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 2018)

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

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.