Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge – Gators, Birds, Dragonflies, and Such…

November 30, 2012 at 4:00 am (Birds - Texas, Butterflies, Dragonflies and Bugs, National Wildlife Refuges (US Fish & Wildlife), Nature, Photography, TX, Wildlife) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Vermillion Flycatcher, male

Although my recent trip to Texas was to visit relatives, I could not pass by one of my favorite birding spots without stopping for my bird fix.  Anahuac NWR suffered during Hurricane Rita in 2005, but was really devastated by Hurricane Ike in 2008.  There are fewer trees now, and while Spring seems to have the best variety of birds, November was pretty decent for a windy day.

So without much further ado, here are the results. Read the rest of this entry »

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Big Bend’s Birds of Spring

March 26, 2011 at 1:47 pm (Big Bend National Park TX, Birds - Big Bend TX, Birds - Texas) (, , , , , , , , , )

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Red-tailed Hawk on blooming Acacia

In addition to the Common Black Hawks of my last post, there are many other birds returning to Big Bend from their winter getaways, as well as year-round residents exhibiting annoying testosterone-fueled behavior.  

Turkey Vulture eating dead lizard

Turkey Vultures have peppered the sky for a few weeks now, having spent the colder months in Mexico, Central and South America.  These birds have extremely acute olfactory organs for finding rotted meat, and have some nasty (to us) habits such as urinating on their legs to keep cool, and vomiting when alarmed.  They also have trouble getting out of the way of speeding cars, and can easily take out a windshield.  Should a vulture’s guts be ripped open in the process, you might just decide to give the car to a junkyard.  I understand the smell is Putrid Times Ten.  Well, as Jan Allen, one of our volunteer interpreters calls them, they are the Road Kill Cleanup Crew.  They serve an important purpose in the ecosystem, and despite their reputations, are a welcome sight to nature lovers.

Read the rest of this entry »

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