Saturday, February 4, 2017
Days One and Two of Birding the Lower Rio Grande Valley--Hidalgo County, TX
African Spurred Tortoise
01-14 and 01-15-17
This was from the first two days on the Lower Rio Grande Valley in Hidalgo County, just in
Mission, Texas alone. One didn't have to look too hard in order to locate these wonders.
A self-guided tour is not a bad thing, which you will learn over the next couple of weeks, as
birding this area is good at any time of year.
Valley specialities, such as these are endemic to this area, except, of course, the African Spurred Tortoise, which was a rescued animal. May I assure you that he is well treated, very friendly,
and is fed just like the king that he is. He recently celebrated his 14th birthday, and chances are excellent that he will outlive you, no matter your age.
Also, the red fox squirrel is familiar to many people, but I couldn't resist showing you how he
manages to get his water, which is fresh. Animals know where their bread is buttered and it
makes my heart sing in those respects.
The Couch's Kingbird may look familiar to some of you, but it must not be confused with the
Tropical Kingbird, also endemic to the area. The Couch's will have a shorter bill than the tropical variety with more brown on the back. The best way to tell is via its call, but it didn't utter a peep.
My shot of the White-tailed Hawk doesn't do it justice, but it was quite a distance from me. I was actually fortunate to be able to get it in the bright sunlight as well as I did, and it is only one of many
birds of only The Valley.