Big Bend Chat

The Big Bend Chat Archives => Big Bend National Park Q&A => Topic started by: Anonymous on February 15, 2006, 05:16:32 PM

Title: Top Birding Spot
Post by: Anonymous on February 15, 2006, 05:16:32 PM
I knew the Bend was popular with birders, but had no idea it was one of the top spots in the country according to this: http://webwire.com/ViewPressRel.asp?SESSIONID=&aId=9655
Title: Big Bend Birding Website
Post by: Joe on February 15, 2006, 05:32:19 PM
Check out this website:  http://www.nps.gov/bibe/NR/birds/birdpg.htm
Title: BBNP birding
Post by: Roy on February 15, 2006, 07:27:38 PM
The park is on the western edge of the Central Flyway migration route.  Some birds actually follow the Rio Grande;  others seem to "mountain hop"  from the Rockies, the Guadelupes, and the Davis Mountains down to Big Bend, and on to points further south. I'm not an avid birder, never gone out of my way to find a Colima warbler, etc, but I like to know a little about what I see.  Most surprising thing I remember were some wood ducks I saw near RGV.
Title: Just Thinking...
Post by: SHANEA on February 15, 2006, 07:39:19 PM
Funny, I don't ever recall seeing many birds out there - oh, sure I've seen a hawk or two, but never any great numbers of them - sans the RoadRunner and I don't have a clue if a RR is classified as a bird or not.  Of course, I typically am only out that way a couple of times a year during the same time frames (Winter, Spring Break, and maybe late Summer/Early Fall)  - so maybe they are not there, or maybe I'm not paying attention?  :?:
Title: Unless you're talking Plymouth
Post by: Roy on February 15, 2006, 08:03:00 PM
then a road runner is definitely a bird .  You probably just aren't looking for birds, maybe looking at the scenery, which all of us do quite a bit.  Plenty of birds, especially near water.  Stop at one of the little springs for a while.  They won't be obvious at first because you've spooked them walking in.  Wait and sit quietly, they'll show themselves after a while.  Can't quite believe you've never seen a green jay, tho;  those guys are just as brave as their blue cousins.  I see them frequently in the Chisos.
Title: birds...
Post by: RichardM on February 15, 2006, 08:22:47 PM
The first time my Dad and I did the South Rim hike the Boot Canyon section was like an aviary.  There were birds everywhere.  We stopped and sat really still on a ledge at the side of the trail and the birds slowly closed in around us.  Way cool.  Saw at least one Colima Warbler (at least it looked like one).  The next two times we were back there there weren't nearly as many birds, maybe 1/4 at most.

When we were at BBRSP I hiked up to the Ojito Adentro spring and surprised what I guess was a mallard duck enjoying the spring.  She wasn't too happy to see me and took off before I could get the camera up and ready.
Title: Re: Unless you're talking Plymouth
Post by: SHANEA on February 15, 2006, 08:31:55 PM
Quote from: "Roy"
green jay, tho;  those guys are just as brave as their blue cousins.  I see them frequently in the Chisos.


Don't know if I'd know a green jay from a blue jay.  It's like - what kind of tree is that - I don't know - It's a tree.  Must be a pine tree.  

Now, the problem might be is that I don't frequent the Chisos very often, didn't get there once on this last trip.  Usually, too many people, and I prefer the desert floor most of the time for my explorations.  Plus, now that we have rediscovered the hot springs, gotta have camp near the hot springs to end the day properly.
Title: Green Jay
Post by: Roy on February 15, 2006, 08:58:23 PM
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v633/stexan/greenjay111.jpg)

Very colorful critter.  There are some excellent birding places in the desert.  You jsut need water.  Dog Canyon during spring nesting season is a great place to see canyon wrens and cliff swallows.  Or try the irrigated picnic areas near RGV or Cottonwood Campground.

Moderator note:  That's such a cool pic I changed it to an inline IMG instead of just a link.
Title: Re: Unless you're talking Plymouth
Post by: Bobcat on February 15, 2006, 09:10:58 PM
Quote from: "SHANEA"
Quote from: "Roy"
green jay, tho;  those guys are just as brave as their blue cousins.  I see them frequently in the Chisos.


Don't know if I'd know a green jay from a blue jay.  It's like - what kind of tree is that - I don't know - It's a tree.  Must be a pine tree.  

Now, the problem might be is that I don't frequent the Chisos very often, didn't get there once on this last trip.  Usually, too many people, and I prefer the desert floor most of the time for my explorations.  Plus, now that we have rediscovered the hot springs, gotta have camp near the hot springs to end the day properly.


I think your trips would be greatly enhanced if you purchased some ID books for the birds, plants/trees, herps, geology etc. You really become much more aware of your surroundings and your trip reports would become even more interesting :)
Title: Re: Green Jay
Post by: Bobcat on February 15, 2006, 09:14:43 PM
Quote from: "Roy"
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v633/stexan/greenjay111.jpg)

Very colorful critter.  There are some excellent birding places in the desert.  You jsut need water.  Dog Canyon during spring nesting season is a great place to see canyon wrens and cliff swallows.  Or try the irrigated picnic areas near RGV or Cottonwood Campground.

Moderator note:  That's such a cool pic I changed it to an inline IMG instead of just a link.


Wow!  That really is a beautiful bird. I have yet to see one.
Title: Let me rephrase
Post by: Roy on February 15, 2006, 09:31:24 PM
I've seen them a couple of times in BBNP;  they are southern birds and south Texas is the northern edge of their range.  We get them in the Rio Grande Valley (but not Corpus Christi)  pretty rergularly.  Was down there a couple of weeks ago for a photo workshop and saw several.  

Would like some feedback:  I'm trying to talk this photographer into doing a group trip to BBNP;  he's done it once before.  He's well known in Texas;  if you read TPW or Texas Highways, you've seen his work.  Would anybody besides me be interested in doing this to the tune of $50-$75/day for a hands on workshop with him and at least one other pro photographer?
Title: Top Birding Spot
Post by: Casa Grande on February 15, 2006, 09:36:50 PM
that is an awesome bird...i love the coloring.  although i do think that is a fine specimen, i'm not really into bird watching  :-k
Title: Top Birding Spot
Post by: randell on February 15, 2006, 09:37:40 PM
My problem is I don't like sitting and waiting for birds.  I like to be moving, hiking, climbing, doing active stuff.
Title: Top Birding Spot
Post by: Bobcat on February 15, 2006, 09:42:11 PM
Quote from: "Randell"
My problem is I don't like sitting and waiting for birds.  I like to be moving, hiking, climbing, doing active stuff.


I was going to recommend a Quail hunt with DC, but then I remembered..... :?
Title: Cheney
Post by: Roy on February 15, 2006, 09:52:30 PM
re:  Dick Cheney

Quote:  " Social Security reform is a very important issue, and the Democrats have refused to work with us.  We're going to need to take tough, creative actions to resolve this problem.   So I shot the old guy."
Title: Top Birding Spot
Post by: randell on February 15, 2006, 09:53:41 PM
I went quail hunting with my cousin once outside of Alpine.  It involved lots of beer.  I would be just getting comfortable with my beer when he would slam on the brakes, jump out of the truck, and start shooting.  I never even saw a quail until after he was out of the truck.  I was terrible at it.  I can see how an accident would happen.
Title: re: Cheney joke
Post by: Roy on February 15, 2006, 09:53:51 PM
I'm going to feel like a real jerk if he doesn't make it.

Moderator note:  That's where the edit and delete buttons would come in...
Title: Re: Unless you're talking Plymouth
Post by: SHANEA on February 15, 2006, 10:06:34 PM
Quote from: "Bobcat"
I think your trips would be greatly enhanced if you purchased some ID books...


Got some.  I've just got a hard time identifying and remembering that stuff.  I used to pack the truck with all the books as I was going west with the best of intentions.  Guess what.  They never left the truck.  So, I've cut back on weight and just leave them at home....  8)
Title: Top Birding Spot
Post by: Roy on February 15, 2006, 10:12:20 PM
Quote from: "Randell"
I went quail hunting with my cousin once outside of Alpine.  It involved lots of beer.  I would be just getting comfortable with my beer when he would slam on the brakes, jump out of the truck, and start shooting.  I never even saw a quail until after he was out of the truck.  I was terrible at it.  I can see how an accident would happen.



That's a seriously bad way to go quail hunting.   And not just the beer.  How to quail hunt:  You and your buddies form a side by side line and slowly walk across a field, etc.  When a covey of quail flushes, you shoot forward, but NEVER directly to your side (that's where your buddy's standing),  and NEVER NEVER NEVER turn and shoot behind you.  You' ve got no idea who or what might be behind you.  That's apparently what Cheney did.  Yeah, Whittington should have spoken up,   and I guess  that's the way these guys hunt.  But I was taught to shoot only in a clear field of vision and where there are no surprises possible.

I've been peppered with bird shot before, at about twice the distance that he was hit.  Got me in the side and back;  it was cold and I was wearing heavy clothing so nothing penetreated, but it scared the @#%$#$ out of me.  The shooters made a lot of excuses;  I just turned around and left.
Title: Green Jays?
Post by: Joe on February 15, 2006, 11:43:53 PM
Quote from: "Roy"
green jay, tho;  those guys are just as brave as their blue cousins.  I see them frequently in the Chisos.


Roy, are you thinking about Mexican Jays?  I don't believe Green Jay has ever been documented in BBNP - I just checked Ro Wauer's book "A Field Guide to Birds of the Big Bend" and it isn't listed.  In Peterson and Zimmer's book "Birds of the Trans-Pecos", they say Green Jays are "very rare and irregular in winter near Del Rio...absent elsewhere in the Trans-Pecos."

I've seen them in the Rio Grande Valley, too, and I agree with you - they are beautiful birds!
Title: Top Birding Spot
Post by: chisos_muse on February 16, 2006, 07:30:02 AM
Well Anakin and I started to get interested in da birdies last year. I don't have my Sibley book anymore, but will get another. I have seen lots of Mexican Jay's in the Chisos, and also I believe Lucifer Hummingbirds in Boot Spring. In SE Canyon lots of Canyon Wren's. Alot more too. I used to be like Shane and would take all the books and forget them in the truck, LOL....This time it's going to be a bit more intense. I have my lil Animal Tracks book and I'm going to take notes on whatever I feel strikes me as worthy! And take as many pics as I can  :D
Title: Re: Green Jays?
Post by: Anonymous on February 16, 2006, 08:33:08 AM
Quote from: "Joe"
Quote from: "Roy"
green jay, tho;  those guys are just as brave as their blue cousins.  I see them frequently in the Chisos.


Roy, are you thinking about Mexican Jays?  I don't believe Green Jay has ever been documented in BBNP - I just checked Ro Wauer's book "A Field Guide to Birds of the Big Bend" and it isn't listed.  In Peterson and Zimmer's book "Birds of the Trans-Pecos", they say Green Jays are "very rare and irregular in winter near Del Rio...absent elsewhere in the Trans-Pecos."

I've seen them in the Rio Grande Valley, too, and I agree with you - they are beautiful birds!


Hmmmm.  I could swear I've seen a couple in BBNP, but then I couldn't find any photos of them from the park.  Maybe I'm getting trips to the Valley confused with trips to BBNP my old age, but I'm pretty sure I 've seen them there.  Maybe we can get one the Park staff to check on this;  I'd trust them more than the field guides.