Saturday, August 06, 2011

Couch's Kingbirds in Williamson County

I am grateful to a local birder who gave me a head's up about the nesting Couch's kingbirds in my neighborhood.  I went out a couple of days ago and located them easily, but it was mid-day, not the right time of day for photography not to mention the heat.

I got out tonight with my big lens, hoping they would be cooperative.  Henry and I saw them immediately upon parking. One was even in good position for a photograph, but before I could get it located in the lens, it flew to the top of the tree.  The adults were vocal when we first arrived, so I was glad to hear their call.

These birds are listed in TEXBIRDS on the Austin Rare Bird Alert. This is only the second record of this species in Williamson County.  They are normally found in Texas only in the Rio Grande Valley.

I had another opportunity when one of the birds landed in the interior of the tree.  I suspect this is near the nest, although I have not seen the nest itself yet, although I have looked for it.

I have pictures from the Texas Panhandle of Western Kingbirds so I am anxious to dig them out and compare so that I will be better able to distinguish between the two species. 

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