HARLINGEN — Want to know the difference between a rose-throated becard and a pyrrhuloxia?
The place to learn to differentiate these two avian species is the Harlingen Public Library.
The becard is a rarity here in the Rio Grande Valley and the cardinal-like pyrrhuloxia is far better distributed.
But beginning Thursday, the Arroyo Colorado Audubon Society is offering expert training for novices who want to learn more about identifying these and the rest of the Valley’s unique bird species. Also in the classes will be how to view and attract birds to your yard.
The series of February classes is free and all are to be held in the library conference room from 10 a.m. to noon.
The first class on Thursday is titled “The Dirty Dozen,” cataloging the specialty birds seen here in the Valley such as the green jay, great kiskadee, black-crested titmouse and others.
The next session on Feb. 13 is “Build It and They Will Come,” where the focus is on creating a backyard habitat attractive to multiple bird species. Discussion will focus on native fruiting plants and how to construct a water feature.
On Feb. 20, instructors will discuss the American Birding Association Birding ethics rules as well as how to choose and use binoculars. Local birding hotspots will be revealed along with which ones offer bird walks and guided tours.
The final course in the series is Feb. 27 and titled “Digital Birding.” Instructors will show novice birders how to use mobile apps like eBird and related apps which can put a dozen field guides in one’s pocket.