February in most states isn’t exactly a month known for bright colors. The usual outdoor color scheme is a combination of browns, a few dull greens, and the boring white of snow and ice. Although we don’t see a whole lot of green vegetation during February in the Lower Rio Grande Valley, we still experience quite a bit of color in the form of the beautiful birds that live in the mesquite, grasslands, and coastal habitats.
Northern Cardinals are common birds that brighten up the gardens and scrubby habitats with their beautiful combination of deep red and black plumage.
The drake Green-winged Teal is a very handsome bird with a chestnut head highlighted by a shining green stripe that resembles ribbon used for wrapping gifts.
The Roseate Spoonbill is the only spoonbill species in the Americas and is one of the prettiest and most exotic birds to grace the habitats of southern Texas.
Some of our raptors also sport their own bright splashes of color and striking patterns in their plumage. The White-tailed Hawk shows a nice combination of gray, white, dark brown, and a hint of rufous in the wings.
Crested Caracaras are striking birds and commonly seen in the Lower Rio Grande Valley at all times of the year. In addition to their bold black and white pattern, they have a striking, bright orange face that contrasts with a neat black cap.
Although I might not go so far as saying that Turkey Vultures are beautiful, they do show color with their small red head!
These are just a few of the colroful birds seen in southern Texas during the winter. Add Green Jays and Alatamira Orioles to the mix and it’s quite the colorful assemblage of birds.