Some time back, I was presenting a slideshow called “Bird life of Andrews County” to a local service club. It seemed a lie detector test was about to be ordered when I informed the audience that I had photographed the bird featured in this article right here within the city limits of Andrews, Texas.
This avian creature is the American Avocet (Recurvirostra americana), a shore bird (about the size of a blue jay) that does indeed spend its nesting period, ranging from April through June, wading around in the mud flats out at our hometown water reclamation facility southeast of town.
Admittedly, this unusual and beautiful bird is quite secretive and does not tolerate human presence well. Therefore, it’s not likely to be observed except by the most adventurous of birders, hence the understandable doubt from my slideshow viewers.
Even so, if one visits (with binoculars in hand) the Andrews Birding Center, especially during the fall and winter migration period, it’s likely that sightings of Sand Hill Cranes, Belted Kingfishers, Ospreys, Yellow Headed Blackbirds, American White Pelicans, Snow Geese, Canada Geese, Canvasback ducks, Buffleheads, Hooded Mergansers, and perhaps even Wood Ducks, among others, might be identified.
The Andrews Birding Center in located 0.7 miles east of Hwy 385, along SE Ave. E in Andrews or 0.5 miles south of SH 115/176, along SE Mustang Dr. in Andrews (Corner of SE Ave. E and SE Mustang Dr.). A quarter mile walking trail meanders to the bird viewing area, which features a boardwalk over the marsh and several observation lookout points equipped with spotting scopes. The site is along the North American Migratory route for birds flying from Canada/Central U.S. through the Texas Panhandle to South Texas, Mexico, and Central America. Fortunate visitors may also see mule deer, fox, javelina, and even a bobcat. Free RV camping is available at the Andrews Chamber of Commerce.