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Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park - BirdForum Opus

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Photo by Gaga
Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park, 2004

United States, Texas


Located in southern Texas, adjacent to the Mexico border, Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park is considered the best of the Rio Grande Valley parks, and it is now the Headquarters of the World Birding Center. 760-acres in size, along with 1,700 acres of adjoining federal refuge land, the area contains many special birds found nowhere else in the USA, plus Mexican vagrants which cross the Rio Grande River.

This State Park is site LTC 069 on the Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail

Photo by Gaga
Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park, 2004


Notable Species

Green Jay, Plain Chachalaca, Northern Beardless Tyrannulet, Hook-billed Kite, Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl, Clay-colored Thrush, White-throated Thrush, Tropical Parula, Red-billed Pigeon, White-tipped Dove, Groove-billed Ani, Ringed Kingfisher, Green Kingfisher, Altamira Oriole. Migrating Swainson's Hawk and Broad-winged Hawk are a spring and fall spectacle.


Masked Tityra (1990), Elf Owl (1994), Ruddy Quail-Dove (1996 and 2004), Yellow-faced Grassquit (2002), Northern Jacana (2006), Orange-breasted Bunting (2009), Bare-throated Tiger-Heron (2009-10)


Birds you can see here include:

To do

Other Wildlife

To do

Site Information

History and Use

Bensten-RGV State Park is located on the flood plain of the Rio Grande River, a remnant of the once heavily wooded Lower Rio Grande Valley. The major goal of the World Birding Center is to re-create the periodic flooding that built and nourished the land in past centuries.

Areas of Interest

  • World Birding Center Headquarters
  • Hawk Observation Tower, 2 stories high, with handicapped access

Access and Facilities

  • park is open 7am-10pm daily
  • 6 miles of trails (0.5 to 2 miles in length)
  • tram shuttle
  • 2 bird blinds (hides)
  • 2 observation decks
  • camping and picnic areas
  • new visitor center with exhibit hall, meeting room, cafe, gift shop and restrooms
  • cafe and gift Shop are open 8am-5pm daily
  • bike rentals

Entrance Fees

  • Free if you have a Parklands Pass
  • Free if you have a Texas State Parks Pass
  • Adults ~ $5 daily
  • Children (under 12) ~ free
  • Map of park

Contact Details

Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park
2800 S. Bentsen Palm Drive (FM 2062)
Mission, TX 78572
Tel: (956) 584-9156

External Links

Content and images originally posted by Gaga


Jaeger01's review I have been to this location a number of times, mostly before it was converted to the "World Birding Center". It was better before, more birds by far, better conditions and more reliable ways to get around the park. They spent a lot of money here but with the construction, chased off a lot of the birds. By locking out the campers, got rid of all the free feeders campers brought with them. The tram (primary method of transport if you are not a bike rider or long distance hiker) is unreliable and does not run on a set schedule.

Perhaps I am being overly critical but I liked it much better, saw more back prior to the spending spree. Pros

  • Good habitat


  • Poorly run