Big Bend National Park Birding Sites

Rio Grande Village, Texas

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Big Bend National Park, encompassing more than 800,000 acres and with elevations that vary from 1,850 to 7,835 feet, contains a wide variety of habitats, from river and desert in the lowlands to coniferous forest in the mountains. It is one of the nation’s primary birding sites, and more bird species have been recorded (more than 450) here than in any other national park. Key Birds: “Mexican Duck” (Mallard), Golden Eagle, Peregrine and Prairie Falcons, Scaled Quail, Greater Roadrunner, White-throated Swift, Eastern and Western Screech-Owls, Acorn Woodpecker, Golden-fronted Woodpecker, Black and Say’s Phoebes, Vermilion Flycatcher, Mexican Jay, Verdin, Black-tailed Gnatcatcher, Rock and Canyon Wrens, Curve-billed and Crissal Thrashers, Hutton’s Vireo, Pyrrhuloxia, Canyon Towhee, Rufous-crowned and Black-chinned Sparrows, and Lesser Goldfinch are present year-round. Common Black-Hawk; Zone-tailed and Gray Hawks; Lesser Nighthawk; Common Poorwill; Whip-poor-will; Band-tailed Pigeon; Elf and Flammulated Owls; Lucifer Hummingbird; Blue-throated, Magnificent, Broad-tailed, and Rufous (by July) Hummingbirds; Cordilleran Flycatcher; Violet-green and Cave Swallows; Phainopepla; Black-capped Vireo; Gray Vireo; Colima Warbler; Lucy’s Warbler; Hepatic Tanager; Varied and Painted Buntings; Bronzed Cowbird.

Big Bend National Park Birding Sites Professional Review and Guide

"Big Bend National Park, encompassing more than 800,000 acres and with elevations that vary from 1,850 to 7,835 feet, contains a wide variety of habitats, from river and desert in the lowlands to coniferous forest in the mountains. It is one of the nation’s primary birding sites, and more bird species have been recorded (more than 450) here than in any other national park.

Key Birds: “Mexican Duck” (Mallard), Golden Eagle, Peregrine and Prairie Falcons, Scaled Quail, Greater Roadrunner, White-throated Swift, Eastern and Western Screech-Owls, Acorn Woodpecker, Golden-fronted Woodpecker, Black and Say’s Phoebes, Vermilion Flycatcher, Mexican Jay, Verdin, Black-tailed Gnatcatcher, Rock and Canyon Wrens, Curve-billed and Crissal Thrashers, Hutton’s Vireo, Pyrrhuloxia, Canyon Towhee, Rufous-crowned and Black-chinned Sparrows, and Lesser Goldfinch are present year-round. Common Black-Hawk; Zone-tailed and Gray Hawks; Lesser Nighthawk; Common Poorwill; Whip-poor-will; Band-tailed Pigeon; Elf and Flammulated Owls; Lucifer Hummingbird; Blue-throated, Magnificent, Broad-tailed, and Rufous (by July) Hummingbirds; Cordilleran Flycatcher; Violet-green and Cave Swallows; Phainopepla; Black-capped Vireo; Gray Vireo; Colima Warbler; Lucy’s Warbler; Hepatic Tanager; Varied and Painted Buntings; Bronzed Cowbird."

Activity Type: Birding
Nearby City: Rio Grande Village
Trail Type: Several options
Best Times: Best April-May for spring migrants & nesting activities; mid-August to mid-October for fall migrants & post-nesting visitors; November-March for winter birds
Local Contacts: Big Bend National Park
Local Maps: Texas Atlas & Gazetteer, DeLorme
Driving Directions: Directions to Big Bend National Park Birding Sites

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May 2018