Georgia’s First Record for the Lazuli Bunting

Those of you who know me personally know that I’m a bird nerd of sorts, and have been since childhood. When my father called me on 8 April 2018 and reported an unusual blue bird hanging around his backyard, I made a trip over to Fitzgerald to investigate it myself. From his description, we both thought it might be a Lazuli Bunting but that was easy to dismiss since it’s a western species, never before recorded in Georgia. Sure enough, it was a beautiful Lazuli Bunting (Passerina amoena). The bird likely followed a storm system that moved across the middle of the country and wound up in South Georgia. It only hung around a couple of days, but it was a gift to see it.

Last week, I finally got confirmation from Jim Flynn of the Checklist and Records Committee of the Georgia Ornithological Society that the sighting was officially confirmed. He wrote: I wanted to let you know that we finally completed a round of bird records that included your Lazuli Bunting report. I am happy to say that it was unanimously accepted. This is the first fully documented record for Georgia. After all of these years of record keeping, going back to colonial times, it’s tough to get a new state record!


9 thoughts on “Georgia’s First Record for the Lazuli Bunting

  1. May

    Congratulations to you and your father. What a great story. We enjoy your photos and historical tidbits.

  2. Ben

    I put up a bird feeder a few weeks ago in the Augusta area and I have seen a few blue birds at it daily. Didn’t know what type they were until I finally got a seek i.d. on it this morning then googled and found this post. So cool to find out their rarity.

    1. Brian Brown Post author

      Amazingly rare. Hopefully, you can get even a phone photo of it and send it to someone provided at the link for the Georgia Ornithological Society that I shared.

  3. John Harrison

    Good to know you’re a birder. My first GOS weekend was in Fitzgerald, where I met Milton “Buddy” Hopkins. We visited his house, pond, and farm. Very nice man. Happy birding to you.

  4. Michael Porter

    Nice find. I will be on the lookout in North Georgia. Great picture. Thanks for the coneflower too.


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