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      Nature Report: Favorite Bird

      Somebody asked me the other day|what's your favorite bird. Actually, I get asked that question quite frequently. Truthfully, I like them all. And there are so many to admire. In the Rio Grande Valley there are more than 500 species to choose from. In the spring, I am entranced by the songsters, such as the curve-billed thrasher, who greet the dawn with their enthusiastic singing.

      Nesting season is perhaps the most fascinating time of all for avian wonders as there is a nest for every niche from the lesser nighthawk who simply lays its eggs on the ground to the artfully woven hanging basket of the Altamira oriole. Red-crowned parrots prefer an old tree hollow for their nest site. And what a treat to spend time with a beautiful pair of wild parrots who mate for life and lovingly groom one another with such devoted tenderness.

      One of the most intriguing birds is the reddish egret that ruffles its feathers like a lions mane when excited. When nesting, the adults deposit scores of minnows in their nest, which provides the young with an opportunity to hone their fishing skills. And when it comes to breeding plumage, it is hard to top the great egret with its magnificent display of delicate feathers. As the seasons change and winter approaches migrating waterfowl arrive and the primordial call of geese and sandhill cranes fills the air.

      There is so much to admire about our feathered friends, from the beauty of a painted bunting to the call of wild geese, and now is a perfect time of year to get out and find your favorite South Texas birds. With your Nature Report I'm Richard Moore