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December 2020

Vol. 48, No. 6

Twenty-fourth Report of the Massachusetts Avian Records Committee

Sean M. Williams, Jessica Johnson, and Marshall J. Iliff

Gray Heron. September 5, 2020. Tuckernuck Island, Nantucket. Photo by Skyler Kardell.

The 24th report of the Massachusetts Avian Records Committee (MARC) evaluates 234 records involving 91 species, breaking our previous high by 80 records. The committee accepted 210 of those records. Gray Heron was added to the state list, which now stands at 505 species.

On September 5, 2020, Skyler Kardell observed a heron on Tuckernuck Island, Nantucket, that was superficially similar to a Great Blue Heron but was notably smaller and lacked rufous in the legs and wrist. Skyler photographed the bird and quickly shared the photos, which confirmed its identification as Gray Heron. The next day, Skyler and Tucker Taylor refound it on nearby Muskeget Island, although subsequent searches by others on Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard failed to relocate it beyond September 6. The pattern of molt and a specific broken primary of the Nantucket bird was assessed by Tom B. Johnson that same evening and matched perfectly to an individual present in Nova Scotia from June to August 2020. The Nantucket sighting is the first for the Lower 48 states; the four other records from northeastern North America come from Newfoundland in 2010, 2013, 2016, and 2018. As with other Old World herons, this species also has numerous records from the West Indies, with a few dozen records in the past 20 years.


Pacific-slope Flycatcher. October 23, 2019. River Drive, Hadley. Photo by Joe Oliverio.

On October 23, 2019, Joseph Oliverio was birding a small woodlot in Hadley along the Connecticut River, which at the time was a relatively underbirded local spot. He encountered a yellowish Empidonax flycatcher pertaining to the Western/Yellow-bellied complex. The photos were circulated to people experienced with this tricky identification challenge, and the bird appeared to be a strong match for “Western” Flycatcher (i.e., Pacific-slope or Cordilleran). The next day, Larry Therrien refound the bird and obtained an audio recording that suggested Pacific-slope. Finally, the following day, October 25, many birders chased it and obtained additional recordings, which nailed down the identification as Pacific-slope Flycatcher due to the monosyllabic call and prominent “kink” between the first upslur and downslur. In November 2006, the Manomet, Inc. Banding Lab (formerly Manomet Bird Observatory) banded a Pacific-slope/Cordilleran Flycatcher. Because of the extreme physical similarity and overlap of the two species—some argue they constitute one species—field identification of silent individuals is not reliable even with the bird in hand. The Manomet record added Pacific-slope/Cordilleran to the official state list, and this Hadley record upgrades that slash to Pacific-slope.

Second state records in this report include Yellow-billed Loon, Bermuda Petrel, and Yellow-green Vireo.

Peter Flood photographed a Yellow-billed Loon floating in the rip at Race Point, Provincetown, on April 19, 2020. Peter saw the bird only briefly and it was never refound by others. The first state record also occurred at Race Point, in February–April 2016.

A Bermuda Petrel delighted a boatful of birders near Welker Canyon during a dedicated pelagic trip sponsored by the Brookline Bird Club on September 21, 2019. The bird remained in view for 40 minutes, allowing for careful study of molt and behavior by roughly 50 trip participants. This most prized pelagic species is observed extremely rarely away from its breeding grounds in Bermuda, where only ~130 pairs occur. The first state record occurred in June 2009 about 200 miles southeast of Nantucket and was photographed by a single observer.

On October 15, 2019, the Monomoy Bird Observatory banded a Yellow-green Vireo. By chance, Sean Williams was conducting a survey on the island that day and independently observed it free-flying near the Lighthouse. This species has had a knack for showing up in mist nets on the East Coast north of Florida in the past 10 years. Of the seven records from 2011 to 2020—Plum Island banding station was the first—five have been mist net captures. This rate of capture suggests that the species is a more frequent vagrant than currently appreciated and that individuals are being overlooked as Red-eyed Vireos.

Other noteworthy records include:

Third state records of Pacific Golden-Plover (Monomoy NWR at South Monomoy’s Powder Hole in July–August 2019) and a vocal Tropical Kingbird (Rock Meadow, Belmont, in October 2019).

Massachusetts’s first spring MacGillivray’s Warbler was found by Evan Dalton at Manomet on April 29, 2019, which was only the second spring record for the East Coast north of Florida.

Two Wood Storks were photographed in November 2019—one in Orleans and one in Sutton. The individual in Sutton was found injured on a tree farm and taken into rehab, where it expired.

The MARC reviewed a record of two Gull-billed Terns at Plum Island between September 11 and October 2, 2019, following the landfall of Hurricane Dorian in Nova Scotia. The excellent documentation provided allowed the committee instead to determine that up to six individuals were involved, suggesting three weeks of passage as the displaced terns moved southward. A similar pattern was seen in Black Skimmers.

An impressive 12 records of Brown Booby were accepted, reflecting this species’s dramatic increase in northeastern North America. Veit and Petersen (1993) list two records—one in the 1800s and one in the 1900s—but the first MARC-accepted record of Brown Booby was in 2005, the second and third records were accepted in 2011, and 25 additional records have accumulated since then.

Five Townsend’s Warblers were noteworthy for fall 2019 and an all-time seasonal record. The Massachusetts invasion was part of a much broader geographic pattern, which was most apparent on the Avalon Peninsula, Newfoundland, where 20–30 individuals were reported from fall 2019 alone.

An onslaught of Painted Buntings plagued Cape Cod with a whopping total of 11 records from October 2019 to March 2020. Three of these were adult males and eight had entirely green plumage. Remarkably, one of the adult males was color-banded in Beaufort, North Carolina, on February 1, 2018. This bird must have been hatched in 2017 or prior, demonstrating that older individuals—and not just hatch years—can wander outside of their typical range. Two additional buntings were found in Bristol and Plymouth counties.

This year, the MARC evaluated nearly 70 historical records in an effort to inch toward a more comprehensive database. Highlights from these efforts include:


Purple Gallinule. October 19, 2019. Wood Street, Milton. Photo by Will Sweet.

A pair of Labrador Duck specimens shot by Daniel Webster on Martha’s Vineyard prior to 1837 and illustrated by John James Audubon.

Records of Long-billed Curlew from Ipswich in 1884 and Monomoy in 1984.

A Black-tailed Godwit in Dartmouth in 1967.

A Rock Wren in Orleans in 1991.

Three banding records of Bicknell’s Thrush from Manomet in 1995, 2008, and 2014.

Chestnut-collared Longspur records from Nantucket in 1979 and Salisbury in 1993; the Salisbury record had been previously reviewed and Not Accepted, but the old slides were reassessed and accepted unanimously.

Green-tailed Towhee records from South Peabody in 1979 and Marblehead in 1995.

A pair of Brewer’s Blackbirds in Orleans in 1979.

The 2019–2020 roster of MARC voting members included Nick Block, Marshall Iliff, Jessica Johnson (chair), Wayne Petersen, David Sibley, Ryan Schain, Jim Sweeney, Larry Therrien, and Maili Waters. Sean Williams served as a nonvoting secretary.

Species taxonomy and nomenclature follow the seventh edition of the American Ornithological Society (AOS, formerly American Ornithologists’ Union) Checklist of North American Birds (AOU 1998) and its supplements (Chesser et al. 2009, Chesser et al. 2010, Chesser et al. 2011, Chesser et al. 2012, Chesser et al. 2013, Chesser et al. 2014, Chesser et al. 2015, Chesser et al. 2016, Chesser et al. 2017, Chesser et al. 2018, Chesser et al. 2019, Chesser et al. 2020).

The list of species reviewed by the MARC (the Review List) is available at www.maavianrecords.com. Please check the Review List to send evidence of records that are not listed in our Searchable Database—even in this Information Age we often do not receive sufficient information for many records. The committee strongly encourages written submissions even when photographs are available.

The statistics in brackets for each species or taxon show the number of records accepted in this report, followed by the total number of accepted records. Species that lack statistics are ones for which we have a relatively poor handle on the number of actual records, or it is a species reviewed due to its unseasonality. Below, we present data for all records covered, formatted as follows: Record identification number, count of individuals, location, range of observation dates, original observers, and observers submitting documentation. We credit the discoverer with an asterisk (*). We indicate whether the evidence provided was photographic (ph), video (v), audio (au), or a written submission (†).

ACCEPTED RECORDS

Black-bellied Whistling-Duck (Dendrocygna autumnalis) [1 record accepted in this report, 13 total records accepted]

2019-095: 1 at Horse Farm Lookout at Hummock Pond, Nantucket, Nantucket, 09/08/2019 [Trish Pastuszak* (ph)].

Fulvous Whistling-Duck (Dendrocygna bicolor) [1, 2]

1977-08: 8 at Parker River NWR, Plum Island, Essex, 11/06/1977 to 11/25/1977 [David Oliver*, Jim Berry].

Ross’s Goose (Anser rossii) [2, 36]

2019-085: 1 at New Seabury Country Club, Mashpee, Barnstable, 11/08/2019 to 11/15/2019 [Mary Keleher* (ph)]. First county record.

2020-011: 1 at Common Pasture, Newbury, Essex, 03/13/2020 to 03/14/2020 [Margo Goetschkes* (ph), Steve Grinley*].

Pink-footed Goose (Anser brachyrhynchus) [5, 23]

2019-086: 1 at Stephens Field, Plymouth, Plymouth, 12/01/2019 to 12/02/2019 [John Galluzzo* (ph)]. First county record.

2019-120: 1 at Longmeadow Flats, Longmeadow, Hampden, 11/16/2019 to 11/23/2019 [Ted Gilliland* (ph)].

2019-128: 1 at Somerset Reservoir and Quirk Mello Conservation Area, Somerset, Bristol, 12/06/2019 to 01/05/2020 [Matthew Eckerson* (ph)].

2020-028: 1 at Rte. 105, Vaughan Hill Road fields, Rochester, Plymouth, 02/23/2020 to 03/20/2020 [Brian Vigorito* (ph), Myer Bornstein*].

2020-032: 1 at UMass Dartmouth Campus, North Dartmouth, Bristol, 03/28/2020 [Zach Moser*, Dan Zimberlin (ph)].

Barnacle Goose (Branta leucopsis) [2, 17]

2019-122: 1 at Turners Pond and Wollaston Golf Club, Milton, Norfolk, 11/21/2019 to 12/03/2019, crossing to Franklin Park, Roxbury, Suffolk, on 12/04/2019 [Pat Dolan*, Andy Sanford (ph)]. First county record for Suffolk.

2020-025: 2 at Vaughan Hill Road fields, Rochester, Plymouth; Lake Street Ponds, Acushnet, Bristol; Acushnet River, Acushnet, Bristol, 01/15/2020 to 03/18/2020 [Neil Dowling* (ph)].

Trumpeter Swan (Cygnus buccinator) [1, 3]

2013-061: 1 at Big Station Pond, Monomoy NWR, Chatham, Barnstable, 10/25/2013 [Melanie Mancuso* (ph)]. First county record.

Tundra Swan (Cygnus columbianus) [4, 7 since 2017]

2019-083: 14 at Plum Island, Newburyport, Essex, 11/15/2019 [Bill Gette, Rick Heil (ph), James Meigs (ph), Margo Goetschkes].

2019-119: 10 at Plymouth Beach, Plymouth, Plymouth, 11/15/2019 [Cindi Jackson* (ph)].

2019-121: 5 at Lake Attitash, Amesbury, Essex, 11/16/2019 to 11/29/2019 [Kyle Wilmarth*, Pamela Low (ph)].

2019-147: 1 at Somerset Reservoir and Quirk Mello Conservation Area, Somerset, Bristol, 12/07/2019 to 03/08/2020 [Sebastian Jones* (ph), Alan Trautmann*, Ted Bradford*].

Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula) [2, 30]

2019-146: 1 at Horse Farm Lookout at Hummock Pond, Nantucket, Nantucket, 12/01/2019 to 04/09/2020 [Trish Pastuszak*, Keegan Burke (ph)].

2020-024: 1 at Long Pond, Brewster, Barnstable, 01/10/2020 to 02/02/2020 [Susan Finnegan* (ph), Peter Trimble*].

Labrador Duck (Camptorhynchus labradorius) [1, 1]

1800-01: 2 at Martha’s Vineyard, Dukes, prior to 1837 [Daniel Webster* (specimen), John James Audubon (illustrated)]. First officially accepted record.

Eared Grebe (Podiceps nigricollis) [1, 13]

2020-026: 1 at West Beach, Beverly, Essex, 02/01/2020 to 02/16/2020 [Francis Morello* (ph), Sean Williams* (ph)].

Western Grebe (Aechmophorus occidentalis) [1, 11]

1989-07: 1 at Plum Island, Newburyport, Essex, 10/28/1989 [Carl Haynie*].

White-winged Dove (Zenaida asiatica) [1, 27]

1986-07: 1 at Chatham, Barnstable, 08/08/1986 to 08/10/1986 [T. Vose, M. Vose].

Black-chinned Hummingbird (Archilochus alexandri) [2, 9]

1979-07: 1 at Margin Street, Cohasset, Norfolk, 11/25/1979 to 12/12/1979 [George Pride*, Richard Forster, Wayne Petersen]. Earliest accepted record for Massachusetts.

2016-051: 1 at Vineyard Haven, Martha’s Vineyard, Dukes, 11/24/2016 to 12/14/2016 [Gary Mirando* (ph)].

Rufous Hummingbird (Selasphorus rufus) [3, 40]

2019-071: 1 at Beach Street, Foxboro, Norfolk, 10/15/2019 to 11/13/2019 [Kevin Lynch*, Kathy Lynch*, Anthony Hill (banded)].

2019-072: 1 at New Ashford Road, New Ashford, Berkshire, 10/20/2019 to 11/13/2019 [Bette Phelps*, Anthony Hill (banded), Greg Ward (ph)].

2019-073: 1 at Brendan Drive, Grafton, Worcester, 11/30/2019 to 12/15/2019 [Marisa O’Brien* (ph), Anthony Hill (banded)].

Purple Gallinule (Porphyrio martinica) [8, 19]

1973-05: 1 at YMCA building, New Bedford, Bristol, 12/29/1973 [J. Fernandez*, Bob O’Hara (ph)].

1982-08: 1 at Falmouth, Barnstable, 05/16/1982 to 05/31/1982 [Dorothy Arvidson (ph)].

1988-07: 1 at East Weymouth, Norfolk, 05/01/1988 to 05/31/1988 [Robert Abrams (ph)].

2018-080: 1 at Doublebrook Road, Plymouth, Plymouth, 01/16/2018 [Anonymous* (ph)].

2019-081: 1 at Orleans-Chatham Road, Harwich, Barnstable, 11/04/2019 [Brian Miner* (ph)].

2019-151: 1 at Wood Street, Milton, Norfolk, 10/18/2019 to 10/21/2019 [Jeanie Kelly*, Tom Kelly*, Marshall Iliff (ph)].

2020-035: 1 at Dennis Pond, Yarmouth, Barnstable, 04/21/2020 to 05/20/2020 [Nancy Villone* (ph)].

2020-037: 1 at Henry Drive, Manomet, Plymouth, 05/11/2020 to 05/17/2020 [Lisa Reynolds* (ph)].

Northern Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus) [1, 8]

2019-127: 1 at Shaws Cove Road, Fairhaven, Bristol, 11/28/2019 [Carolyn Longworth* (ph)]. First county record.


Pacific Golden-Plover. Monomoy NWR–Powder Hole, Chatham. July 25, 2019. Photo by Sean Williams.

Pacific Golden-Plover (Pluvialis fulva) [1, 3]

2019-057: 1 at Monomoy NWR Powder Hole, Chatham, Barnstable, 07/25/2019 to 08/02/2019 [Sean Williams*† (ph), Max Chalfin-Jacobs* (ph), Francis Morello* (ph), Peter Trimble (ph), Fred Atwood, Sue Finnegan, John Pratt]. First county record.

Wilson’s Plover (Charadrius wilsonia) [4, 18]

1987-07: 1 at North Monomoy Island, Chatham, Barnstable, 05/31/1987 [Steven Dinsmore*, Robert Humphrey*].

2019-101: 1 at Parker River NWR, Plum Island, Essex, 09/20/2019 to 09/23/2019 [Tom Murray* (ph)].

2020-036: 1 at Coast Guard Beach, Eastham, Barnstable, 05/05/2020 to 05/07/2020 [Adele Sullivan*, Keegan Burke (ph)].

2020-039: 1 at Allens Pond Wildlife Sanctuary, Westport, Bristol, 06/04/2020 to 06/05/2020 [Allyson Lague* (ph)]. First county record accepted by MARC.

Common Ringed Plover (Charadrius hiaticula) [1, 6]

2019-063: 1 at Sandy Point State Reservation, Plum Island, Essex, 09/13/2019 to 09/15/2019 [Suzanne Sullivan* (ph)].

Long-billed Curlew (Numenius americanus) [2, 3]

1884-01: 1 at Ipswich, Essex, 10/18/1884 [Win Everett* (collected)].

1984-06: 1 at Monomoy NWR, Chatham, Barnstable, 06/06/1984 to 06/10/1984 [Blair Nikula*, Henning Stabins*].

Bar-tailed Godwit (Limosa lapponica) [1, 16]

1979-06: 1 at Monomoy NWR, Chatham, Barnstable, 07/04/1979 to 07/06/1979 [Robert Clem*, Blair Nikula (ph)].

Black-tailed Godwit (Limosa limosa) [1, 5]

1967-01: 1 at Horseneck Road, Dartmouth, Bristol, 04/23/1967 to 04/29/1967 [Gilbert Fernandez* (ph), Mrs. Gilbert Fernandez*]. Earliest accepted Massachusetts record.

Little Stint (Calidris minuta) [1, 9]

1980-06: 1 at Monomoy NWR, Chatham, Barnstable, 06/19/1980 to 06/25/1980 [Blair Nikula* (ph)].

Great Skua (Stercorarius skua) [1, 3]

2020-012: 1 at First Encounter Beach, Eastham, Barnstable, 04/04/2020 [Blair Nikula* (ph)].

South Polar Skua (Stercorarius maccormicki) [6, 12]

2019-069: 3 at First Encounter Beach, Eastham, Barnstable, 10/12/2019 [Timothy Spahr* (ph), Jeff Offermann*].

2019-089: 1 at pelagic waters at 41.1538, -67.4981, Nantucket, 08/15/2019 [Rob Dickerson* (ph)].

2019-090: 1 at pelagic waters at 40.7200, -68.1137, Nantucket, 08/21/2019 [Kate Sutherland* (ph)].

2019-092: 1 at pelagic waters at 39.5152, -69.4128, Nantucket, 08/27/2019 [Skye Hass* (ph), Kate Sutherland*].

2019-103: 1 at pelagic waters at 40.895893, -69.529317, Nantucket, 09/22/2019 [BBC Extreme Pelagic* (ph)].

2019-105: 1 at Race Point, Provincetown, Barnstable, 10/11/2019 to 10/12/2019 [Blair Nikula* (ph), Peter Trimble*].

Franklin’s Gull (Leucophaeus pipixcan) [4, 30]

1989-05: 1 at Flax Pond, Lynn, Essex, 10/06/1989 [John Quigley*].

2015-073: 4 at Richmond Pond, Richmond, Berkshire, 11/13/2015 [Gael Hurley*† (ph), Jonathan Pierce, Rene Wendell, Rebecca Amuso]. This sighting was part of an historic invasion on November 13, 2015.

2019-124: 1 at Presidents Golf Course, Quincy, Norfolk, 11/22/2019 to 11/24/2019 [Sebastian Jones* (ph), Ted Bradford* (ph)].

2020-043: 1 at Race Point Beach, Provincetown, Barnstable, 06/21/2020 [Jamie Glydon* (ph)].

Mew Gull (Larus canus) [7, 29]

1980-05: 1 at Revere Beach, Revere, Suffolk, 05/09/1980 [Soheil Zendeh (ph)].

2019-123: 1 at Broad Cove, Somerset, Bristol, 11/22/2019 [Matthew Eckerson* (ph)]. First county record.

2020-007: 1 at Gooseberry Neck, Westport, Bristol, 01/20/2020 [Joel Eckerson* (ph), Matthew Eckerson* (ph)].

2020-008: 1 at Kings Beach, Lynn/Swampscott, Essex, 01/31/2020 to 02/16/2020 [Andy Sanford* (ph)].

2020-009: 1 at Kings Beach, Lynn/Swampscott, Essex, 01/31/2020 to 02/23/2020 [Andy Sanford* (ph)].

2020-010: 1 at Lake Massapoag, Sharon, Norfolk, 02/03/2020 [Will Sweet* (ph)].

2020-031: 1 at Quidnet Village, Nantucket, Nantucket, 03/28/2020 [Skyler Kardell* (ph)].

Gull-billed Tern (Gelochelidon nilotica) [7, 19]

2019-097: 1 at Great Neck, Ipswich, Essex, 09/11/2019 [Margo Goetschkes*, Steve Grinley*].

2019-100: 1 at Monomoy NWR Powder Hole, Chatham, Barnstable, 09/17/2019 to 09/18/2019 [Jacob Drucker* (ph)].

2019-139: 1 at 25th Street, Plum Island, Newbury, Essex, 09/12/2019 [Nick Tepper* (ph)].

2019-140: 1 at Parker River NWR, Plum Island, Essex, 09/14/2019 to 09/17/2019 [Warren Tatro*, Steve Babbitt (ph)].

2019-141: 1 at Parker River NWR, Plum Island, Essex, 09/14/2019 to 09/16/2019 [Steve Babbitt* (ph)].

2019-142: 1 at Parker River NWR, Plum Island, Essex, 09/23/2019 to 09/24/2019 [Sue Hedman*, Tom Murray* (ph)].

2019-143: 1 at Parker River NWR, Plum Island, Essex, 09/29/2019 to 10/01/2019 [Valerie Burdette* (ph), Emily Jew*].

Sandwich Tern (Thalasseus sandvicensis) [1, 16]

2020-038: 1 at Race Point, Provincetown, Barnstable, 05/25/2020 to 05/27/2020 [Ted Bradford* (ph)]. Unusually early record.

White-tailed Tropicbird (Phaethon lepturus) [4, 10]

2014-076: 1 at pelagic waters at 39.932907, -69.584656, Nantucket, 08/26/2014 [E. J. Hudson* (ph)].

2015-076: 1 at pelagic waters at 40.153079, -68.518673, Nantucket, 08/22/2015 [BBC Extreme Pelagic* (ph)].

2015-077: 2 at pelagic waters at 40.177858, -68.553228, Nantucket, 08/23/2015 [BBC Extreme Pelagic* (ph)].

2015-078: 1 at pelagic waters at 40.185328, -68.576574, Nantucket, 08/23/2015 [BBC Extreme Pelagic* (ph)].

Red-billed Tropicbird (Phaethon aethereus) [3, 11]

1986-06: 1 at Gay Head, Martha’s Vineyard, Dukes, 09/15/1986 to 10/26/1986, 08/06/1987 to 08/30/1987, and 6/14/1988 to 07/04/1988 [Julius Rosenwald*, Vern Laux, Jonathan Alderfer (ph)].

2019-059: 1 at pelagic waters at 40.274685, -67.5825, Nantucket, 08/19/2019 [Kate Sutherland*† (ph)].

2019-060: 1 at pelagic waters at 39.853655, -68.000795, Nantucket, 08/21/2019 [Kate Sutherland*† (ph)].

Pacific Loon (Gavia pacifica) [1, 30]

2020-027: 1 at Andrews Point, Rockport, Essex, 02/06/2020 to 03/08/2020 [Rick Heil*, Chris Floyd (ph)].


Yellow-billed Loon. April 19, 2020. Race Point, Provincetown. Photo by Peter Flood.

Yellow-billed Loon (Gavia adamsii) [1, 2]

2020-024: 1 at Race Point, Provincetown, Barnstable, 04/19/2020 [Peter Flood* (ph)].

Trindade Petrel (Pterodroma arminjoniana) [1, 4]

2019-058: 1 at pelagic waters at 40.16816, -68.14089, Nantucket, 08/18/2019 [Kate Sutherland* (ph)].


Bermuda Petrel. September 21, 2019. Welker Canyon, 100 miles southeast of Nantucket. Photo by Nick Bonomo.

Bermuda Petrel (Pterodroma cahow) [1, 2]

2019-065: 1 at pelagic waters at 40.096262, -68.499827, Nantucket, 09/21/2019 [Nick Bonomo*† (ph), BBC Pelagic Trip* (ph)].

Black-capped Petrel (Pterodroma hasitata) [2, 7]

2014-075: 1 at pelagic waters at 40.146951, -68.797540, Nantucket, 08/23/2014 [Marshall Iliff*, Jeremiah Trimble (ph)].

2015-075: 1 at pelagic waters at 40.083090, -68.965106, Nantucket, 08/22/2015 [Nick Bonomo* (ph), Peter Flood* (ph), Jeff Offermann* (ph), Luke Seitz* (ph), Jeremiah Trimble* (ph), David Weber* (ph), BBC Extreme Pelagic* (ph)].

Barolo Shearwater (Puffinus baroli) [1, 2]

2012-155: 1 at pelagic waters at 40.425000, -68.240000, Nantucket, 08/26/2012 [Nick Bonomo* (ph), Tom Johnson* (ph), Doug Hitchcox* (ph), Marshall Iliff*, Jeff Offermann* (ph), BBC Extreme Pelagic* (ph)].

Wood Stork (Mycteria americana) [3, 7]

1918-01: 1 at Chilmark, Dukes, 11/26/1918 [E. H. Forbush* (collected)].

2019-079: 1 at Whitins Road, Sutton, Worcester, 11/03/2019 [Shirley Chauvin* (v)].

2019-080: 1 at Bridge Road, Orleans, Barnstable, 11/23/2019 [Kathy Alimanestianu* (ph)].

Magnificent Frigatebird (Fregata magnificens) [1, 6]

2012-156: 1 at Brayton Point, Somerset, Bristol, 10/30/2012 to 10/31/2012 [Geoff Dennis* (ph)]. This was following Hurricane Sandy.


Masked Booby. August 24, 2019. 130 miles east southeast of Nantucket. Photo by Kate Sutherland.

Masked Booby (Sula dactylatra) [2, 5]

2019-061: 1 at pelagic waters at 40.853655, -66.36768167, Nantucket, 08/20/2019 [Kate Sutherland*† (ph)].

2019-062: 1 at pelagic waters at 40.38643, -67.658743, Nantucket, 08/24/2019 [Kate Sutherland*† (ph)].

Brown Booby (Sula leucogaster) [12, 28]

2013-063: 1 at Herring Cove Beach, Provincetown, Barnstable, 09/17/2013 to 10/13/2013 [Blair Nikula* (ph)].

2013-064: 1 landed on a boat over Stellwagen Bank off Scituate, Plymouth, 07/07/2013, and rode the boat to Long Wharf, Boston, Suffolk, where it overnighted 07/07/2013 to 07/08/2013 [Anonymous].

2014-079: 1 at Great Point, Nantucket, Nantucket, 05/04/2014 [Anonymous* (ph)].

2015-079: 1 at Kalmus Park Beach, Hyannis, Barnstable, 08/25/2015 [Joe Huckemeyer*, Peter Trimble (ph)].

2015-080: 1 at Corporation Beach, Dennis, Barnstable, 11/11/2015 [Blair Nikula*].

2019-078: 1 at Gooseberry Neck, Westport, Bristol, 10/28/2019 [Marshall Iliff* (ph)].

2019-087: 1 at Race Point, Provincetown, Barnstable, 10/16/2019 [Blair Nikula*].

2019-093: 1 at pelagic waters at 40.353633, -69.145624, Nantucket, 09/03/2019 [Paul Lehman*, Barbara Carlson, Gerrit Bril (ph)].

2019-096: 1 at pelagic waters at 41.296553, -69.785156, Nantucket, 09/09/2019 [Andrew Gilbert* (ph)].

2019-102: 1 at pelagic waters at 40.063668, -68.867813, Nantucket, 09/21/2019 [Nick Bonomo* (ph), Tom Johnson* (ph), BBC Extreme Pelagic* (ph)].

2019-106: 1 at First Encounter Beach, Eastham, Barnstable, 10/12/2019 [Timothy Spahr (ph), Jeff Offermann*, Peter Trimble].

2019-118: 1 at Jetties Beach, Brant Point, Nantucket, Nantucket, 11/15/2019 [Blair Perkins*, Trish Pastuszak (ph)].

American White Pelican (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos) [3, 31]

1990-13: 1 at Coast Guard Beach, Eastham, Barnstable, 10/06/1990 [Kyle Jones* (ph)].

2020-003: 1 at High Head and Pilgrim Heights, Truro, and Great Island, Wellfleet, Barnstable, 01/02/2020 [Maili Waters* (ph), Liam Waters, Nathan Dubrow (ph), Dan Berard (ph)].

2020-042: 1 at Wickett Pond, Wendell, Franklin, 06/10/2020 [Seth Tuler* (ph)].

Brown Pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis) [7, 24]

2019-064: 1 at Inlet at Coskata Pond, Nantucket, Nantucket, 08/24/2019 [Diane Lang* (ph)].

2019-088: 1 at Great Point, Nantucket, Nantucket, 07/16/2019 [Blair Perkins* (ph)].

2019-094: 1 at Salem Ferry Dock, Salem, Essex, 09/07/2019 [Chris Semmelink* (ph)].

2019-133: 1 at Mayo Beach, Wellfleet, Barnstable, 12/18/2019 [Jim Sweeney (ph)].

2020-019: 4 at Dumpling Rocks off Round Hill Point, Buzzards Bay, Bristol, 06/05/2020 [Mike Sylvia* (ph)]. First county record.

2020-033: 1 at Lecount Hollow Beach, Wellfleet, Barnstable, 04/10/2020 [Brad Kaplan*, Mark Griffin* (ph)].

2020-041: 1 at Race Point, Provincetown, Barnstable, 06/07/2020 [Blair Nikula* (ph)].

Gray Heron (Ardea cinerea) [1, 1]

2020-044: 1 at Tuckernuck Island and Muskeget Island, Nantucket, Nantucket, 09/05/2020 to 09/06/2020 [Skyler Kardell* (ph), Tucker Taylor (ph)].

White Ibis (Eudocimus albus) [1, 9]

1989-03: 2 at Cumberland Farms, Middleborough, Plymouth, 03/21/1989 to 03/29/1989 [Tom Aversa, M. Paine, Wayne Petersen (ph)].

White-faced Ibis (Plegadis chihi) [3, 31]

1990-11: 1 at Plum Island, Newburyport, Essex, 06/10/1990 [Ian Lynch].

2019-110: 1 at Muddy Pond/Sterling Peat, Sterling, Worcester, 10/19/2019 to 10/21/2019 [Job Dekker*, Bette Robo (ph)]. First October record for state.

2019-117: 1 at Broad Cove, Somerset, Bristol, 11/15/2019 [Matthew Eckerson* (ph)]. First November record for state and first county record for Bristol.

Swallow-tailed Kite (Elanoides forficatus) [1, 16]

2020-030: 1 at Leland Farm and nearby areas, East Bridgewater, Plymouth, 03/11/2020 to 03/14/2020 [Judd Carlisle* (ph)].

Mississippi Kite (Ictinia mississippiensis) [6, 33]

1983-07: 1 at Pilgrim Heights, Truro, Barnstable, 05/07/1983 [Blair Nikula*, D. Reynolds*, Roger Everett* (ph)].

1986-05: 1 at Route 6, Truro, Barnstable, 05/06/1986 [Blair Nikula*, Robert Humphrey*].

2019-043: 1 at Province Lands Visitor Center, Provincetown, Barnstable, 05/18/2019 [Blair Nikula*, Jeffrey Offermann*, Jeremiah Trimble* (ph), Peter Trimble*, Sean Williams* (ph)].

2020-016: 1 at Easy Street, South Hadley, Hampshire, 05/18/2020 [Maryann Fortier* (ph)].

2020-020: 1 at Borderland State Park, North Easton, Bristol, 06/07/2020 [Marshall Iliff* (ph)].

2020-040: 1 at Lake Quinsigamond, Shrewsbury, Worcester, 06/05/2020 [Chris Liazos* (ph)].

Swainson’s Hawk (Buteo swainsoni) [2, 9]

1988-10: 1 at Cumberland Farms IBA, Halifax and Middleborough, Plymouth, 10/10/1988 to 10/21/1988 [H. W. Harrington, A. Leggett, Robert Abrams (ph)].

2015-074: 1 at Bear Creek Sanctuary, Saugus, Essex, 12/20/2015 [Janet Kovner*, Kaija Gahm*, Andrew Hrycyna* (ph), Geoff Wilson*, Paul Bain*]. Remarkably late record.

Great Gray Owl (Strix nebulosa) [3, 10]

1977-05: 1 at Beacon Street, Andover, Essex, 01/06/1977 [Bob Stymeist, Richard Veit].

1979-05: 1 at Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary, Topsfield, Essex, 01/28/1979 to 02/28/1979 [Bill Byrne (ph)].

1984-08: 1 at Hadley, Hampshire, 02/01/1984 to 03/30/1984 [Margaret Ciccarelli (ph)].

Boreal Owl (Aegolius funereus) [2, 10]

1978-04: 1 at Salisbury Beach State Park, Salisbury, Essex, 12/31/1978 [Fred Atwood* (ph), Bill Drummond].

1996-30: 1 at Charles E. Brown Middle School, Newton, Middlesex, 10/31/1996 [Karen Sheppard* (ph)].

Hammond’s Flycatcher (Empidonax hammondii) [1, 7]

2020-002: 1 at John Presbury Norton Farm, West Tisbury, Dukes, 01/08/2020 [Antone Lima* (ph)].

Pacific-slope Flycatcher (Empidonax difficilis) [1,1]

2019-076: 1 at River Drive, Hadley, Hampshire, 10/23/2019 to 12/02/2019 [Joe Oliverio* (ph), Larry Therrien (ph, au), Marshall Iliff (ph, au)].

Say’s Phoebe (Sayornis saya) [1, 13]

2013-062: 1 at Shaws Cove Road, Fairhaven, Bristol, 12/04/2013 [Carolyn Longworth*† (ph), Dan Logan* (ph)].

Ash-throated Flycatcher (Myiarchus cinerascens) [3, 29]

1989-06: 1 at Gay Head, Martha’s Vineyard, Dukes, 11/05/1989 [George Daniels*, Allan Keith*].

2019-115: 1 at Parker River NWR, Plum Island, Essex, 11/12/2019 to 11/13/2019 [Marjorie Watson* (ph), Margaret Viens* (ph)].

2019-150: 1 at Salisbury Beach State Reservation, Salisbury, Essex, 11/15/2019 to 11/16/2019 [John Keeley* (ph)].

Tropical/Couch’s Kingbird (Tyrannus melancholicus/couchii) [1, 2]

2020-021: 1 at Charles River Greenway, Pleasant Street, Watertown, Middlesex, 07/01/2020 [John Flagg* (ph)].

Tropical Kingbird (Tyrannus melancholicus) [1, 3]

2019-074: 1 at Rock Meadow, Belmont, Middlesex, 10/19/2019 to 10/26/2019 [Joe Battenfeld*, Jason Forbes (ph), Francis Morello (au), Justin Lawson (au)]. Recordings of calls helped eliminate Couch’s Kingbird.

Scissor-tailed Flycatcher (Tyrannus forficatus) [1, 6]

2019-091: 1 at Quaboag Pond, Brookfield, Worcester, 08/23/2019 to 08/28/2019 [Adolfo Cuadra* (ph)].

Fork-tailed Flycatcher (Tyrannus savana) [3, 13]

1980-07: 1 at Nauset Beach, Orleans, Barnstable, 09/27/1980 to 10/07/1980 [Bob Stymeist (ph)].

1987-08: 1 at Daniel Webster Wildlife Sanctuary, Marshfield, Plymouth, 06/20/1987 to 06/21/1987 [David Ludlow, Robert Abrams (ph)].

1990-10: 1 at Concord, Middlesex, 05/02/1990 to 05/03/1990 [T. Handley, Jack Murray (ph)].

Bell’s Vireo (Vireo bellii) [1, 13]

2019-077: 1 at Acoaxet Road, Westport, Bristol, 10/26/2019 [Andrew Eckerson*†, Joel Eckerson* (ph), Matthew Eckerson* (ph)].


Yellow-green Vireo. October 15, 2019. Monomoy NWR–Lighthouse. Photo by Valerie Bourdeau.

Yellow-green Vireo (Vireo flavoviridis) [1, 2]

2019-070: 1 at Monomoy NWR Lighthouse, Chatham, Barnstable, 10/15/2019 [James Junda* (ph), Sean Williams*†].

Canada Jay (Perisoreus canadensis) [1, 4]

2014-078: 1 at Quabbin Reservoir Gate 41, Petersham, Worcester, 11/04/2014 to 11/16/2014 [Mark Lynch*, Justin Lawson (ph)].

Rock Wren (Salpinctes obsoletus) [1, 2]

1991-13: 1 at South Orleans, Barnstable, 11/02/1991 to 02/01/1992 [Charlie Thompson, Sue Thompson, R. Everett (ph)].

Townsend’s Solitaire (Myadestes townsendi) [2, 26]

2019-114: 1 at Blue Heron Way, Nantucket, Nantucket, 11/10/2019 to 11/11/2019 [Peter Trimble*, Harvey Young*, Jeremiah Trimble* (ph), Trish Pastuszak* (ph)].

2019-145: 1 at Halibut Point State Park, Rockport, Essex, 11/10/2019 to 03/02/2020 [Flavio Sutti*, Andy Sanford (ph)].

Varied Thrush (Ixoreus naevius) [2, 18]

1985-05: 1 at Moonpenny Drive, Boxford, Essex, 01/07/1985 to 02/28/1985 [Joan Wasserman*, Bernard Wasserman* (ph)].

2020-005: 1 at Montague Road, Westhampton, Hampshire, 01/19/2020 [Samuel Jaffe (ph)].

Bicknell’s Thrush (Catharus bicknelli) [3, 3]

1995-24: 1 at Manomet, Inc., Manomet, Plymouth, 06/06/1995 [Manomet, Inc.* (banded)].

2008-51: 1 at Manomet, Inc., Manomet, Plymouth, 06/05/2008 [Manomet, Inc.* (banded), Ian Davies (ph)].

2014-077: 1 at Manomet, Inc., Manomet, Plymouth, 10/21/2014 [Manomet, Inc.* (banded)].

Northern Wheatear (Oenanthe oenanthe) [2, 13]

1975-04: 1 at Nantucket, Nantucket, 09/20/1975 to 09/22/1975 [J. Murphy, S. Garrett, E. Pyburn, G. Soucy (ph)].

1988-09: 1 at Red River Beach, Harwich, Barnstable, 10/02/1988 to 10/03/1988 [D. Stokes, Roger Everett (ph)].

Hoary Redpoll (Acanthis hornemanni) [1, 13]

1996-31: 1 at Windsor Road, Savoy, Berkshire, 03/09/1996 [Bob Packard (ph)].

Chestnut-collared Longspur (Calcarius ornatus) [2, 4]

1979-04: 1 at Bartlett Farm, Nantucket, Nantucket, 10/25/1979 to 10/27/1979 [Richard Veit, Marcia Litchfield (ph), Edith Andrews].

1993-25: 1 at Salisbury State Park, Salisbury, Essex, 12/31/1993 [Gary Purcell* (ph)].

Lark Bunting (Calamospiza melanocorys) [4, 12]

1977-06: 1 at Sidneys Pond, South Peabody, Essex, 09/19/1977 to 09/23/1977 [Rick Heil*].

1988-08: 1 at Plum Island, Newburyport, Essex, 07/23/1988 to 07/25/1988 [Peter and Fay Vale*, Bob Stymeist (ph)].

1990-08: 1 at Plum Island, Newburyport, Essex, 10/28/1990 to 10/31/1990 [Simon Perkins].

2019-104: 1 at Salisbury Beach State Reservation, Salisbury, Essex, 10/03/2019 to 10/04/2019 [John Keeley* (ph)].

Harris’s Sparrow (Zonotrichia querula) [2, 16]

2016-050: 1 at Westborough Wildlife Management Area, Westborough, Worcester, 10/26/2016 to 11/07/2016 [Bette Robo* (ph)].

2020-014: 1 at Western Avenue, Gloucester, Essex, 05/12/2020 to 05/14/2020 [Kris Nemeroff* (ph)].

LeConte’s Sparrow (Ammospiza leconteii) [2, 18]

1989-02: 1 at Littles Lane, Newbury, Essex, 02/04/1989 to 02/20/1989 [Wayne Petersen*, Blair Nikula*, Simon Perkins*, Rich Brown*, Charles Duncan*, Joseph Kenneally (ph)].

2019-107: 1 at Mill Village Road fields, Deerfield, Franklin, 10/13/2019 to 10/16/2019 [Charles Caron* (ph)].

Henslow’s Sparrow (Centronyx henslowii) [1, 6]

1982-10: 1 at Lost Pond, Brookline Recycling Center, Brookline, Norfolk, 12/19/1982 to 01/15/1983 [Dorothy Arvidson* (ph), Ned Mueller*, Alf Wilson*].

Green-tailed Towhee (Pipilo chlorurus) [2, 3]

1979-03: 1 at South Peabody, Essex, 10/17/1979 to 11/03/1979 [Rick Heil*].

1995-23: 1 at Marblehead Neck Wildlife Sanctuary, Marblehead, Essex, 04/01/1995 to 04/28/1995 [Jan Smith*, Erik Nielsen†, Rick Heil].

Golden-winged Warbler (Vermivora chrysoptera) [6, 10 since 2017]

2018-083: 1 at McDonald Farm Nature Preserve, Wilbraham, Hampden, 08/30/2018 [John Farrington* (ph)].

2018-084: 1 at Seaview Farm, Rockport, Essex, 09/16/2018 [Maili Waters*, Sean Williams* (ph)].

2019-066: 1 at Niles Pond, Gloucester, Essex, 09/21/2019 [Suzanne Sullivan* (ph), John Keeley*].

2019-067: 1 at Martin Burns Wildlife Management Area, Newbury, Essex, 09/27/2019 [John Keeley* (ph)].

2020-015: 1 at High Head, Truro, Barnstable, 05/16/2020 [Liam Waters* (ph), Maili Waters* (ph)].

2020-018: 1 at Cuttyhunk Island, Dukes, 05/30/2020 [Mike Sylvia* (ph)].

Swainson’s Warbler (Limnothlypis swainsonii) [1, 5]

1982-07: 1 at Beech Forest, Provincetown, Barnstable, 05/04/1982 to 05/06/1982 [John Young*, Wallace Bailey, Carl Goodrich, Blair Nikula].

MacGillivray’s Warbler (Geothlypis tolmiei) [2, 15]

1977-04: 1 at Dunback Meadow, Lexington, Middlesex, 11/13/1977 to 11/30/1977 [Bob Stymeist*, Philip Martin*, Simon Perkins (ph)].

2020-013: 1 at Manomet, Inc., Manomet, Plymouth, 04/29/2020 [Evan Dalton* (au), Alan Kneidel (ph), Trevor Llyod-Evans, Lisa Schibley (au), Sean Williams (ph, au)].

Black-throated Gray Warbler (Setophaga nigrescens) [2, 20]

2019-099: 1 at Monomoy NWR Lighthouse, Chatham, Barnstable, 09/16/2019 [Jacob Drucker* (ph)].

2019-108: 1 at Salt Pond, Falmouth, Barnstable, 10/15/2019 to 12/11/2019 [Karen Fiske* (ph)].

Townsend’s Warbler (Setophaga townsendi) [5, 24]

1978-05: 1 at Mount Auburn Cemetery, Cambridge, Middlesex, 05/04/1978 [Martha Reinstein*, Craig Jackson*, Soheil Zendeh*].

1991-14: 1 at Town Hall, Falmouth, Barnstable, 12/01/1991 to 12/12/1991 [Robert Bradbury (ph), Glenn d’Entremont].

2019-098: 1 at Robinson Farm, Marblehead, Essex, 09/14/2019 to 09/15/2019 [Max Chalfin-Jacobs* (ph), Francis Morello* (ph), Sean Williams* (ph)].

2019-109: 1 at Cuttyhunk Island, Dukes, 10/19/2019 [Liam Waters*, Andy Eckerson (ph), Joel Eckerson (ph), Matt Eckerson (ph)].

2019-132: 1 at Charles River Greenway, Pleasant Street, Watertown, Middlesex, 12/18/2019 [Travis Mazerall* (ph)].

Western Tanager (Piranga ludoviciana) [6, 19]

2019-113: 1 at Eastern Point Wildlife Sanctuary, Gloucester, Essex, 11/10/2019 to 11/15/2019 [Suzanne Sullivan* (ph), John Keeley*].

2019-126: 1 at Woods Hole, Falmouth, Barnstable, 11/27/2019 [Peter Trimble*, Sean Williams* (ph)].

2019-135: 1 at Torrey Road, East Sandwich, Barnstable, 12/22/2019 [Will Sweet* (ph), Sean Williams* (ph)].

2019-149: 1 at Oriole Lane, Sandwich, Barnstable, 12/23/2019 to 03/03/2020 [Sharion Boutilier*, Scott Boutilier* (ph)].

2020-029: 1 at Ice Pond, Nantucket, Nantucket, 03/07/2020 to 04/05/2020 [Ginger Andrews*, Trish Pastuszak (ph)].

2020-034: 1 at Amherst Center, Amherst, Hampshire, 04/18/2020 to 04/19/2020 [Jane Mildred*, Scott Surner (ph)].

Painted Bunting (Passerina ciris) [13, 38]

2019-082: 1 at Demarest Lloyd State Park, Dartmouth, Bristol, 11/11/2019 [Andy Eckerson*, Joel Eckerson* (ph), Jonathan Eckerson*, Matthew Eckerson*].

2019-111: 1 at Barnstable County Farm, Barnstable, Barnstable, 10/26/2019 to 10/27/2019 [Peter Trimble* (ph), Sean Williams* (ph), Susan Finnegan (ph)].

2019-112: 1 at Brewster Community Gardens, Brewster, Barnstable, 11/10/2019 to 11/13/2019 [Jim Sweeney*, Susan Finnegan (ph)].

2019-116: 1 at East Harwich, Barnstable, 11/15/2019 to 02/18/2020 [Anonymous].

2019-125: 1 at Pilgrim Heights Road, Provincetown, Barnstable, 11/26/2019 to 11/29/2019 [Frank Mockler* (ph)].

2019-129: 1 at Cold Brook Preserve, Harwich, Barnstable, 12/08/2019 [Roger Debenham* (ph)].

2019-130: 1 at Scorton Marsh Road, East Sandwich, Barnstable, 12/15/2019 to 12/24/2019 [Ryan Curran* (ph)].

2019-131: 1 at Paines Creek Road, Brewster, Barnstable, 12/15/2019 [Peter Johnson-Staub* (ph), Keelin Miller*].

2019-134: 1 at Adams Circle, Carver, Plymouth, 12/19/2019 to 01/28/2020 [Evan Dalton* (ph), Trevor Lloyd-Evans*].

2019-136: 1 at Stony Hill Road, Chatham, Barnstable, 12/24/2019 [Tom Auer* (ph)].

2019-137: 1 at Captain Linnell Road, Orleans, Barnstable, 12/31/2019 to 03/06/2020 [Anonymous* (ph)].

2020-004: 1 at Blue Heron Way, Eastham, Barnstable, 12/07/2019 to 02/10/2020 [Anonymous].

2020-006: 1 at Depot Road, Harwich, Barnstable, 01/20/2020 to 02/13/2020 [Susan Finnegan (ph), Mark Faherty (ph)].

Western Meadowlark (Sturnella neglecta) [1, 2]

2014-074: 1 at Fort Hill, Eastham, Barnstable, 02/22/2014 [Jeremiah Trimble*† (ph, au), Jeffrey Offermann*]. Earliest accepted Massachusetts record.

Brewer’s Blackbird (Euphagus cyanocephalus) [1, 3]

1973-06: 2 at North Beach, Orleans, Barnstable, 10/27/1979 to 10/28/1979 [Wayne Petersen*, Wallace Bailey, Priscilla Bailey, Carl Goodrich, Blair Nikula].

RECORDS NOT ACCEPTED

Barnacle Goose

1990-012: 1 at Lexington, Middlesex, 12/06/1990 to 12/07/1990.

Members agreed on the identification but did not accept provenance. At the time of this sighting, very few Barnacle Geese were occurring in North America and Pink-footed Goose was still not occurring. Recent increases in Greenland-breeding Barnacle Geese were just beginning, their pattern of vagrancy was very poorly established, and Barnacle Geese were then and still are commonly kept in captivity. The committee decided it was not certain this individual was wild.

Eurasian Collared-Dove (Streptopelia decaocto)

2019-068: 1 at E Street, Lowell, Essex, 09/24/2019 to 09/26/2019.

Photos showed a Streptopelia dove that more closely resembled African Collared-Dove and therefore was likely an escaped individual.

Franklin’s Gull

1977-007: 1 at offshore Martha’s Vineyard at 41º 30.0’ N, 70º 37.5’ W, Dukes, 10/10/1977.

The description failed to focus on key details, such as white in the primaries.

1989-004: 1 at Little Nahant Beach, Nahant, Essex, 09/03/1989.

The description of this young gull did not safely rule out Laughing Gull, which relies heavily on structure in this plumage.

Bridled Tern (Onychoprion anaethetus)

1984-007: 1 at seven miles east of Gloucester, Essex, 08/25/1984.

Described features of this individual did not rule out an immature Common Tern with confidence, and in addition there were no storm systems associated with this time period that would possibly displace this tropical species into cold water.

Yellow-billed Loon

1982-009: 1 at Salisbury Beach State Park, Salisbury, Essex, 11/14/1982.

This report was very suggestive of this species. Observers noted a Common-type loon with a pale outer half of the culmen and bulky bill and head proportions. Other features were more suggestive of Common Loon, such as the darkness of the cap and back of the neck, and the lack of an auricular patch. In the end, the original observer believed this sighting was suggestive, but should be treated as hypothetical.

Barolo Shearwater

2019-144: 1 at pelagic waters at 40.5260, -68.9602, Nantucket, 08/20/2019.

Members felt that the observer is credible, and the small body size and white sides of the face likely pertain to Barolo. However, other members felt that the description lacked details due to brevity, and because this would be a third state record, it should not be accepted.

Neotropic Cormorant (Phalacrocorax brasilianus)

2018-082: 1 at Wachusett Reservoir, Clinton, Worcester, 09/08/2018.

Photos showed a cormorant that had bill and tail proportions consistent with Double-crested Cormorant.

2019-138: 1 at Plum Island, Newburyport, Essex, 09/19/2019.

Photos and a description demonstrated a very small cormorant that may have pertained to this species, but plumage details, bill size, and tail length were not noted, which the committee felt was necessary to accept as a would-be first state record.

American White Pelican

2020-023: 1 at Red Pine Lane, Wareham, Plymouth, 02/09/2020.

A single photo of a distant white dot but no description was associated with this record. Committee members did not feel confident that the object in the photo represented a pelican and perhaps was not a bird.

Brown Pelican

2020-022: 1 at Manomet Point, Manomet, Plymouth, 06/08/2020.

This report had no description or photo.

Mississippi Kite

2019-075: 1 at Penzance Road, Falmouth, Barnstable, 10/20/2019.

The late date gave pause to some committee members, and the description did not carefully rule out potentially confusing species, such as Peregrine Falcon.

White-tailed Eagle (Haliaeetus albicilla)

1978-006: 1 at Thaxter Street, Hingham, Plymouth, 02/07/1978.

The description did not sufficiently rule out an immature Bald Eagle.

Western Wood-Pewee (Contopus sordidulus)

1954-004: 1 at Chatham, Barnstable, 09/25/1954.

The description paid close attention to the situational details but did not address the plumage or the voice.

Black-crested Titmouse (Baeolophus atricristatus)

1954-005: 1 at Weymouth, Norfolk, 11/01/1954 to 12/14/1954.

A titmouse with a black crest was observed by many, although other features supporting Black-crested Titmouse were not noted, and so the committee did not feel an aberrant Tufted Titmouse was ruled out. This species has no record of long-distance vagrancy so the committee felt a very high burden of proof was needed.

Bicknell’s Thrush

2008-049: 1 at Mount Auburn Cemetery, Cambridge, Middlesex, 05/25/2008.

Members thought that the observer is competent to identify this species, but the documentation was insufficient. The song was briefly described but can vary, and the observer did not note whether he heard the song more than one time.

2008-050: 1 at Manomet, Inc., Manomet, Plymouth, 05/29/2008.

The description of key elements of the song was brief and by an observer who admitted unfamiliarity with this species.

2008-052: 1 at Manomet, Inc., Manomet, Plymouth, 06/06/2008.

The identification was based solely on a wing chord of 94 mm which falls within the range of overlap between Bicknell’s and Gray-cheeked Thrush (Pyle 1997).

Common Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs)

1988-006: 1 at Windsor, Berkshire, 03/26/1988 to 03/27/1988.

Members agreed that the photos showed a Common Chaffinch but were concerned about the lack of details on feather wear, presence or absence of leg bands, and behavior to support or rule out a captive provenance.

Golden-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia atricapilla)

1990-009: 1 at Smith Neck Road, Dartmouth, Bristol, 01/04/1990.

The description focused on the yellow present in the crown, although members felt that immature White-crowned Sparrows can have fairly bright yellow in the crown. Other details about this bird were scant, so the committee could not accept it. Purportedly this individual stuck around throughout January and so photos may exist. If so, the committee will reevaluate it in the future.

Lark Bunting

1970-001: 1 at Nauset Beach, Orleans, Barnstable, 09/04/1970 to 09/05/1970.

A photograph in Bird Observer showed a Lark Bunting and seemed to be associated with this record, but there were multiple records of this species in the area at this time and the listed photographer was not known to have seen the record in question. Petersen, who observed this bird, did not believe it had been photographed. Because there were no further details, the committee could not accept this record.

Shiny Cowbird (Molothrus bonariensis)

2019-084: 1 at Cuttyhunk Island, Dukes, 12/01/2019.

Committee members were intrigued by this report of a male cowbird showing dark glossy plumage throughout the head. However, the report relied mostly on the head color, and other critical details such as eye color and bill shape were lacking to rule out other cowbird species. Therefore, committee members were not comfortable accepting this would-be second state record.

Western Tanager

2020-017: 1 at Parker River NWR, Newburyport, Essex, 05/23/2020.

Observers noted a wing-barred tanager with a yellow body and dark wings. However, the back color was not scrutinized, which is critical to rule out wing-barred Scarlet Tanagers. Western Tanagers in the spring are particularly unusual, so the committee felt there was a high burden of proof for this record.

Painted Bunting

2018-081: 1 at Savin Hill, Boston, Suffolk, 05/22/2018.

The description included brief details on a small green passerine with a stubby bill, but other small green passerines present at this time of the year were not considered.

Literature Cited

  • American Ornithologists’ Union. 1998. Checklist-list of North American Birds, 7th ed. Lawrence, Kansas: American Ornithologists’ Union.
  • Chesser, R. T., R. C. Banks, F. K. Barker, C. Cicero, J. L. Dunn, A. W. Kratter, I. J. Lovette, P. C. Rasmussen, J. V. Remsen Jr., J. D. Rising, D. F. Stotz, and K. Winker. 2009. Fiftieth Supplement to the American Ornithologists’ Union Check-list of North American Birds. Auk 126 (3): 705–714.
  • Chesser, R. T., R. C. Banks, F. K. Barker, C. Cicero, J. L. Dunn, A. W. Kratter, I. J. Lovette, P. C. Rasmussen, J. V. Remsen Jr., J. D. Rising, D. F. Stotz, and K. Winker. 2010. Fifty-first Supplement to the American Ornithologists’ Union Check-list of North American Birds. Auk 127 (3): 726–744.
  • Chesser, R. T., R. C. Banks, F. K. Barker, C. Cicero, J. L. Dunn, A. W. Kratter, I. J. Lovette, P. C. Rasmussen, J. V. Remsen Jr., J. D. Rising, D. F. Stotz, and K. Winker. 2011. Fifty-second Supplement to the American Ornithologists’ Union Check-list of North American Birds. Auk 128 (3): 600–613.
  • Chesser, R. T., R. C. Banks, F. K. Barker, C. Cicero, J. L. Dunn, A. W. Kratter, I. J. Lovette, P. C. Rasmussen, J. V. Remsen Jr., J. D. Rising, D. F. Stotz, and K. Winker. 2012. Fifty-third Supplement to the American Ornithologists’ Union Check-list of North American Birds. Auk 129 (3): 573–588.
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