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START:  Animals | Birding | Butterflies | Insects | Plant Life | To Categorize
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Birding

 

In all of the lower forty-eight states, South Texas is one of the richest in birdlife. Birders  come from all over the world to view the incredible variety available. Located on a natural flyway for migrating birds, South Texas can provide over five hundred different species of resident and stopover birds.

Bee County is particularly blessed with rich avifauna.  Geographically Bee County is located in three biological zones.  On the South and East is the coastal plain, to the North and West is the beginning of the Chihuahuan Desert and to the East is the beginning of the oak savannah.

Many species of plants and  birds are at the limit of their ranges in Bee County.

Bee County's many county and rural roads provide a great way to bird throughout the day.  Beeville's 200 acre Veteran's Memorial Park is another great spot to search for birds.  The usually watered Poesta Creek bisects the park and provides habitat for residents and migrants alike.

Many South Texas Specialty birds reach their northerly limits in Bee County.  This list would include the White-tipped Dove, Olive Sparrow, Green Jay, Oriole Audubons,  and  Great Kiskadee (Kiskadee).  For a visitor to San Antonio, Bee County would be the nearest place to find these birds.

Summertime specialties would be the ever-present Scissor-tailed Flycatchers,  Western Kingbirds, Couch's Kingbirds, Painted Buntings, Groove-billed Anis and easy opportunities to watch the mating displays of the Bronzed Cowbirds.  Black Bellied Whistling Ducks breed and raise their young throughout the county.  They are almost always visible around Beeville flying back to their roost every evening.

Golden-fronted Woodpeckers (Woodpecker) and Greater Roadrunners, Long-billed and Curve-billed Thrashers, Common Ground Doves, Pyrrhuloxias and Crested Caracaras  are common year round residents.

In the spring and fall migrations, warblers, chats, redstarts, vireos, orioles, thrushes and tanagers can be easily found foraging in Live Oak Trees.  Ruby-throated Hummingbirds arrive in awesome numbers in late August and early September.

White-tailed Hawks are findable in the coastal plain and often move north to work recently plowed fields in January and February.   Recent releases of  Aplomado Falcons at the Welder Wildlife Refuge provides the possibility of finding one of these rare falcons.   Bee County is where the Blue Jay meets the Green Jay.  Both of these species have been seen feeding together at the same feeder !

In September and April the annual hawk migration covers South Texas with over 18 species of  raptors.  It is quite common to have overnighting Broad-winged Hawks and Mississippi Kites in area creeks and bottoms.

During the peak times around April 1 and September 30, large kettles (Kettle Hawk) (sometimes in the thousands ) of Broad-winged Hawks can often be seen throughout the county.   Swainson's Hawks arrive in mid August to work plowed fields and will usually stay until October.

Winter visitors would include Vermilion Flycatchers  at almost every pond and windmill in the county.  Winter sparrows arrive from the north in October and November.  Area ponds and lakes hold ducks. There are probably more wintering  Red-tailed Hawks per telephone pole in South Texas than any place on earth!  Harris Hawks can be found in Western Bee County.  Loggerhead Shrikes and American Kestrels stake out their hi-line territories every quarter mile in open areas.  Bee County can truly provide great birding opportunities  

 

 

Hit Counter Updated Thursday, December 21, 2006 21:00

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