Hey nature lovers! Have you ever seen a Buff-bellied Hummingbird drink nectar from a wildflower? How about a Green Parakeet nesting in a palm tree? Ever heard the "hoop, hoop, hoop" of a Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl at dusk? Trekking across the Texas Tropical Trail offers a chance to witness all three and a lot more just like trekkers of the past-Spanish missionaries, French explorers, and Native Americans-must have must have experienced on their journeys. This region of Texas happens to be one of the most bio-diverse in the country, providing over three-quarters of America's bird species with migratory, nesting, and feeding habitat among its brushy chaparral, riparian woodlands, freshwater and coastal wetlands, and gulf coast shores. Dozens of hot birding spots with easy car access, courtesy of the Mission-based World Birding Center, appear along the Tropical Trail route. But you don't always have to stick to designated birding spots to catch sight of the many regional species. Our South Texas birds like any place with good food, something to drink, and lots of shade. Sounds familiar, doesn't it?