Southern Texas has its fair share of hot, arid habitats but it also plays host to excellent wetlands. Marshes are particularly good for birds because there is always something to see and photograph. Unlike woodland birds, many of the marsh species come out into the open or will come to the edge of the marsh if you patiently wait for them.
The Little Blue Heron is one of several common heron species that occur in Texas wetlands. Their slate gray plumage has subtle maroon highlights and contrasts with the lighter hues of the White Ibis.
While most of the wading birds forage in the open, some other species skulk in the marsh grass. Rails are always tough to see but with patience, they can eventually be seen.
One of the other common rails in south Texas is the Sora. It has a much shorter bill than the Virginia Rail and gives frequent whistled and whinnying calls from the marsh.
The most commonly seen rail species in Texas and most of North America is the Common Gallinule. This smart looking bird species swims in the water in addition to creeping through the marsh grass.
A few small birds also live in marshes. One of the most common is the Common Yellowthroat. This warbler frequents wet fields and marshes in much of North America and can be identified by its black mask.
If you are looking for fun, easy-going birding in South Texas, visit a wetland.