Amazon Kingfisher in Cameron Co., Texas

Having too many irons in the fire kept me from the big search for the Amazon Kingfisher until Tuesday.  The green bird showed up last Saturday in a Resaca (oxbow) of the Rio Grande along Highway 100 about 15 miles southeast of Harlingen, Texas.  Birders attending the Rio Grande Valley Birding Festival were the first to spot it and now the world knows about our rare Mexican visitor.  There have been up to 30 cars parked at that point of the highway for the past 4 days.  Fortunately, most of those who wanted to see the bird got at least a distant view.  Rare birds make the south Texas highways look like Yellowstone National Park…when one car stops, they all stop.  The sheriff’s office sent officers to keep traffic moving on Saturday.

I arrived at the site about a half hour before sunrise yesterday and got my first look just a few minutes before sunrise.  Unfortunately, the throng of birders kept the kingfisher alert enough that it didn’t come close.  While it was never close enough for a great photo, I did get some documentary shots which I wanted to share with you.  It is not unusual for rare birds and butterflies to venture into south Texas from Mexico.  It just takes a lot of “eyes” to find them.  I’m sure you know that these rare, tropical birds bring many birders, photographers and millions of dollars to this area.  The Chamber of Commerce just smiles when a rare bird alert goes out on the internet.

Click in the upper, right portion of a photo to make it larger and sharper for viewing.

Amazon Kingfisher searching for prey.


Amazon Kingfisher, female, shares a perch with the spiders as she tries to spot unwary fish.


Ebony trees in the background are good camouflage for the Amazon Kingfisher.


Amazon Kingfisher hunting from an ebony tree perch at pond's edge.


I’ll be searching again tomorrow and hoping for better light and a closer perch (for the bird).