CARLSBAD, N.M. (AP) – Experts say a small bird found near Lake Carlsbad is the first verified sighting of the black rail species in New Mexico.
The Carlsbad Current-Argus reports the bird was found last week by a woman who noticed it was unable to fly.
It was taken to the Desert Willow Veterinary Clinic, where it was nursed back to health with a steady diet of meal worms and seeds. Veterinarian Sammie Uhrig says the bird wasn’t injured but appeared weak and underweight.
How the black rail came to be in Carlsbad remains a mystery, as their natural habitats include coasts along the Gulf of Mexico.
New Mexico Ornithological Society member Steve West says he has heard of black rails being seen in the state, but this is the first verified sighting.