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#ABArare – Amazon Kingfisher – Texas

Breaking news from the Rio Grande Valley Birding Festival in Texas, where Jeff Bouton discovered an ABA Code 5 Amazon Kingfisher near San Benito in Cameron County, Texas.

Amazon Kingfisher, Cameron Co, Tx, photo by Jeff Bouton

Amazon Kingfisher, Cameron Co, Tx, photo by Jeff Bouton

The bird is being seen at a resaca (oxbow lake) east of the intersection of US 77 and Tx-100. The resaca is on the south side of the road, though the bird has been seen some from the north side as well. This location is about 13 minutes from downtown Harlingen, Texas, and 22 minutes from Brownsville.

As of the writing of this post many birders from the festival are making their way to the site, so birders may have their best luck traveling to the vicinity and looking for the crowd.

Please note that the bird is showing from a very busy highway, and birders should take care not to carelessly step into traffic.

AMKI map

Click the map image for directions via googlemaps

This is the second documented ABA Area record of this species, which ranges widely from southern Tamaulipas, Mexico into South America as far south as Uruguay and Argentina.  The first record was an individual in Laredo, Texas, in late January of 2010. That bird stayed just over a week before disappearing in early February.


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Nate Swick

Nate Swick

Editor, Social Media Manager at American Birding Association
Nate Swick is the editor of the American Birding Association Blog, social media manager for the ABA, and the host of the American Birding Podcast. He lives in Greensboro, North Carolina, with his wife, Danielle, and two young children. He is the author of Birding for the Curious and The ABA Field Guide to Birds of the Carolinas.
Nate Swick

Latest posts by Nate Swick (see all)

  • Michael Retter

    Still here at 12:10.

  • Skie

    I lived in San Angelo in 1991-1994 on Lake Nasworthy. Everyday for several weeks I would see a Kingfisher just like this one and always in the same spot, sitting on telephone lines just above a small out pool from the lake. I didn’t realize it was a rare sighting but it was the only one I have seen. Since then whenever I go by that spot I look for the little Kingfisher.

    • Hi Skie, while Amazon Kingfisher is very rare north of Mexico, a very similar bird, Green Kingfisher, is a resident as far north as central Texas. Your bird was most likely either that species or the Belted Kingfisher, which is the only species of kingfisher in most of North America. They’re great birds!

  • psweet

    I was just alerted to an older post, in which you reported on a Dusky Flycatcher banded in Georgia. In that post you referenced a record from Illinois in 2001. I was wondering if you still had easy access to the reference for that sighting? Any info you can provide would be very much appreciated.

    • Michael Retter

      Paul, I found that bird.

  • Rene Valdes

    continued by Monday early morning

  • Pingback: Rare Bird Alert: November 15, 2013 « ABA Blog()

  • Marty

    This bird was here in Port Isabel, Texas today for over 4 hours in the salt cedars on the bank along with the usual kingfishers that hang out here

  • Jeff Bouton

    Well, it seems our little traveller stayed for just a day over two weeks. Last seen Saturday evening 11/23 as the first of these wintery cold fronts set in on TX. Hopefully she’s back in a warmer clime safe & sound

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  • Pingback: Amazon kingfisher and boat-billed heron in Costa Rica | Dear Kitty. Some blog()

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