First bat falcon spotted in US at Texas wildlife refuge

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The country's first bat falcon sighting happened at the Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge last December in Texas.  (Peter Witt )

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said the country’s first recorded bat falcon sighting happened at Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge in Alamo, Texas last December.

"Everyone that can catch a glimpse is looking at this bat falcon right now," officials recently posted on its Facebook page. "This is the first recorded time that a bat falcon has ever been seen in the U.S.!"

Seventy-eight-year-old Peter Witt of College Station took a trip earlier this month just to spot the rarity and snap a photo. The couple recently picked up an interest in spotting birds, with enthusiasts known as "birders." 

"My wife (Joyce Nies) and I went to SA NWR specifically to see the Bat Falcon since this is the first time it has been reported to be in the U.S," he told FOX Television Stations. 

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According to ebird, the bat falcon is a small, carnivorous bird with a white throat and a rust-colored belly. They are known to mostly live in Mexico and Central America. 

It’s not known how the bat falcon migrated to the U.S., but a spokesperson with the wildlife service told FOX Television Stations it’s anybody’s guess if the country could see another one.

This story was reported from Los Angeles.