There are dozens of beautifully colored bird species in Texas and many of them can be seen in the Lower Rio Grande Valley. I see a virtual rainbow of colors just about every time I go birdwatching in southernmost Texas and it’s hard not to take pictures of birds when you see species like the Golden-fronted Woodpecker.

A smart looking Golden-fronted Woodpecker.

This woodpecker species is the most common woodpecker in much of central and southern Texas and occurs in brushlands and a variety of semi-open habitats.

One of the more colorful specialties of the valley is the Green Jay. They are fairly common in subtropical woodlands of the lower Rio Grande and, fortunately for photographers, even come to feeders!

In the United States of America, the multi-colored Green Jay is restricted to the Lower Rio Grande Valley.

Keeping with birds that are green, you can’t get much more green than the appropriately named Green Parakeet. This is a widespread species in eastern Mexico that has established healthy populations in the Lower Rio Grande Valley area. They are believed to be composed of both escaped cagebirds and wild Green Parakeets from Mexico.

Green Parakeets are common in southernmost Texas.

The Scissor-tailed Flycatcher is a common species with a stunning, long tail, and an interesting combination of pale gray, black, and salmon-colored plumage. They are common in much of Texas and mostly winter south of the valley.

Scissor-tailed Flycatcher showing off its salmon-colored flanks.

A couple of our most common bird species are almost entirely red. The familiar Northern Cardinal is a common species of gardens and brushy habitats.

Northern Cardinal taking a drink.

The other mostly red bird is the Summer Tanager. Males are a pretty, rose red color while females are orangish-yellow. These are also locally referred to as the “Summer Redbird”.

A young male Summer Tanager molting into adult plumage.

One of the most colorful species is actually a waterbird. The Purple Gallinule is arrayed in a beautiful blend of purple, blue, white, and black with red and yellow highlights.

Purple Gallinule- most beautiful bird in the marsh.

There are dozens of beautiful warblers, the stunning Painted Bunting, grosbeaks, orioles, and other colorful species that grace habitats in the Lower Rio Grande Valley. Don’t forget to bring the camera when you visit the valley for birding!

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