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The rainbow lorikeet is a species of parrot found in rainforest, coastal bush and woodland areas. They can also be found at the San Antonio Zoo. Photo by Stuart Seeger/Flickr

Exploring Nature: Places to look for birds

Sunday, January 6, 2019

Where are the best places to look for birds? I would suggest your own backyard as a logical locale to start. It is convenient, and if you have a few shrubs, trees or brush piles, it may offer excellent habitat.

Zoos are great places to see birds. The San Antonio Zoo in particular has an excellent bird collection with lots of avian delights. Ditto for Gladys Porter Zoo in Brownsville.

Hornsby Bend, the sewage treatment plant just outside Austin, is a bird watcher’s paradise. You can see ducks and geese, plus songbirds and raptors. Also, there are free, guided bird walks on Saturday mornings.

National wildlife refuges are also fine places to see birds. I especially enjoyed Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge at Sanibel Island, Florida, where flocks of white ibis walked about. And this time of year, the Muleshoe National Wildlife Refuge outside Muleshoe, Texas, will be alive with thousands of snow geese down from Canada for the winter. To see these huge flocks arrive at dusk, or take off around dawn, has to be one of the true wonders of the natural world. Just be sure to dress warmly; last time I was there in January, it was 14 degrees.

A bit further from home, I recommend Bosque del Apache bird sanctuary near San Antonio, New Mexico. In addition of lots of birds, the Owl Café and Bar is located there and grills a delectable green chili cheeseburger.

San Marcos Record

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P.O. Box 1109, San Marcos, TX 78666