The park contains acres of subtropical, resaca woodlands and brushland of thicket-forming, thorny shrubs and small trees. Resacas are low-lying,
former river channels, which are partially filled with silt. Their associated banks support a luxuriant growth of cedar elm, anaqua, ebony, hackberry, Mexican ash and Tepequaje, a very large Mexican lead tree. Plants and animals in the park represent a northernmost extension of the Mexican subtropics.
This park is one of the best places in the United States to observe subtropical birds and wildlife that are more commonly found south in Mexico. Birds from both the eastern and western United States are also found in the area; and during spring migration, the park is especially interesting to birders. Unusual birds include: paraque, groove-billed ani, green kingfisher, blue bunting, black-bellied whistling duck, clay-colored robin, rose-throated becard, tropical parula and masked tityra. The park is also one of the last natural refuges in Texas for cats such as the ocelot and jaguarundi.
Professional park naturalists conduct daily, on-site birdwatching and wildlife tours from December through March. A visitor birding information center is also available from December through March. All tours begin at the group pavilion. Visitors meet in that area at 7:00 a.m. and depart at 7:20 a.m. and are picked up by a bus equipped for disabled persons. Tours last about 6 to 8 hours. (Contact the park at the number above or 956/519-6448 for specific fees and details on tours.) Reservations and advance payment for these tours may be made by mailing payment to the park address. Income from tours supports the conservation efforts of Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park.
Directions: From Mission, TX, Take US Highway 83; continue west on Loop 374 for 2.5 miles, then south on FM 2062 for 2.6 miles, and enter on Park Road 43.
Distance: 3 miles
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Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park, Texas
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