Status & Distribution - Rarities & Accidentals

This listing contains every species that is classified as a rarity (darker green highlight) or an accidental (lighter green highlight) in Virginia Beach. These are birds that have been previously observed within Virginia Beach, but are flagged year-round in eBird since they may occur annually in very low numbers, or less than annually. Some species might be very cryptic (Le Conte's Sparrow), while some might be difficult to differentiate from a similar species (Saltmarsh Sparrow vs. Nelson's, Long-billed vs. Short-billed Dowitcher, etc.). Some species in each category are more 'expected' than others. For example, Eurasian Wigeon or Iceland Gull are essentially annual with 1 or 2 individuals usually observed each winter, while species like Black Rail, may now be completely absent from the county. Due to the unlikelihood of observing each species, documentation is always required in eBird. These species have all been validated by either eBird, the Virginia Avian Records Committee (VARCOM), or both. Geographic distributions for each species may be accessed by selecting the Spatial Distribution links below. The final column, 'Count Charts', provides Population & Seasonal distribution information in the forms of accepted counts during given time frames. Together, the geographic, population, and seasonality comprise the full distribution of each species. If you wish to open multiple maps or charts into your browser, select the links with the roll wheel on your mouse and each will open in a new browser tab.(Revised Sep 2017)

Filter: All - Permanent Residents - Winter Residents - Summer Residents - Transients - Rarities

Common Name Scientific Name Category Spatial Distribution Counts & Seasonality
  Black-bellied Whistling-Duck   Dendrocygna autumnalis   Rarity Link Link
  Fulvous Whistling-Duck   Dendrocygna bicolor   Accidental Link Link
  Ross's Goose   Anser rossii   Rarity Link Link
  Greater White-fronted Goose   Anser albifrons   Rarity Link Link
  Cackling Goose   Branta hutchinsii   Rarity Link Link
  Mute Swan   Cygnus olor   Rarity Link Link
  Trumpeter Swan   Cygnus buccinator   Accidental Link Link
  Garganey   Spatula querquedula   Accidental Link Link
  Cinnamon Teal   Spatula cyanoptera   Accidental Link Link
  Eurasian Wigeon   Mareca penelope   Rarity Link Link
  White-cheeked Pintail   Anas bahamensis   Accidental Link Link
  King Eider   Somateria spectabilis   Rarity Link Link
  Barrow's Goldeneye   Bucephala islandica   Accidental Link Link
  Common Merganser   Mergus merganser   Rarity Link Link
  Ring-necked Pheasant   Phasianus colchicus   Accidental Link Link
  Pacific Loon   Gavia pacifica   Rarity Link Link
  Eared Grebe   Podiceps nigricollis   Rarity Link Link
  Western Grebe   Aechmophorus occidentalis   Rarity Link Link
  Clark's Grebe   Aechmophorus clarkii   Accidental Link Link
  Yellow-nosed Albatross   Thalassarche chlororhynchos   Accidental Link Link
  Northern Fulmar   Fulmarus glacialis   Rarity Link Link
  Black-capped Petrel   Pterodroma hasitata   Rarity Link Link
  Cory's Shearwater   Calonectris diomedea   Rarity Link Link
  Great Shearwater   Ardenna gravis   Rarity Link Link
  Sooty Shearwater   Ardenna grisea   Rarity Link Link
  Manx Shearwater   Puffinus puffinus   Rarity Link Link
  Audubon's Shearwater   Puffinus lherminieri   Rarity Link Link
  White-faced Storm-Petrel   Pelagodroma marina   Rarity Link Link
  Leach's Storm-Petrel   Oceanodroma leucorhoa   Rarity Link Link
  Band-rumped Storm-Petrel   Oceanodroma castro   Rarity Link Link
  White-tailed Tropicbird   Phaethon lepturus   Rarity Link Link
  Wood Stork   Mycteria americana   Accidental Link Link
  Magnificent Frigatebird   Fregata magnificens   Accidental Link Link
  Brown Booby   Sula leucogaster   Accidental Link Link
  Anhinga   Anhinga anhinga   Rarity Link Link
  American White Pelican   Pelecanus erythrorhynchos   Rarity Link Link
  Roseate Spoonbill   Platalea ajaja   Accidental Link Link
  Swallow-tailed Kite   Elanoides forficatus   Rarity Link Link
  Golden Eagle   Aquila chrysaetos   Rarity Link Link
  Northern Goshawk   Accipiter gentilis   Rarity Link Link
  Rough-legged Hawk   Buteo lagopus   Accidental Link Link
  Yellow Rail   Coturnicops noveboracensis   Rarity Link Link
  Black Rail   Laterallus jamaicensis   Rarity Link Link
  Purple Gallinule   Porphyrio martinica   Rarity Link Link
  Common Gallinule   Gallinula galeata   Rarity Link Link
  Sandhill Crane   Antigone canadensis   Rarity Link Link
  Black-necked Stilt   Himantopus mexicanus   Rarity Link Link
  American Avocet   Recurvirostra americana   Rarity Link Link
  American Golden-Plover   Pluvialis dominica   Rarity Link Link
  Northern Lapwing   Vanellus vanellus   Accidental Link Link
  Wilson's Plover   Charadrius wilsonia   Rarity Link Link
  Upland Sandpiper   Bartramia longicauda   Rarity Link Link
  Marbled Godwit   Limosa fedoa   Rarity Link Link
  Ruff   Calidris pugnax   Rarity Link Link
  Buff-breasted Sandpiper   Calidris subruficollis   Rarity Link Link
  Long-billed Dowitcher   Limnodromus scolopaceus   Rarity Link Link
  Wilson's Phalarope   Phalaropus tricolor   Rarity Link Link
  Red-necked Phalarope   Phalaropus lobatus   Rarity Link Link
  Red Phalarope   Phalaropus fulicarius   Rarity Link Link
  Great Skua   Stercorarius skua   Rarity Link Link
  South Polar Skua   Stercorarius maccormicki   Rarity Link Link
  Pomarine Jaeger   Stercorarius pomarinus   Rarity Link Link
  Parasitic Jaeger  Stercorarius parasiticus   Rarity Link Link
  Long-tailed Jaeger   Stercorarius longicaudus   Rarity Link Link
  Dovekie   Alle alle   Rarity Link Link
  Common Murre   Uria aalge   Rarity Link Link
  Thick-billed Murre   Uria lomvia   Rarity Link Link
  Black Guillemot   Cepphus grylle   Accidental Link Link
  Ancient Murrelet   Synthliboramphus antiquus   Accidental Link Link
  Atlantic Puffin   Fratercula arctica   Rarity Link Link
  Black-legged Kittiwake   Rissa tridactyla   Rarity Link Link
  Sabine's Gull   Xema sabini   Rarity Link Link
  Black-headed Gull   Chroicocephalus ridibundus   Rarity Link Link
  Little Gull   Hydrocoloeus minutus   Rarity Link Link
  Franklin's Gull   Leucophaeus pipixcan   Rarity Link Link
  Black-tailed Gull   Larus crassirostris   Accidental Link Link
  California Gull   Larus californicus   Accidental Link Link
  Yellow-legged Gull   Larus michahellis   Accidental Link Link
  Iceland Gull   Larus glaucoides   Rarity Link Link
  Glaucous Gull   Larus hyperboreus   Rarity Link Link
  Sooty Tern   Onychoprion fuscatus   Rarity Link Link
  Bridled Tern   Onychoprion anaethetus   Rarity Link Link
  Roseate Tern   Sterna dougallii   Rarity Link Link
  Arctic Tern   Sterna paradisaea   Rarity Link Link
  Common Ground-Dove   Columbina passerina   Accidental Link Link
  White-winged Dove   Zenaida asiatica   Rarity Link Link
  Black-billed Cuckoo   Coccyzus erythropthalmus   Rarity Link Link
  Barn Owl   Tyto alba   Rarity Link Link
  Snowy Owl   Bubo scandiacus   Rarity Link Link
  Burrowing Owl   Athene cunicularia   Accidental Link Link
  Long-eared Owl   Asio otus   Accidental Link Link
  Short-eared Owl   Asio flammeus   Rarity Link Link
  Northern Saw-whet Owl   Aegolius acadicus   Accidental Link Link
  Eastern Whip-poor-will   Antrostomus vociferus   Rarity Link Link
  Black-chinned Hummingbird   Archilochus alexandri   Accidental Link Link
  Rufous Hummingbird   Selasphorus rufus   Accidental Link Link
  Calliope Hummingbird   Selasphorus calliope   Accidental Link Link
  Red-cockaded Woodpecker   Picoides borealis   Accidental Link Link
  Crested Caracara   Caracara cheriway   Accidental Link Link
  Monk Parakeet   Myiopsitta monachus   Accidental Link Link
  Western Wood-Pewee   Contopus sordidulus   Accidental Link Link
  Yellow-bellied Flycatcher   Empidonax flaviventris   Rarity Link Link
  Alder Flycatcher   Empidonax alnorum   Rarity Link Link
  Willow Flycatcher   Empidonax traillii   Rarity Link Link
  Least Flycatcher   Empidonax minimus   Rarity Link Link
  Say's Phoebe   Sayornis saya   Accidental Link Link
  Ash-throated Flycatcher   Myiarchus cinerascens   Rarity Link Link
  Western Kingbird   Tyrannus verticalis   Rarity Link Link
  Gray Kingbird   Tyrannus dominicensis   Rarity Link Link
  Scissor-tailed Flycatcher   Tyrannus forficatus   Accidental Link Link
  Fork-tailed Flycatcher   Tyrannus savana   Accidental Link Link
  Loggerhead Shrike   Lanius ludovicianus   Accidental Link Link
  Northern Shrike   Lanius borealis   Accidental Link Link
  Philadelphia Vireo   Vireo philadelphicus   Rarity Link Link
  Warbling Vireo   Vireo gilvus   Rarity Link Link
  Black-whiskered Vireo   Vireo altiloquus   Accidental Link Link
  Common Raven   Corvus corax   Accidental Link Link
  Cliff Swallow   Petrochelidon pyrrhonota   Rarity Link Link
  Cave Swallow   Petrochelidon fulva   Rarity Link Link
  Rock Wren   Salpinctes obsoletus   Accidental Link Link
  Bewick's Wren   Thryomanes bewickii   Accidental Link Link
  Bicknell's Thrush   Catharus bicknelli   Rarity Link Link
  Lapland Longspur   Calcarius lapponicus   Accidental Link Link
  Snow Bunting   Plectrophenax nivalis   Rarity Link Link
  Louisiana Waterthrush   Parkesia motacilla   Rarity Link Link
  Golden-winged Warbler   Vermivora chrysoptera   Rarity Link Link
  Tennessee Warbler   Oreothlypis peregrina   Rarity Link Link
  Connecticut Warbler   Oporornis agilis   Rarity Link Link
  Mourning Warbler   Geothlypis philadelphia   Rarity Link Link
  Kentucky Warbler   Geothlypis formosa   Rarity Link Link
  Canada Warbler   Cardellina canadensis   Rarity Link Link
  Henslow's Sparrow   Ammodramus henslowii   Accidental Link Link
  LeConte's Sparrow   Ammodramus leconteii   Rarity Link Link
  Saltmarsh Sparrow   Ammodramus caudacutus   Rarity Link Link
  Clay-colored Sparrow   Spizella pallida   Rarity Link Link
  Lark Sparrow   Chondestes grammacus   Rarity Link Link
  Lark Bunting   Calamospiza melanocorys   Accidental Link Link
  White-crowned Sparrow   Zonotrichia leucophrys   Rarity Link Link
  Vesper Sparrow   Pooecetes gramineus   Rarity Link Link
  Lincoln's Sparrow   Melospiza lincolnii   Rarity Link Link
  Green-tailed Towhee   Pipilo chlorurus   Accidental Link Link
  Western Tanager   Piranga ludoviciana   Rarity Link Link
  Painted Bunting   Passerina ciris   Rarity Link Link
  Dickcissel   Spiza americana   Rarity Link Link
  Yellow-headed Blackbird   Xanthocephalus xanthocephalus   Rarity Link Link
  Bullock's Oriole   Icterus bullockii   Accidental Link Link
  Rusty Blackbird   Euphagus carolinus   Rarity Link Link
  Brewer's Blackbird   Euphagus cyanocephalus   Rarity Link Link
  Evening Grosbeak   Coccothraustes vespertinus   Accidental Link Link
  Common Redpoll   Acanthis flammea   Accidental Link Link
  Red Crossbill   Loxia curvirostra   Accidental Link Link
  White-winged Crossbill   Loxia leucoptera   Accidental Link Link
  Lesser Goldfinch   Spinus psaltria   Accidental Link Link

References

Rottenborn, Stephen C. and Edward S. Brinkley (editors). 2007. Virginia’s Birdlife: An Annotated Checklist. Virginia Society of Ornithology. Virginia            Avifauna No. 7.

Sullivan, B.L., C.L. Wood, M.J. Iliff, R.E. Bonney, D. Fink, and S. Kelling. 2009. eBird: a citizen-based bird observation network in the biological sciences. Biological Conservation 142: 2282-2292.