This page provides navigation to images of the wonderful wildlife
found at the Halff
Brothers Ranch west of Pearsall, Texas. This near-20,000-acre
spread is primarily natural rangeland, with some agriculture along
the eastern side, plus a fantastic 4,300 acre expanse of virtually-pristine
Riverine Gallery Forest along the Frio River that provides some
exceptional opportunities to observe birds, mammals, and insects
that are found in the United States only in extreme southern Texas.
NOTE: Many web sites brag on their wildlife but are embelished
with stock photos taken elsewhere; all the photos shown
here were taken on the Ranch; anyone with a decent camera
(and some luck) could have taken them.
A surprise resident in the riverside woodlands is the Porcupine
- here at its southernmost outpost in the United States.
The only non-native animals on the Ranch are Feral
Hogs, which are hunted year-round due to the damage they do
to the ground and ground-nesting animals.
Birdwatching provides a most unusual mix of widespread eastern/central
species (e.g. Bobwhite, Carolina Chickadee; Carolina
Wren; White-eyed Vireo, Pine Warbler) alongside species
with a distinctly tropical affinity (e.g. Green Jay, Olive
Sparrow, Long-billed Thrasher, Audubon's Oriole),
plus a number of species typical of the Southwest (Harris'
Hawk,Scaled Quail, Cactus Wren, Verdin, Curve-billed
Thrasher, Pyrrhuloxia, Black-throated Sparrow):-
A surprise was to find two species of
western Empidonax flycatchers wintering on the Ranch.
The threatened Mountain Plover
seems to like the Peanut feilds!
The spritely Green Kingfisher
is normally a shy denizen of forested streams and ponds- but this
one enjoyed our company.
Many visitors are surprised to see the colorful
Green Jay this far north of the Rio Grande Valley - updated March 21 2005.
South Texas is blessed with many flies, so we like to see the
Ash-throated Flycachter about
No matter how many you see, you can't get enough of the brilliant
Vermilion Flycatcher - which is
pleasingly common at the Ranch.
It's always nice to see the western Say's
Phoebe hover-hunting over the fields in winter.
Numerous species of American Wood-Warblers
use the Ranch habitat for food and shelter.
The biggest surprise (so far) is this confiding Rufous-capped
Warbler that may be resident along the river.
A typical inhabitant of the south Texas brushlands, the Olive
Sparrow's distinctive song can be heard year-round.
Another rare bird for Texas (and the U.S.) - Yellow-green
Vireos that may be breeding near Lake Alexander