The Changing Season
By Raul Garza Jr. ... Park Ranger Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge
published October 2017
If you take a walk down Chachalaca Trail you
can see the season is changing once again. The
sun is rising in a different position almost daily;
it is casting noticeable shadows on the trails of
Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge. A sure
sign that fall is nearing, and migrant birds have
begun to make their journey through the Rio
Grande Valley, south into Mexico and South
Soon visitors from across the globe will be
arriving strapped with binoculars, scopes and
cameras in hand to see the spectacle of overwintering
birds in the Thorn scrub, Riparian
forest and on the wetlands. More than just cooler
temperatures, the winter months also bring a
chance to spot a cool rare vagrant from Mexico,
like the Rose-throated Becard, Northern Jacana
or even the Crimson-collared Grosbeak.
Fall migration is amazing because it sets a
marker for a time of year when our lakes are
full of bird life with ducks and other water fowl.
They come here looking for a place to call
home for the winter. During that time of year,
as you walk down the trail to one of the lakes
you can hear the commotion filled with quacks,
cackles, squeaks, and chatter. Some of the other sounds like the flutter of
wings and splashing of water might spark your
interest, maybe even to choose a bench and sit
there quietly while watching the wonders of
migratory wetland life.
Although any day is a great day to visit Santa
Ana National Wildlife Refuge, our winter here
is one of marvel and awe, sure to bring you
back year after year just like the birds that come
to visit us!
In a blink of an eye the heat will return, beckoning
spring and our feathered friends to say
goodbye; but only for a short time when the
seasons begin to change.