South Texas Plains
Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley World Birding Center
Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park World Birding Center Information:
The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department transferred the management of this former multi-use state park to the World Birding Center. The World Birding Center complex consists of 9 nature preserves whose purpose is to protect the habitat of resident and migrating birds. The Bentsen-Rio Grande WBC on the Rio Grande River is the headquarters site of the World Birding Center. It consists of 760 acres surrounded by an additional 1,900 acres of protected native habitat belonging to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. In a major effort to get the park habitat back to its original state, portions of the park are sometimes flooded. New development is restricted to the former agricultural fields. The 50 acres surrounding these fields are being replanted with Texas native plants, including Texas ebony, sugar hackberry, cedar elms, and anacua. The spring is a wonderful time to visit due to the flowering shrubs (blackbrush and Cenizo), and wildflowers such as sand verbena, sleepy daisy, and wild phlox and huisache daisy. Birding amenities include a two story observation tower offering views of the canopy and Mexico, two enclosed bird blinds, a birding wall, and several water features. Ten bird feeding stations are stocked November through March. Butterfly gardens and hummingbird feeders are located at the Visitor’s Center. There are over seven miles of trails. Access to this WBC is via tram, bicycle or foot. The park rents adult bicycles, children’s tandems and trikes. The Headquarters buildings and the car and bus parking lots are located outside the park. The Visitor’s Center features a bilingual exhibit hall, park store, meeting room, and administrative offices. The park hosts interpretive programs for school children and the public, and other events such as bird walks. For more information, read the Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley World Birding Center Rack Brochure.  The park is open daily year round from 7am to 10pm. Pay entry fees at the headquarters building. An after hour’s pay booth, restrooms and a telephone are located at the park entrance beyond the headquarters area. The headquarters and the café are open daily from 7:30am-5pm. The tram service runs Tue-Sun, 7:30am-4:30pm. (956) 584-9156. The WBC is located at 2800 South Bentsen Palm Drive (FM 2062), Mission, Texas 78572.  
Tram Transportation within the Park:
Park access is by tram, bicycle or foot only. The tram picks up visitors in the parking lot, and drops them off inside the park. The tram has space for a wheelchair. The tram makes frequent trips around the park interior, picking up and dropping off visitors at all the trailheads and other park facilities. If you miss the tram, call park headquarters and they will send the tram to your location. The park hosts special 45 minute Tram Tours; call for reservations. Tram tours are usually held Thursday-Sunday at 3pm; call to confirm schedule. Watch the schedule for special mid-morning and evening tram tours. Bring your own bicycles, or rent adult bicycles, children’s tandems or a two person adult tricycle from the headquarters. The tram runs Tue-Sun, 7:30am-4:30pm. The park is open daily, 7am-10pm.
Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley World Birding Center Directions:
From the east side of Mission take U.S. 83 to the west side of Mission. Exit on Inspiration Road and then immediately go west on Business U.S. 83. At the traffic light, go left (south) on Bentsen Palm Drive (Park Road 43) and drive to the WBC.