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 2019; compliant with eBird/Clements 2019 Taxonomy.)

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

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
Tufted Duck Aythya fuligula Accidental Map Chart
King Eider Somateria spectabilis Rarity Map Chart
Harlequin Duck Histrionicus histrionicus Rarity Map Chart
Common Merganser Mergus merganser Rarity Map Chart
Ring-necked Pheasant Phasianus colchicus Accidental Map Chart
Eared Grebe Podiceps nigricollis Rarity Map Chart
Western Grebe Aechmophorus occidentalis Rarity Map Chart
Clark's Grebe Aechmophorus clarkii Accidental 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
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
Virginia Rail Rallus limicola Rarity Map Chart
Common Gallinule Gallinula galeata Rarity Map Chart
Purple Gallinule Porphyrio martinica Rarity Map Chart
Yellow Rail Coturnicops noveboracensis Rarity Map Chart
Black Rail Laterallus jamaicensis 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 Accidental 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 Accidental 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
White-tailed Tropicbird Phaethon lepturus Rarity Map Chart
Pacific Loon Gavia pacifica Rarity Map Chart
Yellow-nosed Albatross Thalassarche chlororhynchos Accidental 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
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
Wood Stork Mycteria americana Rarity Map Chart
Magnificent Frigatebird Fregata magnificens Rarity Map Chart
Brown Booby Sula leucogaster Rarity Map Chart
Anhinga Anhinga anhinga Rarity Map Chart
Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo Rarity Map Chart
American White Pelican Pelecanus erythrorhynchos Rarity Map Chart
Roseate Spoonbill Platalea ajaja Rarity 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 Map Chart
Rough-legged Hawk Buteo lagopus 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 Rarity Map Chart
Red-cockaded Woodpecker Dryobates 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 Rarity Map Chart
Fork-tailed Flycatcher Tyrannus savana 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
Loggerhead Shrike Lanius ludovicianus Accidental Map Chart
Northern Shrike Lanius borealis Accidental Map Chart
Common Raven Corvus corax Accidental Map Chart
Cliff Swallow Petrochelidon pyrrhonota Rarity Map Chart
Cave Swallow Petrochelidon fulva Rarity Map Chart
Rock Wren Salpinctes obsoletus Accidental Map Chart
Sedge Wren Cistothorus platensis Rarity Map Chart
Bewick's Wren Thryomanes bewickii Accidental Map Chart
Townsend's Solitaire Myadestes townsendi Accidental Map Chart
Bicknell's Thrush Catharus bicknelli Rarity Map Chart
Evening Grosbeak Coccothraustes vespertinus Accidental Map Chart
Purple Finch Haemorhous purpureus Rarity Map Chart
Common Redpoll Acanthis flammea Accidental Map Chart
Red Crossbill Loxia curvirostra Accidental Map Chart
White-winged Crossbill Loxia leucoptera Accidental Map Chart
Lesser Goldfinch Spinus psaltria Accidental Map Chart
Lapland Longspur Calcarius lapponicus Accidental Map Chart
Snow Bunting Plectrophenax nivalis Rarity Map Chart
Grasshopper Sparrow Ammodramus savannarum 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
LeConte's Sparrow Ammospiza leconteii Rarity Map Chart
Saltmarsh Sparrow Ammospiza caudacuta Rarity Map Chart
Henslow's Sparrow Centronyx henslowii Accidental Map Chart
Lincoln's Sparrow Melospiza lincolnii Rarity Map Chart
Green-tailed Towhee Pipilo chlorurus Accidental 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
Worm-eating Warbler Helmitheros vermivorum Rarity Map Chart
Louisiana Waterthrush Parkesia motacilla Rarity Map Chart
Blue-winged Warbler Vermivora cyanoptera Rarity Map Chart
Tennessee Warbler Leiothlypis 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
Bay-breasted Warbler Setophaga castanea Rarity Map Chart
Blackburnian Warbler Setophaga fusca Rarity Map Chart
Chestnut-sided Warbler Setophaga pensylvanica Rarity Map Chart
Canada Warbler Cardellina canadensis Rarity Map Chart
Western Tanager Piranga ludoviciana Rarity Map Chart
Painted Bunting Passerina ciris Rarity Map Chart
Dickcissel Spiza americana Rarity Map Chart


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.