Monday, March 14, 2016

Back to Bentsen RGV State Park

We are now volunteering 30 hours a week on the Hawk Tower at Bentsen Rio Grand Valley State Park counting raptors coming north out of Mexico in their bi-annual migration.  

First Phase are the thousands of Turkey Vultures along with the Black Vultures pictured here forming kettles and streaming, making their way to the states and Canada.  Today over 13,000 vultures observed.

Mixed in are 20 other species of hawks, falcons, and kites.

White-tailed Kite

Cooper's Hawk
Crested Caracara

Many other birds and wildlife inhabit the 800 acres of Bentsen State Park.  There are 10 feeding stations and bird blinds that give the public great opportunities to study and photograph wildlife.
Vermilion Flycatcher
Lark Sparrow

Greater Roadrunner

Long-billed Thrasher
Audubon's Oriole

Olive Sparrow

Green Jay

Altamira Oriole

White-collared Seedeater
We took one day off and drove west to Salineno, located along the Rio Grande in the more desert-like area of South Texas.  Winter Texans set up feeders that welcome birders to come sit and watch the show.  

Along the banks covered in tall grasses are the sought after White-collared Seedeaters, a small, shy bird that is a blessing to find.  We also saw Red-billed Pigeons, a Mexican species only seen in this small area along the river.

Northern Cardinal
White-winged Dove
Black-crowned Night-heron
California Carpenter Bee
Lincoln's Sparrow
Western Banded Snake

 We signed up for the pontoon boat ride on the Rio Grande with our RV park and enjoyed the wildlife along the river in Spring just as much as we did last Autumn.

One year old Alligator

Fiery Skipper

McCall's Eastern Screech Owl

A Budgerigar checking out The House of China in McAllen

We have six more weeks of Hawk Watch until we head north with the warbler migration.
Love & Prayers,  Ty & Ida Baumann

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