In the lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas, where the Rio Grande River borders Mexico, birds commonly found in Central America reach their northern-most range. Here you can find fascinating birds like this Northern Beardless Tyrannulet, a tiny flycatcher with a long name! You’ll also see colorful Green Jays, secretive White-tipped Doves, beautiful Audubon’s Orioles, boisterous Black-bellied Whistling-Ducks, and raucous Plain Chachalacas.
Winter Sounds of the Lower Rio Grande
Written by Bob Sundstrom
This is BirdNote.
[Sounds of Northern Beardless Tyrannulet and Plain Chachalacas]
Winter in the subtropics... We’re in the lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas, where the Rio Grande borders Mexico. And here, birds commonly found in Central America reach their northern-most range.
A Green Jay, the very picture of a tropical bird feathered in green, yellow, and blue, offers its varied voices [Green Jay, sample of sounds]. Now a secretive White-tipped Dove calls eerily from the forest floor [White-tipped Dove].
A tiny flycatcher with a very long name - a Northern Beardless Tyrannulet [song of Northern Beardless Tyrannulet] sings a distinctive refrain. Nearby, an Audubon’s Oriole seems to sound like a child just learning to whistle [song of Audubon’s Oriole].
Black-bellied Whistling-Ducks demonstrate that they are indeed ducks that whistle [whistle of Black-bellied Whistling-Ducks], while the large, chicken-like Plain Chachalaca shouts loud enough to drown out all others [calls of Plain Chachalacas].
But as night falls and the subtropical birds go quiet, an Eastern Screech-Owl trills [call of Eastern Screech-Owl].
The bird sounds for today’s show come from the Macaulay Library at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. For BirdNote, I’m Mary McCann.
[call of Eastern Screech-Owl].
Bird sounds provided by The Macaulay Library of Natural Sounds at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. Song of White-tipped Dove  recorded by W.A. Thurber; song of Northern Beardless Tyrannulet ; call of Plain Chachalaca  by Gerrit Vyn; call of Green Jay  P. Schwartz; call of Green Jay  by P. Schwartz; song of Audubon’s Oriole  by G.A. Keller; whistle of Black-bellied Whistling-Duck  by P. Schwartz; call of Easter Screech-Owl  by H. McIsaac.
BirdNote’s theme music was composed and played by Nancy Rumbel and John Kessler.
Producer: John Kessler
Executive Producer: Chris Peterson
© 2014 Tune In to Nature.org January 2017/2020 Narrator: Mary McCann