A solitary exotic bird, the Cattle Tyrant, was spotted this week in downtown Corpus Christi, Texas. Birders from all over the country rushed to the gulf coast of Texas to try to catch a glimpse of this yellow flycatcher far from its home in South America.
The closest report of this bird near the USA is in Panama. So for many birdwatchers, this moment is the only chance to see this rare vagrant.
Where can you find the rare Cattle Tyrant in Corpus Christi?
Observers have spotted the Cattle Tyrant at the intersection of N Chaparrel and Shatzell St. (State Spur 407), two blocks from the Selena memorial statue. The bird has been seen hanging out in the palm trees and catching insects on the sidewalks and gutters.
Last reported on: 12/02/2023
View the recent stakeout sightings on eBird
Check out the eBird page for the Cattle Tyrant stakeout spot to see the last time it was spotted.
As of 11/18/2023, 257 eBird checklists have been submitted for this makeshift hotspot.
Photos of the Cattle Tyrant in action
Cattle Tyrant has a secret
I took over 700 photos of the Cattle Tyrant today and in a single picture, a small red crest can be seen popping out of the bird’s crown. It was such a quick display that I didn’t discover it until reviewing my photos at home.
My quest to find the Cattle Tyrant 🐄
On Wednesday, my dear friend Selena sent me a screenshot of a news article about a rare bird native to South America mysteriously appearing in Corpus Christi, Texas.
I instantly opened eBird to check exactly where and how often people have spotted this rare bird.
It was still reported as of Wednesday, so I began checking it daily until Saturday arrived, and I could finally make the trip to the coast to try and find it.
After a two-hour drive from San Antonio, I arrived at 9 AM and parked near the Mirador de la Flor Selena Quintanilla memorial statue.
Two small blocks away in the parking lot of Dokyo Dauntaun sushi restaurant stood a group of birders with binoculars and large camera lenses. One of the friendly birders smiled and pointed out the nearby Cattle Tyrant. This medium yellow-gray flycatche busied itself in the fronds of a palm tree less than ten feet away. What an easy find!
I spent the next hour watching the bird as it snatched insects from the air around the street gutters and explored the vegetation surrounding the palm tree.
Jeanine Merrill captured this cute photo of the Cattle Tyrant perched on the street sign at the intersection it hangs out at.
How did the Cattle Tyrant get in Corpus Christi?
It is anyone’s guess, but I heard a solid hypothesis from other birders that it got stuck on a cargo ship and ended at Port of Corpus Christi.
What other birds have been seen in this spot?
66 species have been reported from visitors to this downtown Corpus Christi intersection. The other notable species I saw was a Great Kiskadee, Golden-fronted Woodpecker, and Northern Mockingbird. You can see the full list of birds on my eBird checklist from the Cattle Tyrant stakeout spot.
Did you get a chance to see this rare bird?