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Boat-Billed Heron in East-Central Tamaulipas, Mexico

Harold Mayfield
Publication Information
5 (September-October)
From Field and Study

Boat-billed Heron in East-central Tamaulipas, Mexico.-A party of three hunters from the United States, accompanied by two Mexican guides, observed several Boat-billed Herons, CockZearius cochlearius, early in 1948 on the Rio Soto la Marina in east-central Tamaulipas, Mexico. This river is about 125 miles south of Brownsville, Texas, and the party observed the birds about 2.5 miles inland from the coast. Twelve birds were found on January 31, and 20 at the same locality on the following day. A dead bird, brought to camp on February 3, was examined closely by all members of the party, and colored motion pictures were taken of it. It was not preserved as a specimen.

The birds permitted the men to approach by boat almost to the bases of the trees in which they perched before flying. From the, fact that there was some variation in plumage, it was judged that there were both immature and adult birds in the flocks.

This observation has come to light through one of the party, Louis A. Klewer, a professional outdoor writer of Toledo, Ohio. Klewer has been an observer of birds for more than 25 years and has participated in the banding of many Black-crowned Night Herons and other herons in the eastern United States. He immediately recognized that the Mexican bird was something new to his experience, and further study after his return convinced him that he had seen the Boat-bill. This identification was confirmed later by examination of a specimen of Cochlea&s cochZeariza loaned by the University of Michigan Museum of Zoology.

These observations extend the known range of this species approximately 7.5 miles to the north. Earlier records from southern Tamaulipas have been summarized by Sutton and Pettingill (Auk, 59, 1942:8).-HAROLD MAYFIELD, 2557 Portsmotih Avenue, Toledo, Ohio, June 1, 1948. 

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