Texas Road Trip: Hiking with Birders in Big Bend National Park

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We spent our days in Big Bend National Park hiking, eating, bird-watching, and eating.  Our first hike was short, about 3.6 miles to Window Rock.  The trailhead was right in our campground.

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Agave plants shoot out tall stalks that look like giant asparagus
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Texas crescent butterflies
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Blind prickly pear in bloom
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Plants have to be hardy to survive here.
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Getting close to our destination at the end of the trail

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The view from Window Rock, a spectacular climax to our first hike

Our last (of three) hikes was a 10+ mile loop in the Chisos Mountains, taking us on the Pinnacles Trail, Boot Canyon trail, Colima Trail, and Laguna Meadows Trail.  (I was proud of myself for making it!)

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Along the Pinnacles Trail

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I find that my hiking experience is greatly enhanced by knowledgeable companions who can call my attention to birds and plants and other things.  My hearing loss puts me at a severe disadvantage for birding — I have to rely solely on catching movement or silhouettes to locate birds.  So it was helpful to have companions point out their finds.  With their expertise, a song and a glimpse was sometimes enough to identify a particular bird.

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Here are some of the birds we saw on our hikes and sojourns in Big Bend National Park:

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Cardinal along Window Rock Trail
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Mexican jay
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Canyon towhee
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Acorn woodpecker at the start of the Pinnacles Trail, Chisos Basin
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Loggerhead shrike (do you think Trump’s hairdresser was inspired by this bird?)
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My brother and sister-in-law wanted very much to spot a Colima warbler, which can be found in the United States only in Big Bend National Park. They think this was it.

 

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