Plain Chachalaca /chachalaca vetula (Ortalis vetula)
Status: Plain Chachalaca is a locally common resident throughout the Valley, occupying dense woodlands from Falcon Dam to the Laguna Madre. Most often seen at refuge feeders where they can be common to abundant. This noisy bird often travels in small groups, yet sometimes occurs in large groups of up to 30 birds or more. Chachalacas are often seen foraging along the ground, climbing in trees, or gliding from the mid-canopy levels of tall shade trees.
Habitat: Dense thornscrub and riparian woodland habitats throughout the Valley.
Best Spots: Feeding stations at Bentsen SP inner loop; other good spots are the feeders at Santa Ana NWR and Sabal Palm Grove. Also seen at the World Birding Center's Resaca de la Palma in Brownsville, common and gregarious year round at Resaca de la Palma State Park
Similar Species: Plain Chachalaca is unmistakable, and can be confused with no other bird within range. Although White-tipped Dove also has a white-tipped tail, it is not nearly as large as Plain Chachalaca, nor as long-necked and long-tailed.
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All Bird call recordings © John C. Arvin.
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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
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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.
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