RIO GRANDE VALLEY, Texas – The haunting calls of a pair of Great horned owls greet the dawn in the ranch country of deep South Texas. The male hoots from the top of a mesquite, while the female with a slightly higher pitched call answers from the lofty branches of a nearby tree.
Between their captivating primal calls, the morning chorus of birdsong begins to fill cool morning air.
Perhaps, no songbird greets the day more enthusiastically than the Curve-billed thrasher. This ebullient songster boldly serenades from a tall vantage joyfully proclaiming its territory.
A cardinal joins the dawn chorus with its clarion call, while a pyrrhuloxia casts its voice from a nearby perch.
The chortling tone of a Cactus wren emanates from the branches of a guayacan, while the soothing coo of white-winged dove softly drifts from sheltering mesquite leaves.
Perched on the tip of a spiny yucca, the diminutive Black-throated sparrow lends its tiny yet spirited chirps to the choir.
A Bobwhite quail’s clear whistling call carries thru the crisp air from the branches of a chaparro prieto.
Of all the South Texas songsters, the raucous chachalacas reign supreme when it comes to welcoming the day. These tropical denizens are unrivaled when it comes to decibel level and sheer enthusiasm.
Sure, according to the calendar it is officially winter, but native birds are not waiting to voice their joy and eagerness for change in seasons.
While spring songsters are just starting to lift their voices, the primordial calls of wintering geese and Sandhill cranes linger until they soon depart for northern breeding grounds.
There is no better time to savor the call of the avian wild in southernmost Texas.