Winter Birds in the Hill Country
February is truly a great time in the Hill Country. The skies are clear blue. The temperature is just about perfect at a pleasant 75 or so degrees. Now with that said, the groundhog did see his shadow, so we may get a bit more winter. Until then, get outside and be part of the gorgeous winters in the Hill Country and keep your eyes open for the plethora of winter birds that call Texas home this time of year.
So many species flock to the Hill Country during the winter months, you are sure to find some beauties. One to be on the lookout for right now is the Cedar Waxwing. And let us tell you, it is gorgeous! From its dark marking across it eyes to its silky front pale breast feathers, this bird will capture your eye. But you have to look closely for it. The cedar waxwing blends in beautifully to the upper tree branches where it hangs out with about forty or so of its closest friends. You can find them near red-berried shrubs sharing the fruit with each other. You can read more about this wonderful little bird and more that are mentioned here at the informative website All About Birds.
Another bird to be on the lookout for are the scouting parties for the purple martins. These large, swallow-sized birds are a joy to watch in the sky. Their aerial dynamics will entertain you for hours. Building a purple martin house in your backyard is like inviting the best neighborhood to entertain you for hours. For free! Now while these “scouts” aren’t searching out the best place to nest. These early arrivals are usually older birds that are returning to their old stomping grounds.
Native Americans used to put up hollowed out gourds to attract these insect eaters. Nowadays, you can find purple martins in man-made houses as well as natural cavities. By late summer, when the babies have learned the tricks of aerial dynamics, purple martins will converge in certain areas by the thousand. Sometimes there are so many martins, that they can be picked up by local weather radar. Surely a sight to see come late summer.