Hill Country Naturalist Trip with Tony Gallucci

Winning Bid: $365.00

Item condition: New



Spend a wonderful day afield targeting birds, dragonflies, and butterflies in the Texas Hill Country with long time resident, biologist, naturalist, and outdoor lover Tony Gallucci! Tony is a walking encyclopedia of Hill Country fauna and flora, and loves to share the beauty there. The trip can be a general nature trip (including identification and natural history of plants, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, invertebrates, and fish in addition to the target groups), or can be tailored towards Hill Country endemics, or towards target lists of your choosing.


The Hill Country is on a massive uplift known as the Edwards Plateau. Eroded by millennia of glacial outfall, followed by recurrent climate shifts, the deeply cut canyons and topography have resulted in an area renowned for its endemism and extreme diversity. It is the ultimate North American faunal and floral melting pot, having a mixing zone of Eastern, Western, Northern and Tropical species unrivaled elsewhere on this continent. Elements of the Blacklands, the Subtropical Thorn-scrub, the Southern Plains, and the Chihuahuan Desert all are easily found here, as well as numerous species found nowhere else. Plenty of birds are found here, as are numerous small endemic vertebrates, notably salamanders and turtles. The central hills offer an intriguing slice of this faunal and floral nirvana, with canyons littered with typical Hill Country trees, shrubs and flowering plants, which in turn attract typical birds and insects of the region. The area is widely known for its assemblage of extremely rare and/or endemic plants and animals including Twistleaf Yucca, Giant Helleborine Orchid, Texas Mock-Orange, Black Sedge, Tobusch’s Fishhook Cactus, Klein’s Cholla, Texas Madrone, Coyote Willow, Plateau Stream Loosestrife, Streamside Goldenrod, Spreading Least-Daisy, Jade-striped Sylph, Ivory-striped Sylph, Coppery Dancer, Comanche Dancer, Leonora’s Dancer, Central Texas Leaf Katydid, Texas Dobsonfly, Black Ironclad Beetle, Balcones Cave Scorpion, Edwards Plateau Shiner, Nueces Roundnose Minnow, Guadalupe Bass, Valdina Farms Salamander, White-throated Salamander, Texas River Cooter, Cagle’s Map Turtle, Guadalupe Spiny Softshell, Texas Alligator Lizard, Baird’s Ratsnake, Zone-tailed Hawk, Green Kingfisher, Ringed Kingfisher, Golden-cheeked Warbler, Black-capped Vireo, and Hutton’s Vireo, among others.

The trip will be arranged for a central meeting place, and Tony and your group will trek around the Hill Country as needed to accomplish the goals. That may include spending most of the day afoot on easy hikes, or driving to various locations. No exhaustive or strenuous hikes will be taken. Depending on the scenario, lunch may be brought along for a picnic, or we might eat at an area roadhouse or burger joint. Auction winners will contact Tony to mutually agree on a date appropriate to the species desired, and Tony’s availability, and make final arrangements.

Trip will take place from 8:00am to 3:00 pm, you will follow Tony in your own vehicle, and is good for as many folks that fits in your (one) vehicle!

(Photos by Tony Gallucci)

Must be taken in 2023

Donated by Tony Gallucci