Saturday, July 21, 2018

Laguna Atascosa

On 20 February 2018, we found ourselves at one of our favorite south Texas stops, the Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge. At the headquarters, they have some water and a few active bird feeders. On any trip, this is a good place to see the first few south Texas specialty birds—like Green Jays and Altamira Orioles. 
White-tipped Doves also stroll among the undergrowth. These doves become common further south through Latin America, at least where they are not over-hunted. White-tipped Doves spend most of their time on the ground. Without the aid of a feeder, they can be difficult to detect. Hogan (1999) writes that it is surprising how little is known about the biology.
We were delighted to list the Long-billed Thrasher. We watched as it consumed what appeared to be insect grubs from a rotten log under one of the feeders. Tweit (1997) does not sepcifically mention grubs in his list of thrasher prey—these birds take a wide variety of arthropods and berries. Grubs, however, would be hard to retrieve from thrasher digestive tracts. 

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