Bird Info

Hook-billed Kite /gavilán pico-gancho (Chondrohierax uncinatus)

Voice: A rapid Northern Flicker-like chatter, “keh,keh,keh,keh,keh,keh.” Also a soft “uueee” call.

Hook-billed Kite
Status: Rare resident along the Rio Grande from Santa Ana NWR to Falcon Dam. Hook-billed Kites are nomadic, moving to areas with high concentrations of tree snails. Occasionally birds are seen in the early morning flying from roosts to feeding areas, and may be seen regularly in an area for days or even weeks at a time. Most often seen from April though October; can be difficult to find in winter months.

Habitat: Riparian corridor along the Rio Grande, where it prefers dense brushy woods.

Best Spots: Santa Ana NWR, Anzalduas County Park, Bentsen SP, Saliñeno, Chapeño, and below Falcon Dam.

Similar Species: With long, banded tails and broad, paddle-shaped wings, Hook-billed Kites offer a distinctive flight profile. When perched, note the large bill and striking face pattern. In flight, Harris’s Hawk and Gray Hawk most closely resemble Hook-billed Kite, but neither species shows barred flight feathers nor the aforementioned combination of field marks.

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All Bird call recordings © John C. Arvin.
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A Birder's Eye View of the Seasons in the Lower Rio Grande Valley  

Welcome to a birder’s eye view of the seasons in the Lower Rio Grande Valley. Enjoy our annual cycle! The resulting avifauna in deep South Texas is the most diverse north of the Mexican border. The four county area that makes up the lower Rio Grande Valley has recorded over 500 species of birds. This is more species of birds than have been recorded in all but two or three entire states. Small wonder that birders from across the continent make pilgrimages to the region. Happy Birding!

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A "Bird Checklist" is a complete list of birds that have been seen or heard in a specific region like Texas or the Rio Grande Valley. Checklists can be used as a personal diary of your travels.

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