cover

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title page

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copyright

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Contents

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p. vii

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Preface

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p. ix

Extending across the southernmost tip of Texas, the Lower Rio Grande Valley is often considered one of the top ten birding areas in the United States. Many visitors are surprised by the temperate and tropical mixture of breeding, wintering, and transient migratory bird species found in “the Valley...

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Introduction

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pp. 1-9

The Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas, neither temperate nor tropical, neither dry nor wet, presents the observer with unusual opportunities and challenges. The Valley’s climate provides a long growing season for plants...

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The Lower Rio GrandeValley of Texas

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pp. 10-16

The Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas is a politically and geographically defined area of more than 1.2 million hectares and about one million people. It includes the southernmost four counties of the...

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Ecological Diversityand History

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pp. 17-30

Originally inhabited by hunting and gathering tribes, the Valley was eventually settled by Spanish immigrants moving north from colonial Mexico. The famed Cabeza de Vaca probably passed through the area in 1535, likely crossing the Rio Grande and R

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Habitats and Birdsof the Valley

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pp. 31-37

Flat in topography and with a generally uniform climate, the Valley nonetheless presents six distinct habitat complexes. Because individual habitats usually grade into each other, it seems best to discuss general habitat types here. In each habitat complex, distinct habitats generally exist...

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The Spectacular Annual Cycle

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pp. 38-42

Despite the limited annual temperature range and lack of a true winter, the bird life of the Valley shows marked seasonal changes in breeding activity, and there are heavy spring and fall migrations through the area. In general, species breeding in northern and central North America either winter...

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Breeding Birdsof the Valley

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pp. 43-46

The breeding bird life of the Valley, like the assemblage of woody plants, is a mixture of species typical of quite different habitats and climatic regions. Some birds are widespread temperate species like Bank Swallow, Northern Mockingbird, Red-winged Blackbird, and Lark Sparrow, with...

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Species Accounts and Summaries

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pp. 47-205

In these species accounts I attempt to list all bird species formerly or currently breeding in the Valley and to describe their history, ecology, and current Valley status. Frequent reference is made to summaries and maps in the Texas Breeding Bird Atlas, to Oberholser (1974), to early...

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Concluding Remarks

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pp. 206-212

The more than 170 past and present breeding species in the Valley all have their own particular habitat needs and current status, which I have attempted to summarize. In these concluding remarks I outline changes in the Valley breeding bird community and make suggestions...

References

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pp. 213-236

Index

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pp. 237-245

Image Plates

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