On a recent visit to South Padre Island and Laguna Atascosa, I had numerous photogaphy oportunities. One of my favorites was getting the chance to photograph Aplomado Falcons.
This was the first time I had seen both Aplomado Falcons together in quite a while. They were on the west side of the fence (which makes photography a challenge) but patience paid off with the images seen above. After awhile, they took off together, probably to begin hunting in earnest. Unlike falcon species that catch prey in flight (such as the Peregrine Falcon and Merlin), Aplomados take their prey from the ground.
I noticed that a few migratory birds have started to show up on South Padre Island and LANWR had its first waterthrush although it is still a bit early for migrants.
Gray Catbirds winter in the valley and pass through in good numbers. It is always a pleasure to see this smart looking cousin of the mockingbird.
The Crested Caracara is another commonly seen bird of prey in southern Texas. With its bright orange face and striking black and white plumage, it is hard not to take photos of this odd falcon spcies.
However, the colors of the caracara don’t come close to the beautiful greens, blues, and yellows of the Green Jay!
I also saw several birds that I did not get pictures of. These included a covey of Bobwhites, White-tailed Hawk, a dozen Long-billed Curlews, and 9 or 10 Plain Chachalacas. When migration kicks into gear, there should be hundreds of bird photo oportunities in southern Texas!