Nine-banded armadillo

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Armadillo walking around vegetation!

Did you know that Armadillos get an average of 18.5 hours of sleep per day? Armadillos originated in South America, hence the name Armadillo which means “little armored one” in Spanish. The Nine-banded armadillo is only found in the United States.

Their average size is 25-48” long (including the tail) with a weight of 8-18 lbs. The average lifespan in the wild is 7-10 years. Identifying features of the armadillo are: greyish-brown oval-shaped body with a long, tapering tail; long head with a pointy snout and small black eyes on either side; hard, armor-like shell (carapace) with 7-11 distinct band-shaped beaks around the center; four short legs with long claws designed for digging. Armadillos prefer warm, moist climates, and thrive in forested areas and grasslands. Because they must dig for their food and shelter, they generally gravitate towards areas with loose, porous soil. Reproduction for the nine-banded armadillo begins in early summer, and the breeding period lasts about 2-3 months. It takes up to 4 months for a fertilized egg to become implanted and another 4 before young are born. Each time, the fertilized egg breaks into four identical zygotes, yielding quadruplets.

Want to learn more about Armadillos or other native South Texas animals. Join us for our one-of-a-kind outdoor Sculpture Trail Tour on Thursdays at 10am and develop an appreciation for the vast variety of creatures that call our region home. Each sculpture provides insight into the natural history of the Rio Grande Valley. At each turn of a trail, there’s a new creature to discover.

Admission Fee:

$3 Adults, $2 Senior Citizens and $2 Children under 12

Free admission to members and children ages 2 years & under.

For groups of 10 or more, please call to reserve a private tour.

Call us at 956-681-3370 for more information.

Come visit us at 600 Sunset Drive in McAllen.

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Christmas

investigating Ruby Pond child on rockDid you know that for two millennia, people around the world have been observing Christmas with traditions and practices that are both religious and secular in nature? Christmas is both a sacred religious holiday and a worldwide cultural and commercial phenomenon. Christians celebrate Christmas Day as the anniversary of the birth of Jesus of Nazareth, a spiritual leader whose teachings form the basis of their religion. Popular customs include exchanging gifts, decorating Christmas trees, attending church, sharing meals with family and friends and, of course, waiting for Santa Claus to arrive. December 25–Christmas Day–has been a federal holiday in the United States since 1870. People wish each other Merry Christmas (Feliz Navidad). Today, Christmas is a time for family and friends to get together share a meal and exchange gifts.

With the holiday season upon us, bring your family, friends and guests to visit Quinta FamilyMazatlan. Quinta Mazatlan invites you to explore Folk Art through the eyes of Ann Maddox Moore. The Folk Art Room features over 1,400 pieces of art from Moore’s private collection. Attend one of our inspiring tours held throughout the week or bring the little ones out and enjoy one of our many educational programs. Meander our 26-acre park and enjoy a breath of fresh air.

Quinta Mazatlán is the City of McAllen’s urban sanctuary that continuously works to enrich people’s lives by sharing knowledge about birds, plants, and environmental stewardship in South Texas. The nature center is an oasis of food, water, and shelter, making it a welcome stopover for birds migrating through the Valley in the spring and fall.

Want to learn more about the history of the area and Quinta Mazatlan? History tours are offered every Friday 10am -11am and are included in the General Admission fee: $3 Adults, $2 Seniors (65+) and $2 Children under 12. Free admission to members and children ages 2 years & under. For groups with 10 or more are required to call in advance and schedule a Private Tour.

Private bookings are available. Quinta Mazatlan is located at 600 Sunset Drive in McAllen, TX.

Grand Hall 1

Red-eared slider turtle

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Red eared slider turtle returning back into the water!

Did you know that a red eared slider turtle can holds its breath for a good hour while awake, and for about 5 hours when sleeping? The red ear slider turtle is a small freshwater turtle native to the Mississippi Valley in the southern United States. Red eared sliders are a medium-sized freshwater turtle, generally 125–200 mm long, but can grow up to 350 mm long. Females are usually larger than males.

The carapace and skin is olive to brown with yellow stripes or spots. While specimens in captivity tend to have neat shells, usually the shells of wild species are covered by a layer of algae, hide their distinctive patterns and colors.

Red Ear Slider Turtles preferred habitats include a range of slow-moving or still freshwater lakes and ponds. Red ear slider turtle readily tolerates artificial ponds and lakes, and often thrive in dams that have been polluted by excessive organic matter. They can tolerate human-made canals, brackish marshes, and ponds in city parks.

Adult red ear turtles tend to be herbivores, and juveniles tend to be more omnivorous. Both prey on mollusks and invertebrates. They are known to eat fish, frogs’ eggs and tadpoles, and water snakes.

They eat a variety of aquatic plants and algae, including a number of harmful aquatic weeds such as water hyacinth. While capable of eating small vertebrates – including small reptiles, amphibians, mammals, fish and birds – fish and birds are very rarely part of their diet.

Sexual maturity is reached at 2-5 years of age. Maximum life-span is generally in the order of 20-30 years’ age. Red ear slider turtle can wander up to 9 km from water to find suitable habitat, search for a mate or lay eggs.

Want to learn more about Red eared slider turtles or other native South Texas animals? Join us for our one-of-a-kind outdoor Sculpture Trail Tour on Thursdays at 10am and develop an appreciation for the vast variety of creatures that call our region home. Each sculpture provides insight into the natural history of the Rio Grande Valley. At each turn of a trail, there’s a new creature to discover.

Admission Fee:

$3 Adults, $2 Senior Citizens and $2 Children under 12

Free admission to members and children ages 2 years & under.

For groups of 10 or more, please call to reserve a private tour.

Call us at 956-681-3370 for more information.

Come visit us at 600 Sunset Drive in McAllen.

Chachalaca

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Plain Chachalaca showing off its feathers.

Ever wonder what a Chachalaca looks like? At last count there are over 30 Chachalacas at Quinta Mazatlan. It has been reported that Mr. Frank Schultz introduced breeding pairs to the estate and the rest is history. With no natural predators at the estate, they have become prolific. Incidentally, the Schultz family had been known to served up these birds as a holiday meal a time or two according to some individuals.

Enter through the gates of Quinta Mazatlan in the morning, and most of the time you will be greeted by none other than our fine feathered concierge, the Plain Chachalaca. The Plain Chachalaca, is a chicken like bird that represents the Carcidae family north of the United States-Mexico border. The Rio Grande Valley is the farthest north these birds have traveled. They are commonly found in thickets, dense second growth, scrub and forest, primarily in semi-arid regions.

This entertaining bird is named for its loud cha-cha-la-ca call, most commonly heard in the morning and frequently during spring breeding season. A series of vocalization can also be heard as when they are startled by an intruder or as they fly from tree to tree.

Quinta Mazatlán is the City of McAllen’s urban sanctuary that continuously works to enrich people’s lives by sharing knowledge about birds, plants, and environmental stewardship in South Texas. The nature center is an oasis of food, water, and shelter, making it a welcome stopover for birds migrating through the Valley in the spring and fall.

Want to learn more about the history of the area and Quinta Mazatlan? History tours are offered every Friday 10am -11am and are included in the General Admission fee: $3 Adults, $2 Seniors (65+) and $2 Children under 12. Free admission to members and children ages 2 years & under. For groups with 10 or more are required to call in advance and schedule a Private Tour.

Private bookings are available. Quinta Mazatlan is located at 600 Sunset Drive in McAllen, TX.

Plain Chachalaca baby (Ortalis vetula), s. Texas

Baby Chachalaca

Golden Fronted woodpecker

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Golden Fronted woodpecker making a cavity nest!

Did you know that a Golden Fronted woodpecker’s beak is a chisel, effective enough in cutting into trees? Golden Fronted woodpeckers inhabit the bushlands and open woodlands of Central Texas and Oklahoma of the United States, eastern parts of Mexico, and parts of Central America. These woodpeckers thrive in dry arid bushlands where the prickly pear cactus grows, as this is one of their favorite foods.

Woodpeckers are omnivores who search for insects on tree trunks and limbs, gathering them from bark or probing below surface. They also consume nuts, berries, fruits and seeds of many plants. They are known to frequent residential backyards and will readily feed on a woodpecker bird feeder containing some type of suet mixture.

Golden Fronted woodpeckers are a medium to large sized woodpeckers. They are about 8-10 inches with a bill about 1.25 inches. The wingspan is about 17 inches with a weight of about 3.0 ounces.

Nest sites for woodpeckers is a cavity in trunk of tree (alive or dead) such as mesquite or oak, or in telephone poles or fence posts. Locally, they will form a nest cavity in dead palm trees. Cavities are usually fairly low, typically less than 20′ above ground. Both sexes help excavate the cavity, which may be used for more than one season.

Want to learn more about Golden Fronted woodpeckers or other native South Texas animals? Join us for our one-of-a-kind outdoor Sculpture Trail Tour on Thursdays at 10am and develop an appreciation for the vast variety of creatures that call our region home. Each sculpture provides insight into the natural history of the Rio Grande Valley. At each turn of a trail, there’s a new creature to discover.

Admission Fee:

$3 Adults, $2 Senior Citizens and $2 Children under 12

Free admission to members and children ages 2 years & under.

For groups of 10 or more, please call to reserve a private tour.

Call us at 956-681-3370 for more information.

Come visit us at 600 Sunset Drive in McAllen.

Virgin of Guadalupe

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Virgin of Guadalupe

Did you know that “Guadalupe Day” is regarded by many Mexicans as the most important religious holiday of their country? It honors the Virgin of Guadalupe, the patron saint of Mexico, which is celebrated on December 12. It is believed that a man named Juan Diego encountered the Virgin Mary twice in Mexico City, on December 9 and December 12 in 1531. According to legend, Mary told Juan to ask the bishop to build a church on Tepeyac Hill. However, the bishop needed proof of Juan’s encounter and asked for a miracle. Juan returned to the hill to see roses in a spot where there were previously cacti. When Juan Diego returned, he showed the roses to the archbishop and also revealed an image on his cloak of the Lady of Guadalupe. The bishop was convinced of the miracle and built a church in honor of the event.

With Virgin of Guadalupe Day or Our Lady of Guadalupe Day just around the corner, you can appreciate it in our Folk Art Room. Quinta Mazatlan invites you to explore Folk Art through the eyes of Ann Maddox Moore. The Folk Art Room features over 1,400 pieces of art from Moore’s private collection. Long-time McAllen native, art collector, enthusiast and community supporter, Ann Moore has accumulated Mexican folk art for over 40 years! Her generous gift underscores the cross-cultural nature of the Valley’s relationship with Mexico, and provides a dazzling experience of color and hand work that is fast disappearing. The collection is from all over Mexico, coming from as far away as Oaxaca, Guerrero and Michoacán. There are also other pieces sprinkled in from Africa, Indonesia, Peru, Guatemala and other countries. Moore’s collection creates a bridge to various cultures, traditions and ways of life through folk art.

Quinta Mazatlán is the City of McAllen’s urban sanctuary that continuously works to enrich people’s lives by sharing knowledge about birds, plants, and environmental stewardship in South Texas. The nature center is an oasis of food, water, and shelter, making it a welcome stopover for birds migrating through the Valley in the spring and fall.

Want to learn more about the history of the area and Quinta Mazatlan? History tours are offered every Friday 10am -11am and are included in the General Admission fee: $3 Adults, $2 Seniors (65+) and $2 children under age 12. Free admission to members and children ages 2 years & under. For groups with 10 or more are required to call in advance and schedule a Private Tour.

Private bookings are available. Quinta Mazatlan is located at 600 Sunset Drive in McAllen, TX.

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Virgin of Guadalupe

Black-tailed jackrabbits

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Jack Rabbit with vegetation!

Did you know that Black-tailed jackrabbits are not actually rabbits, but are hares? This is because its young are born with fur and with their eyes already open. The black-tailed jackrabbit most identifying feature is its large ears. The ears along with the tail are tipped with black fur. It has rather long slim front feet and large hind feet that can be 5 inches in length. With large hind legs, jackrabbits can run as fast as 40 mph in short bursts to escape predators. Adult jackrabbits have short lives, between 2-5 years. They can weigh between 3-7 pounds are about 2 feet in length. The large ears of this hare help it to lose heat and thereby cooling its body temperature. They have large eyes that are high on their head and placed toward the side helps them to spot predators. They like open flat places along with desert scrub and mesquite grasslands. The call home south-central Mexico to west-central and western United States. The black-tailed jackrabbit is an herbivore that enjoys feasting on grasses, leaves, clover, alfalfa, twigs, seeds, beans and cacti. But in turn, jackrabbits are an important diet source for many animals. These can include coyotes, hawks, foxes, bobcats and humans. Jackrabbits will often rest in the shade during the heat of the in a shallow depression under grass or bushes. They will forage or rest in groups relying on the eyes and ears of each other for protection.

Want to learn more about Black-Tailed Jackrabbits or other native South Texas animals? Join us for our one-of-a-kind outdoor Sculpture Trail Tour on Thursdays at 10am and develop an appreciation for the vast variety of creatures that call our region home. Each sculpture provides insight into the natural history of the Rio Grande Valley. At each turn of a trail, there’s a new creature to discover. Admission Fee: $3 Adults, $2 Senior Citizens and $2 Children under 12 Free admission to members and children ages 2 years & under. For groups of 10 or more, please call to reserve a private tour. Call us at 956-681-3370 for more information. Come visit us at 600 Sunset Drive in McAllen.