May 8, 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. 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.

Both continuing rarities we’re keeping an eye on in the ABA Area come from Arizona, and they’re both birds that may have a place in this post for a long while yet. The Crescent-chested Warblers (ABA Code 4) still appear to be behaving as if they plan on nesting, and the Berylline Hummingbird (4), which was in Santa Cruz county instead of Cochise county as I erroneously reported last week, has been a summer regular in southeast Arizona in recent years.

It continues to be a phenomenal year for Garganey in the ABA Area, with yet another striking male turning up on the east coast, this time at Chincoteague NWR in Accomack, Virginia, which represents that state’s 5th record. This is the 6th individual Garganey in the ABA Area this spring so far, though this time of year is traditionally the most likely time to find them in North America.

We have two first records to report this week, both from prairie provinces. From Alberta, an adult Western Gull in Grande Prairie represents the 1st of this species for the province.

And in Saskatchewan, that province’s 1st record of Lesser Goldfinch was seen near Yorkton.

Staying out west, noteworthy finds in British Columbia include an Indigo Bunting in Nanaimo and the province’s 13th Green-tailed Towhee in Nakusp.

Good for Arizona, a Kentucky Warbler showed up at water feature in Maricopa. 

Colorado had a Hermit Warbler in Bent. 

It has been a good couple weeks for Mottled Ducks in Missouri with separate birds in Pike and in Holt

In Iowa, a Sage Thrasher was seen by quite a few social distancing birders near Des Moines.

Illinois had a Snowy Plover inWoodson. 

A Black-throated Gray Warbler was a nice find among the expected returning species near Milwaukee.

Indiana’s 9th record of Western Tanager was seen in Dekalb. 

Notable for Tennessee was an Ash-throated Flycatcher in Lake. 

North Carolina’s 2nd record of Bronzed Cowbird, both records have come in 2020, was seen in Craven. 

West Virginia had a Pacific Loon in Wood. 

It has been a surprising spring for White-faced Ibis in the east with one White-faced Ibis in Northampton, Pennsylvania, and another in Genessee, New York. 

Connecticut had a Western Grebe in Fairfield. 

And in Massachusetts, a Ruff (3) was seen in Cape Cod.



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.