POSTED: Wednesday, September 19, 2012 - 4:53pm
UPDATED: Thursday, September 20, 2012 - 8:47am
WESLACO — Huck Hutchens has been a bird watcher for the last 20 years and he can remember the first time he saw a red crowned parrot.
"It definitely puts a fire in your belly to see more of them," said Hutchens.
And now, thanks to Weslaco and their Mid Valley Leadership Program, Hutchens might have the opportunity to see more of them.
"Our class project was bringing about awareness of the parrots' and parakeets' nesting habitat and the economic tourism that it brings to the valley," said program student, Kyle O'Haver.
This morning, nesting boxes were placed at the top of palm trees at the Weslaco Valley Nature Center so that these birds could nest in a more protected environment.
Places that are secure where they nobody can just climb up and grab it and end up selling it somewhere," said Laura Espinoza.
The palm tree trunks are hollowed out, because the parrots and parakeets are attracted to existing cavities.
"Either created by natural occurances in the trees splitting, breaking or other birds like woodpeckers starting the cavity first or other animals," said O'Haver.
This is the groups second nesting site. The first was put up in June at the Harlon Block Park. Instead of nesting boxes like today...long, hollow palm tree trunks were used.
"I think the more we can get this population established, more of them showing up, it's a good thing for the people, for the birds. It's just good all around," said Hutchens.
The red crowned parrots and green parakeets can already be seen using the nesting sites.