Edinburg Scenic Wetlands and World Birding Center – Jewel in the City

wooden boardwalk with text overlay: Edinburg Scenic Wetlands

In 2003, Edinburg Scenic Wetlands, set in the midst of an urban landscape near the center of the City of Edinburg, was the first of the nine World Birding Centers to open. The 40-acre center is built on reclaimed farm land and is situated next to the city’s floodwater ponds. The native plants and water resources recreate an endangered wetlands environment. I have to admit, I was quite amazed when I entered Edinburg Scenic Wetlands. I wasn’t expecting much since it is on the edge of a city park in the middle of an urban area but I was pleasantly surprised. About Edinburg Scenic Wetlands and World Birding Center The World Birding Center’s Edinburg Scenic Wetlands is a year round showcase for birds, butterflies, dragonflies…

Continue reading

Thank you for sharing!

Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park – World Birding Headquarters

view of park buildings with text overlay: Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park

Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park is located in the Lower Rio Grande Valley in a region that is considered one of the most biologically diverse in North America. The diversity contributes to this State Park being just one of the areas in the Rio Grande Valley that make the Valley a birder’s paradise. The 587-acre state park is a stopover for migratory birds as well as home to some subtropical birds seen nowhere else in the US. PLEASE NOTE: Texas State Parks are currently closed to the public. The parks will begin reopening on April 20th for day use only with restrictions. Camping will follow at a later date. Visit the Texas Parks and Wildlife Facebook page for up-to-date information.   About Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley…

Continue reading

Thank you for sharing!

The Hidalgo Pumphouse Brings Water to the Rio Grande Valley

Prior to 1909, the semi-arid Rio Grande Valley was dotted with cattle ranches, mostly owned by Tejanos, Mexicans who found themselves on the US side of the border at the end of the Mexican-American War in 1848. Many of the Tejanos lost their land when droughts in the 1880s and 1890s forced them to sell to Anglo settlers. The railroad arrived in the Valley in 1904 bringing more settlers to buy up cheap land in the “Magic Valley.” A system of steam powered pumphouses constructed along the Rio Grande, including the Hidalgo Pumphouse (also known as the Old Hidalgo Pumphouse) in 1909, transformed the Valley into rich farmland. Hidalgo Pumphouse Museum and World Birding Center In 1993, the Hidalgo County Irrigation District #2 donated the…

Continue reading

Thank you for sharing!

Alligators Find a New Home at South Padre Island Birding and Nature Center

Boardwalk and bird blind

South Padre Island Birding & Nature Center The lower Rio Grande Valley in south Texas is a mecca for birders. Two major flyways converge there and bring an abundance of migrating species. South Padre Island Birding and Nature Center is the easternmost of the nine properties that make up the World Birding Center in the Valley. It is located near the tip of South Padre Island, the longest barrier island in the world. In May, the South Padre Island Birding and Nature Center became the new home of some rescued alligators. This was my third World Birding Center to visit and each is very special in its own way. Nothing makes me feel more at peace than being around or on the water and South…

Continue reading

Thank you for sharing!

Estero Llano Grande State Park — My First RGV Birding Experience

Ibis Pond at Estero Llano Grande State Park with text overlay: World-renowned birding

I have always been fascinated with birds. Years ago, while living in Nevada, I took a falconry class and became a licensed falconer. I put brush piles and water all over my property to lure birds to watch from my living room window. When I moved back to California, I volunteered with the Wetlands and Wildlife Care Center helping rehab birds and other wildlife. Now that I’m in the Rio Grande Valley (RGV) in Texas, one of the foremost birding locations in the world, I wanted to continue learning about birds. Lucky for me, an experienced birding couple lives in my park and agreed to take me under their wing. The first time they took me out birding was to Estero Llano Grande State Park,…

Continue reading

Thank you for sharing!

Museums and Nature Top the List of Things to do in Harlingen

A sub-tropical climate, with average winter lows in the 50s, means year-round outdoor activities. Museums top the list of indoor things to do in Harlingen. #travel #texas #harlingen #museums #birding

The city of Harlingen is located in the southern tip of Texas in the Rio Grande Valley and is just 30 miles from the Gulf of Mexico. In addition to all the dining and shopping opportunities you’d find in any city of its size, Harlingen has an international airport, a nearby port for transportation of goods, and an international bridge to Mexico. Thanks to the sub-tropical climate, with average winter low temperatures in the 50s, there are year-round outdoor activities. Museums and nature top the list of things to do in Harlingen. Even the museums are partly outdoors. Related: Indoor Activities in Harlingen – When it’s just too hot outside! Texas Travel Information Center I can’t write a post about the best things to do…

Continue reading

Thank you for sharing!