Welcome to what began in 2005 as a quest to photograph 700 or more ABA countable North American bird species. Of the 793 species of birds possible to see in North America (now including Hawaii) currently published to this site, the number of ABA “countable” species presently stands at:
No trips currently planned
Lawrence’s Warbler in Madison, CT
May 21, 2021: Discovered yesterday at Bauer Park in Madison, CT, a Lawrence’s Warbler was still present early this morning. This one is somewhat uncharacteristically staying high up in the canopy. This is my third time encountering this rare hybrid in Connecticut, all three occurring during the same week in May.
November 2, 2020: First U.S. life bird since this past February in Hawaii, a Common Cuckoo is currently being seen in Johnston, Rhode Island, just a little over an hour’s drive from new home base in Niantic, CT. The bird was in plain view for the entire 45 minutes I spent there along with a host of other observers.read more »
The following is a list of all new (or updated*) pages from the Hawaii trip of February 23 – March 4, 2020:
African Silverbill, Akiapolaau, Apapane, Chestnut Munia, Chestnut-bellied Sandgrouse, Common Waxbill, Erckel’s Francolin, Eurasian Skylark, Gray Francolin, Great Frigatebird, Hawaii Akepa, Hawaii Amikihi, Hawaii Creeper, Hawaii Elepaio, Hawaiian Coot, Hawaiian Duck, Hawaiian Hawk, I’iwi, Indian Peafowl, Japanese Bush-Warbler, Java Sparrow, Kauai Elepaio, Laysan Albatross,* Oahu Elepaio, Pacific Golden-Plover*, Red Junglefowl, Red-footed Booby*, Red-crested Cardinal*, Red-masked Parakeet*, Palila, Red-tailed Tropicbird, Red-vented Bulbul, Saffron Finch, Wandering Tattler*, Warbling White-eye, White Tern, White-rumped Shama, White-tailed Tropicbird, Yellow-billed Cardinal, Yellow-fronted Canary, Zebra Dove.
I addition, we had a number of Hawaiian subspecies, including Black-crowned Night-Heron, Black-necked Stilt, Common Gallinule, and Short-eared Owl.
New species briefly seen but not photographable included Kalij Pheasant and one female Red Avadavat.read more »
February 23 – March 4, 2020: Completed a long-planned trip to Hawaii with Wings, where our group, including my good buddy Bob Mustell from the “show me” state, spent three nights in Oahu, four on Kauai, and four on the Big Island. I managed to photograph 36 new species for this web site. Special thanks to guide Lance Tanino for his very kind assistance on several challenging trails and getting me my best views of I’iwi, one of my most sought-after target species for the trip. Luckily we were all able to return home without difficulty prior to the spread of the coronavirus.read more »
The source for the following is:
David P. L. Toews, Henry M. Streby, Lowell Burket, Scott A. Taylor (2018). A wood-warbler produced through both interspecific and intergeneric hybridization, Biology Letters, published online on 7 November 2018 before print | doi:10.1098/rsbl.2018.0557
Recently an exceedingly astute Pennsylvania birder came upon a bird that appeared so unusual to his keen eye that he brought it to the prompt attention of the Cornell Department of Ornithology. This led to the temporary capture of the bird in a mist net and subsequent DNA testing that revealed an astonishing result. This bird was in fact the offspring of a Chestnut-sided Warbler and a Brewster’s Warbler – which is itself a hybrid between a Golden-winged Warbler and a Blue-winged Warbler. This “tri-hybrid” is a first. It has never been documented before. The amazing new hybrid has been dubbed “Burket’s” Warbler after the deserving gentleman who discovered it. The thumbnail is from the cited article; it is not my own and I take no credit for it.read more »
September 27: When the American Ornithological Union carved out a new species from the ten subgroups of Red Crossbill, it gave birders a new quest. The Cassia Crossbill, numbering only about 6,000 individuals, is found only in the upper elevations of the Southern Hills and the Albion Mountains of southern Idaho, a destination one might never otherwise visit. So when Nancy and I planned our recent visit to Mount Rushmore, Yellowstone NP, and the Tetons, we added an overnight stay in Twin Falls, ID to allow some time to look for the new Crossbill. A total of five hours of searching all the campgrounds at the crest of the G3 road (which heads due south into the hills and the crossbill area some 26 miles south of Hanson) was finally successful in the Porcupine Spring Campground, but I was able to find only the single individual that happened to fly into the top of the very lodgepole pine under which I happened to be standing at that particular moment. Just plain lucky.
Later that afternoon, before flying home from Salt Lake City the next morning, we stopped at Antelope Island State Park where Dickson Smith, whom I had aided in finding some sought-after species in Florida in March of 2014, was kind enough to meet us near his own home turf to look for Chukars. After a very scenic drive around the island in his 4×4, and some nice views of the nearly empty section of the Great Salt Lake, we located a cooperative group of Chukars among the rocks just behind the visitors center building.read more »