Rio Grande Valley Rare Bird Alert

Rio Grande Valley Rare Bird Alert

Thursday, May 21, 2015

RBA - May 21, 2015

.
* Texas
* Lower Rio Grande Valley
* May 21, 2015
.
To report rare birds, e-mail rgvbirds AT hotmail.com. 
.
Updates to this Rare Bird Alert can be seen on the web at http://rgvbirds.blogspot.com
.
Capitalized birds marked with a + are Review Species for Texas. Please send sightings/photographs to the Texas Bird Records Committee: ecarpeATgmail.com.
.
_____________________________________________________________
NOTE: SIX pelagics are scheduled for South Padre Island this summer and fall; some trips are nearly full already!  Participants are needed for the June 13 pelagic, which is now a definite GO on participants (weather and other factors could still cancel the trip).  Additional dates are July 11, August 8, August 29, September 19, and October 10.  See texaspelagics.com for registration information, hours, and cost information. 
.
NOTE: New hours for the McAllen Nature Center; this site is now open 8-12 weekdays and Saturday, Sunday 8-5. 
.
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 earthlink.net.
______________________________________________________________
Lingering waterfowl including Redhead seem more widespread with all the recent rains.  Late shorebird and Empidonax Flycatchers are still moving through.  Magnificent Frigatebirds are a daily sight over the bay at South Padre Island. 
.
Our rare bird alert this week includes:
.
Canada Goose
Yellow-green Vireo
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.   
.
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 Yellow-green Vireo was heard at Resaca de la Palma State Park 5/21 at about 7 AM.  It was in the parking lot area before the second gate. 
.
A Canada Goose was photographed in San Benito on 5/17 but unfortunately it did not stay long. Canada Goose is a very rare bird in the LRGV, and this is an odd date.  
.
A male Tropical Parula at Anzalduas County Park continued through 5/20.  
.
Irregular reports of Red-billed Pigeon continue to come in from the boat ramp at Salineno and Starr County Park.  
.
EXTRALIMITAL REPORTS
.
A Tropical Parula is at the Sarita Rest Area on US 77 in Kenedy County. 
.
PARROT REPORT
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.
.
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 att.net. 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 the LRGV most years.  Contact 361-592-8055 or visit@king-ranch.com for more information.  Tours are over (with the exception of the RGVBF) until spring 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.   
.
El Canelo Ranch, located north of Raymondville, offers opportunities for "day birders" as well as for birders staying at their lovely B&B.  A pair of Ferruginous Pygmy-Owls currently reside in the backyard of the Inn.  All visits by reservation only.  For more information, see http://www.elcaneloranch.com/ or email Monica at monica@elcaneloranch.com
.
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 http://rgvbirds.blogspot.com/p/ferruginous-pygmy-owl-sites.html 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 residence, Pharr, open by appointment ONLY; Call or text 956-460-9864.

Bentsen-RGV State Park, open daily, first tram at 8:30 AM.

Brownsville Landfill closed on Sundays.

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

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

Estero Llano Grande State Park, open daily; building/store open daily. 

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.  Visitor Center open 7 days through March. 

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

McAllen Nature Center – CLOSED weekday afternoons.  

Quinta Mazatlan, McAllen, closed Sundays and Mondays.  Open on Thursdays to dark. 

Resaca de la Palma State Park, open daily; building/store closed/no trams Monday-Tuesday, grounds open (self-pay station).  

Salineno –feeding station is CLOSED until November.     

Santa Ana NWR- closed to bicycles


Valley Nature Center, Weslaco, closed Sunday mornings and Mondays 

Monday, May 18, 2015

Canada Goose - San Benito

A Canada Goose was photographed on the morning of 5/17 grazing in a field behind the San Benito Fire Station on Sam Houston.  The goose flew off when the fire station was testing its equipment.  Earlier it had departed and returned with the same disturbance, but at about 930 AM it was seen flying south.  This is a very rare bird in the LRGV now, and exceptional at the very late date for a migrant or wintering bird.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Researcher Request - Mourning Warbler songs

Citizens Science Project - Mourning Warbler Song Mapper

 I am posting an opportunity to participate in a Citizens Science Project that involves recording migrating Mourning Warbler songs. I am trying to determine the nature of migratory pathways taken by different populations of Mourning Warbler males during their spring migration using the signatures of their songs. The pattern of geographic variation in song on the breeding range is well known. However, we do not know how members of these different song populations migrate towards their respective breeding areas. I plan on collecting your recordings and plotting them on a map of North America to determine where birds with different song types (regiolects) separate from each other during spring migration.

 All you need is a Smartphone and a singing Mourning Warbler. You can send the recordings to my e-mail address (jpitocch@anselm.edu). The web page link below describes the project and how to makerecordings on your Smartphone in more detail.

http://www.anselm.edu/homepage/jpitocch/ornithology/MOWAmapper/MOWASongmapper.html

 I would really appreciate your help and contributions to this Citizens Science Project.

 Dr. Jay Pitocchelli Biology Department Saint Anselm College Manchester, NH 03102

Friday, May 15, 2015

RBA - May 14, 2015

.
* Texas
* Lower Rio Grande Valley
* May 14, 2015
.
To report rare birds, e-mail rgvbirds AT hotmail.com. 
.
Updates to this Rare Bird Alert can be seen on the web at http://rgvbirds.blogspot.com
.
Capitalized birds marked with a + are Review Species for Texas. Please send sightings/photographs to the Texas Bird Records Committee: ecarpeATgmail.com.
.
_____________________________________________________________
NOTE: SIX pelagics are scheduled for South Padre Island this summer and fall; some trips are nearly full already!  Participants are needed for the June 13 pelagic, which is now a definite GO on participants (weather and other factors could still cancel the trip).  Additional dates  are July 11, August 8, August 29, September 19, and October 10.  See texaspelagics.com for registration information, hours, and cost information. 
.
NOTE: New hours for the McAllen Nature Center; this site is now open 8-12 weekdays and Saturday, Sunday 8-5. 
.
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 earthlink.net.
______________________________________________________________
Our rare bird alert this week includes:
.
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.   
.
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 Black-billed Cuckoo was on South Padre Island on May 14-15.   
.
Hudsonian Godwits continue to stop at various locations in their narrow migratory window.  Late shorebirds are arriving including White-rumped Sandpiper. 
.
A male Tropical Parula at Anzalduas County Park continued through 5/13. 
.
Irregular reports of Red-billed Pigeon continue to come in from the boat ramp at Salineno and Starr County Park.  
.
EXTRALIMITAL REPORTS
.
A Tropical Parula is at the Sarita Rest Area on US 77 in Kenedy County. 
.
PARROT REPORT
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.
.
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 att.net. 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 the LRGV most years.  Contact 361-592-8055 or visit@king-ranch.com for more information.  Tours are over (with the exception of the RGVBF) until spring 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.   
.
El Canelo Ranch, located north of Raymondville, offers opportunities for "day birders" as well as for birders staying at their lovely B&B.  A pair of Ferruginous Pygmy-Owls currently reside in the backyard of the Inn.  All visits by reservation only.  For more information, see http://www.elcaneloranch.com/ or email Monica at monica@elcaneloranch.com
.
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 http://rgvbirds.blogspot.com/p/ferruginous-pygmy-owl-sites.html 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 residence, Pharr, open by appointment ONLY; Call or text 956-460-9864.

Bentsen-RGV State Park, open daily, first tram at 8:30 AM.

Brownsville Landfill closed on Sundays.

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

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

Estero Llano Grande State Park, open daily; building/store open daily. 

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.  Visitor Center open 7 days through March. 

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

McAllen Nature Center – CLOSED weekday afternoons.  

Quinta Mazatlan, McAllen, closed Sundays and Mondays.  Open on Thursdays to dark. 

Resaca de la Palma State Park, open daily; building/store closed/no trams Monday-Tuesday, grounds open (self-pay station).  

Salineno –feeding station is CLOSED until November.     

Santa Ana NWR- closed to bicycles


Valley Nature Center, Weslaco, closed Sunday mornings and Mondays 

Thursday, May 7, 2015

RBA - May 7, 2015

.
* Texas
* Lower Rio Grande Valley
* May 7, 2015
.
To report rare birds, e-mail rgvbirds AT hotmail.com. 
.
Updates to this Rare Bird Alert can be seen on the web at http://rgvbirds.blogspot.com
.
Capitalized birds marked with a + are Review Species for Texas. Please send sightings/photographs to the Texas Bird Records Committee: ecarpeATgmail.com.
.
_____________________________________________________________
NOTE: SIX pelagics are scheduled for South Padre Island this summer and fall; some trips are nearly full already!  Participants are needed for the June 13 pelagic.  Additional dates  are July 11, August 8, August 29, September 19, and October 10.  See texaspelagics.com for registration information, hours, and cost information. 
NOTE: New hours for the  McAllen Nature Center; this site is now open 8-12 weekdays and Saturday, Sunday 8-5. 
.
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 earthlink.net.
.
NOTE: Spring migration is a time for eBird editors to make adjustments on filters, so if you see something flagged by eBird as rare, remember it can be one day early or late and be flagged as rare – or it may be something that is truly unseasonal.  How rare is your report?  Check John Arvin’s excellent checklist at http://tpwd.texas.gov/publications/pwdpubs/media/pwd_bk_w7000_1033.pdf to see!  Thanks for your patience, eBird comments on noteworthy records are always appreciated!
______________________________________________________________
Our rare bird alert this week includes:
.
Brown Thrasher
Tropical Parula
Mangrove [Yellow] Warbler
Painted Redstart (Brooks County)
*SLATE-THROATED REDSTART (no reports)
*GOLDEN-CROWNED SPARROW
.                                         
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.   
.
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 Brown Thrasher was photographed on South Padre Island at the Convention Center on 5/2.  The last Townsend’s Warbler report was the same day.  
.
A GOLDEN-CROWNED SPARROW was photographed on South Padre Island at the Bird and Nature Center on 5/1 but it was not refound.  The SLATE-THROATED REDSTART was at the South Padre Island Bird and Nature Center butterfly garden on 4/29-4/30.  No additional reports.
.
At Edinburg Scenic Wetlands, surprise, surprise – the wintering Brown Thrasher was seen again through 5/1.   
.
Hudsonian Godwits stopped briefly at two Weslaco spots including Estero Llano Grande State Park during the week.  Late shorebirds are arriving including White-rumped Sandpiper. 
.
A male Tropical Parula at Anzalduas County Park continued to at least 5/2.  Other parulas may be present and singing there, the Tropical has been seen between the two wash rooms by the yellow swingset. 
.
Irregular reports of Red-billed Pigeon continue to come in from the boat ramp at Salineno and Starr County Park.  One Starr County report of Muscovy Duck last week, and just a few records in the San Ygnacio area.  Muscovy in Hidalgo and Cameron are feral domestics. 
.
EXTRALIMITAL REPORTS
.
The Painted Redstart returned to the Brooks County Rest Area on US 281 south of Falfurrias on Saturday 9/20 and continues through 5/1.  A Painted Redstart wintered at this site last year but was last reported in mid-March.   
.
PARROT REPORT
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 or up to 10th and Trenton. 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 att.net. 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 the LRGV most years.  Contact 361-592-8055 or visit@king-ranch.com for more information.  Tours are over (with the exception of the RGVBF) until spring 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.   
.
El Canelo Ranch, located north of Raymondville, offers opportunities for "day birders" as well as for birders staying at their lovely B&B.  A pair of Ferruginous Pygmy-Owls currently reside in the backyard of the Inn.  All visits by reservation only.  For more information, see http://www.elcaneloranch.com/ or email Monica at monica@elcaneloranch.com
.
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 http://rgvbirds.blogspot.com/p/ferruginous-pygmy-owl-sites.html 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 residence, Pharr, open by appointment ONLY; Call or text 956-460-9864.

Bentsen-RGV State Park, open daily, first tram at 8:30 AM.

Brownsville Landfill closed on Sundays.

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

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

Estero Llano Grande State Park, open daily; building/store open daily. 

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.  Visitor Center open 7 days through March. 

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

McAllen Nature Center – CLOSED weekday afternoons.  

Quinta Mazatlan, McAllen, closed Sundays and Mondays.  Open on Thursdays to dark. 

Resaca de la Palma State Park, open daily; building/store closed/no trams Monday-Tuesday, grounds open (self-pay station).  

Salineno –feeding station is CLOSED until November.     

Santa Ana NWR- closed to bicycles


Valley Nature Center, Weslaco, closed Sunday mornings and Mondays 

Friday, May 1, 2015

Slate-throated Redstart NO; GOLDEN-CROWNED SPARROW

There were only negative reports from the SPI Bird and Nature Center for the Slate-throated Redstart today.

Nat L. found and photographed a +GOLDEN-CROWNED SPARROW at the same location, the South Padre Island Bird and Nature Center.  The bird was on the fence around the water tower.  This is a TBRC Review Species, additional documentation would be greatly appreciated!

Thursday, April 30, 2015

RBA - 4/30/2015 - SLATE-THROATED REDSTART continues

.
* Texas
* Lower Rio Grande Valley
* April 30, 2015
.
To report rare birds, e-mail rgvbirds AT hotmail.com. 
.
Updates to this Rare Bird Alert can be seen on the web at http://rgvbirds.blogspot.com
.
Capitalized birds marked with a + are Review Species for Texas. Please send sightings/photographs to the Texas Bird Records Committee: ecarpeATgmail.com.
.
_____________________________________________________________
NOTE: New hours for the  McAllen Nature Center; this site is now open 8-12 weekdays and Saturday, Sunday 8-5.  It’s great to have more access at another great McAllen site!
.
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 earthlink.net.
.
NOTE: Spring migration is a time for eBird editors to make adjustments on filters, so if you see something flagged by eBird as rare, remember it can be one day early or late and be flagged as rare – or it may be something that is truly unseasonal.  How rare is your report?  Check John Arvin’s excellent checklist at http://tpwd.texas.gov/publications/pwdpubs/media/pwd_bk_w7000_1033.pdf to see!  Thanks for your patience, comments on noteworthy records are always appreciated!
______________________________________________________________
Our rare bird alert this week includes:
.
Masked Booby
*ROSE-THROATED BECARD
Brown Thrasher
Tropical Parula
Mangrove [Yellow] Warbler
Painted Redstart (Brooks County)
*SLATE-THROATED REDSTART
.                                         
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.   
.
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 SLATE-THROATED REDSTART was found at the South Padre Island Bird and Nature Center butterfly garden on 4/29 (Weds).  The bird was seen to about 5 PM.  Today 4/30 it was relocated at the butterfly garden first, then the mangroves at the Laguna Madre end of the adjacent SPI Convention Center boardwalk.  It returned to the Bird and Nature Center butterfly garden about 330 PM.  These two sites are adjacent with separate entrances.  Updates will be made to the RBA blog at rgvbirds.blogspot.com at least daily while this bird is present. 
.
It’s been a great spring for Townsend’s Warbler with up to three individuals at the South Padre Island Convention Center.
.
A Masked Booby was found standing in the road on FM 106 near Laguna Atascosa on 4/21.  Another was found moribund on the beach and was temporarily relocated to the South Padre Island Convention Center pond but it was removed. 
.
At Edinburg Scenic Wetlands, surprise, surprise – the wintering Brown Thrasher was seen again on 4/22.
.
At Estero, Northern Beardless-Tyrannulet is nest building and likely incubating; this is the eastern limit for this species.  They are more expected at Bentsen and Anzalduas.   
.
A male Tropical Parula at Anzalduas County Park continued to at least 4/29.  Many parulas are singing there, the Tropical has been seen between the two wash rooms by the yellow swingset. 
.
Two local birders saw and heard a male *ROSE-THROATED BECARD male on 4/28 at the Bentsen Rio Grande Valley State Park Hawk Tower and tram stop for the Hawk Tower.  This bird was NOT relocated on 4/29 or 4/30. 
.
Irregular reports of Red-billed Pigeon continue to come in from the boat ramp at Salineno and Starr County Park.  One Starr County report of Muscovy Duck last week, and just a few records in the San Ygnacio area.  Muscovy in Hidalgo and Cameron are feral domestics. 
.
EXTRALIMITAL REPORTS
.
The Painted Redstart returned to the Brooks County Rest Area on US 281 south of Falfurrias on Saturday 9/20 and continues through 4/29.  A Painted Redstart wintered at this site last year but was last reported in mid-March.   
.
PARROT REPORT
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 or up to 10th and Trenton. 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. 
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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 att.net. This is a fee site.  White-collared Seedeaters are singing in mid-April to May, which makes them muck easier to locate! 
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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 the LRGV most years.  Contact 361-592-8055 or visit@king-ranch.com for more information.  Tours are over (with the exception of the RGVBF) until spring 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.   
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El Canelo Ranch, located north of Raymondville, offers opportunities for "day birders" as well as for birders staying at their lovely B&B.  A pair of Ferruginous Pygmy-Owls currently reside in the backyard of the Inn.  All visits by reservation only.  For more information, see http://www.elcaneloranch.com/ or email Monica at monica@elcaneloranch.com
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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.
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See http://rgvbirds.blogspot.com/p/ferruginous-pygmy-owl-sites.html for more information.
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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.
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Site Closures:

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

Bentsen-RGV State Park, open daily, first tram at 8:30 AM.

Brownsville Landfill closed on Sundays.

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

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

Estero Llano Grande State Park, open daily; building/store open daily. 

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.  Visitor Center open 7 days through March. 

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

McAllen Nature Center – CLOSED weekday afternoons.  

Quinta Mazatlan, McAllen, closed Sundays and Mondays.  Open on Thursdays to dark. 

Resaca de la Palma State Park, open daily; building/store closed/no trams Monday-Tuesday, grounds open (self-pay station).  

Salineno –feeding station is CLOSED until November.     

Santa Ana NWR- closed to bicycles


Valley Nature Center, Weslaco, closed Sunday mornings and Mondays