If you hadn’t noticed, Texas is a great place for birdwatching and bird photography. In fact, I would say that it might be the best state overall for birdwatching. We are blessed with a variety of habitats and one of the birdiest areas is the Lower Rio Grande Valley (and is why I spend so much time there).In general, much of Texas also happens to have a rather arid, seasonally hot climate. Those factors tend to concentrate a lot of birds around marshes, streams, and other weland habitats and such places can be a bonanza for bird and wildlife photography in general.

At one of my favorite avian watering holes, I see everything from White-tailed Deer to Coyotes.

Coyotes need water too!

When a Coyote shows up, most birds scatter, especially the ducks. Cinnamon Teal are one of the more handsome duck species. I was pleased that to see this male fly in after the Coyote left the scene.

A beautiful drake Cinnamon Teal.

The watering hole is an excellent place to get close, detailed shots of Common Ground Doves. You can tell it from other dove species by the red bill, and pearly gray and pinkish tones on the breast.

This is our smallest dove species. It is about the same size as a Starling!

Bronzed Cowbirds also show up, usually in small flocks. Their red eyes give them a rather sinister appearance.

One of three cowbird species in the USA, the Bronzed Cowbird is only found in southern Texas and Arizona.

The Green Kingfisher prefers the edges of streams, rivers, and other wetlands. Unlike the larger Belted and Ringed Kingfishers, it flys low over the water and is much more inconspicuous.

Green Kingfishers are like feathered pieces of jade.

Sometimes, a Diamondback Water Snake also makes an appearance. These snakes are one of the more common wetland snake species in Texas. Unfortunately, people frequently confuse them with rattlesnakes and Cottonmouths.

Diamond Back Water Snakes are common in freshwater habitats in Texas.

Another bird that usually shows up to bathe is the gorgeous Painted Bunting. Males are one of the most stunning species in North America.

Male Painted Buntings are almost unbelievably colorful.

The images above show why I always look forward to a visit to any wetland habitat in southern Texas!

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