For those who follow this blog, it will come as no surprise that the Aplomado Falcon is one of my favorite birds. I have said it before and will keep on saying it as long as I see these beautiful birds of prey. Even if they weren’t endangered, they would still be very special birds but the fact that these raptors are positively rare does indeed add to their appeal.
These falcons of tropical grassland habitats disappeared from the USA during the first half of the twentieth century but have been successfully reintroduced to southern Texas. Laguna Atascosa is a good place to see them and a recent trip to that birding hotspot resulted in fantastic, close views of a pair.
No other falcon in the USA has that combination of a beautiful black cummerbund and white eyebrow. Watching these agile , long-winged birds in flight is always a treat but photos are easiest when they perch on fence posts.
In addition to the falcons, I also had nice looks at Blue-winged Teal. This might be a common duck species but it’s a handsome bird and always nice to see.
Another bird that posed for photos in the marsh was a young Yellow-crowned Night Heron.
I hope to get even more images of the falcons next time I head into the field but even if they don’t make an appearance, I know that I am always going to see something good when birding in South Texas.