Saw the Bare-throated Tiger-Heron

Tonight on my third try to see the probable first U.S. record Bare-throated Tiger-Heron, it appeared. Unfortunately it was almost dark and the photo I took did not come out. As it was getting dark, several of the birders who had been watching for it for hours were leaving and did not see it.

I was more fortunate as I was looking in the direction that it flew from and so spotted it just as it came into sight and flew over the canal near the Bentsen-Rio Grande State Park World Birding Center buildings. Though I have seen this species before, I don't recall having seen one in flight but I knew immediately that this was likely the tiger-heron as it looked like a night-heron as it flew with methodical wing beats across the canal and into the thicket of trees with a pond on the other side. As I review Sibley's field guide, it looked quite a bit like a Yellow-crowned Night-Heron in flight--large, dark bird with it's head tucked back and it's legs outstretched behind it.

There were still close to 10 birders watching when the Bare-throated Tiger-Heron flew tonight and I believe most of them got to see it. Several birders said they saw it when it flew at around 4 pm and apparently several also saw it fly around 10 am this morning. This bird is apparently molting from juvenile to adult plumage. It was found on Dec 21 by Rick Nirschl and Rick Snider who got some great pics. SeEtta

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