ANCA is the Association of Nature Center Administrators that holds training sessions for people that work at nature centers, and since I work at Quinta Mazatlan, I was invited to go to the Spring Bird Migration training on South Padre Island.
We were given a power point show by Mary Gustafson, who is one of the best bird guides in the valley. The power point slide show was on how and why birds migrate and why some birds don't migrate at all. Afterwards we got to go do some bird watching at the convention center which is the place to be during spring migration.
Birds have to travel many miles from their wintering grounds to their breeding grounds in the spring and they need a place to stop, feed, drink water, and rest before continuing their long journey.
The convention center on South Padre Island has a shallow water feature with dense vegetation that is a perfect stopover habitat for these tired creatures.There are also volunteers that put out fruit for the birds for much needed energy. A single bird can eat three times its weight in fruit in a single day!
I added several life birds to my list that day.
One was this beautiful Black-bellied Plover in breeding plumage.
Believe it or not, this handsome bird is actually kin to our native Killdeer, both being in the plover family.
This female Summer Tanager was enjoying the view.
A White Ibis and a not so White Ibis
This Great Blue Heron was distinguished looking
Baltimore Oriole eating some orange.
Tennessee warblers bathing
Cape May Warbler
We got to see lots of great birds and I personally learned so much from Mary.
I can't wait for our next training.