Texas Birds – S Rio Grande

We just got back from a trip to S Texas and covered several wildlife preserves, and state parks near the Rio Grande from McAllen, Tx to S Padre Island. First we stayed in Alamo, Tx at Casa Santa Ana, a Bed and Breakfast right next to the Santa Ana Wildlife Refuge. They feed the local birds and attract lots of Kiskadees, Green Jays, Altimira Orioles, Golden-fronted Woodpeckers, N Cardinals and others.

Altimira Oriole

Altimira Oriole

Golden-fronted Woodpecker
Golden-fronted Woodpecker

 

Green Jay

Green Jay

 

Great Kiskadee

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We continued to Estero Llano Grande State Park to search for the Green Kingfisher and Ringed Kingfisher with no luck. This is a very good park with lots of variety. We did see the Common Pauraque, a strange bird in the Nighthawk family which looks like a piece of wood  or fallen leaves and is nearly impossible to see if it doesn’t move.

Common Pauraque

Common Pauraque

 

Next we traveled to the S Padre Island area and went to Laguna Atacosa National Wildlife Refuge which has lots of raptors including Cara Caras, White-tailed Hawks, Aplomado Falcons, Ospreys, Harris Hawks, and other S Texas specialties. The preserve is huge and has tropical thorn scrub, grassy plains, and coastal tidal flats. This part of Texas is as far south as S Florida and is the northern range of many Mexican and Central American species which are found no where else in the U.S.

CaraCara eating a rodent

CaraCara eating a rodent

CaraCara mating

CaraCaras mating

 

Cara Cara

Cara Cara at Laguna Atacosa

 

The other area that we visited was on S Padre Island at the S Padre Island Birding Center next to the Convention Center, where there are a series of boardwalks over the salt water marsh. This is an excellent place to see Roseate Spoonbills, Tri-colored Herons, White Ibis, American Bitterns, Reddish Egrets, many Ducks and shorebirds.

American Bittern

American Bittern

 

Reddish Egret

Reddish Egret

White morph Reddish Egret

White morph Reddish Egret (unusual color form)

 

White-tailed Hawk

White-tailed Hawk

Roseate Spoonbill

Roseate Spoonbill

Roseate Spoonbill

Roseate Spoonbill