Warbler in Reno.

On Midway Island in Hawaii, a Black-winged Stilt (5) was a very good find.

Minnesota’s 5th record of Bullock’s Oriole was visiting a feeder in Crow Wing. 

Wisconsin’s 3rd Neotropic Cormorant turned up in Dane. 

In Quebec, a Yellow-headed Blackbird was photographed in Blanc Sablon.

In New Brunswick, a Townsend’s Warbler near the town of Waterside was the province’s 3rd.

An American White Pelican was a good bird in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia.

Maine’s 4th record of Golden-crowned Sparrow was a one-day wonder at a feeder in Lincoln. 

In Rhode Island, a Cave Swallow was well-photographed in South Kingston.

And in North Carolina, a Kirtland’s Warbler singing in Watauga is about the 8th record for the state, and only the 2nd in spring.



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.