Rio Grande Valley Rare Bird Alert

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

Monday, July 7, 2014

Mary Beth Stowe's interesting warbler SPI 7/6/2014

This bird has engendered discussion with some people firmly in the Golden-cheeked Warbler camp (lack of yellow on the flanks/vent, narrow eyeline, etc) and others in the Black-throated Green camp (dark line extending down onto cheek, lores not black, green back). 

As sometimes happens with gulls it is possible to age this bird as a bird that was hatched this year due to the pointed tail feathers. This is a bander's characteristic that works well with Setophaga (or former Dendroica) warblers. 

Photos are on the web at http://miriameaglemon.com/photo_gallery/2014%20Field%20Trips/July/Golden-cheeked%20Warbler.html.

The bird was found at the Sheepshead lots on South Padre Island.  Good luck if you go looking!  

Sunday, July 6, 2014

RBA - July 3, 2014

.
* Texas
* Lower Rio Grande Valley
* July 4, 2014
.
To report rare birds, e-mail rgvbirds AT hotmail.com (preferred) or call (956)584-2731 option 3.
.
Updates 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: Some birding sites may have their offices or gates closed for the holiday weekend.  Valley Nature Center is closed Friday – Monday;  Quinta Mazatlan is closed July 4 in addition to the usual Sunday closures. Call ahead if in doubt!
.
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: Summer Hours have been announced at Frontera Audubon Center.  The trails are now open Tuesdays at 6:30 AM and they close on Thursdays at 7 PM.
.
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.
.
NOTE: Pelagics are scheduled to go out of SPI on July 19th, August 16th, and September 20th. July 19th is a GO for registration numbers.  September is FULL with a waiting list. Contact Gary Hodne at garyhodne@earthlink.net for more information.
______________________________________________________________
Birds continue to nest and fledge young.  Many Bronzed Cowbirds have been seen in tow behind attentive parents recently.  Many birds are fledging second or third nests. 
.
Fall migration has started with reports of migrant Yellow Warblers and Blue-gray Gnatcatchers, and an astounding report of Tree Swallows already in the LRGV!
.
Our rare bird alert this week includes:
.
+BROWN BOOBY
Tropical Parula
Mangrove [Yellow] Warbler
+CRIMSON-COLLARED GROSBEAK (no additional reports)
.
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 discovered on spoil islands and channel markers near Port Isabel.  This bird was seen through this morning.  Contact Scarlet at the Sealife Center number below. 
.
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 pair of Northern Beardless-Tyrannulet are nesting at Estero; their presence in the Weslaco area is relatively recent.  This species also found and may be easier to locate at Anzalduas or Bentsen.  
.
A Tropical Parula was an excellent find at Anzalduas County Park on 5/19, the bird was near the maintenance shed. It continued to at least last week.
.
Varied Buntings are at the Yturria Brush tract of LRGV NWR in Hidalgo County near the Hidalgo/Starr county line.  This is a low density breeding species in the area. 
.
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. 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 most years.  Contact 361-592-8055 or visit@king-ranch.com for more information.  Tours end 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.   
.
There are recent reports of Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl including a pair with chicks from San Miguelito Ranch (fee site), contact Letty at 956-369-3118 or Buny55@aol.com.  This site will be open as long as the owls are being seen near the residence. 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 Wildscape, Pharr, open by appointment ONLY; Call or text 956-460-9864.

**UPDATED** Bentsen-RGV State Park, open daily; building/store open Thursday – Sunday; store and offices closed Monday-Wednesday (use self pay station).  First tram at 7:30 AM. This is the summer schedule.

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

**UPDATED** 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.

Frontera Audubon Thicket, Weslaco, closed Sunday mornings and all day Mondays except by appointment; open Tues-Sat.  Summer Hours - the trails are now open Tuesdays at 6:30 AM and they close on Thursdays at 7 PM.

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

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

McAllen Botanical Garden – OPEN Saturdays from 8-12 noon.

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

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

**UPDATED** 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  **CLOSED 4-7 JULY**

Monday, June 30, 2014

Update 6/30/2014

Scarlet Colley found a Brown Booby on 6/28 that relocated to channel marker #29 near Port Isabel on 6/29 and 6/30. It's not always present on the marker and the Colley's dolphin boats are the best way to see it.  Call Scarlet to arrange a trip at 956-299-1957. 

The Tropical Parula continues at Anzalduas. 

Southbound migrants over the last few days have included Yellow Warbler, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, and Tree Swallow. 

Ferruginous Pygmy-Owls at San Miguelito Ranch fledged several young.  The ranch is accepting visitors as long as the owls are present near the ranch house.  

Friday, June 13, 2014

Tropical Parula continues at Anzalduas

John Brush reports the Tropical Parula continuing at Anzalduas County park 6/13.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

RBA: June 12, 2014



.
* Texas
* Lower Rio Grande Valley
* June 12, 2014
.
To report rare birds, e-mail rgvbirds AT hotmail.com (preferred) or call (956)584-2731 option 3.
.
Updates 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: 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: State Park Open Days are changing for the summer season.  Expect to find the 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.
.
NOTE: Pelagics are scheduled to go out of SPI on July 19th, August 16th, and September 20th. September is FULL with a waiting list. Contact Gary Hodne at garyhodne@earthlink.net for more information.
______________________________________________________________
.
Our rare bird alert this week includes:
.
Tropical Parula
Mangrove [Yellow] Warbler
+CRIMSON-COLLARED GROSBEAK (no additional reports)
.
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.   
.
Three Redheads were found lingering in Cameron Co.  A late flock of 11 Greater Yellowlegs was photographed on SPI on 6/4.  A late Spotted Sandpiper was on SPI on 6/1.  Cedar Waxwing was an excellent late find at SPI on 5/28 after a dismal winter season. A late Veery was reported on 5/20. 
.
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 late Green-winged Teal continues at Estero.  A pair of Northern Beardless-Tyrannulet are nesting at Estero; their presence in the Weslaco area is relatively recent.  This species also found and may be easier to locate at Anzalduas or Bentsen.  Two Tropical Parulas were the latest find at Estero on 6/7!  This is a very odd location for a pair (if that’s what they are) to appear in the breeding season.  Reports through 6/8 only.  A late Blue-gray Gnatcatcher and Eastern Wood-Pewee were also found last weekend.
.
.
A Tropical Parula was an excellent find at Anzalduas County Park on 5/19, the bird was near the maintenance shed. It continued to at least 5/24.  No recent reports.
.
Varied Buntings are at the Yturria Brush tract of LRGV NWR in Hidalgo County near the Hidalgo/Starr county line.  This is a low density breeding species in the area. 
.
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. 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 most years.  Contact 361-592-8055 or visit@king-ranch.com for more information.  Tours end 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.   
.
There are recent reports of Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl including a pair from San Miguelito Ranch (fee site), contact Letty at 956-369-3118 or Buny55@aol.com.  This site will be open as long as the owls are accommodating visitors. 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 Wildscape, Pharr, open by appointment ONLY; Call or text 956-460-9864.

**UPDATED** Bentsen-RGV State Park, open daily; building/store open Thursday – Sunday; store and offices closed Monday-Wednesday (use self pay station).  First tram at 7:30 AM. This is the summer schedule.

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

**UPDATED** 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.

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 Botanical Garden – OPEN Saturdays from 8-12 noon.

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

Quinta Mazatlan, McAllen, closed Sundays and Mondays.

**UPDATED** 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

Thursday, June 5, 2014

RBA - June 4, 2014



.
* Texas
* Lower Rio Grande Valley
* June 4, 2014
.
To report rare birds, e-mail rgvbirds AT hotmail.com (preferred) or call (956)584-2731 option 3.
.
Updates 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: 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: State Park Open Days are changing for the summer season.  Expect to find the 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).    
.
NOTE: Pelagics are scheduled to go out of SPI on July 19th, August 16th, and September 20th. September is FULL with a waiting list. Contact Gary Hodne at garyhodne@earthlink.net for more information.
______________________________________________________________
.
Our rare bird alert this week includes:
.
Tropical Parula
Mangrove [Yellow] Warbler
+CRIMSON-COLLARED GROSBEAK (no additional reports)
.
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.   
.
Cedar Waxwing was an excellent find at SPI on 5/28 after a dismal winter season. A late Veery was reported on 5/20. 
.
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 late Green-winged Teal and two Hudsonian Godwits lingered on Ibis Pond at Estero to late May.  Hudsonian Godwit is a low density migrant in Hidalgo County.  A pair of Northern Beardless-Tyrannulet were nest building at Estero; their presence in the Weslaco area is relatively recent.  This species is easier to locate at Anzalduas or Bentsen.
.
A male +CRIMSON-COLLARED GROSBEAK was an excellent find at Frontera on 5/10 and it continued to 5/17.  This bird is more often heard than seen and is covering a large area of the northern portion of the trails.  Familiarity with the call is a must if you are looking for this skulking bird!  NO ADDITIONAL REPORTS. 
.
A Tropical Parula was an excellent find at Anzalduas County Park on 5/19, the bird was near the maintenance shed. It continued to at least 5/24.
.
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. 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 most years.  Contact 361-592-8055 or visit@king-ranch.com for more information.  Tours end in early June until 2015. 
.
Recent reports of Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl include a pair from San Miguelito Ranch (fee site), contact Letty at 956-369-3118 or Buny55@aol.com.  This site will be open as long as the owls are accommodating visitors. 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 Wildscape, Pharr, open by appointment ONLY; Call or text 956-460-9864.

**UPDATED** Bentsen-RGV State Park, open daily; building/store open Thursday – Sunday; store and offices closed Monday-Wednesday (use self pay station).  First tram at 7:30 AM. This is the summer schedule.

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

**UPDATED** 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.

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 Botanical Garden – OPEN Saturdays from 8-12 noon.

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

Quinta Mazatlan, McAllen, closed Sundays and Mondays.

**UPDATED** 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

Monday, May 19, 2014

RBA - May 19, 2014

.
 
* Texas
* Lower Rio Grande Valley
* May 19, 2014
.
To report rare birds, e-mail rgvbirds AT hotmail.com (preferred) or call (956)584-2731 option 3.
.
Updates 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: 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: McAllen Botanical Gardens – open Saturday mornings ONLY from 8-12.  This site had been closed to the public for some time, let’s go birding!  Find it on the south side of Business 83 between Ware and Bentsen Rds. 
.
NOTE: The Bayside Drive at Laguna Atascosa is closed to private vehicles to protect ocelots.  This area is covered by refuge tours.  All other portions of Laguna are OPEN as normal!  Private vehicles can drive to Osprey Overlook, and there are 50 miles of hiking and biking trails. 
______________________________________________________________
.
Our rare bird alert this week includes:
.
Purple Gallinule
+DUSKY-CAPPED FLYCATCHER (no additional reports)
Tropical Parula
Mangrove [Yellow] Warbler
+CRIMSON-COLLARED GROSBEAK
.
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.   
.
Migration is drawing to a close with late shorebirds, warblers, and flycatchers. 
.
SPI continues to have good birds with a late Yellow-throated Vireo. 
.
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 +DUSKY-CAPPED FLYCATCHER was heard and recorded at Resaca de la Palma State Park on 5/2.  The bird was found on 5/5 in the evening.  NO ADDITIONAL REPORTS.  Note days without trams, below.   From Hunter’s Lane and the tram road, proceed down Hunter’s Lane and turn left just before the resaca crossing.  The northeastern Mexico subspecies is a review taxa for the TBRC.  This bird is not yet identified to subspecies. 
.
A Purple Gallinule was at Grebe Marsh at Estero on 5/17.
.
A male +CRIMSON-COLLARED GROSBEAK was an excellent find at Frontera on 5/10 and it continued to 5/17.  This bird is more often heard than seen and is covering a large area of the northern portion of the trails.  Familiarity with the call is a must if you are looking for this skulking bird! 
.
A Tropical Parula was an excellent find at Anzalduas County Park on 5/19, the bird was near the maintenance shed.
.
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. 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! 
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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 site for Tropical Parula in summer most years.  Contact 361-592-8055 or visit@king-ranch.com for more information.
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Recent reports include a pair from San Miguelito Ranch (fee site), contact Letty at 956-369-3118 or Buny55@aol.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.
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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 Wildscape, Pharr, open by appointment ONLY; Call or text 956-460-9864.
 
Bentsen-RGV State Park, open 7 days until June 1; first tram at 8:30 AM.
 
Edinburg Scenic Wetlands World Birding Center, building and grounds closed on Sundays.
 
Estero Llano Grande State Park, building/store open 7 days to June 1; store and offices closed Monday and Tuesday starting June 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 Botanical Garden – OPEN Saturdays from 8-12 noon.
 
Methodist Camp Thicket, Weslaco, group reservations (fee) only. Contact Estero Llano Grande State Park.
 
Quinta Mazatlan, McAllen, closed Sundays and Mondays.
 
Resaca de la Palma State Park, building/store closed/no trams Monday-Wednesday starting June 1, 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