Ubiquitous Birds

Crested Caracara

I mentioned last post about the hundreds of Red-winged Blackbirds that hang out in Falcon State Park (and many sites in the Southwest.)  I also mentioned the Pyrrhuloxia which are everywhere.  These members of the Cardinal family are native to Texas and Mexico and are fun to watch.  Here’s a shot I took this afternoon of a female alongside the park road.

The Crested Caracara, sometimes called the “Mexican Eagle,” is a spectacular low-flyer who is easy to identify and very common along highways in this area.  It feeds on carrion and lizards and small mammals and it’s unusual not to see a few any time you bird in this area.  They too are Texas/Mexico birds.

Pyrrhuhuloxia

One of the most prevalent birds here seems to be the orange-crowned warbler.  The plain little green birds are everywhere — to the point that I have yet to take a picture of one.  Of course, like most warblers, they don’t sit for portraits but rather move briskly along from branch to branch.  They have no markings per se — and that in itself is an identifying characteristic.

Another common bird here is the Great-tailed Grackle.  We started seeing them as we hit Texas and they are everywhere — not in Red-winged Blackbird numbers, but noticeable because of their size and their raucous calls.  They love to hang out in mall parking lots.

Great-tailed Grackle

Other birds we see each walk are Greater Roadrunners, Northern Cardinals, Inca Doves, and Northern Mockingbirds.  I suspect that the warming weather will crank up birding activity — both the birds and the birders have been waiting out this wintry blast.

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