Bat falcon spotted in Texas is first time bird of prey has been seen in US in recorded history

Man who caught bat falcon on camera called it ‘wonderful and unique experience’

Bat Falcon spotted at Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge. (Peter Witt, Peter Witt)

ALAMO, Texas – A bat falcon has been spotted in the U.S. for the first time in recorded history and the bird of prey made its appearance in the great state of Texas.

Bat falcons are not rare they just haven’t been seen in our country before.

They usually live in Mexico and Central America, according to a Facebook post from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

This particular bat falcon was spotted on Dec. 27 at the Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge in Alamo right near the southern border.

The man who captured the photo, Peter Witt, told KSAT he went to the refuge specifically to see the bird.

“My wife Joyce Nies and I saw the bat falcon at Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge on February 9,” said Witt. “We knew it was the bat falcon when we spotted it since we had seen pictures taken by others and read about the bird online.”

“It sometimes appears in the mornings on top of a telephone pole at the SA NWR entrance...but the day we went he wasn’t there so we hiked in about 2.5 miles to Cattail Lakes, where people said he also hung out on some days,” said Witt.

Did someone say Bat Falcon? 😱 The Bat Falcon has been observed at Santa Ana NWR. It is the first time the Bat Falcon...

Posted by Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge on Monday, December 27, 2021

Even though the bird was spotted in December, it didn’t start making headlines until the USFWS shared Witt’s photos on social media.

“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,” Witt said.

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About the Author:

Mary Claire Patton has been a journalist with KSAT 12 since 2015. She has reported on several high-profile stories during her career at KSAT and specializes in trending news and things to do around Texas and San Antonio.