Wednesday, September 16, 2020

The ABA Rare Bird Alert’s Weekly Highlights

Three State Records for a single species during one week is especially rare, but last week birders found a record-breaking Black-throated Gray Warbler in North Carolina (Fifth State Record), Minnesota (Tenth State Record), and New York (Eleventh State Record).

We are excited to share 14 records this week, along with many other exciting rare bird sightings! Foremost must be the First Lower 48 Record of a Gray Heron in coastal Massachusetts. Three more First State & Provincial Records were recorded, including a Common Ringed Plover in Vermont, a Brewer’s Sparrow in Pennsylvania, and a Bell’s Vireo in British Columbia. Plus many exceptionally rare sightings, such as two Gray-streaked Flycatchers on Unalaska Island, Alaska, and a Northern Jacana at Canoa Ranch Conservation Park in Arizona.



First Lower 48 Record Gray Heron – Tuckernuck Island, Massachusetts



First State Record Common Ringed Plover – Missisquoi River Refuge, Vermont

First State Record Brewer’s Sparrow – Powdermill Reserve, Pennsylvania

First Provincial Record Bell’s Vireo – Saanich, British Columbia

Second State Record Anhinga – Frederica, Delaware

Second State Record Brewer’s Sparrow – Petit Manan Refuge, Maine

Fourth State Record Buff-breasted Sandpiper – American Falls, Idaho

Fourth State Record Sharp-tailed Sandpiper – Medina, Ohio

Fifth State Record Wilson’s Storm Petrel – offshore Westport, Washington

Fifth State Record Black-throated Gray Warbler – Cowan’s Ford Refuge, North Carolina

Tenth State Record Black-throated Gray Warbler – Sucker Lake, Minnesota

Eleventh State Record Black-throated Gray Warbler – Jamaica Bay, New York

Fourteenth Provincial Record Curlew Sandpiper – Parksville, British Columbia

Fifteenth Provincial Record Curlew Sandpiper – Delta, British Columbia



Gray-streaked Flycatchers (2) – Unalaska Island, Alaska

Northern Jacana – Canoa Ranch Conservation Park, Arizona

Ruff – Timnath Reservoir, Colorado

Little Stint – Forsyth Refuge, New Jersey

Golden-winged Warbler – Pubnico, Nova Scotia

Townsend’s Warbler – Jamestown, North Dakota

Black-headed Grosbeak – near Williston, Tennessee

Long-tailed Jaeger – Black Rush Lake, Minnesota

Brown Booby– Hamilton, Ontario

Neotropic Cormorant – Batavia, New York

Black-bellied Whistling Duck – near Freeville, New York



The Common Crane is still being monitored by birders in northeast California, and the Thick-billed Vireo is still being seen in Miami, Florida. A pair of Eared Quetzals continue to be seen in Southeast Arizona, where birders also continue to report the Plain-capped Starthroat and Berylline Hummingbird regularly.

Fall migration kicks in more each day, so be sure to check every shorebird, hummingbird, songbird, flycatcher, and gull – actually every bird – for the potential of a rare or off-course species!


For more information, see the American Birding Association’s Rare Bird Alert at Special Thanks to the ABA, and Nate Swick, who does such a great job of compiling the ABA’s Rare Bird Alert, which we use to prepare this weekly replay.

You can often find more information about individual rare bird sightings from the state rare bird alert listserves that you can access at or at