LatinaLista — Laredo, Texas is known for being on the frontlines of national security when it comes to border enforcement. The Border Patrol is ever vigilant about who and what gets across our shared border with Mexico.
Yet the, technically illegal, arrival of one south-of-the-border visitor has caused such a sensation that Laredo officials are finding themselves having to react with extra police patrols, press releases and city clean-up campaigns.
This visitor has no intention of taking jobs away from American workers or even living in the shadows of U.S. society, though she probably does prefer the shade. And even though she likes being left alone, because she is such a rare visitor to not just Laredo, but the entire United States, she won't be getting peace anytime soon.
Female Amazon Kingfisher
That's what she gets for being an Amazon Kingfisher. Sighted in Laredo, the bird is stirring such a frenzy and attracting bird watchers from "Canada, Montana, California, Oklahoma, Missouri, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New Mexico, Arizona,Colorado and throughout Texas including the Lower Rio Grande Valley area" that the city of Laredo is taking this arrival very seriously.
"The City of Laredo is mobilizing to make the birding experience in Laredo the best that it can be," Laredo Mayor Raul Salinas said."Some of our creek and river vega areas are littered and we are taking active, yet sensitive steps in cleaning up and making it presentable for all of our visitors, feathered or otherwise.
Additionally, we have increased police patrols to deter crime in this area and to make sure that our visitors feel safe and leave with a sense of security to return in the near future.
"I welcome the birders and anything that we can do to assist with information on where to stay and the good places to eat while in town, estamos aqui para servirles."
The bird, from the lowlands of the American tropics from southern Mexico south through Central America to northern Argentina, was spotted near the Zacate Creek, an obvious choice since they like to nest along river banks by creating a horizontal tunnel where the female lays 3-4 white eggs.
The Laredo Convention and Visitor's Bureau has a handy fact sheet for bird watchers, and anyone else who wants to see this rare visitor. The bureau provides driving directions to the watch sites, the best places from which to see the bird, as well as, information on local restaurants and hotels.
The city is even providing complimentary bottled water and a "welcoming committee" to all the bird watchers who have heard of this rare sighting and the many more anticipated to make the trip just to see it.
Nobody knows why this little bird has flown so far away from her traditional nesting grounds but it's a safe bet that she wants a new life for her chicks.