Field Notes: LRGV Day 3, A Tale of Two Crackers

I spent the morning at Quinta Mazatlan, a unique urban birding gem next to the McAllen Airport.  QM is a restored adobe hacienda and its grounds, an amazing collection of bird feeding and watering sites in a very compact footprint.  It’s THE best place in the LRGV to see Clay-colored Thrush (check!), Green Parakeet (check!), and Red-crowned Parrot (check!) and to get up close and personal with gangs of roving Chachalacas (check!).  But not much for butterflies.  So I headed back to Mission and the National Butterfly Center, which had heeded my plea to paint the bait logs with fresh bait.

Luckily, Mike Rickard had prepared me for distinguishing between the two expected Crackers at the NBC:  Gray and Guatemalan.  And no sooner had I started walked the forest trail did I spot a large Cracker with the telltale red costal spot and frosted “eyes.”  Not much else new was flying that I had not already seen, but here’s the perfect side by side comparison of the two:

2013 Aug 13, Gray Cracker, Mission TX

2013 Aug 13, Gray Cracker, Mission TX

Guatemalan Cracker, 2013 Aug 15, National Butterfly Center

Guatemalan Cracker, 2013 Aug 15, Mission TX

This entry was posted in Field Trips/Annual Counts, general butterfly news, sightings. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Field Notes: LRGV Day 3, A Tale of Two Crackers

  1. Dorothy Owen says:

    Photo is captioned Tailed sulphur, FYI. Meant to be Tailed Orange?

  2. Dorothy Owen says:

    Hey there Rick. Just visited Quinta Mazatlan today and quess what I saw there? Tailed Orange! A first for me…and I knew what it was because of you. Thanks!

    • Rick says:

      Congratulations indeed! They are quite handsome little beasts. Hope you also had a good chorus of chacalacas while you were there, and masses of clay-colored robins. Was one of my favorite stops. Did you see the red-bordered pixies there by any chance? I dipped on them at this location and for the rest of the trip.

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