Rio Grande Valley

Egretta tricolorA Tricolor Heron (Egretta tricolor) prowling the Laguna Madre off Padre Island.

I’ve returned from more than a week in south Texas and I have many pictures to sort though. Stay tuned for news of the 68 new-to-me bird species I saw and other excitements.Quiscalus mexicanusGreat-tailed Grackle (Quiscalus mexicanus, omnipresent throughout the trip.

Turtleneck

Trachemys scripta

Turkey

Meleagris gallopavoDo you know how many times I’ve kept my eye out for this semi-wild Turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) in Battery Park over the years? She has bee there for some time now — their mini-farm is even roughly turkey-shaped — but this is the first I’ve ever run across her. You’d think, considering the size the of the beast…Meleagris gallopavoAnyway, voilà! Turkey.

They, whoever they are, have presumed to have given her a name, but you won’t hear it repeated by me.

Portrait

Agelaius phoeniceusA female Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus). An example of one of the most extreme sexual differences found among species in our area.

Zygodactylism

Picoides pubescensThat tap-tap-tapping coming from the Phragmites is usually a Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens). Note those long toenail claws. Woodpeckers have zygodactyl toes, two pointing forward, two back. Most birds, the Passerines, or song birds, have three forward, one back. Picoides pubescens

Gowanus Dragon

gowanusThe anti-freeze color of the water is just about right here.

New Nest

Columba liviaRock Pigeon (Columba livia) nesting under the bridge. The bird was still working on the nest, using her body to shape these freshly collected twigs. The red-eyes are natural, not from a flash.


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