White-tail Deer (Odocoileus virginianus)

White-tail deer are the most abundant large game species in North America. The whitetail population is largest in Texas, where an estimated three to four million of the deer reside. Their characteristic tails are held erect when fleeing to display the white underside; the rest of their body is reddish-brown in summer and grayish-brown in winter. Fawns less than six months of … [Read more...]

Black-bellied Whistling Duck (Dendrocygna autumnalis)

Many birders travel to Texas to glimpse the black-bellied whistling duck, a year-round resident of the lower Texas Gulf Coast and other portions of the state. The whistling duck is also found in Mexico, Central and South America and occasionally in Arizona, California and Louisiana, as well. Known for its high-pitched whistling call, the whistling duck's long legs and neck … [Read more...]

Coyote (Canis latrans)

Also known as the "prairie wolf," the coyote is Texas' most frequently viewed large carnivore. Characterized by a dog-like body and a long, bushy tail, the coyote weighs an average of just thirty pounds. Their thick coat is grayish in color, with reddish tinges to the legs and ears, and a lighter-colored belly and nape. Coyotes have yellow eyes which reflect as greenish-gold at … [Read more...]

American Alligator (Alligator mississippiensis)

Attaining a length of six to eight feet at adulthood, the American alligator is North America's largest flesh-eating reptile. The alligator's thick and powerful tail, used for propulsion and defense, accounts for half its body length. Similar in appearance to the endangered American crocodile, the American alligator has a stockier build and broader head and snout; unlike … [Read more...]

Whooping Crane (Grus americana)

One of two crane species found in North America, the endangered whooping crane-- measuring a stately four to five feet in height--is the continent's tallest bird. Once widespread throughout North America, the whooping crane faced almost certain extinction in 1937 when the wild population consisted of just fifteen birds. Thanks to dedicated conservation efforts by Canada and the … [Read more...]

For the Birds – Bird Surveys & Bird Banding

During my training to become a Texas Master Naturalist, one of my goals was to volunteer with many organizations in different capacities to see what I most enjoyed. I spent some of my first 40 volunteer service hours toward certification doing habitat restoration and rehabilitation work to remove non-native invasive species of plants from area public … [Read more...]

Giant walkingstick (Megaphasma denticrus)

As its name implies, the giant walkingstick (Megaphasma denticrus) is the largest of all North American walkingsticks. Our iNaturalist log(s): Hollywood Park, TX (May 18, 2015) … [Read more...]