Saturday, November 29, 2014

Red-legged Honeycreeper at Estero Llano Grande State Park, 11/28/14

Wow!  It finally happened.  Park naturalist Ruben Rangel at Estero Llano Grande State Park found and photographed a funny looking little green bird with a decurved bill that no one could identify.  At least not until Mary Gustafson had a look.  She instantly recognized it as a basic plumaged Red-legged Honeycreeper. Wannabe experts from across the country are immediately declaring it to be an escaped pet as Red-legged Honeycreeper is known to exist in the pet trade.  They are ignoring the fact that the species occurs regularly as close as 300 mile south of the RGV and is migratory in the northern part of its range.  It is a fact that migrants occasionally go in the opposite direction which would fit perfectly for this little bird.  I've been expecting we would see one some day although I was expecting a spring overshoot rather than a fall wrong way migrant.

Anyway after a few tries I finally got to see it yesterday with a happy group of birders.  Hope it stays a while so I can get some better pics.

The Texas Bird Record Committee will have some work a head of them as this Red-legged Honeycreeper along with the Common Crane, Gray-crowned Rosy-finch and Pacific Wren are all waiting to have their possible acceptance to the Texas state list judged.  I think its a good bird.  No one can be sure, but it seems to me more likely than an escaped pet. 

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