RIO GRANDE VALLEY, Texas – If you enjoy seeing a variety of birds and lots of them, then as Richard Moore shows us the ongoing fall migration is the perfect time of year to head outdoors.
From the brush country to the bay, it is a wonderful time of year to enjoy the South Texas outdoors as cooler temperatures will soon prevail and wildlife becomes increasingly abundant.
Throughout the Rio Grande Valley colorful songbirds are flitting thru backyards while overhead the first ducks of the season are winging it southward.
Southernmost Coastal Texas is the most important migratory corridor in North America with literally hundreds of millions of birds funneling thru the area.
Some birds, like the vast majority of Ruby-throated hummingbirds passing thru now, don’t over winter in the Valley.
Others, like the White pelicans that are just starting to arrive, may spend the winter on Valley resacas.
Another fall favorite is the Peregrine falcon that migrates along the shore of South Padre Island on a 5,000-mile journey that takes them from their breeding grounds in the Arctic to South America.
While the same species of birds frequent the Valley during this spring and fall migrations the pattern of their passage differs.
During the fall migration most birds fly during the day, while in the spring they tend to fly at a higher altitude and be more nocturnal.
The spring migration of songbirds is also more direct, and many fly straight across some 500-miles of the Gulf of Mexico, while in the fall they tend to fly around the Gulf.
The urgency of the spring migration is keyed to nesting success and competition to establish breeding territories in the best areas.
While migration behavior may differ, spring and fall both provide the very best opportunity for birding in the Rio Grande Valley.