Rare Tropical Bird Spotted In Texas For The First Time Ever

By Sherah Janay Ndjongo

November 30, 2023

Tranquil Purple and Orange Sunrise with Bird Silhouette in Motion on Long Beach Island
Photo: Getty Images

A remarkable avian-related incident recently took place in Texas, as announced by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.

It was revealed that an unprecedented sighting of a gray-collared becard occurred at Resaca de la Palma State Park in Brownsville.

This rare species, first observed in the U.S. in 2009 with the most recent sighting just six months ago in May 2023, drew attention when wildlife biologist Brandon Nooner captured a photo of the bird perched on a tree branch at Palma State Park.

The gray-collared becard, typically found in tropical forests and woodlands, has its usual habitat in northwestern Mexico, particularly the eastern Sonora region, as well as El Salvador and Nicaragua, according to the American Birding Association.

Notably, these elusive birds are known to travel with mixed-species feeding flocks, joining tanagers, orioles and warblers, as reported by eBird.

Texas has become a hotspot for rare bird sightings, including a Cattle Tyrant in Corpus Christi on November 13, considered a potentially groundbreaking observation in the U.S. The medium-sized flycatcher, with a South American range, made a rare appearance, too.

Galveston Island also reported an "extremely rare" Mangrove Cuckoo sighting in May 2023, marking the first occurrence in the area since 1982.

Bird enthusiasts are reveling in the extraordinary influx of rare avian visitors to the Lone Star State.

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