HARLINGEN, Texas (ValleyCentral) — The backyard feeder is a popular place this summer as dozens of White-winged doves crowd onto the platform dining on sunflower seeds.
Perched in nearby foliage, others await their turn. The late afternoon sun highlights striking violet eyeshade, orange iris, and glittering golden iridescence flecking their necks.
Sometimes, all it takes is one bird to be startled, and the entire flock suddenly explodes in a burst of wings.
With the departure of the white wings, Red-crowned parrots arrive, and they hang around in nearby trees, sometimes dangling by one foot, before diving for the feeder.
Soon, the platform is full of Red-crowns, and while they share a fondness for sunflower seeds, they really seem to prefer their raw peanuts.
The Red-crowns are beginning to bring their offspring, and this youngster is still being fed by its parent.
Perched on a nearby palm frond, the resident Yellow-headed parrot scans the feeder before dropping down.
When the Yellow-head lands, Red-crowns back off, as the big parrot is the undisputed boss of the feeder.
In between flocks of white wings and parrots, backyard chachalacas rest in the shade.
The adults have raised two clutches of young this summer, and while the first pair is almost as big as their parents, the recent additions are still sporting their distinctive Mohawk head feathering.
While chachalacas also enjoy the proffered seeds, they really savor a summer watermelon party. The little ones are learning to peck on their own, but they still like to be fed by mom and dad.
Every day has its distinctive cast of characters. One of the Red-crown regulars only has one eye, but she and her mate do just fine.
The old Yellow-crown has been visiting for years, and the chachalacas for generations, and what a joy to watch these feathered friends come and go. I just may need to get a bigger feeder to accommodate all the guests.