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Rare Bird Alert: January 10, 2020

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Continuing rarities in the ABA Area include a Garganey (ABA Code 4) in California, both La Sagra’s Flycatcher (4) and Antillean Palm-Swift (5) in Florida, and a Streak-backed Oriole (4) continuing to visit a feeder in Arizona.

Not much in the way of ABA rarities this week, but New Mexico saw the return of a Common Crane (4) in Socorro, traveling amongst the many thousands of Sandhill Cranes at Bosque del Apache NWR. This Old World species is somewhat regular in North America, almost always in flocks of Sandhills. Indeed, most records come from states where Sandhill cranes congregate in winter or during migration. The two species breed not overly far from one another in east Asia.

There is one 1st to report this week. Florida is well-known for its Caribbean vagrant potential, but the new bird this time around comes from the other direction. A Common Murre was photographed in Volusia, representing a 1st for the state and one of few records for the southeast, though records of this alcid have been increasing in recent years not far to the north.

Up the coast in New Jersey, a Black Guillemot was notable at Barneget.

New Hampshire had a Bullock’s Oriole at a feeder in Stratham.

Maine also had a Bullock’s Oriole this week, in Camden.

In Ontario, a Mountain Bluebird has been seen by many in Durham. 

Missouri had a Rock Wren in Mercer. 

Arkansas also had a Rock Wren, this one in Pope. 

Notable for Louisiana and continuing a theme for the fall and winter, a Tropical Kingbird was seen in Baton Rouge.

Texas had an unusual combination of notable birds in Uvalde, including a Rufous-backed Robin (3) and a Eurasian Wigeon.

Good for Arizona was a Yellow-throated Warbler in Yavapai. 

Oregon’s 6th record of Vermilion Flycatcher was hanging out in Eugene.

British Columbia’s 3rd McKay’s Bunting was a very nice find in Delta.

And in Alaska, a Common Pochard (4) was seen on Adak.


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.

Join the American Birding Association at!


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