11975
McAllen
Birding in the Rio Grande Valley: Santa Ana Refuge to a World Birding Center
South Texas is a haven for both birders and birds. Find out why as you learn from experts, discovering rare and beautiful birds in Santa Ana Wildlife Refuge and Bentsen State Park.
Program No. 11975RJ
Length
6 days
Starts at
1,259
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6 days
5 nights
15 meals
5 B 5 L 5 D
DAY
1
Check-in, Registration, Orientation, Welcome Dinner
McAllen, Texas
D
Staybridge Suites

Afternoon: 4:30 pm. Hotel Meeting Room. Orientation. The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule and any changes, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer questions.

Dinner: Dinner at a local restaurant just a short walk from the hotel with a variety of menu choices available.

Evening: Hotel Meeting Room: Lecture by Bob Powell. Title. "Birds of the Area"

DAY
2
Estero Llano Grande State Park
McAllen, Texas
B,L,D
Staybridge Suites

Activity note: Walking trails on a variety of terrain.

Breakfast: In the hotel dining area our daily breakfast buffet offers a rotating variety of choices such as an egg dish, breakfast meat, hot/cold cereals, fruit, yogurt, muffins, bagels, toast, milk, juices, coffee (regular/decaf), hot tea, water.

Morning: Take a 20 mile drive east to Estero Llano Grande State Park - the geographic center of the World Birding Center network. A diverse habitat offers an abundance of wildlife for nature lovers as you explore this 230 plus-acre refuge. Specialty birds include Altamira Orioles, Green Jays and Vermilion Flycatcher and Groove-billed Ani.

Lunch: At the State Park Recreation Area we will serve your pre-ordered sandwich choice, or salad, chips, fruit, cookies, water or soft drink.

Afternoon: Birding continues in the afternoon to selected "birding hot spots" in surrounding areas. See some of the native plants that attract birds like Huisache, Texas Ebony and Anacua, Great Kiskadee and Clay-colored Robin are birds worth looking out for. Back at the hotel (optional) we will go over the bird list of the day.

Dinner: Dinner at local restaurant.

Evening: Free Time. Take this opportunity for personal independent exploration to see and do what interests you most. The group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

DAY
3
Rancho Lomitas, Salineno  
McAllen, Texas
B,L,D
Staybridge Suites

Breakfast: In the hotel dining area our daily breakfast buffet offers a rotating variety of choices such as an egg dish, breakfast meat, hot/cold cereals, fruit, yogurt, muffins, bagels, toast, milk, juices, coffee (regular/decaf), hot tea, water.

Morning: Journey west to Rancho Lomitas, Salineno, approximately 62 miles where your day begins. After stretching your legs experts will take you on an open-wagon tour of the ranch. You will learn about natives plants and their benefits to humans as well as birds. Watch out for various Orioles, Green Jays, Ringed and green Kingfisher, Gray Hawk, Red-crowned Pigeon and Muscovy Duck. The ranch offers a variety of unique animals that you will see such as Longhorn cattle.

Lunch: At the ranch we will serve your pre-ordered sandwich choice, or salad, chips, fruit, cookies, water or soft drink.

Afternoon: Birding will continue in the western valley area hot spots as we wind our way back to McAllen. Back at the hotel we will go over the bird list of the day (this is optional)

Dinner: Dinner at local restaurant

Evening: At leisure

DAY
4
Bentsen State Park
McAllen, Texas
B,L,D
Staybridge Suites

Breakfast: In the hotel dining area our daily breakfast buffet offers a rotating variety of choices such as an egg dish, breakfast meat, hot/cold cereals, fruit, yogurt, muffins, bagels, toast, milk, juices, coffee (regular/decaf), hot tea, water.

Morning: Mission, TX is the home of another of the renowned World Birding Centers. A short 20 mile drive west to this destination where an impressive list of 358 species have been recorded within the park’s boundaries. We will take a tram ride through a section of the park with lots of birding opportunities to see migratory birds, some that winter here and others are resident. Previous sightings include Zone-tailed Hawk, Ringed Kingfisher, Tropical Kingbird, Green Parrots. A two-story high Hawk Observation Tower (ramp provided) offer a bird’s-eye view of the canopy as well as a peek into Mexico.

Lunch: At the Park Recreation Area we will serve your pre-ordered sandwich choice, or salad, chips, fruit, cookies, water or soft drink.

Afternoon: Birding continues in the area. With lots of birds to see. Back at the hotel we will go over the bird list of the day (this is optional)

Dinner: On the way to dinner at local restaurant we will be on the lookout for Green Parakeets.

Evening: At Leisure. Continue to enjoy the company of new Road Scholar friends with informal activities such as card games, or sharing some of your favorite experiences of the day over a cup of coffee.

DAY
5
Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge
McAllen, Texas
B,L,D
Staybridge Suites

Breakfast: In the hotel dining area our daily breakfast buffet offers a rotating variety of choices such as an egg dish, breakfast meat, hot/cold cereals, fruit, yogurt, muffins, bagels, toast, milk, juices, coffee (regular/decaf), hot tea, water.

Morning: We depart on a short 14 mile drive to Alamo, TX the home of the prestigious Santa Ana Wildlife Refuge. Step into a rare tropical world at the Refuge where you will find Spanish moss draped from trees as noisy Chachalacas welcome the morning dawn and a malachite butterfly floats out from the shadows. Look for Buff-bellied Hummingbirds, Long-billed Thrashers, Green Jays, Great Kiskadees, and Plain Chachalacas

Lunch: At the Park Recreation Area we will serve your pre-ordered sandwich choice, or salad, chips, fruit, cookies, water or soft drink.

Afternoon: Birding continues as we take a short drive to the Edinburg Wetlands- another World Birding Site. From Green Kingfishers to Guava Skippers, the habitat at the Edinburg Scenic Wetlands supports a plethora of living, moving things. We will be looking for Black-bellied Whistling ducks, Neo-tropical cormorants, and both Yellow- crowned and Black-crowned Night Herons. Back at the hotel we will go over the bird list of the day (this is optional)

Dinner: Dinner at local restaurant

Evening: At leisure

DAY
6
Program Concludes
McAllen, Texas
B,L

Breakfast: In the hotel dining area our daily breakfast buffet offers a rotating variety of choices such as an egg dish, breakfast meat, hot/cold cereals, fruit, yogurt, muffins, bagels, toast, milk, juices, coffee (regular/decaf), hot tea, water.

Morning: What a wonderful way to close a program than a visit to Quinta Mazatlan, where you will find History, Culture, Nature in the Heart of McAllen. Quinta Mazatlan is a mansion with a mission, inspiring families to enjoy nature in their own backyard and around the world. Explore our birding trails, 10,000 square foot historic adobe home, art gallery, nature exhibits and gift store. Back at the hotel the Group Leader will lead a wrap-up session to review program highlights, share favorite experiences, say farewell to new Road Scholar friends. This concludes our program.

Lunch: The group leader will provide a snack pack to take with you en route to the airport.