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COASTAL BIRDS OF TEXAS - III

Article and Photos by Ken Rudine


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Great Kiskadee
Coastal birds defined are birds that occur in my usual travel areas along the entire Texas coast. When I take a publishable picture of a bird it is a Texas Coastal Bird in my opinion.

When I look for birds now I pick up my camera. Like most Texans I was a bird hunter for a time but I put my shotgun down thirty years ago. Given the title of Mr. Third Coast I am still only an amateur birder who has attended annually, several lectures and presentations each of the last 25 years.

With this edition of pictures I want to share some of my experiences on how you can get more chances at taking bird pictures you like. There are basically three items needed to accomplish this goal. First, learn to recognize environments where certain birds tend to perch. Second, provide a method in your vehicle so that your camera is always ON and READY to shoot a picture. Third, when appropriate, use the camera self-timer to trip the shutter (set at the highest useable speed). The first two assure you will be prepared and the third reduces camera movement.
Great Kiskadee
Great Kiskadee
When traveling make a practice of looking ahead at the highway power poles, wires and fence posts for shapes that may be birds. Along side any coastal highway kingfishers and osprey like a high perch over any water. And on any highway hawks of many kinds use man made wires, poles and towers to have a higher perch.

Roseate Spoonbills like to fly from point to point causing most people to call attention to them by pointing and exclaiming “pinks” (it’s difficult to say “roseate spoonbill” before they disappear). Chachalacas are mostly a ground bird. They only fly short distances if at all.

Over the years I have found the wastewater plant at Port Aransas to be the most consistent public location for bird close-up photos.
Plain Chachalaca
Plain Chachalaca
Roseate Spoonbill
Roseate Spoonbill
Roseate Spoonbill
Roseate Spoonbill
Pinks & Cormorants
Pinks & Cormorants
Common Tern
Common Tern
Common Tern
Common Tern
Northern Shoveler
Northern Shoveler
Black Birds
Black Birds
Black Birds Close Up
Black Birds Close Up
Red Tail Hawk
Red Tail Hawk

Photos © Ken Rudine
January 30, 2011

More Birds by Ken Rudine:
Coastal Birds of Texas - I
Coastal Birds of Texas - II
Roadrunner | Green Parrots | Heron's Nest |

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