Web Extra: Amistad Birding and Wildlife
Birding has become a major draw at Amistad National Recreation Area in recent years. The National Park Service site boasts more than 300 species of birds, including resident species such as the scaled quail, and tropical migratory species such as the greater kiskadee. Sometimes there are golden eagle sightings.
“I enjoy boating up the Pecos River and seeing the vertical, 150-foot cliffs and all the great blue herons,” says Greg Garetz, the park’s chief of education and resource management. “Just downstream from the Pecos, on the cliffs along the Rio Grande, you can spot the herons’ rookeries on high ledges.”
Other Amistad wildlife include white-tailed deer, grey fox, javelina, ringtail cat, black-tailed jackrabbit, badger, beaver, bobcat, and porcupine. Known for its wonderful, year-round fishing, especially largemouth black bass, Lake Amistad offers several bass species, as well as catfish, sunfish, and gar.
This summer, park staff will offer interpretive nature programs on Saturday mornings, alternating between birding walks below the dam and nature hikes on some of the trails in the unused hunting areas (the park allows bow-hunting of white-tailed deer in five designated areas from October to January). For details, call 830/775-7491; www.nps.gov/amis.
See the full article in the July 2009 issue.