Birding Community e-Bulletin – June 2012

June 2012

This Birding Community E-bulletin is being distributed to active and concerned birders, those dedicated to the joys of birding and the protection of birds and their habitats.

This issue is sponsored by the producers of superb quality birding binoculars and scopes, Carl Zeiss Sport Optics:

You can access an archive of past E-bulletins on the website of the National Wildlife Refuge Association (NWRA):


For a number of days in mid-April, a curious mockingbird was seen at Sabine Woods, a Texas Ornithological Society bird sanctuary, south of Port Arthur and west of Sabine Pass. Photos of the bird were shared, and by 20 April the bird was identified as a Tropical Mockingbird. Here is a photo by Terry Ferguson:

Tropical Mockingbird is normally a resident of southern Mexico (including the Yucatan), much of Central America, and south into northeastern South America. The species appears similar to a Northern Mockingbird, but lacks white wing patches and much of the white in the outer tail-feathers, though still having a white-tipped tail.

While we might have included this as our rarity of the month in the May E-bulletin, the mockingbird was eclipsed by the rare Elaenia found in Chicago in April. There were also some initial concerns about the mocker. Some fraying in the tail of the Sabine Woods bird raised questions about whether the mockingbird might be an escapee. It is a popular cage-bird in Mexico. How a Tropical Mockingbird from southern Mexico or Central America was dutifully carried all the way to the Upper Texas Coast was never addressed, however.

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