Some Rio Grande Valley Critters

One of the unique aspects of birding with a dog is the extra-curricular activity brought on by critters – some domesticated but most wild. Without exception, they bring on a surge at the leash which doesn’t help when you just got that warbler in your binoculars.

In the lower Valley, the main tormenters were squirrels – big imported Fox squirrels like this one who was too lazy to even bother her.

Here further west, we hear coyotes at night and see them on early morning morning walks. Their scat is all over the trails – a continual delight for the dog.

Another potential prey is the Cottontail rabbit. They dart across the road and at night, can make a walk rather interesting. It gets dark here – very little ambient light – and the dog sees or senses them first and the lunges on the leash while all I see is a bobbing piece of white cotton up ahead. Here’s one we saw yesterday.

Here at Falcon Lake State Park, there are deer, most of them pretty small. We saw this bigger guy yesterday crossing the parking lot. You can see that he’s shed one of his antlers. It’s about that time of year here.

The one critter I worry about here is the Collared Peccary more commonly known as the javelina. They are everywhere and while a little shy, they certainly could give Penny a rough time if provoked. Even though they are not pigs, they pig out on Mexican Olives dropped from trees throughout the park as well as bird seed on the ground. Here are three that visited us yesterday – you can see the rear of the Airstream in the photo.

And here’s a face only a peccary could love.

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