Muscovy Duck /pato real (Cairina moschata)
Status: Rare and local in the western Valley along the Rio Grande, primarily in the stretch of river from about Santa Margarita Ranch to Falcon Dam. Occasionally found as far west as San Ygnacio and very rare east to Santa Ana NWR. Although birds can be found year-round, the best months are from April through November.
Habitat: Narrow stretch of riparian corridor along the Rio Grande. Prefer sheltered water with trees.
Best Spots: Most often seen flying up and down river at Santa Margarita Ranch, Saliñeno, Chapeno, and woodlands below Falcon Dam. Occasionally seen perched in tall shade trees along the Rio Grande.
Similar Species: Wild Muscovy Ducks are overall dark (with greenish gloss on back and secondary flight feathers) and conspicuous white wing coverts on upperwing and underwing. The domestic Muscovy is well established in urban areas throughout the Valley. Although a small percentage of these domestic birds superficially resemble wild Muscovy Ducks, most show patches of white on head and body and have a redder face. These birds are usually heavier as well.
A speaker symbol next to the bird indicates that it has a sound file available.
All Bird call recordings © John C. Arvin.
Rare Bird Alert
Call (956) 584-2731 to hear or submit an alert.
Nine Unique Locations
A Birder's Eye View of the Seasons in the Lower Rio Grande Valley
Welcome to a birder’s eye view of the seasons in the Lower Rio Grande Valley. Enjoy our annual cycle! The resulting avifauna in deep South Texas is the most diverse north of the Mexican border. The four county area that makes up the lower Rio Grande Valley has recorded over 500 species of birds. This is more species of birds than have been recorded in all but two or three entire states. Small wonder that birders from across the continent make pilgrimages to the region. Happy Birding!
Birds Check List
What is a checklist?
A "Bird Checklist" is a complete list of birds that have been seen or heard in a specific region like Texas or the Rio Grande Valley. Checklists can be used as a personal diary of your travels.
These require Adobe Acrobat to view.
Checklists by site: