RIO GRANDE VALLEY, Texas (ValleyCentral) — You just never know who is going to show up in the neighborhood or perhaps drop into your backyard.
Usually, White ibis are busy strolling shallow wetlands in search of tasty crustaceans, but occasionally they patrol neighborhood lawns probing for insects with their long curved beaks.
Another frequent visitor to local homes, particularly those near resacas are Black-bellied Whistling ducks. A tropical species, once somewhat rare in the Rio Grande Valley, whistlers are now a common year-round resident.
And, if you have ever started feeding whistling ducks, then you are surely aware of how very quickly they invite all their friends.
Joining abundant whistlers are scores of Muscovy ducks, these free-ranging domestic ducks travel throughout lower RGV resacas, and if they happen to find a handy hollow tree in your yard in spring, then you are likely to have a precocious brood of ducklings parading across the street following mom to the nearest resaca.
Chachalacas are found primarily in the Valley’s older neighborhoods that have mature trees and native foliage where they can escape feral cats and successfully raise their young.
Aptly named for their raucous calls, chachalacas can be secretive when hawks or cats are around. However, they readily respond to a ripe banana or refreshing summer watermelon.
Wild parrots are backyard favorites, and what a joy it is to have a flock of red crowns drop in for a peanut party.
And, you never know who might be joining the Red-crowned parrots at the feeder, perhaps a red-lored or yellow-head may appear.
There is a fascinating array of feathered friends visiting Valley neighborhoods year-round, and if you just stop for a moment to look… you might be surprised who you have for a backyard buddy.