RGV Visitors Guide

Page 52 Rio Grande Valley Visitors Guide 2023-2024 liad Scrub-Hairstreak, and Perching Saliana for butterfly watchers. Exploring the park’s many trails, boardwalks, pavilions, and observation decks you might also find Coyotes, Bobcats, and the American Alligator. Be sure to bring your camera and binoculars. The park also offers Camp Thicket, a camp and conference facility for group rentals. Many special programs and events are planned throughout the year. Check the park’s website, www. tpwd.texas.gov/state-parks/estero-llano-grande, join them on Facebook, or call (956) 565-3919 for more information. The Harlingen Arroyo Colorado at Hugh Ramsey Nature Park is located near the Valley International Airport on Loop 499, 3/10s mile south of Hwy. 106. The 55-acre park is a welcome center for birders who fly into Harlingen. A former landfill, the park has been reforested with native trees, plants, grasses, and cactus and returned to Texas Ebony Woodland. It is a home for Valley specialty birds such as Green Jay, Great Kiskadee, Chachalaca, Olive Sparrow, Altamira Oriole and both Long-billed and Curve-billed Thrashers. The ponds on the north end of the park are host to Green and Ringed Kingfishers, Least Grebes, and various Herons. If you wish a guided tour of this park, please email arroyocoloradoaudubon@gmail.com. The Magic Valley’s early 20th Century transition into an agricultural powerhouse is retold at the Old Hidalgo Pumphouse, which also embraces nature conservation as a wing of the World Birding Center with hike and bike trails. Visitors to the museum on the Rio Grande can learn about the steam driven irrigation pumps that transformed the Valley into a year-round farming phenomenon. Visitors can wander the museum’s grounds for free, where hummingbird and butterfly gardens are filled with native plants, and where many of the Valley’s amazing bird, butterfly, and dragonfly species are regular visitors as well. The Pumphouse Museum and World Birding Center can be found at 902 S. 2nd St. in Hidalgo. It is open Mondays through Fridays from 8 a.m. to 6 p. Call (956) 843-8686 for reservations and information or visit www.cityofhidalgo.net. Quinta Mazatlan is the McAllen Wing of the World Birding Center located just one block South of La Plaza Mall off 10th St. A historic adobe home built in the 1930’s is the centerpiece of this 25-acre urban sanctuary. The mansion is surrounded by a native Thornforest with water and bird feeding stations throughout the park. Enjoy the birding trails, historic adobe mansion, forest sculpture trail, art gallery, nature exhibits, gift store, programs, tours, workshops, and special events. Follow Quinta Mazatlan on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Youtube @QuintaMazatlan or call (956) 6813370. Brownville’s Resaca de la Palma State Park has about 1,200 semi-tropical acres of land along an ancient resaca of the Rio Grande River, the park provides a quiet retreat from the hustle and bustle of the city of Brownsville just a few miles away. The park features 11 miles of trails, and four observation decks overlooking the resaca (Oxbow Lake). Private vehicles are not allowed on the park’s trail system, but the trails may be accessed by hiking, biking, or the park’s nature tram. The nature tram provides a guided tour of a 3-mile paved loop through the park during Visitor Center hours. Bird watchers may spot colorful South Texas specialty species, like the Altamira Oriole, Green Jay, and Great Kiskadee. Freshwater habitat throughout the park provides the perfect environment for a variety of waterbirds, including species like the Green Kingfisher, Least Grebe, and Mottled Duck. During migration many Warbler, Oriole, Flycatcher, and Hawk species pass through this area. In summer, Groove-billed Ani and Yellow-billed Cuckoo join the resident species nesting throughout the park. For the butterfly enthusiast, the park is one of the best places in the Rio Grande Valley to find Blue Metalmarks. Bright, showy Mexican Bluewing and Band-celled Sister butterflies may be spotted along the tram road and trails. The park is located four miles west of Brownsville off FM 1732 (Olmito) at 1000 New Carmen Ave. For more information, please call (956) 350-2920 or visit the website at tpwd.texas.gov/state-parks/resaca-de-la-palma. You can also visit on social media at www.facebook.com/ resacadelapalma/ or on Instagram @resacadelapalmastatepark for regular updates. History and nature meet on the scenic bluffs above the Rio Grande where the World Birding Center in Roma can be found on the old plaza of a once-thriving steamboat port. The Roma Bluffs are located in the renovated historic Francisco Margo home, located at 610 N. Portscheller, in Roma’s National Historic District. The home features a traditional Spanish Courtyard with many bird feeders. During winter months many birds come in to feed, making it possible to view them up close. An observation deck located in the old Customs House on the river overlooks the river for viewing of birds. It offers scenic views of the City of Miguel Aleman, in Mexico. Open Mondays through Fridays year-round, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Seasonally, October to March seven days a week, but may vary depending upon volunteer coverage. Call (956) 849-4930 for information on seasonal weekend hours of operation. The South Padre Island Birding Nature Center and Alligator Sanctuary is located at 6801 Padre Blvd. Nearly 400 species of birds have been seen on South Padre Island and many of them, including the colorful Roseate Spoonbills, Reddish Egrets, and Clapper Rails, make their homes in the marshes amongst the boardwalk, sharing space with alligators and freshwater turtles. The center features a five-story tower that overlooks the Laguna Madre, a museum style exhibit hall and documentary about the nature of the island. Call (956) 761-6801 or visit www.spibirding. com for more information.