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WILDSIDE at RIO GRANDE VALLEY BIRDING FESTIVAL

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Oct 24, 2019 | by Sally Ingraham

We are headed to the Rio Grande Valley Birding Festival in November! This festival takes place Nov. 6-10 2019, in one of the most unique birding destinations in the US. With more than 500 species of birds to choose from – including Buff-bellied Hummingbird, Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, Greater Roadrunner, and Aplomado Falcon – the Lower Rio Grande Valley is a fantastic place to explore in the fall, and a pleasantly warm escape from the growing frostiness in our northern states.

Chris Brown

During the festival several of our Wildside leaders will join the field trip team. Alex Lamoreaux and Chris Brown will help share the wetlands, woodlands, palm-fringed resacas, and the many legendary birding hotspots that fill this unique 4-county region, picking up tropical specialties and possible Mexican vagrants along the way. We are expecting Audubon’s Oriole, the full sweep of kingfishers (Belted, Ringed, and Green!), Grey Hawk, and of course the iconic Green Jay and Plain Chachalaca.

Alex Lamoreaux guides our ‘TEXAS: Rio Grande Valley in Fall‘ tour, which leaves immediately after the festival. It is one of his favorite places to explore and share with our participants. We asked him what makes south Texas so special and interesting year after year.

Alex Lamoreaux

Alex responded, “Fall in South Texas takes us to beautiful remnant patches of lush riparian forests and subtropical woodlands along the Rio Grande, where amazing birds like Green Jay and Plain Chachalaca have lurked in the shady understory for generations. Shorebirds and waders gather in coastal lagoons, and raptors hunt the grasslands and savannahs.

Sometimes the habitats aren’t always so natural and scenic, however. Some of my favorite birding in the country actually takes place on the back streets of South Padre Island where small, vegetated ‘migrant traps’ sandwiched between beach houses and resorts can allow the birds a safe place to rest and refuel. We will spend a day (during our Wildside TX tour) poking around these small, urban oasis and look for warblers, flycatchers, tanagers, and other songbirds which are often found on some unusual perches!

Black-throated Green Warbler on South Padre Island, TX

Look for Alex and Chris in the field during the Rio Grande Valley Birding Festival, and be sure to stop by our booth at the festival headquarters in the Harlingen Conference Center. Greg Miller and Sally Ingraham will be there to answer your questions and help you plot your next adventure on the Wildside!

 

 

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