According to the Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge, an extremely rare bat falcon was flying around a lake in Alamo, Texas, and was photographed for the first time in the history of the United States.
The bat falcon was first spotted around Thanksgiving 2021, however, recently it has been hanging out around the wetlands on Cattail Lakes.
The small bird of prey is normally native to Mexico and Central America so it was very shocking to the locals, wildlife authorities, and experienced birdwatchers to see with their own eyes, the bird spending its winter in Texas.
The falcon has a “buff-cinnamon throat and crest bars,” and wildlife authorities determined that due to “the thickness of the tarsus and beak,” it was a juvenile male bird.
Peter Witt and his wife said that they traveled all the way to the refuge at the Mexico border specifically to see the bird in action.
“We could see him fly off from a tree shag perch, skim the lake, grab an insect and return to chow down, then rest a bit and repeat. We watched him for about 20 minutes… a wonderful and unique experience,” Peter Witt told KSAT.
The United States Fish & Wildlife Service refuge deputy for the Lower Rio Grande Valley National Wildlife Refuge, Joe Barnett said that over 4,000 people have visited the refuge since the bat falcon was first seen.
“Somebody even came from Europe, so it’s drawing a lot of attention. People coming just to see this bird,” BarnJoett told Border Report. “It’s always awesome to see something you’re not expecting to see.”