Thursday, April 26, 2012

TX - Tropical Mockingbird - 04/21

Just back from another extremely exciting two week tour of Texas. Lots of highlights to report as one might imagine, but this one caused the biggest stir. A strange mockingbird at Sabine Woods found consorting with one or more Northern Mockingbirds for several days before being identified as a Tropical Mockingbird. We were fortunate enough to catch up with bird on the very last morning (April 21st) of our tour and enjoyed good, close views on a cool, gray, blustery morning. There's already been plenty of discussion about the provenance of the bird's origins, but ultimately the record will have to be assessed by the Texas Bird Records Committee, and the ABA and AOU Committees.

My personal experience of this species comes in at around zero, but I understand it is a common breeding bird in southern Mexico, including the Yucatan Peninsula, home to several other (apparently non-migratory) vagrants that have reached the NE Texas Coast in spring including a Yucatan Vireo and a Greenish Eleania in May 1984.

 Tropical Mockingbird - Sabine Woods, TOS Sanctuary, Jefferson County, TX. April 21st, 2012. 

Curiously, at 09:40hrs on the 21st, the bird decided to part company with the Northern Mockingbird it was associating with and headed out of the woods, flying along the road NE towards Sabine Pass. I never saw it return despite lingering for fifteen minutes or so. I was therefore a tad surprised to see the bird still being reported throughout the 21st and well into the middle of the following week. I really thought I'd witnessed the bird leaving the area - strange.

1 comment:

Larry said...

Very nice bird to find! A new US record I do believe.