The Rio Grande Valley is recognized as a world-class birding destination. Thousands of visitors flock every year to watch the spectacle of nature. Dotted along 120 miles of river road from South Padre Island west to Roma, it has habitats ranging from dry chaparral brush and riverside thickets to freshwater marshes and coastal wetlands.
Vali-Ho Motel is minutes away from regions best attractions, including, the Rio Grande Valley Premium Outlets, Progresso, Mexico, the World Birding Center at Estero Llano Grande State Park and the Rio Grande Valley Livestock Show are close by. South Padre Island and Gladys Porter Zoo in Brownsville are short drive away. We are 5 minutes from the Valley Nature Center and Frontera Audubon Center, both in Weslaco.
World Birding Center at Estero Llano Grande State Park
3301 S. International Blvd. (956) 565-3919
This 176-acre refuge in Weslaco attracts a spectacular array of birds, butterflies, dragonflies, and South Texas wildlife with its varied landscapes of shallow ponds, woodlands and thorn forest. Explore over 3 miles of trails, boardwalks, pavilions and observation decks. Water is the magic ingredient for attracting wildlife and Estero Llano Grande offers the largest wetlands environment in the World Birding Center network. Open Monday thru Sunday, 8 am to 5 pm.
Frontera Audubon Center
1101 S. Texas Blvd. – (956) 968-3275
A twelve-acre nature preserve featuring mature native woodlands, wetlands, butterfly gardens, and trails. See migratory ducks, native birds, wild parrots, and colorful warblers. Rarities documented within the preserve include: Blue Mockingbird, Violet-crowned Hummingbird, Crimson-collared Grosbeak, White-throated Robin, Elegant Trogon and Mangrove Cuckoo. Raucous parrots may also be seen roosting for the evening. The Center is a model of how a city and a forest can coexist. Open Sunday thru Friday, 8 am to 4 pm; and Saturdays, 7 am to 7 pm.
Valley Nature Center
301 S. Border Ave. – (956) 969-2475
Five acres of native habitat in the heart of Weslaco, home to hundreds of birds and butterflies. A trail leads visitors through the lush vegetation, cactus garden, bog ponds, and butterfly garden. Green Jays, Great Kiskadees and Buff-Bellied Hummingbirds can be seen here, plus migrating birds in the spring and fall. The park is also home to the Texas Tortoise and the Texas Horned Lizard. The Center offers guided tours, and hosts nursery with plants for sale. Open 9 am to 5 pm and closed on Mondays. Located in the back of Gibson Park on Border Avenue.
Duranta Butterfly Hedge
West 6th Street and Clifford. Both sides of the hedge on private property are excellent places to see butterflies including agunas, flashers, and other skippers, and Polydamas Swallowtails.
Estero Llano Grande Lake
Go South on FM 1015 to Estero Llano Grande. Park on either side of the bridge over the lake. You will see great birding on both sides of the bridge. Roseate Spoonbills and many other waterbirds can be seen.
Golden Raintree Citrus Farms
Located at 1303 S. Texas Blvd. These beautiful landscaped gardens and ponds offer wonderful birding opportunities. Whistling ducks, egrets, herons, ibis, and kingfishers are dependable. Excellent butterflies including the Emerald Aguna and outstanding dragonflies and damselflies including the Orange-bellied Skimmer and Caribbean Yellow-face. Open to the public November thru March. Call : (956) 968-6161.
Rio Rico Bluffs
Great views of the Rio Grande and excellent river birding. Watch for Ringed and Green Kingfishers, Gray Hawk, and Northern Jacana.
Weslaco Pixie Trees
Located across the street east from the Catholic Church parking lot on Oklahoma and 6TH Street. The “pixie” trees are dependable places to see the Red-bordered Pixie.
Texas Parks and Wildlife
Texas Parks and Wildlife Tracts Baird, Taormina, & Chapote Wildlife Management Areas. Bird on the edges at any time. Call TPW at (956) 565-1223 to take groups.