Brownsville and its Mexican sister city of Matamoros make up a huge, busy urban area with extensive plantings of tropical trees and shrubs, which attract significant numbers of birds. The landscape south of Matamoros is dominated by vast croplands with very few corridors connecting natural habitats to the south. At least three parrots are now resident in the Greater Brownsville area: Green Parakeet and Red-crowned and Yellow-headed (not yet accepted by the Texas Bird Records Committee) Parrots. Almost every year additional tropical species are found. Brownsville began in 1846 when Fort Brown was established to defend the Rio Grande as the international boundary, after the republic of Texas became a state. Key birds: Least Grebe, Neotropic Cormorant, Anhinga, Blackbellied Whistling-Duck, Masked Duck, White-tailed Kite, Harris’ Hawk, White-tailed Hawk, Crested Caracara, Plain Chachalaca, Whitetipped Dove, Green Parakeet, Red-crowned Parrot, Pauraque, Buff-bellied Hummingbird, Ringed Kingfisher, Green Kingfisher, Golden-fronted Woodpecker, Brown-crested Flycatcher, Great Kiskadee, Tropical Kingbird, Couch’s Kingbird, Green Jay, Chihuahuan Raven, Long-billed Thrasher, Olive Sparrow, Pyrrhuloxia, Bronzed Cowbird, and Altamira Oriole are present year round. Least Bittern, Purple Gallinule, Groove-billed Ani, Elf Owl, Lesser Nighthawk, Tropical Parula, Painted Bunting, Dickcissel, and Hooded Oriole occur in summer. Vermilion Flycatcher, Tamaulipas (Mexican) Crow, Curve-billed Thrasher, and Lark Bunting can usually be found in winter. This eTrail provides detailed information on birding strategies for this specific location, the specialty birds and other key birds you might see, directions to each birding spot, a detailed map, and helpful general information.
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