Of course these things happen on holidays. In writing this up on my phone from my family’s Thanksgiving event, so apologies up front for any typos or autocorrect errors.
This morning (11/27), a ranger at Estero Llano Grande State Park in Hidalgo, Texas, found a bird he identified as a strange female vireo. Upon follow up, the bird was found to be a female-type Red-legged Honeycreeper, a species not on the ABA checklist, and a potential 1st ABA record.
Photo by Tiffany Kersten
The bird was seen in what is called the “tropical zone” at Estero, the old RV park west of the visitor center. It was coming to a drip at one of the campsites.
Red-legged Honeycreeper has occurred in the ABA Area at least 6 times, the first in 2003. These south Florida birds have been exclusively males, which raised questions of provenance leading to their ultimate non-acceptance by the Florida committee as the species is known to be kept in captivity.
This female-type bird, though, at least seems more plausibly of natural origin. The species nests in northeast Mexico, and is migratory to some degree. And of course, at least theoretically, a female is less likely to be kept as a cage bird than the stunning males, though this time of year both sexes are similar.
Happy Thanksgiving to ABA members and ABA Blog readers! This is the one holiday that’s bird-centric, even if the reason is gustatory and not ornithological, so enjoy it!
Because the holiday falls on a Thursday, when I usually prepare that week’s Rare Bird Alert post, I’ll be pushing it off till Saturday this week. I can hear the cries of anguish from here, but rest assured, you’ll see your regular roundup of the week’s ABA rarities one day later.
Enjoy your time off, and hopefully you’ll see some birds too!
At the Mic: Steve N.G. Howell
Birding is supposed to be fun, and usually it is. But sometimes it can be downright frustrating. I gather rumors have been flying coast to coast about a Japanese Murrelet (Synthliboramphus wumizusume – how about that for a great scientific name!) at Point Reyes, California. Well, here’s the story [read more…]
At the Mic: Rick Simpson
Many of you followed Wader Quest’s travels around the world on this Open Mic forum as we sought to see as many shorebird species as we could. We hope that you got some pleasure from doing so. Those travels have now come to an end, along with our savings, but [read more…]
By ABA Board Awards Committee Chair Mike Bowen
The deadline for nominating your fellow members of the birding community for ABA Awards in 2015 is coming up quickly – in fact, by December 31, 2014.
Please read the criteria by which nominations will be judged very carefully then seriously consider nominating someone for an ABA [read more…]
There are no shortage of tips for those who attend bird walks, but fewer for those who seek to lead them, which requires walking that fine line between finding lots of birds and making sure everyone gets good looks at the ones you see. At The Eyre, Aidan Place offers some pointers, particularly aimed at [read more…]
The retirement of the ABA’s Winging It newsletter meant the launch of the ABA’s exciting new Birder’s Guide series, which we can agree was positive development. What was less agreed upon was the retirement of the ABA’s print classifieds section, which featured ads for businesses and individuals seeking to buy, sell, and trade among the [read more…]
Lots of weather news this week. A massive cold weather system pushed into the Lower 48 putting much of the ABA Area (aside from Alaska, weirdly) in the deep freeze. It still remains to be seen whether the system will affect the movement of birds, but those that were found this week seem mostly to [read more…]
It’s that time of year again, and we certainly understand that you’ll be seeing a lot of these sorts of messages from a lot of wonderful organizations in the coming weeks so we’ll try not to overdue it. But this is just a reminder that we at the ABA are incredibly thankful for the support [read more…]
On the late afternoon on 11/18, Justin Bosler found an ABA Code 4 Common Crane among a large flock of Sandhill Cranes at Muleshoe NWR in Bailey County, Texas. Pending acceptance this is a first state record for Texas.
Photo by Justin Bosler, used with permission
Muleshoe NWR is in the Texas panhandle, just [read more…]