Rio Grande Valley Birding Festival

September 22, 2011 by  
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The 18th Rio Grande Valley Birding Festival will feature a number of fantastic seminars, field trips, a trade show, authors signing, childrens activities, Raptor Project flights and more. Seminar topics will include: Birding by Ear, Shorebird ID, Butterflies, Tales with Tails, Intro to Birding in Spanish, Nature Journaling, Great South Texas Birding Quiz Show and more. The Big Sit on Saturday involves counting birds for twelve hours. Register now so as not to miss out.

Dates: 9 to 13 November 2011
Venue: Harlingen Municipal Auditorium Complex and Casa Amistad
City: Harlingen
State: Texas
Country: United States of America

9th Annual Galveston FeatherFest

December 22, 2010 by  
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The Galveston FeatherFest is one of the biggest bird watching events in Texas, where some 200 bird species can be spotted. Excursions by boat, bus and kayak will take visitors to bays, beaches, wetlands, coastal praires, upland wood mottes and bay marshes. Besides field trips, a number of seminars will be held, including photography, birding basics, butterflies and moths, digiscoping and optics tips, identification and more.

Date: 7 to 10 April 2011
Venue: Burns High School
Location: Galveston Island
State: Texas
Country: United States of America

Texas Bird Breeders Annual Fall Show and Fair 2009

July 21, 2009 by  
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The Texas Bird Breeders Annual Fall Show and Fair is an anticipated event for all bird breeders, as it gives them the opportunity to show off their best birds, and win a few prizes. Held on the 7th of November 2009, the show is organized by the Texas Bird Breeders and Fanciers Association, and there will be a variety of birds, vendors and exhibits to look forward to. Some of the birds on display include Budgerigars, Cockatiels, Softbills, Finches, Lovebirds and a few different parrot species.

Information and details about the show is available on the Texas Bird Breeders and Fanciers Association website, at .

Date: 7 November 2009
Venue: Mayborn Convention Centre
City: Texas
Country: United States of America

Cinnamon Teal (Anas cyanoptera)

February 9, 2009 by  
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The Cinnamon Teal (Anas cyanoptera) is easily distinguished by its plumage, and the males and females can by determined by their coloring. Males have a cinnamon-red coloring over their belly, flanks, head and neck. Their backs are predominantly dark brown, with long bills and red eyes. The females have brown eyes, gray bills, and pale coloring over their heads. Their body plumage is somewhat mottled with browns and a dark back. They also have a light blue patch of plumage on the upper part of their wings. There is also a distinctive pale ring around their eyes. Juvenile males have a similar coloring to the females.

These dabbling ducks, are commonly found in western North America, including areas of California, Texas and Mexico. The Cinnamon Teals are always found in small flocks with female and male pairs. Flocks will generally frequent lakes, streams, small rivers and ponds. They need the water areas to have reeds or plants round the edges, as they feed in shallow waters and live off seeds, plants and on the odd occasion, insects. Cinnamon teals are extremely comfortable on the water, and can dive beneath the surface to find food and can also take off from the water, with quite astounding speed.

During the breeding period, females will find a suitable partner and swim in front of him. To attract the attention of the females, males will preen themselves to perfection and take quick flights to impress her. The female Cinnamon Teal takes care of building the nest, and uses plant stems, grass and other plant materials for construction. The nest is built with a tunnel that leads to it through the plants as she constructs her nest under reeds and plants to obstruct it from view. She will lay between nine to twelve eggs, and takes care of the three week incubation period. The chicks hatch already covered in down, which enables them to leave the nest within 34 hours of hatching. The female Cinnamon Teal will remain with her chicks until they fledge her protection, at the age of approximately one and half months.

Elegant Trogon (Trogon elegans)

February 9, 2009 by  
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The Elegant Trogon or the Trogon elegans is very similar to the rarer Eared Trogon, the difference being the barred undersurface of the tail and the white breast band. This stunning bird is related to the Quetzal (Pharomachrus mocinno), the bird of the Maya emperor-gods. The Trogon has a small habitat range, which barely reaches the United States and so is a birder‘s treasure when they find it. Trogons are insectivorous but they often include small fruits in their diet. Their legs are weak and their bills broad, a clear indication of their diet and arboreal habits. They are fast flyers but don’t enjoy long distances hence the small habitat that they are confined to.

The Trogon is 10 inches or 28 to 30 cm long and has a short, stout hooked yellow bill, weighing 65-67 grams. It has an upright posture and the tail is long and square-cut at the tip. The male is beautiful and has a lovely dark, glossy, emerald green upper body as well as the head and upper breast. The breast also has a white band with the belly and tail coverts being crimson in color with a black band. The underpart of the tail is gray with white bars going across it, the head is black with a pale color around the eye.

The female is duller in color and is plain brown where the male is green, pink and crimson, with a white breast and light coffee-colored bands across the chest. The Trogon will nest 2 to 6 meters high in a shallow cavity like an old woodpeckers hole and has 2 to 3 eggs in every clutch.

The Elegant Trogon is restricted to the southeastern part of Arizona in the United States to northwestern Costa Rica, and at times in the southeastern and western part of Texas. The Elegant Trogon is considered a near passerine bird or a higher land-bird assemblage, a name given to those believed to be related to the true passerines because of their ecological similarities. The Trogon’s normal call is a croaking “co-ah co-ah co-ah” sound and sometimes it includes a chattering noise.

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