Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park
Things to Do
As part of the World Birding Center, Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park is a world-class destination for bird-watching. The Rio Grande Valley hosts one of the most spectacular convergences of birds on earth with more than 500 species documented in this unique place. Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park alone has an impressive list of 340 species recorded within the park’s boundaries. Birders have a chance to see migratory birds during their yearly migrations over the valley including flocks of thousands of hawks from the park’s Hawk Tower in the spring and fall. Some birders travel to the Bentsen to see bird species they can’t find anyplace else in the country - from the Green Jay and the Buff-bellied Hummingbird to the Great Kiskadee and the Altamira Oriole.
The visitor center has a bilingual (English/Spanish) exhibit hall, gift shop, meeting room and administrative offices--all surrounded by butterfly gardens and hummingbird feeders. Visitors can take our tram shuttle, ride bikes or walk through the park. A two-story high Hawk Observation Tower with a 210-foot-long wheelchair-accessible ramp gives visitors a bird’s-eye view of the canopy as well as a peek into Mexico. Two enclosed bird blinds and a birding wall allow visitors to see birds up close and watch their behaviors. Over eight miles of trails with bird feeding stations and water features offer a variety of opportunities to encounter wildlife inside the park.
Bird walks are a great opportunity for visitors to meet the wildlife in the park. Other guided tours feature butterflies, dragonflies and night tours as well as programs for teachers, students and young naturalists. Make sure to check the Events Calendar for special events and workshops scheduled throughout the year.
Fall Programs Schedule (September - November, 2012)
Scheduled programs free with park admission. School Field Trips & Special Programs available upon request (fees apply). Call Program Staff for details.
- Dragonfly Walk (9 a.m. - 11 a.m.) Meet some of nature’s most beautiful but fearsome flying predators over the park’s wetlands.
- Butterfly Walk (11 a.m. - noon) Watch and identify beautiful wild butterflies on a guided hike through the park gardens. Tropical rarities are always possible!
- Creatures of the Night (6 p.m. - 8 p.m.) Look and listen for nocturnal wildlife with our naturalists. Fun for the whole family! Limit 20 participants. Pre-registration required. Call the park at 956-584-9156 to check for start and end times for this program.
- Bird Walk (8:30 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.) Bentsen is one of the top destinations in the US for birdwatching. Join us for a guided bird walk through Bentsen State Park and see many of our colorful resident birds as well as migratory birds.
- Bentsen en Espanol (4 p.m. - 6 p.m.) Acompane a uno de los biologos de Bentsen en una busqueda de las cosas mas emocionantes de la naturaleza local. Observe aves, insectos y otros animales que se puedan encontrar en nuestro bosque. Ideal para toda la familia! Bring the entire family for a fun-filled nature exploration with bilingual guides.
Ask about the Junior Ranger Explorer Packs available for free checkout at the park!
The Texas State Park Store "Algunas Plumas" offers a variety of camping supplies, outdoor equipment, field guides, gifts, ice, and food items. The store also rents the following equipment for use at the park.
The World Birding Center is based on a joint partnership between the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Rio Grande Valley communities, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. It consists of a network of nine distinctly different birding sites, set along a 120-mile historic river road – each sponsored by one of the Valley’s nine partner communities.