Bentsen - Rio Grande State Park and World Birding Headquarters

Mission, Texas

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Located on the Rio Grande 5 miles southwest of Mission, Bentsen has long held a place among the top dozen (perhaps half-dozen) birding sites in the country. The majority of the regular southern Texas specialties have been seen in this relatively small state park, along with a long list of rare strays. A birding trip to the Valley without at least one visit to Bentsen, with its subtropical woods, thornscrub, and resacas (oxbow lakes), has always been unthinkable. Major changes are under way at Bentsen as this book goes to press, though—changes brought about because of its selection as the headquarters and showplace of the World Birding Center (see chapter introduction). The plans have been somewhat controversial, but WBC and park officials are confident that in the long term the park environment will be healthier and thus more inviting for both birds and people—even if a little less convenient to visit for the latter.

Bentsen - Rio Grande State Park and World Birding Headquarters Professional Review and Guide

"Located on the Rio Grande 5 miles southwest of Mission, Bentsen has long held a place among the top dozen (perhaps half-dozen) birding sites in the country. The majority of the regular southern Texas specialties have been seen in this relatively small state park, along with a long list of rare strays. A birding trip to the Valley without at least one visit to Bentsen, with its subtropical woods, thornscrub, and resacas (oxbow lakes), has always been unthinkable.

Major changes are under way at Bentsen as this book goes to press, though—changes brought about because of its selection as the headquarters and showplace of the World Birding Center (see chapter introduction). The plans have been somewhat controversial, but WBC and park officials are confident that in the long term the park environment will be healthier and thus more inviting for both birds and people—even if a little less convenient to visit for the latter."

Activity Type: Birding
Nearby City: Mission
Trail Type: Several options
Best Times: Year-round; best in spring, winter also good
Local Contacts: World Birding Center
Driving Directions: Directions to Bentsen - Rio Grande State Park and World Birding Headquarters

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May 2018