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South Texas Quickens with Wildlife

Copyright (c) 2011-2019

Glance out your window as you head down into the South Texas Brush County and you'll swear, just as Cabeza de Vaca did in the 1500's, that you've arrived in a barren no-man's-land. The desolate and thorny landscape seems bereft of life.

But, in this case, looks truly deceive.

While many of the world's other destinations lose species, the Brush Country's heart beats a steady rhythm. Nature here still thrives along the full spectrum of the food chain and today more wildlife roams per acre in the Brush Country than anywhere else in the United States. In fact, South Texas' rich biodiversity has made it one of North America's liveliest places for nature-lovers to visit.

Yes, venture into the mesquite trees and fragrant huisache bushes and rather than desolation, you'll find a world rich with vitality.

And no longer are birders the only ones flocking here. Wildlife photographers from throughout the world now consider South Texas a top pick for its ease in capturing critter images - winged to tusked to musked to scaled.

In a region 95% privately-owned, selected landowners have created sanctuary that includes water holes and feeding stations. They've also created specially crafted photo-blinds so that photographers can capture images of animals as they take sanctuary.

Here, the rainbow flash of a male painted bunting will quicken your pulse with delight. You'll find them in many parts of the state each winter, but spotting these cover-loving birds is easier in South Texas than just about anywhere else because of the nature of the terrain.

You'll find your pulse also quicken when you glimpse a giant Texas indigo snake (also known as a "black indigo"). But, never fear! These non-venomous reptiles are quite gentle. In fact, their ease in handling is probably one reason they've been classified as "threatened" – they're too nice for their own good and have been brought home as pets too often. There isn't an aggressive bone in their long bodies (the longest on record at 9 ½ feet, or 2.74 meters!) unless you're a rattlesnake - one of their favorite meals!

Here, the distant cry of coyotes and Harris's hawks will set your spirits soaring.

You'll almost certainly hear the call of coyotes after dark as they signal members of the family group (ranging in size from two to five) that time's come to reunite after a stint of individual hunting. Other howls let coyotes in the area know where the boundaries lie between one group's territory and another's. Coyotes eat primarily rodents and rabbits and are too small to take down a deer unless it's sick, injured or very young (they rarely hunt in packs like wolves). These canines come out during the daytime, too, and photo ops abound at the right ranches.

Harris's hawks' cries billow throughout the day as these gorgeous birds of prey arc overhead in the stark blue Texas sky. As one of the Brush Country's most plentiful raptors, these white and rufous colored birds eat rodents and even snakes. Scientists recently discovered how these hawks act a bit like pack animals in that they sometimes hunt in groups of two to four and even divide nesting duties, combining eggs so that adults share babysitting duties while others hunt.

And, of course, come to see a special South Texas legend - the javelina (pronounced "have-ah-leena") - whose sharp tusks deceptively give this rather gentle creature a vicious look. These nearly-blind collared peccaries rely heavily on their sense of smell and one another as they travel in herds. Primarily herbivores, the prickly pear cacti and beans from the mesquite that decorate the landscape make up most of their diet.

Here, with so much bounty in the brush, there's still the chance to witness the coming together of the badger and the bobcat, of the rattler and the roadrunner. Here, where it quickens with wildlife, the possibility of watching authentic animal interaction runs high.

On land that's been professionally planned for wildlife viewing and nature photography, you'll be amazed as a diverse array of wildlife passes closely by your lens, giving you an outdoor experience like you've never had before. Be sure to add a visit to the South Texas Brush Country to your "must-do" list.




About The Author: Shop Amazon - Top Gift Ideas
Award-winning wildlife photographer, Jeff Parker, leads photo tours, workshops, and critter crawls in South Texas on a regular basis. Interested in photographing wildlife on a private Brush Country ranch guided by someone with intimate knowledge of the local wildlife and expert-level technical know-how? Visit Jeff's website to learn more: http://www.JeffParkerImages.com/.

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Last Distribution Date:
2011-09-14 10:00:00

Internal ID: #7739





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