Rio Grande Valley Rare Bird Alert

Rio Grande Valley Rare Bird Alert
Call 956-584-9156!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Tropical Parula 10/22 YES

Still singing away at Quinta Mazatlan this morning.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Tropical Parula YES 10/18

Singing and putting on a show for many birders at Quinta Mazatlan this morning.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Rare Bird Alert Oct 16, 2014

* Texas
* Lower Rio Grande Valley
* October 16, 2014
To report rare birds, e-mail rgvbirds AT (preferred) or call (956)584-2731 option 3.
Updates can be seen on the web at
Capitalized birds marked with a + are Review Species for Texas. Please send sightings/photographs to the Texas Bird Records Committee:  
NOTE: A local researcher is looking for territorial Harris’s Hawks.  If you regularly see Harris’s Hawks on territory or you locate a nest, please contact Bill Clark at raptours AT
NOTE: State Park offices and shops closed early in the week, though the parks are OPEN – please use the ‘iron ranger’ to self register each day (even if you have a state park pass).   See specific listings below under Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley, Estero Llano Grande, and Resaca de la Palma.  WATCH FOR THESE PARKS TO CHANGE SCHEDULES SHORTLY, see site list below.
NOTE: The last SPI Pelagic is scheduled to go out of SPI on October 25th. Contact Gary Hodne for more information.
Our rare bird alert this week includes:
+BAR-TAILED GODWIT (extralimital)
Brown Booby
Painted Redstart (extralimital)
Tropical Parula
Mangrove [Yellow] Warbler  
This is a general reminder that playing recordings is not allowed in Texas State Parks, federal properties, nor in many LRGV birding sites. All State Park and National Wildlife Refuge visitors must stay on trails. Thank you for not disturbing the wildlife or damaging the vegetation.
The Valley from east to west.   
A brown booby was found on a range marker in the Brownsville ship channel on 10/10. 
Mangrove Warbler, a well-marked subspecies of Yellow Warbler that may be distinct enough to warrant full species status, can be seen by contacting the Sealife Center at (956) 299-1957.  
A Tropical Parula was seen at Frontera Audubon on 10/5. No reports since.
A Tropical Parula was seen at Quinta Mazatlan on 10/4 and continued through at least 10/11.
Three juvenile Hook-billed Kites were seen near Anzalduas Park on 10/1.
A light morph Short-tailed Hawk was seen over Mexico from the Bentsen hawk tower on 10/2.
The Painted Redstart returned to the Brooks County Rest Area on US 281 south of Falfurrias on Saturday 9/20.  It was seen through at least 10/14. A Painted Redstart wintered at this site last year.  
The Corpus Christi Bar-tailed Godwit was refound along at Swantner Park along Ocean Drive on 10/11 and was seen through at least 10/13. It was feeding in a grassy area with Marbled Godwits. Additional reports, positive or negative, are appreciated. 
Red-crowned Parrots are sometimes seen in the areas of Quinta Mazatlan in McAllen, Valley Nature Center in Weslaco in the evening, Calvary Baptist Church in Harlingen (1815 N 7th Street). Brownsville’s Oliveira Park (Los Ebanos Road/El Paso Road across from Pace High School) has Red-crowned Parrots as well, mingling at dusk with escaped Yellow-headed, White-fronted, Lilac-crowned and Red-lored Parrots. Red-crowned Parrots and Green Parakeets are seen in urban areas irregularly all over the Valley.
Green Parakeets can be seen staging in McAllen near 10th and Dove in the evening (at the Loew’s fountain on warm evenings), sometimes winging a few blocks over to Nolana x McColl. Watch for a couple of Mitred Parakeets that sometimes mingle with them.  There is another staging area in Mission on the north expressway. 
In Hidalgo, at 5th and Gardenia near the Hidalgo Pumphouse World Birding Center, a few Monk Parakeets have taken up residence building nests on telephone poles, keeping company with an escaped Rose-ringed Parakeet. These birds have been present since winter 2010. 
WHITE-COLLARED SEEDEATER INFORMATION - Most sites for White-collared Seedeaters are in Zapata and Webb counties. Information is provided as a service to visiting birders. Sites to check include the San Ygnacio County Park/Seedeater Sanctuary at the foot of Washington Street in San Ygnacio, the Raptor Trail at the west end of San Ygnacio, the library pond in Zapata, and Laredo's Las Palmas Trail, North Central and Father McNaboe Park.  Access to La Laja Ranch, also a Seedeater site, is by advance reservations only. E-mail the owner at Edward.herbst AT This is a fee site.  White-collared Seedeaters are singing in mid-April to May, which makes them muck easier to locate! 
Updated FERRUGINOUS PYGMY-OWL INFORMATION - Ferruginous Pygmy-Owls are present on the King Ranch, along with reliable Tropical Parulas (Norias Division only).  This is the only breeding site for Tropical Parula in most years.  Contact 361-592-8055 or for more information.  Tours ended in early June until 2015.  The only tours that have a chance to find the owl are birding tours to the Norias Division.  Historic tours and birding tours to Santa Gertrudis Division will not be able to find the owl as it does not occur near Kingsville.   
This spring and summer a pair of Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl with chicks entertained birders at San Miguelito Ranch (fee site), contact Letty at 956-369-3118 or  Other private ranches are no longer open to birders or do not have accessible pygmy-owls.  This owl is very difficult to find at any other location at present and has not been seen or heard at Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park since the summer of 2010, when the park was inundated by the Rio Grande.
See for more information.
Directions are provided only for sites not included in the ABA Birders' Guide to the Rio Grande Valley or the Birders' Guide to the Texas Coast. These guides are indispensable for visiting birders.
Site Closures:

Allen Williams Wildscape, Pharr, open by appointment ONLY; Call or text 956-460-9864.

Bentsen-RGV State Park, open daily; building/store open 7 days per week starting October 2! First tram at 7:30 AM, hourly on the half hour.

Edinburg Scenic Wetlands World Birding Center, building and grounds closed on Sundays.

Estero Llano Grande State Park, open daily; building/store open Wednesday - Sunday; store and offices closed Monday and Tuesday (use self pay station).  This is the summer schedule. Winter schedule starts November 1. 

Frontera Audubon Thicket, Weslaco, closed Sunday mornings and all day Mondays except by appointment; open Tues-Sat.  

Laguna Atascosa NWR – Bayside Drive closed to private vehicles to protect ocelots.

Los Ebanos Preserve, San Benito, Appointment ONLY; 956-241-2494.

McAllen Nature Center – OPEN Saturdays and Sundays from 8-12 noon Call 956-681-3333 for information.

Methodist Camp Thicket, Weslaco, group reservations (fee) only. Contact Estero Llano Grande State Park.

Quinta Mazatlan, McAllen, closed Sundays and Mondays.  Open 8 am to 5 pm Tuesdays through Saturdays and on Thursdays until dark. 

Resaca de la Palma State Park, open daily; building/store closed/no trams Monday-Wednesday, grounds open (self-pay station).  This is the summer schedule.

Salineno –feeding station is CLOSED until November.   

Santa Ana NWR- closed to bicycles

Valley Nature Center, Weslaco, closed Sunday mornings and Mondays. 

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Bar-tailed Godwit 10/12 YES

Still present at same location as yesterday.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Corpus Christi Bar-tailed Godwit Refound

Seen today, 10/11 in the morning and evening but apparently missing around lunchtime, it was feeding with marbled godwits in a grassy field at Swantner Park, which is located along Ocean Drive between Ennis Joslin and Airline Roads. Any reports, positive or negative, are appreciated.

Tropical Parula, Oct 11 YES

The tropical parula, originally found at Quinta Mazatlan on 10/4, is still present today.