Texas in the summertime is hot. The combination of humid air coming in from the Gulf of Mexico and its southerly location give the Lone Star State one of the highest consistent heat indices in the country. This is partly why most birders visit during the much milder temps that occur from October to April. For those of us who live in Texas, we invest in good air conditioning units, drink lots of liquids, and are careful about venturing out into the heat.
The birds and wildlife of Texas also need to be careful with the hot summer weather. They are pretty much adapted to it but still avoid being very active during the hottest part of the day and make plenty of visits to water sources.
On a recent visit to the Santa Clara Ranch in Starr county, I watched a variety of birds and animals coming to a bit of water. It made for easy and fun photography.
The Curve-billed Thrasher might be a species of arid environments but it won’t pass up a chance to get a drink of water.
Water sources are also an excellent place for getting close shots of Common Ground Dove.
Painted Buntings sometimes come in for a drink and a quick bath. The males add a shocking array of bright colors to the water hole!
Mammals also show up at water holes for good photo opportunities. Even shy animals such as White-tailed Deer show up for a drink.
One of our most interesting mammals is the ground squirrel. These common rodents have a beautiful pattern on their coat and are always fun to watch. It would be pretty tough to take their picture away from a watering hole.
Stay hydrated and use water sources to get good shots of birds and other animals in Texas during the height of summer.