Richard Moore has traveled through the remote wildlands of south Texas, but sometimes he doesn’t have to leave his own backyard to enjoy the fascinating wildlife of the Rio Grande Valley.
It can get pretty crowed at the backyard bird feeder, but there is always room for one more, and that makes eight Red-crowned parrots dinning happily on their peanuts and sunflower seeds.
However, nothing can spoil a good party quite like the arrival of a bossy neighbor, in this case it is the dominant backyard Chachalaca that puts the parrots to flight.
While the resident Red-crowns have no problem plucking peanuts from the shell, the Chachalacas just can’t quite seem to get the hang of extracting the nuts.
Green jays are adept at working the nuts from the shell, but they prefer to achieve that task in private and take flight with their bounty. Golden-fronted woodpeckers also prefer to abscond with their peanut prize.
Once the Chachalacas wander off, the Red-crowned parrots return and begin munching away, when suddenly a pesky squirrel climbs aboard scattering the parrots. Securing his peanut, the squirrel scampers off.
Once again, the Red-crowns return, and this time they are joined by a Yellow-headed parrot. Although, the Yellow-headed is much larger, the Red-crowns appear quite willing to share their peanut perch with the bigger bird.
Everyone seems to be getting along well, when suddenly something startles the parrots, and in a flurry of feathers and frantic squawking they disappear.
Eventually, the parrots return, and they have apparently arrived at a truce with the Chachalaca as they peacefully coexist.
Peace persists, as later the squirrel returns to select a peanut, and the Red-crowns warily tolerate the furry interloper.
Sometimes, you don’t even have to leave your backyard to appreciate the splendid antics of our fascinating south Texas wildlife.