Rio Grande Valley Rare Bird Alert

Rio Grande Valley Rare Bird Alert

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Yellow-green Vireo at Laguna Atascosa

Dan G. reported a singing Yellow-green Vireo at Laguna Atascosa NWR Headquarters today.  Listen for the short, clipped phrases that can sound remarkably like a House Sparrow.  Watch out for White-eyed Vireos, which incorporate calls of other birds in their songs and have  been known to use House Sparrow, just to confuse things!

Sooty Shearwater at the SPI Jetties

Brad McK found and photographed a Sooty Shearwater at the South Padre Island jetties in the morning on 6/26.  He saw the bird from a fishing trip on the Osprey.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Yellow-green Vireo at NBC Mission

Dan J. found  and photographed a singing Yellow-green Vireo at the National Butterfly Center in Mission on 6/24.  The bird was not seen or heard on 6/25 or 6/27 but is worth looking for.  It was near the feeding station or the old butterfly garden at the south end of the property.

Friday, June 19, 2015

RBA - June 18, 2015

.
* Texas
* Lower Rio Grande Valley
* June 18, 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: State Parks have gone to a summer schedule with the office and stores closed early in the week. The parks are open 7 days a week, if the park store is closed visitors should please use the self-pay station even if they hold a park pass.   See below for a listing of the individual park schedules. 
.
NOTE: Laguna Atascosa NWR has gone to a summer schedule for the visitor center.  The refuge is open 7 days a week, the visitor center is closed Tuesday and Wednesday.  See below for more information. 
.
NOTE:  Pelagic trips are scheduled to depart South Padre Island this summer and fall; some trips are nearly full already!  Dates are July 11, August 8, August 29, September 19, and October 10.  See texaspelagics.com for registration information, hours, and cost information. 
.
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 are more widespread with all the recent rains.  Grasshopper Sparrows are in the formerly thirsty grasslands in the ranch country in low numbers.  Dickcissels are widespread across the LRGV.  Yellow-breasted Chats are present in the western portion of the RBA in low numbers.  Purple Gallinules are in flooded areas in the ranch country north of US 83. 
.
Our rare bird alert this week includes:
.
Brown Pelican
Yellow-green Vireo
Tropical Parula
Mangrove [Yellow] Warbler
Indigo Bunting
.                                         
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.  
.
Lingering waterfowl including Redhead, Canvasback, and Ring-necked Duck continue in the LRGV.
.
A Yellow-green Vireo was photographed at Sabal Palm Sanctuary on Sunday 6/7.  This has been a breeding  location for the species in other years.  No additional reports. 
.
Surprisingly an Indigo Bunting was reported from Sabal Palm on 6/18; keep your eyes open for a female plumaged bird – photo documentation would be appreciated for this most unseasonal report! 
.
The local population of Blue Jays in the Edinburg area have young out of the nest; these birds can be very difficult to find unless you live in the area.
.
A male Tropical Parula continues singing at Anzalduas County Park through 6/13.  A pair of Blue-gray Gnatcatchers, a rare breeder near the river, have also been reported at the park, and a Broad-winged Hawk was photographed on 6/14. 
.
Irregular reports of Red-billed Pigeon continue to come in from Starr County, most recently near the eastern intersection of TX 2098 and US 83 near Salineno.  
.
A Brown Pelican was photographed near the city of Zapata this week.  This is upriver and out of our normal area, but certainly worth a mention! 
.
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, office and store closed, no trams – park open daily, please use the self-pay station if the store is closed.

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, office and store closed Monday and Tuesday; park open daily – please use the self-pay station if the store is closed.  

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 closed Tuesday – Wednesday, refuge open 7 days including many walking trails in addition to the driving route to Osprey Overlook.  

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, park open daily; building and store closed/no trams Monday-Tuesday, grounds open (please use self-pay station if office closed).  

Salineno –feeding station is CLOSED until November.     

Santa Ana NWR- closed to bicycles


Valley Nature Center, Weslaco, closed Sunday mornings and Mondays 

Thursday, June 11, 2015

RBA - June 11, 2015

.
* Texas
* Lower Rio Grande Valley
* June 11, 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: State Parks have gone to a summer schedule with the office and stores closed early in the week. The parks are open 7 days a week, if the park store is closed visitors should please use the self-pay station even if they hold a park pass.   See below for a listing of the individual park schedules. 
.
NOTE: Laguna Atascosa NWR has gone to a summer schedule for the visitor center.  The refuge is open 7 days a week, the visitor center is closed Tuesday and Wednesday.  See below for more information. 
.
NOTE: SIX pelagic trips are scheduled to depart South Padre Island this summer and fall; some trips are nearly full already!  The June 13 Pelagic has been weathered out due to forecasted high winds and seas.  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: 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 are more widespread with all the recent rains.  Grasshopper Sparrows are in the formerly thirsty grasslands in the ranch country in low numbers.  Dickcissels are widespread across the LRGV.  Yellow-breasted Chats are present in the western portion of the RBA in low numbers. 
.
Our rare bird alert this week includes:
.
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.  
.
Lingering waterfowl including Redhead, Canvasback, and  Ring-necked Duck are at several Cameron County sites this week. 
.
A Yellow-green Vireo was photographed at Sabal Palm Sanctuary on Sunday 6/7.  This has been a breeding  location for the species in other years. 
.
A male Tropical Parula continues singing at Anzalduas County Park through 6/11
.
Irregular reports of Red-billed Pigeon continue to come in from Starr County, most recently near the eastern intersection of TX 2098 and US 83 near Salineno.
.
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, office and store closed, no trams – park open daily, please use the self-pay station if the store is closed.

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, office and store closed Monday and Tuesday; park open daily – please use the self-pay station if the store is closed.  

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 closed Tuesday – Wednesday, refuge open 7 days including many walking trails in addition to the driving route to Osprey Overlook.  

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, park open daily; building and store closed/no trams Monday-Tuesday, grounds open (please use self-pay station if office closed).  

Salineno –feeding station is CLOSED until November.     

Santa Ana NWR- closed to bicycles


Valley Nature Center, Weslaco, closed Sunday mornings and Mondays 

Monday, June 8, 2015

Yellow-green Vireo, Sabal Palm Sanctuary

A Yellow-green Vireo was well documented at Sabal Palm Sanctuary yesterday, 6/7.  In other years, this was a nesting species at the site.

Friday, June 5, 2015

RBA - June 4, 2015

.
* Texas
* Lower Rio Grande Valley
* June 4, 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: State Parks have gone to a summer schedule with the office and stores closed early in the week. The parks are open 7 days a week, if the park store is closed visitors should please use the self-pay station even if they hold a park pass.   See below for a listing of the individual park schedules. 
.
NOTE: Laguna Atascosa NWR has gone to a summer schedule for the visitor center.  The refuge is open 7 days a week, the visitor center is closed Tuesday and Wednesday.  See below for more information. 
.
NOTE: SIX pelagic trips are scheduled to depart South Padre Island this summer and fall; some trips are nearly full already!  Additional participants are welcome 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: 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 are more widespread with all the recent rains.  Dickcissel are abundant in agricultural fields.  
.
Our rare bird alert this week includes:
.
Yellow-green Vireo (no recent reports)
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.   This species may still be present; it’s worth listening for it!
.
A male Tropical Parula at Anzalduas County Park continued through 6/3
.
Irregular reports of Red-billed Pigeon continue to come in from Starr County, most recently near the eastern intersection of TX 2098 and US 83 near Salineno.
.
Interesting reports of lingering Green-tailed Towhees on private property in Starr County in late May, and a singing Grasshopper Sparrow on 755 in Starr 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, office and store closed, no trams – park open daily, please use the self-pay station if the store is closed.

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, office and store closed Monday and Tuesday; park open daily – please use the self-pay station if the store is closed.  

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 closed Tuesday – Wednesday, refuge open 7 days including many walking trails in addition to the driving route to Osprey Overlook.  

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, park open daily; building and store closed/no trams Monday-Tuesday, grounds open (please use self-pay station if office closed).  

Salineno –feeding station is CLOSED until November.     

Santa Ana NWR- closed to bicycles


Valley Nature Center, Weslaco, closed Sunday mornings and Mondays