Field Guides
Home Tours Guides News About Us FAQ Contact Us
Field Guides Tour Report
Texas' Big Bend & Hill Country 2014
Apr 19, 2014 to Apr 28, 2014
Chris Benesh & Lena Senko

This Rufous-capped Warbler, a rare vagrant, was one of the big highlights of the tour. (Photo by guide Chris Benesh)

On this year's Big Bend tour, one couldn't have asked for better weather, better birds, or better company! We had a fabulous time combing the scenic vistas of west Texas for its avian riches... some dependable and others rare or unexpected, like Tropical Parula and Rufous-capped Warbler and the funky hybrid tanager we found.

Our adventure began at Big Bend National Park, which supports more than 1200 species of plants, 75 species of mammals, and 450 species of birds. In fact, the park boasts more types of birds, bats, and cacti than any other national park in the United States! It is also one of only 16 parks on the planet officially recognized by the International Dark-Sky Association as having exceptional nighttime skies. So by night we marveled at the stars above, and by day, we thoroughly explored the geologically complex Chihuahuan Desert landscape to uncover the avian surprises it had in store.

Our hike on the Window Trail yielded excellent looks at Black-chinned Sparrow, Mexican Jay, and Scott's Oriole. A visit to Rio Grande Village the following day got us two big targets: Gray Hawk and Common Black-Hawk, the latter a real treat because we observed it nesting. Afterwards, we located a nesting Great Horned Owl and a Gray Hawk at Cottonwood Campground, as well as Brown Thrashers, Lesser Nighthawks, and the minute Lucy's Warbler. A tiny Elf Owl wrapped up that day quite nicely. Of course, there was also the Boot Spring hike -- physically demanding but so worth it! We had no trouble with the Colima Warbler (we saw several individuals and detected about twenty altogether, wow), not to mention an abundance of other colorful songsters: Painted Redstart, Hepatic Tanager, Black-headed Grosbeak, Blue-throated Hummingbird, and a strange, orange hybrid tanager which may be a Western x Hepatic. On our way down, we saw a Townsend's Solitaire, Dusky and Cordilleran flycatchers, and a soaring Zone-tailed Hawk, then were relieved to put our legs up after the steep descent.

After Big Bend, we drove north to the Davis Mountains, stopping at the Christmas Mountains Oasis on the way for glimpses of a not-so-cooperative Lucifer Hummingbird, superbly showy Lazuli Buntings, and Black-necked Gartersnake (can't leave the cool reptiles out). Thank you, Carolyn, for your warm hospitality and for showing us the birds on your beautiful property. Once in the mountains, Colin's sharp eyes spotted for us a huge trip highlight -- a singing male Montezuma Quail. Hip, hip, hurray! At night we listened to a Common Poorwill as the International Space Station cruised overhead, and the following day we drove east into the Hill Country, with a stop en route at Balmorhea Lake. This lake was very birdy with Western and Clark's grebes, Franklin's Gull, Long-billed Dowitcher, Wilson's Phalarope, Snowy Plover, White-faced Ibis, and plenty of stilts and avocets. A worthwhile stop indeed.

After we arrived in Utopia, we paid a visit to Lost Maples State Natural Area, which is famous for its breeding populations of the endangered Black-capped Vireo and Golden-cheeked Warbler. Fortunately, we saw both birds on the same day, along with a Yellow-throated Warbler and Clay-colored Sparrows. The Tropical Parula we got later in the day was quite the bonus bird! The next morning we picked up Dickcissel, Grasshopper Sparrow, Bullock's Oriole, and Cassin's Sparrow at a lucky roadside stop on our way to Park Chalk Bluff in Uvalde. There, our highlights were definitely the rare Rufous-capped Warbler, followed by Yellow-throated Vireo and a snoozing Eastern Screech-Owl at our picnic lunch spot. Our final destination was the Frio Bat cave where a cooperative Canyon Wren and Painted Bunting glowed in the sunset followed by millions of free-tailed bats emerging in an unforgettable exodus. The nearby North American Porcupine spotted by Colin was a pleasant surprise. We finished off the evening and the tour with a musical laser light show and Chuck-will's-widow chase... not a bad way to wrap up an eventful trip!

Thank you all for making my "swan song" Field Guides tour so memorable, joyous, and fun. Chris and I enjoyed everyone's enthusiasm, good humor, and passion for birds to the fullest, and we hope you have many more birding adventures and good times ahead. Warmest wishes, --Lena

One of the following keys may be shown in brackets for individual species as appropriate: * = heard only, I = introduced, E = endemic, N = nesting, a = austral migrant, b = boreal migrant

Anatidae (Ducks, Geese, and Waterfowl)

A male Tropical Parula, another colorful rarity, sings loudly from lichen-laden oak branches. (Photo by guide Chris Benesh)

BLACK-BELLIED WHISTLING-DUCK (Dendrocygna autumnalis) – Common around Del Rio.
WOOD DUCK (Aix sponsa) – Brief flyover at Del Rio.
GADWALL (Anas strepera)
AMERICAN WIGEON (Anas americana)
BLUE-WINGED TEAL (Anas discors)
BUFFLEHEAD (Bucephala albeola)
RUDDY DUCK (Oxyura jamaicensis)
Odontophoridae (New World Quail)
SCALED QUAIL (Callipepla squamata) – Quite common this year.
NORTHERN BOBWHITE (Colinus virginianus) – Several ran across the road in front of Chris's van as we entered Park Chalk Bluff.
MONTEZUMA QUAIL (Cyrtonyx montezumae) – What a gorgeous bird. After a great deal of searching around for this mysterious, skulky creature, we finally owed it to Colin’s sharp eyes for spotting a distant singing male perched up on a mound just as we were about to leave! The quail sat up for quite a while, allowing us to enjoy his melancholy song and handsome plumage.
Phasianidae (Pheasants, Grouse, and Allies)
WILD TURKEY (Meleagris gallopavo)
Podicipedidae (Grebes)
PIED-BILLED GREBE (Podilymbus podiceps)
EARED GREBE (Podiceps nigricollis)
WESTERN GREBE (Aechmophorus occidentalis) – Nice comparisons of this species and the next at Balmorhea Lake. The Clark’s is very similar (in fact, the two were considered to be the same species for a long time), but it has white around the eye and a brighter yellow bill and paler flanks.

Participants Margie and Alan take in the scenic surroundings on their way down from Boot Spring Canyon. (Photo by guide Lena Senko)

CLARK'S GREBE (Aechmophorus clarkii)
Phalacrocoracidae (Cormorants and Shags)
NEOTROPIC CORMORANT (Phalacrocorax brasilianus)
DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT (Phalacrocorax auritus)
Pelecanidae (Pelicans)
AMERICAN WHITE PELICAN (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos) – Common at Balmorhea Lake.
Ardeidae (Herons, Egrets, and Bitterns)
GREAT BLUE HERON (Ardea herodias)
GREAT EGRET (Ardea alba)
CATTLE EGRET (Bubulcus ibis)
GREEN HERON (Butorides virescens)
Threskiornithidae (Ibises and Spoonbills)
WHITE-FACED IBIS (Plegadis chihi)
Cathartidae (New World Vultures)
BLACK VULTURE (Coragyps atratus)
TURKEY VULTURE (Cathartes aura)
Pandionidae (Osprey)
OSPREY (Pandion haliaetus) – Seeing a couple in the desert was bizarre.
Accipitridae (Hawks, Eagles, and Kites)
COOPER'S HAWK (Accipiter cooperii)
COMMON BLACK-HAWK (Buteogallus anthracinus) – At first we only saw the female on the nest, catching glimpses of her cere, eye, and crown. Then we had to leave due to a filming session that was to take place at the spot. We went looking for the Gray Hawk, and when we returned to the nest, Don spotted the male. He landed on the ground, picked up nesting material, and delivered it to the nest. What a rewarding sight, after all that!
HARRIS'S HAWK (Parabuteo unicinctus) – On the first day, one perched cooperatively on a post along the highway for us.
GRAY HAWK (Buteo plagiatus) – First seen at Rio Grande Village and then at Cottonwood Campground, where a female was on a nest up in a tall cottonwood.
SWAINSON'S HAWK (Buteo swainsoni)
ZONE-TAILED HAWK (Buteo albonotatus)
RED-TAILED HAWK (Buteo jamaicensis) – Nesting on the Pecos River overlook. [N]
Rallidae (Rails, Gallinules, and Coots)

Near the feeders of the Christmas Mountains Oasis, a male Varied Bunting shows off his beautiful blue and burgundy hues. (Photo by guide Chris Benesh)

COMMON GALLINULE (Gallinula galeata) – Only one on the last day at Cook’s Slough.
AMERICAN COOT (Fulica americana)
Recurvirostridae (Stilts and Avocets)
BLACK-NECKED STILT (Himantopus mexicanus)
AMERICAN AVOCET (Recurvirostra americana)
Charadriidae (Plovers and Lapwings)
SNOWY PLOVER (Charadrius nivosus) – This dainty, little plover was one of our highlights at Balmorhea Lake (where we saw two).
SEMIPALMATED PLOVER (Charadrius semipalmatus)
KILLDEER (Charadrius vociferus)
Scolopacidae (Sandpipers and Allies)
SPOTTED SANDPIPER (Actitis macularius)
GREATER YELLOWLEGS (Tringa melanoleuca)
LEAST SANDPIPER (Calidris minutilla)
LONG-BILLED DOWITCHER (Limnodromus scolopaceus) – Feeding at Balmorhea Lake, among Wilson’s Phalaropes, Greater Yellowlegs, and American Avocets.
WILSON'S PHALAROPE (Phalaropus tricolor)
Laridae (Gulls, Terns, and Skimmers)
FRANKLIN'S GULL (Leucophaeus pipixcan) – One on Balmorhea Lake and later one at Cook’s Slough. Such a beautiful gull, showing a lovely pinkish hue on the underparts.
RING-BILLED GULL (Larus delawarensis) – A singleton on Balmorhea Lake.
Columbidae (Pigeons and Doves)

Another excellent tour highlight was this male Montezuma Quail who posed for us perfectly. We owe it to participant Colin's sharp eyes for spotting him -- thank you, Colin! (Photo by guide Lena Senko)

ROCK PIGEON (Columba livia) [I]
EURASIAN COLLARED-DOVE (Streptopelia decaocto) [I]
WHITE-WINGED DOVE (Zenaida asiatica)
MOURNING DOVE (Zenaida macroura)
INCA DOVE (Columbina inca) – This long-tailed, scaly-looking little dove seems to sing, “No hope!” We had a total of about six between Rio Grande Village and Cottonwood Campground.
COMMON GROUND-DOVE (Columbina passerina)
WHITE-TIPPED DOVE (WHITE-TIPPED) (Leptotila verreauxi angelica) – We were pleasantly surprised to see one at the feeders of Lost Maples. This species is clearly expanding its range ever northward.
Cuculidae (Cuckoos)
YELLOW-BILLED CUCKOO (Coccyzus americanus) – Some of us had brief looks at one bird in the tangles at Park Chalk Bluff, just before we saw that raccoon inside a hollow snag.
GREATER ROADRUNNER (Geococcyx californianus) – The antics of this charismatic, large cuckoo are hard to ignore, especially when you see it running back and forth across a parked car, taking turns to attack its reflection in the driver’s and passenger’s side windows.
Strigidae (Owls)
EASTERN SCREECH-OWL (Megascops asio) – The one at our picnic lunch spot was a treat to see.
GREAT HORNED OWL (Bubo virginianus) – Another rewarding owl; Margie spotted the adult for us, and soon we realized there was a fluffy chick nestled in the snag below it. Great Horneds out West are very gray compared to the Eastern ones. [N]

Only minutes after we savored looks at a rare Rufous-capped Warbler at Park Chalk Bluff, a Zone-tailed Hawk cruised over our heads. (Photo by guide Chris Benesh)

ELF OWL (Micrathene whitneyi) – Scratching a twig against the base of its tree was the trick to get its little head to poke out for us. [N]
Caprimulgidae (Nightjars and Allies)
LESSER NIGHTHAWK (Chordeiles acutipennis) – Several flew by overhead as we were wrapping up our picnic dinner at Cottonwood Campground.
COMMON NIGHTHAWK (Chordeiles minor) – One surprised us on our penultimate morning when it flew over Utopia on the River.
COMMON POORWILL (Phalaenoptilus nuttallii) – We all certainly heard it and some glimpsed it flying away near our lodge at Davis Mountains State Park.
CHUCK-WILL'S-WIDOW (Antrostomus carolinensis) – On our last night we heard at least three different individuals. [*]
Apodidae (Swifts)
CHIMNEY SWIFT (Chaetura pelagica)
WHITE-THROATED SWIFT (Aeronautes saxatalis) – Common higher up, at Boot Spring Canyon.
Trochilidae (Hummingbirds)
BLUE-THROATED HUMMINGBIRD (Lampornis clemenciae) – The cooperatively perched and squeaking male at Boot Spring Canyon was a cutie.
LUCIFER HUMMINGBIRD (Calothorax lucifer) – Well, we all "experienced" it in one form or another at Carolyn’s place, the Christmas Mountains Oasis. Better views desired.
RUBY-THROATED HUMMINGBIRD (Archilochus colubris) – Some had one at the feeders at Utopia on the River.
BLACK-CHINNED HUMMINGBIRD (Archilochus alexandri)
BROAD-TAILED HUMMINGBIRD (Selasphorus platycercus)
Alcedinidae (Kingfishers)
RINGED KINGFISHER (Megaceryle torquata)
BELTED KINGFISHER (Megaceryle alcyon)
Picidae (Woodpeckers)
ACORN WOODPECKER (Melanerpes formicivorus)
GOLDEN-FRONTED WOODPECKER (Melanerpes aurifrons)
Falconidae (Falcons and Caracaras)
CRESTED CARACARA (Caracara cheriway) – At least four individuals seen along the road on our last day, but we had half a dozen on our very first day, too.

Dawn birding on the Window Trail at Big Bend National Park was a treat not only thanks to the birds but also the vistas. The sun's golden rays licked the tops of mountains as we searched the shrubs for Scott's Oriole and Black-chinned Sparrow. (Photo by guide Lena Senko)

AMERICAN KESTREL (Falco sparverius)
PEREGRINE FALCON (Falco peregrinus) – Great spotting by Lain and Bob of a flyover bird at Lost Maples.
Tyrannidae (Tyrant Flycatchers)
EASTERN WOOD-PEWEE (Contopus virens)
ACADIAN FLYCATCHER (Empidonax virescens) – Excellent studies at Lost Maples of this long-primaried Empid.
LEAST FLYCATCHER (Empidonax minimus) [*]
DUSKY FLYCATCHER (Empidonax oberholseri) – Excellent studies in the Chisos Mountains.
CORDILLERAN FLYCATCHER (Empidonax occidentalis)
BLACK PHOEBE (Sayornis nigricans)
EASTERN PHOEBE (Sayornis phoebe)
SAY'S PHOEBE (Sayornis saya) – Who could ever forget this bird and its nest full of youngsters at the Chisos Mountains Lodge? [N]
VERMILION FLYCATCHER (Pyrocephalus rubinus)
ASH-THROATED FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus cinerascens)
BROWN-CRESTED FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus tyrannulus)
GREAT KISKADEE (Pitangus sulphuratus) – A pair of flighty ones on day two and then a cooperative bird on the last day.
COUCH'S KINGBIRD (Tyrannus couchii)
CASSIN'S KINGBIRD (Tyrannus vociferans)
WESTERN KINGBIRD (Tyrannus verticalis)

Participant Don Faulkner snapped a great photo of this colorful Golden-fronted Woodpecker.

Laniidae (Shrikes)
LOGGERHEAD SHRIKE (Lanius ludovicianus) – Brief, drive-by glimpses only on the first two days.
Vireonidae (Vireos)
WHITE-EYED VIREO (Vireo griseus)
BELL'S VIREO (Vireo bellii)
BLACK-CAPPED VIREO (Vireo atricapilla) – It was wonderful to see this bird on the very first day on our way to Del Rio. Another surprised us when it popped into view at Lost Maples.
GRAY VIREO (Vireo vicinior) – This drab, long-tailed vireo can be tough to find. We lucked out on the first day, though, at the same spot where we saw the Black-capped.
YELLOW-THROATED VIREO (Vireo flavifrons) – Great looks at Park Chalk Bluff.
PLUMBEOUS VIREO (Vireo plumbeus)
HUTTON'S VIREO (Vireo huttoni)
RED-EYED VIREO (Vireo olivaceus)
Corvidae (Crows, Jays, and Magpies)
WESTERN SCRUB-JAY (Aphelocoma californica)
MEXICAN JAY (Aphelocoma wollweberi) – Very friendly.
AMERICAN CROW (Corvus brachyrhynchos) – In Balmorhea, on our way to the Lake, we had one fly over our vans.
CHIHUAHUAN RAVEN (Corvus cryptoleucus)
COMMON RAVEN (Corvus corax)
Hirundinidae (Swallows)
NORTHERN ROUGH-WINGED SWALLOW (Stelgidopteryx serripennis)
PURPLE MARTIN (Progne subis)
VIOLET-GREEN SWALLOW (Tachycineta thalassina) – Only at the top of Boot Spring Canyon, flying among the White-throated Swifts.
BANK SWALLOW (Riparia riparia)
BARN SWALLOW (Hirundo rustica)
CLIFF SWALLOW (Petrochelidon pyrrhonota)
CAVE SWALLOW (Petrochelidon fulva)
Paridae (Chickadees and Tits)

Boot Spring Canyon is named after a tall rock which resembles an inverted boot. Among birders, however, it is most famous for a stable breeding population of Colima Warblers. (Photo by guide Lena Senko)

CAROLINA CHICKADEE (Poecile carolinensis)
BLACK-CRESTED TITMOUSE (Baeolophus atricristatus)
Remizidae (Penduline-Tits)
VERDIN (Auriparus flaviceps)
Aegithalidae (Long-tailed Tits)
BUSHTIT (Psaltriparus minimus)
Sittidae (Nuthatches)
WHITE-BREASTED NUTHATCH (Sitta carolinensis)
Troglodytidae (Wrens)
ROCK WREN (Salpinctes obsoletus)
CANYON WREN (Catherpes mexicanus) – The cascading song from this rufous-and-white ball of energy is glorious as it echoes off the canyon walls.
CAROLINA WREN (Thryothorus ludovicianus)
BEWICK'S WREN (Thryomanes bewickii) – Our best looks were of one perching above the bathrooms at Park Chalk Bluff.
CACTUS WREN (Campylorhynchus brunneicapillus)
Polioptilidae (Gnatcatchers)
BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHER (Polioptila caerulea)
Regulidae (Kinglets)
RUBY-CROWNED KINGLET (Regulus calendula)
Turdidae (Thrushes and Allies)

Mexican Jays were a friendly bunch at Big Bend. (Photo by participant Don Faulkner)

EASTERN BLUEBIRD (Sialia sialis) – Only Amy and Lena got on this one.
TOWNSEND'S SOLITAIRE (Myadestes townsendi) – We had two on our day of the Boot Spring Canyon hike.
SWAINSON'S THRUSH (Catharus ustulatus) – We had two on our day of the Boot Spring Canyon hike.
AMERICAN ROBIN (Turdus migratorius)
Mimidae (Mockingbirds and Thrashers)
CURVE-BILLED THRASHER (Toxostoma curvirostre)
BROWN THRASHER (Toxostoma rufum) – Two showed themselves nicely at Cottonwood Campground.
LONG-BILLED THRASHER (Toxostoma longirostre) – Very common on our second day around Del Rio. The Brown Thrasher looks very similar, but it is more reddish on its back and tail, has a more brownish face, a shorter bill with a pale base to the lower mandible, unstreaked undertail coverts, and a yellow eye.
NORTHERN MOCKINGBIRD (Mimus polyglottos)
Sturnidae (Starlings)
EUROPEAN STARLING (Sturnus vulgaris) [I]
Motacillidae (Wagtails and Pipits)
AMERICAN PIPIT (Anthus rubescens) – Seen by Bob around the laundry area at Big Bend.
Bombycillidae (Waxwings)
CEDAR WAXWING (Bombycilla cedrorum)
Parulidae (New World Warblers)
LOUISIANA WATERTHRUSH (Parkesia motacilla) [*]
BLACK-AND-WHITE WARBLER (Mniotilta varia) – A particularly close one at Carolyn’s, but we had more at Lost Maples.
ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER (Oreothlypis celata)
COLIMA WARBLER (Oreothlypis crissalis) – One of the main targets and favorite birds of the tour. We couldn’t have asked for better looks at cooperative birds at Boot Spring Canyon. Big Bend is the northernmost range of this mainly Mexican warbler.
LUCY'S WARBLER (Oreothlypis luciae) – Chris adeptly spotted it for us at Cottonwood Campgound. This species breeds in the driest habitat of all the warblers. Its closest relatives are the Virginia’s, Nashville, and Colima warblers. The bird is named after Lucy Hunter Baird, daughter of ornithologist Spencer Fullerton Baird.
NASHVILLE WARBLER (Oreothlypis ruficapilla)
COMMON YELLOWTHROAT (Geothlypis trichas)

Although Greater Roadrunners are masters of camoflauge, if you look closely, you will see that they also sport very showy and shiny green wing feathers. (Photo by participant Don Faulkner)

NORTHERN PARULA (Setophaga americana)
TROPICAL PARULA (NORTHEAST MEXICO) (Setophaga pitiayumi nigrilora) – Wow, what a treat! We all got great looks at a singing male northwest of Barksdale.
YELLOW WARBLER (Setophaga petechia)
YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER (MYRTLE) (Setophaga coronata coronata) – One in the mulberry tree at Carolyn's place.
YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER (AUDUBON'S) (Setophaga coronata auduboni)
YELLOW-THROATED WARBLER (Setophaga dominica)
TOWNSEND'S WARBLER (Setophaga townsendi) – One very brief individual on our Window Trail hike in Big Bend.
GOLDEN-CHEEKED WARBLER (Setophaga chrysoparia) – We did very well with this warbler, too, thanks to their breeding success at Lost Maples.
RUFOUS-CAPPED WARBLER (Basileuterus rufifrons) – Great looks by all at Park Chalk Bluff. This species rarely occurs as far north as Arizona and Texas, preferring instead its normal range of Mexico and Central America. Interestingly enough, in the tropics, these birds prefer shrubby highlands, but in North America, sightings tend to occur in oak woodland canyon bottoms, near water.
WILSON'S WARBLER (Cardellina pusilla)
PAINTED REDSTART (Myioborus pictus) – Excellent looks at the top of Boot Spring Canyon; more of an unexpected surprise at Lost Maples, where this species is considered out-of-range and rare.
YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT (Icteria virens) – Del Rio seems to be a mecca for chats; I have never seen that many in one location.
Emberizidae (Buntings and New World Sparrows)

It is always such a treat to find nesting birds of prey. At Cottonwood Campground, this Great Horned Owl parent stood guard over a fluffy youngster in a cavity below (not visible in this photograph). (Photo by guide Lena Senko)

OLIVE SPARROW (Arremonops rufivirgatus)
GREEN-TAILED TOWHEE (Pipilo chlorurus) – One appeared briefly behind Carolyn’s feeders.
SPOTTED TOWHEE (Pipilo maculatus)
RUFOUS-CROWNED SPARROW (Aimophila ruficeps)
CANYON TOWHEE (Melozone fusca)
CASSIN'S SPARROW (Peucaea cassinii) – Our fortuitous road stop along highway 187 on the last day revealed this subtle beauty to us.
CHIPPING SPARROW (Spizella passerina)
CLAY-COLORED SPARROW (Spizella pallida) – Best looks of this species ever for many folks when we got the birds near the feeders at Lost Maples.
BREWER'S SPARROW (Spizella breweri) – Sighted at the visitor’s center in Big Bend.
BLACK-CHINNED SPARROW (Spizella atrogularis) – Excellent looks on the Window Trail hike.
LARK SPARROW (Chondestes grammacus) – More than a dozen in the trees on the side of the road on our way back to the Chisos Mountains Lodge from Rio Grande Village.
BLACK-THROATED SPARROW (Amphispiza bilineata)
LARK BUNTING (Calamospiza melanocorys)
SAVANNAH SPARROW (Passerculus sandwichensis)
GRASSHOPPER SPARROW (Ammodramus savannarum)
LINCOLN'S SPARROW (Melospiza lincolnii)
WHITE-CROWNED SPARROW (Zonotrichia leucophrys)
Cardinalidae (Cardinals and Allies)
HEPATIC TANAGER (Piranga flava) – Only at the summit of Boot Spring Canyon, where it was intermittently chased by the bright orange hybrid tanager (likely a Western x Hepatic hybrid).
SUMMER TANAGER (Piranga rubra)
NORTHERN CARDINAL (Cardinalis cardinalis)
PYRRHULOXIA (Cardinalis sinuatus)
BLACK-HEADED GROSBEAK (Pheucticus melanocephalus)
BLUE GROSBEAK (Passerina caerulea)
INDIGO BUNTING (Passerina cyanea)
VARIED BUNTING (Passerina versicolor) – Quite cooperative at Carolyn’s feeders!
PAINTED BUNTING (Passerina ciris)
DICKCISSEL (Spiza americana)
Icteridae (Troupials and Allies)

Watching millions of Brazilian Free-tailed Bats emerging from Frio Cave was certainly a memorable way to finish a delightful tour to Texas! (Video by guide Lena Senko)
RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD (Agelaius phoeniceus)
EASTERN MEADOWLARK (Sturnella magna) – At least three birds were seen at the Montezuma Quail pavilion spot.
BREWER'S BLACKBIRD (Euphagus cyanocephalus)
GREAT-TAILED GRACKLE (Quiscalus mexicanus)
BRONZED COWBIRD (Molothrus aeneus)
ORCHARD ORIOLE (Icterus spurius)
HOODED ORIOLE (Icterus cucullatus)
BULLOCK'S ORIOLE (Icterus bullockii) – Briefly at the highway 187 roadside stop; later heard only at Park Chalk Bluff.
SCOTT'S ORIOLE (Icterus parisorum) – One absurdly tame individual liked the ocotillo blossoms near our rooms at Big Bend. We were wondering whether or not it was feeling well to sit still for hours on end like that.
Fringillidae (Siskins, Crossbills, and Allies)
HOUSE FINCH (Haemorhous mexicanus)
PINE SISKIN (Spinus pinus) – Seen well at the feeders of Davis Mountains State Park.
LESSER GOLDFINCH (Spinus psaltria)
Passeridae (Old World Sparrows)
HOUSE SPARROW (Passer domesticus) [I]

BRAZILIAN FREE-TAILED BAT (Tadarida brasiliensis)
EASTERN COTTONTAIL (Sylvilagus floridanus)
DESERT COTTONTAIL (Sylvilagus audubonii)
BLACK-TAILED JACKRABBIT (Lepus californicus)
MEXICAN GROUND SQUIRREL (Spermophilus mexicanus)
ROCK SQUIRREL (Spermophilus variegatus)
FOX SQUIRREL (Sciurus niger)
NUTRIA (Myocastor coypus) [I]
GRAY FOX (Urocyon cinereoargenteus)
NORTHERN RACCOON (Procyon lotor)
LONG-TAILED WEASEL (Mustela frenata)
STRIPED SKUNK (Mephitis mephitis)
WILD BOAR (Sus scrofa)
COLLARED PECCARY (Tayassu tajacu)
SPOTTED DEER (Axis axis) [I]
MULE DEER (Odocoileus hemionus)
WHITE-TAILED DEER (Odocoileus virginianus)



Pipevine Swallowtail (Battus philenor)

Two-tailed Swallowtail (Papilio multicaudata)

California Sister (Adelpha californica)

Cabbage White (Pieris rapae)


Coachwhip (Masticophis flagellum)

Texas Earless Lizard (Cophosaurus texanus)

Texas Spiny Lizard (Sceloporus olivaceus)

Baird's Rat Snake (Pantherophis bairdi)

Black-necked Gartersnake (Thamnophis cyrtopsis)

Green Anole (Anolis carolinensis)

Northern Water Snake (Nerodia sipedon)

Totals for the tour: 200 bird taxa and 18 mammal taxa