Birds and birdwatchers flock to the Rio Grande Valley – and both for good reason. The area’s location and climate make it a common stopover spot for wintering and migrating birds, a popular shorebird and waterbird breeding area and an ideal home for a variety of tropical bird species found nowhere else in the United States. As a result, the Rio Grande Valley has become a world class birding destination – attracting first time bird watchers and seasoned birding experts alike.
Visitors can enjoy spectacular birdwatching opportunities in the beautiful Rio Grande Valley year round! There are a variety of sites throughout the region that offer premier birding experiences.
World Birding Center Sites
The Rio Grande Valley is home to nine World Birding Center sites:
- Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley, in Mission, TX
- Edinburg Scenic Wetlands, in Edinburg, TX
- Estero Llano Grande, in Weslaco, TX
- Harlingen Arroyo Colorado, in Harlingen, TX
- Old Hidalgo Pumphouse, in Hidalgo, TX
- Quinta Mazatlan, in McAllen, TX
- Resaca de la Palma, in Brownsville, TX
- Roma Bluffs, in Roma, TX
- South Padre Island Birding and Nature Center, in South Padre Island, TX
Each of these sites offers unique bird watching opportunities. Visitors can explore miles of trails independently or participate in guided nature walks. Various attractions, including a two-story Hawk Observation Tower at the Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley site, the beautiful gardens of Quinta Mazatlan and an expansive network of boardwalks at the South Padre Island site, appeal to both bird watching beginners and long-time birding enthusiasts. The sites also offer hands on educational opportunities for visitors to learn about birds and offer a variety of interactive birding events!
Wildlife Refuges and Sanctuaries
The World Birding Center sites are not the only places that birdwatchers can catch a glimpse of their beautiful feathered friends in this premier birding location! The Rio Grande Valley is also home to numerous wildlife refuges and sanctuaries that provide visitors and locals with even more opportunities to view the area’s beautiful, rare birds.
- Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge, located on the southernmost tip of Texas, is made up of 97,000 acres of land and is home to hundreds of species of birds, making it a phenomenal destination for bird enthusiasts.
- Santa Ana Wildlife Refuge, considered to be the jewel of the National Wildlife Refuge system, features a canopy walk and a tree tower, both of which provide the opportunity to view native birds and other creatures from a unique perspective.
- The Gladys Porter Zoo in Brownsville, TX also functions as a bird sanctuary. Wild birds flock to the zoo, thrilling birding enthusiasts and zoo visitors daily.
These and the many other nature centers and wildlife sanctuaries scattered throughout South Texas provide innumerable opportunities to enjoy the beautiful, exotic birds unique to the region.
Rio Grande Valley Birding Festival
Birding enthusiasts can also enjoy the Rio Grande Valley Birding Festival, which takes place annually in Harlingen, TX. The festival, which includes a reception, birding trips, family programs, a trade show and educational seminars, draws hundreds of bird lovers and is a great event for individuals or families to attend. It’s another unique birding opportunity exclusive to the Rio Grande Valley.
Ready to join the flock?
If you’re headed to the Rio Grande Valley to enjoy these world class birding opportunities and need a convenient place to stay, Encore’s luxury, age-qualified RV resorts are a terrific option. Our resorts, including Paradise Park RV Resort, Tropic Winds RV Resort, Sunshine RV Resort and Lakewood RV Resort in Harlingen, and Southern Comfort RV Resort and Country Sunshine RV Resort in Weslaco, will put you just minutes away from the area’s premier birding destinations and attractions.
For more information about birding opportunities in the Rio Grande Valley or about staying at one of Encore’s Rio Grande Valley luxury RV resorts, call us today at 888-481-6407.