Winter has officially arrived to the LRGV and so have wintering birds and our “Winter Texan” birding guides to the SPI BNC. Winter is a fantastic time to go birding in the valley! Bird diversity almost doubles in our area as birds escaping freezing temperatures in the north flock south to mild climates and join our resident birds for the season. The same concept applies to our Winter Texan birders! This creates a whole new realm of birding possibilities and adventures! This is one of the beautiful things about winter birding in the RGV; the changing season means new birds to be seen and returning friends to enjoy them with!
Nearly every bird family in North America has a few species that over-winter in the RGV. Here at the SPI Birding and Nature Center wintering ducks, gulls, shorebirds, and birds of prey are the obvious lot and they can be numerous! Looking out onto the Laguna Madre from Bird Blind #3 this time of year one can’t help but notice all the ducks! Unlike ponds and lakes to the north, water bodies in the RGV never freeze over! This means food is for the picking! The Laguna Madre is an important wintering area for a variety of duck species such as; Northern Pintail, American Wigeon, Blue-winged Teal, Red-breasted Merganser, and especially Redhead ducks. A greater percentage of the world Redhead population over-winter in the lower Laguna Madre and rafts of hundreds are not unusual to see from Bird Blind #3 during this time.