Sunday, June 19, 2022

Groove-billed Anis Fledge at Progreso Lakes, 6/19/22

A few weeks ago I noticed a Groove-billed Ani hanging around our backyard at Progreso Lakes.  We have a bottlebrush tree that makes a small shady spot where I like to set up my scope and peruse the lake shore.  I would set there in my lawn chair and watch the ani forage around the edges of our native brush patch.  A few days later I noticed two anis and they were hanging around the bottlebrush and the nearby dead ash.  Well my presence under the bottlebrush did not seem to bother them too much as they proceeded to build a well hidden nest in the upper portion of the small but thick foilaged tree.

After returning from an eleven day trip I saw they were carrying food items to the tree and assumed the anis were feeding young.  Well today three baby short tailed grooveless Groove-billed Anis fledged and I found them in our brush patch behind the bird bath.


Here's one of the parents with a small butterfly, a Celia's Roadside Skipper.

Twice I've seen one of the adults bathing in our bird bath in the afternoon when the water temperature has to be over 120.  It does this humorous dash across the hot water with its wings raised.  I've not been able to capture this with the camera but here's one after its bath.

A few more Groove-billed Ani photos.

I'm not sure how our yard's invertebrates and lizards will fair.  I'm sure these guys will eat a lot of them.

Sunday, June 12, 2022

Social Flycatcher continues at UTRGV Brownsville, 6/12/22

A couple of weeks ago I saw that the Social Flycatcher at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley in Brownsville had been seen again by local birder Michelle Cano.  The fourth US record of this Mexican species was was first found during the RGV Birding Festival last November and was seen by hundreds of birders though late March.  But local birders got caught up in chasing pretty spring warblers and quit looking for it so it was assumed the Social Flycatcher had just wandered off.

Today I took my wife Honey to her favorite gym in Brownsville and I took the opportunity to search the resaca habitat at the UTRGV campus for the Social Flycatcher.  It took about an hour before I finally heard it call in the oaks on the north side of the resaca near El Comedor.  I whistled a few Ferruginous Pygmy Owl toots and the Social Flycatcher zoomed in and continued to call.  It's molting and looking a little ratty these days.

So why has this bird spent the past seven months at this location?  There have been rumors of a second bird but no one has documented more than one.  It would be pretty cool if they were breeding on the campus.  Maybe the large number of other flycatchers like Great Kiskadee, Couch's and Tropical Kingbirds and Brown-crested Flycatchers keep it in the area though my intuition would guess that they would drive the bird away.  Well I guess I need to drop by once in a while to monitor the situation.