Sunday, April 3, 2022

Hook-billed Kite at Progreso Lakes, 4/4/22

Yesterday evening I noticed a few vultures and hawks coming in so I thought I would pay attention this morning when they started to rise.  I still need Swallow-tailed Kite and Mississippi Kite for the year list here at Progreso Lakes.  Turned out to be a pretty good flight with several hundred Turkey Vultures and Broad-winged Hawks.  I felt it was going to be the day we got our annual Swallow-tailed Kite.  A little after 10am I noticed a funny shaped raptor approaching with the migrating TVs.  With its very broad wings I felt it was going to be one of our local Harris's Hawks.  But as it got closer I saw the tail was too long and wings were too broad and paddle shaped.  I could not believe it.  A Hook-billed Kite was flying over our house!  

Hook-billed Kites are occasionally seen in small numbers at either Santa Ana NWR or around Bentsen State Park.  Both sites have populations of the land snail on which they feed.  Usually no Hook-billed Kites are present anywhere in the Valley and they are one of the species most wanted by visiting birders.  Whether this bird wandered over from Santa Ana or came up from Mexico with the migrating raptors is unknown.  Either way this rare Hook-billed Kite is the 246th species to be seen from our yard.  The bird was distant against a very bright cloudy sky so I had to do some work with the photo editor to coax a little color out of these images.

As I think about birds yet to be seen from our yard, I could name several dozen species more likely to occur than Hook-billed Kite.  I thought our chances of adding the species to our Progreso Lakes yard list was pretty close to zero.

Jones yard, Progreso Lakes, Hidalgo, Texas, US
Apr 3, 2022 7:35 AM - 2:05 PM
Protocol: Traveling
0.037 mile(s)
Checklist Comments:    All birds seen or heard fromour one acre yard
55 species (+3 other taxa)

Black-bellied Whistling-Duck (fulgens)  1800
Muscovy Duck (Domestic type)  2
Muscovy Duck x Mallard (hybrid)  2
Mottled Duck (Gulf Coast)  5
Lesser Scaup  1
Plain Chachalaca  6
Inca Dove  2
White-tipped Dove  1
Mourning Dove  17
Ruby-throated Hummingbird  5
Buff-bellied Hummingbird (Northern)  1
Double-crested Cormorant  1
Neotropic Cormorant  5
Great Egret (American)  1
Snowy Egret  1
Tricolored Heron  1
Green Heron  5
Black-crowned Night-Heron  7
Turkey Vulture  400
Osprey (carolinensis)  1
Hook-billed Kite  1    Came from south with northbound Turkey Vultures and Broad-winged Hawks.  Continued northward.
Cooper's Hawk  2
Broad-winged Hawk  300
Swainson's Hawk  5
Red-tailed Hawk  1
Ringed Kingfisher  1
Golden-fronted Woodpecker (Northern)  4
Ladder-backed Woodpecker  1
Black Phoebe  2
Great Kiskadee  2
Couch's Kingbird  2
Scissor-tailed Flycatcher  2
Black-crested Titmouse  2
Purple Martin  2
Tree Swallow  1
Barn Swallow (American)  1
Cliff Swallow (pyrrhonota Group)  3
swallow sp.  20
Carolina Wren (Northeast Mexico/South Texas)  1
Long-billed Thrasher  2
Northern Mockingbird  2
Clay-colored Thrush  1
House Sparrow  4
Lesser Goldfinch  5
Lincoln's Sparrow  2
Eastern Meadowlark  1
Hooded Oriole (cucullatus/sennetti)  2
Red-winged Blackbird (Red-winged)  40
Bronzed Cowbird (Bronzed)  20
Brown-headed Cowbird  1
Great-tailed Grackle (Great-tailed)  5
Orange-crowned Warbler  1
Nashville Warbler  1
Kentucky Warbler  1    continuing
Northern Parula  2
Yellow Warbler (Northern)  1
Yellow-throated Warbler  1
Northern Cardinal (Common)  2

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