South Texas Travel Advice

Hi everyone, my wife and I will be spending a week in South Texas coming up at the end of April. Does anyone have any suggestions for can’t miss spots to look for birds and other wildlife? This is our third trip. I always love to see the warblers, especially when there is a fallout event. We saw a lot of little green herons, least bitterns, and other shorebirds last year when we were there, mostly on South Padre Island. We are hoping to to inland a bit more this time around. Thanks for any suggestions or connections you can offer.

Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge and Bentsen Rio Grande State Park are good for hook billed kites, green jays, ringed kingfishers and red billed pigeon. Brown jays can be seen near Falcon Dam and there’s a few other places as well. Laguna Atascosa is another great birding place north of Brownsville, I saw my first ocelot down there a long time ago. Most of the natural habitat in the valley has been replaced with agriculture and development so see it now before it is gone for good. There are also some nice insects to photiograph as well, especially at Bentsen RG…Jim

In southeast Texas try High Island. Smith Oak Sanctuary has a good rookery but you will need at least 500mm (600 would be much better) for larger birds. I should add that there is only one hotel and it is maybe two star and few places to eat in the town. Some better accommodations down the road to the west.

@Jim_Zablotny and @Teep thank you for the reccommendations. Those sound like great places.

Hi Ed:

If you get as far west as Falcon Lake, there’s a location just a few miles east of the state park called Salineno or the USFS Kepler Tract. I have no idea what border wall might have done to it since it’s right next to the river, but 9 years ago, there was a feeding station there and you could get three or four species of Oriole, Green Jay, Great Kiskadee, and Long-billed Thrasher all very easily. Check The Great Texas Birding Trail for explicit directions. I believe you can download their maps and directions on-line.

@Dennis_Plank thank you for this recommendation and the information on the Great Texas Birding Trail. I’ve looked that up and it is a wealth of information. I will see if we can get all the way over to Falcon Dam area. Both you and Jim have suggested that area.