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#ABArare – Green Violetear – Texas


On the morning of June 28 Willie Sekula reported an ABA Code 3 Green Violetear coming to one of his feeders in La Vernia, Wilson County, Texas, east of San Antonio.

Photo by Sheridan Coffey, used with permission

Photo by Sheridan Coffey, used with permission

Access to the home with the feeders seems limited at this time, though birders interested in seeing this bird may do well to follow the Texas bird listserv for updates.

Green Violetear is a rare but regular visitor to the ABA Area. It was first recorded in 1961 in Texas, where the vast majority of ABA Area records have come from. Some years see a number of records throughout the US and even into Canada, while other years the species is absent entirely. This is the first record of Green Violetear in the ABA Area for 2014. There were two records, both in Texas, in 2013.

Howell et al, in Rare Birds of North America notes that the partially migratory thalassinus ssp of central Mexico leaves that area following their winter breeding season, resulting in most ABA Area records of the species occurring in late spring/summer and likely consisting of misoriented migrants. More, Green Violetear expresses a predilection for highlands, which is reflected by the abnormally high number of records from the Texas’s Edwards Plateau. In that context, this record is firmly within the expected time and place.

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Nate Swick

Nate Swick

Nate Swick is the editor of the American Birding Association Blog. A long-time member of the bird blogosphere, Nate has been writing about birds and birding at The Drinking Bird since 2007, but can also be found writing regularly at 10,000 Birds. In the non-digital world, he's an environmental educator and interpretive naturalist. He is also the author of Birding for the Curious. Nate lives in Greensboro, North Carolina, with his wife, Danielle, and two young children, who are not yet aware that they are being groomed to be birders.
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  • David

    Was there ever any mention of this on the Texas listserv? I can’t seem to find anything at all about it..

  • Petra Hockey

    On 20 June 2014 Jud Maxwell posted a video of a Green Violetear in Austin on facebook Texbirds. That would make the record 8 days earlier and therefore be the first one in the ABA Area for 2014. The 28 June bird would be the second if no other record pops up.

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