The heat wave that is presently hugging the country is reminiscent of what it feels like during summer in south and east Texas. Drink lots of liquids, don’t do anything strenuous, and try to stay cool! That’s what I do to stay healthy while birding in southern Texas in the summer. I’m just careful about dealing with the heat and end up getting some great shots during the months of July and August.
The local chachalacas are still busy feeding their babies and that’s always a source of entertainment!
These babies look pretty different from the longer necked, grayer adults.
Chachalacas aren’t in the same family as turkeys or grouse but have a similar diet of seeds and bugs, and will also eat small fruits. They, in turn, need to watch out for one of their main predators, the Bobcat!
Bobcats are fairly common in the woodlands and scrubby habitats of southern Texas. You won’t see them every time you go birding but spend enough time in the field and you have a pretty good chance of seeing one now and then. Since I spend a lot of time just waiting and keeping still while doing bird photography, I tend to have close encounters with Bobcats more often than others. The cat in the picture above walked pretty close to where I was sitting!
One of the other birds I ran into was the Long-billed Thrasher. South Texas is the only place in the country where this mockingbird relative can be seen. It looks a lot like the Brown Thrasher but has a grayer face and yellowish eye among other differences.
Soon the chachalacas will be much bigger and should be about the same size as the adults by the end of the summer.
Down at the shore, wading birds will start migrating through the area any day now. As always, it’s a great area to get shots of Ospreys. I leave you with one of those dramatic shots until the next post from valley wildlife in south Texas!