CIBOLO, Texas — It's safe to say that a little golden-crowned sparrow is the biggest celebrity at Warbler Woods Bird Sanctuary in Cibolo.
Joel Williams first snapped a picture of the bird last week.
"I was having trouble identifying it because my bird book says it doesn't belong in Texas," Williams said.
He sent a tweet and the rest is history.
"I put it out on eBird which triggered the rare bird report. The next morning between 7 and 8 a.m., we had 30 people arrive from my posting the night before," said Warbler Woods owner Susan Schaezler.
Warbler Woods spans more than 200 acres and each year upwards of 300 species of birds make a pit stop — but not the West Coast's golden-crowned sparrow.
"If you go into the records you can find out. It's only been seen like 30 times in all of history in Texas," Schaezler said.
People have been coming from all over to catch a glimpse.
Eugene Doggett patiently waited for the past two days.
"Just got to see it. About ten minutes I watched it," Doggett said.
The last time Gill Ekridge saw one was in Monterey.
Just like his fans, the sparrow has come a long way. He's flying solo, and no one really knows why.
"I don't know! This one I can't figure out. Sometimes with hurricanes you can get vagrants showing up because of the wind patterns, but there's no reason for this one to do this. This is very unusual," Schaezler said.
As for the watcher who made the discovery, he never thought his tweet would hatch such interest.
"It feels pretty cool. It motivates me to get out and try and do some more birding. It's a lot of fun to identify something that few people have seen around here and I hope it keeps people interested in this kind of thing," Williams said.
At this point there is no real way to tell whether the bird will go back or choose to make Warbler Woods his permanent home. But thanks to technology and avid bird watchers, the rest of the world can stay in the loop.
For more information, visit warblerwoods.org.