August 15, 2015 Songbird Stroll

We’re delving more into migration as each day passes. Throughout the entire Lower Rio Grande Valley birding hotspots are finding the early migrants beginning to trickle through. Not just one, but two, Ruby-throated Hummingbirds were seen this morning. In addition to a few more migrating birds showing up each day, butterflies wander and fly around different areas. The meandering butterflies put on quite a show, especially between September and the month of November.

Good looks at a Yellow-billed Cuckoo always make for a great morning! Look at those big and beautiful white tail spots at the end of each feather.

INDO yoga

We even have yoga at Quinta Mazatlan. Here is an Inca Dove stretching its wings and back while its neighbor preens a few feathers.

red-bordered metalmark

Red-bordered metalmark. This beauty is about the size of a quarter.


This Plain Chachalaca kept watch as birders walked through our entrance gate. The chachalacas are like a welcoming crew!


Great-tailed Grackles are a common bird throughout the Lower Rio Grande Valley. Some of them have started to lose their tail feathers, which will be replaced in the months to come. The timing of their tail molt just happens to be when raptors and songbirds begin showing up in south Texas.


Green Parakeets keep watch from their favorite guard post at the entrance to Ebony Grove.

During each songbird stroll we visit many unique areas along our trails. The open landscape and scattered trees of Ebony Grove provide great habitat for Loggerhead Shrikes, Northern Mockingbirds, dozens of Inca Doves, and our Green Parakeets which have taken up residence in the adjacent palm snags. We were treated to seeing them protect their cavities this morning. While observing them from a distance they decided to cling along the palm trunk and vocalize continually. Parakeets are intelligent birds, and we are lucky to have them living right here in our backyard! Have you seen them yet?

Below is the eBird list from this morning’s Songbird Stroll.

Black-bellied Whistling-Duck  12     Flyover
Plain Chachalaca  16
Turkey Vulture  1
Inca Dove  12
White-tipped Dove  3
White-winged Dove  36
Yellow-billed Cuckoo  1
Eastern Screech-Owl (McCall’s)  1
Common Nighthawk  1
Common Pauraque  1
Ruby-throated Hummingbird  2
Buff-bellied Hummingbird  3
Golden-fronted Woodpecker  6
Green Parakeet  8
Great Kiskadee  7
Couch’s Kingbird  3
White-eyed Vireo  2     One near the casita, one in the amphitheater
Green Jay  4
Cave Swallow  3
Black-crested Titmouse  2
Clay-colored Thrush  5
Curve-billed Thrasher  6
Long-billed Thrasher  2
Northern Mockingbird  3
Olive Sparrow  4
Summer Tanager  1     Near the casita
Northern Cardinal  1     Female
Great-tailed Grackle  8
Bronzed Cowbird  2     Emerald Lawn
Orchard Oriole  2     Male and female at Emerald Lawn
Lesser Goldfinch  5
House Sparrow  43

Good birding,

Kelly Smith


Bird Walk: June 1st, 2013

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


I had the new staff members, a couple of bright-eyed boys with their mom, and a pleasant couple from out of town join me for the bird walk this morning.

Great Tailed Grackle Juvenile Quinta Mazatlan John Brush

As I walked up to work this morning, I couldn’t help but observe a family of Great-tailed Grackles fussing about in the anacahuitas above the cactus garden. This is a juvenile Great-tailed Grackle – both the males and female juveniles resemble adult female grackles.

Green Parakeet Quinta Mazatlan John Brush

The group got to spend some quality time with a pair of Green Parakeets. We first saw them in the amphitheater area, but then ran into them again later along the Ebony Grove trail. They might have been eating mesquite pods, and we saw them go up to a palm tree, possibly checking out a cavity.

Clay Colored Thrush Quinta Mazatlan John Brush

I got to show a few people this Clay-colored Thrush sitting on its nest. The nest is on a horizontal branch in a Live Oak tree near the courtyard. The bird is obviously quite hot, panting to help cool down!

Join us for a Bird and Nature Walk at 8:30am every Saturday throughout the summer at Quinta Mazatlan!