Bird Walk July 19, 2014

???????????????????????????????Started off on the very humid morning (bins and camera lenses would not stay defogged) by seeing this Carolina Wren singing with gusto in the Hummingbird Garden.

???????????????????????????????In the span of a minute, this female Golden-fronted Woodpecker and her mate visited their nest 5 times with food! The female stuck with bringing Anacua fruits, while the male (below) brought in the white, flakey pulp of a Night-blooming Cereus fruit.???????????????????????????????

Night-blooming Cereus fruitAn opened, pecked at Night-blooming Cereus fruit.

???????????????????????????????Curve-billed Thrasher posing on a mesquite branch – love those bright orange eyes!

???????????????????????????????This male Ladder-backed Woodpecker really worked at a particular spot on a Huisache tree. We got to see it get a couple juicy morsels: one looked to be a white larva, and the other a green caterpillar.

???????????????????????????????Perhaps the most interesting sight of the morning was this family group of Plain Chachalaca foraging in the parking lot. The parent regurgitated several yellow Esperanza flowers (its a commonly used ornamental plant in the Lower Rio Grande Valley), which the chicks proceeded to ravenously devour (see series below).

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Have a great weekend!

– John Brush

Black-bellied Whistling-Duck  4
Plain Chachalaca  13     In the parking lot had two chicks getting fed regurgitated Esperanza flowers by a parent
Swainson’s Hawk  1
Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon)  9
White-winged Dove  5
Inca Dove  3
Common Pauraque  1
Chimney Swift  12
Buff-bellied Hummingbird  1
Golden-fronted Woodpecker  10
Ladder-backed Woodpecker  2
Brown-crested Flycatcher  1
Great Kiskadee  1
Couch’s Kingbird  1
White-eyed Vireo  1
Green Jay  1
swallow sp.  1
Black-crested Titmouse  4
Carolina Wren  1
Clay-colored Thrush  3
Curve-billed Thrasher  3
Northern Mockingbird  2
Black-and-white Warbler  1
Olive Sparrow  2
Northern Cardinal  2
Great-tailed Grackle  5
Bronzed Cowbird  2
Orchard Oriole  16     one flock of 9 overhead, scattered small groups throughout the park
House Sparrow  20

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Bird Walk December 3rd, 2013

This is a weekly bird report written and photographed by our Interpretive Guide John Brush

Bird Walk 12-3-2013 Yellow-bellied Sapsucker John Brush
Hello all,
Another fun morning birding at Quinta Mazatlan. We were joined by folks from Dallas, the northwest, and our fine locals, Marcia and Jane.
We started off by seeing a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker in its usual Mesquite tree outside front desk area. Note the white bar in the wing, the single black line through the eye, and the red cap. This younger male bird has been hanging around the park for over a month.

Bird Walk 12-3-2013 Carolina Wren John Brush
We got a life bird Carolina Wren for one of our visitors this morning, and it obliged with some of the best looks you could get! These wrens are loud, musical singers, but are often hidden away in dense foliage.

Bird Walk 12-3-2013 Birders and School Group
This is a great example of the multifarious uses of Quinta Mazatlan. Some of the bird walk group is looking at an Eastern Screech-Owl while one of the many school groups we host is walking up Bougainvillea Lane. We love being able to share our beautiful property with visitors of all ages!

Bird Walk 12-3-2013 American Robin John Brush
American Robin is an irregular, somewhat irruptive visitor in the Lower Rio Grande Valley. Last year, finding a robin was quite a difficult venture, but this year birders are finding American Robins sporadically across the area.

Have a great week!

Bird Walk: April 23rd, 2013

This is a weekly bird report written and photographed by our Interpretive Guide and Birder John Brush.

Had another great walk this morning at Quinta Mazatlan, joined by both out of town and local birders (including our Conservation Hero, Jane Kittleman). The morning was filled with a variety of species: 3 vireo species, 6 warbler species, along with thrushes and some flycatchers.

Bird Walk 2013-04-23 Carolina Wren John Brush

We started by seeing a family of Carolina Wrens just outside the front desk doors in the Hummingbird Garden. There were three of these short-tailed, tufty little wrens just leaving the nest box. Notice the wide yellow gape – a sure sign of a fledgling. These cuties got all the appropriate attention.

Bird Walk 2013-04-23 White-eyed Vireo John Brush

Not to be outdone by the wrens for cuteness was this White-eyed Vireo fledgling, hidden a few meters back in some thick granjeno branches. Again, this bird looks like its very recently fledged – I wouldn’t have known it was a vireo if I hadn’t seen the adult feeding it!

Bird Walk 2013-04-23 Scarlet Tanager John Brush

We also got some mesquite-blocked views of a brilliant Scarlet Tanager, which are migrating through the Valley in large numbers, especially towards the coast.

Bird Walk 2013-04-23 Summer Tanager John Brush

The second tanager species we got was this female Summer Tanager, and we later saw an immature male starting to get its bright red plumage.

Bird Walk 2013-04-23 Common Pauraque John Brush

The Bird of the Day, chosen by all present, had to have been our beautiful nesting Common Pauraque . This is the third week we’ve seen a pauraque at the exact same spot. Three weeks is significant, because if it had been incubating eggs from the first time we spotted it then it would be about now that the eggs would hatch. The bird shifted a little bit when we saw, possibly meaning that there are small baby pauraques under its brood patch. We need to continue to check it every day we can!

Join us for a Bird Walk! Tuesdays (through April) 8:30am-10:00am at Quinta Mazatlan in McAllen, Texas.