17 June 2015

Codes & rare birds

If you're a birder and you visit St. Paul Island, you want to see a) localized species like Red-legged Kittiwakes and auklets, b) birds that have blown over from Asia, or c) a combination of the two.  If these options don't apply to you, you probably have the wrong island in mind.

If you ask, many serious birders up here kind of shrug off the ABA codes (1-6) that are given every species on the ABA checklist.  Besides, a Code 1 Eastern Towhee would be incredibly rare here, much rarer than a Code 4 species like Oriental Cuckoo.  However, for those of you who come here for species that we ABA birders generally think of as rare, I've started something new here on my blog.

If you look on the right-hand side of this page, down below the recent posts, you'll see a list of the rare ABA birds that have been seen on St. Paul Island this year.  Granted, I'm limiting these to Code 3, 4, and 5 species so you won't see things like Bar-tailed Godwit and Wood Sandpiper (both Code 2).  It's not a perfect setup but if you're curious about what rarities have been seen here this season, take a look.

Speaking of codes and rarities, AV found the 3rd HAWFINCH of the season yesterday (which just so happens to be our only Code 4 species of the year... for now):

As always, if you have any questions or comments, feel free to direct them to me at: