HARLINGEN, Texas (KVEO) — This time of year, you just never know who may show up at your backyard feeder.
The day may begin with a bonded pair of Black-bellied whistling ducks, who busily vacuum up their breakfast of seeds and cracked corn, although one often keeps watch while the other dines.
Green jays and chachalacas come and go throughout the day, and if there are peanuts around the secretive jays don’t linger long, soon absconding with their treat to pry it open in privacy.
Chachalacas meanwhile struggle with the pesky peanuts, as they just can’t quite figure out how to pry them apart, often tossing them aside in seeming frustration.
Just above, a handsome Yellow-headed parrot patiently perches on a mesquite limb awaiting his turn at the feeder. Dropping down, the parrot has the platform all to himself for a leisurely meal.
Next up, the first of the afternoon Red-crowned parrots arrive, and when it comes to accessing peanuts, parrots have the dexterity and crunching power to make short work of them.
Joining the parrot on this day is a Rose-breasted grosbeak, and the resident Red-crown and migratory grosbeak dine in harmony.
Where there is one grosbeak there are usually more, and this pair is soon accompanied by an indigo bunting.
The diminutive indigo is smaller than a sparrow and dwarfed by the chachalaca, and since the feeder gets pretty crowded the bright Blue indigo buntings often prefer gathering their seeds from a nearby log.
And, just like clockwork, right around 7:00 every evening a flock of Red-crowns arrives to commander the feeder. Mixed in with the Red-crowns is a Red-lored partaking of the peanut party.
With so many parrots dominating the feeder, the visiting grosbeaks and buntings savor their seeds from the sanctuary of the weathered log where they shimmer in late afternoon light taking on sustenance for their continued migratory journey.