Gulf Coast
South Padre Island World Birding Center
South Padre Island World Birding & Nature Center Information:
In 2009, the SPI WBC opened on fifty acres just south of the South Padre Island Convention Center. WBC habitat consists of dune meadows, saltwort flats, fresh water, brackish water, intertidal flats, cattail marsh, black mangroves, and native trees and shrubs. South Padre Island is the first stop on birds’ migration across the gulf from Southern Mexico and northern Central America. Birds sighted include warblers, tanagers, herons, orioles and thrushes. You will see shorebirds and waterfowl, and there are possible sightings of endangered species, such as the Brown Pelican, Piping Plover and the Peregrine Falcon. The beautiful visitor center features a huge veranda on the bay side of the building and a five story tower offering 360 degree views of the surrounding area. The tower may be accessed via stairs or elevator. A gift shop is located on the building’s first floor and a nature museum is located on the second floor. Movies are shown in the auditorium. A vending machine on the veranda is stocked with water, iced tea, and a variety of sodas. A master birder completes periodic bird counts which are displayed on a blackboard outside the gift shop. A printed bird checklist may be purchased in the gift shop. A butterfly garden and humming bird feeders are located at the south end of the WBC building. A large variety of birds frequent this garden. Five bird blinds are located along 3,300 feet of boardwalk. On the April 2013 WBC facility map, bird blinds 4 and 6 are located on the convention center boardwalk. Alligators may be viewed early in the morning (before 10am) between WBC bird blinds 4 and 5 (blinds 5 & 7 on the April 2013 WBC facility map). An approximately five foot long alligator likes to sun on the grass at blind 5 (7 on the map). An exit from the boardwalk to the parking lot is located just past bird blind 5 (7 on the map). The reason the map bird blind numbers and the actual bird blind number differ is that originally access was available to the Convention Center’s boardwalks and blinds. This access has been closed because visitors were coming into the WBC through the Convention Center and avoiding the WBC entry fees. This was not necessarily on purpose as it depended on where you first parked. The visitor center offers guided bird walks and special programs and lectures. The visitor center is open daily, 9am-5pm; hours change seasonally. The boardwalks and nature trails are open daily, 30 minutes prior to sunrise and 30 minutes after sunset. Admission fees apply. A turn style accepts credit card payments for early boardwalk entry. Fees may also be paid in the gift shop. Seven day, monthly and annual passes are available. (956) 243-8179. 6801 Padre Boulevard, SPI, TX 78597.  Email   World Birding Centers Parks Brochure
Birding - Texas Prairies and Pineywoods west Birding Wildlife Trail:
Laguna Madre Loop:  Los Fresnos, Palo Alto Battlefield, Laguna Vista, Port Isabel
South Padre Island Loop:  SPI Area
Boca Chica Loop:  Brownsville, Boca Chica, SH 48 Scenic Drive
Resaca Loop:  Brownsville Area
Texas Birds Checklist
Cameron County Butterfly Checklist
South Padre Island WBC Bird Checklist
Resaca de la Palma WBC Bird Checklist, Brownsville
Resaca de la Palma State Park (Prior to being a WBC) Bird Checklist, Brownsville
Laguna Atascosa NWR Bird Checklist
Laguna Atascosa NWR Butterfly Checklist
Old Hidalgo Pump House WBC Bird Checklist, Hidalgo
Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley WBC Bird Checklist, Mission
Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley WBC Butterfly Checklist, Mission
Santa Ana NWR Bird Checklist, Alamo
Santa Ana NWR Butterfly Checklist, Alamo
Edinburg Scenic Wetlands Bird Checklist, Edinburg
Estero Llano Grande WBC Bird Checklist, Weslaco
Quinta Mazatlan WBC Bird Checklist, McAllen
National Butterfly Center Bird Checklist, Mission
National Butterfly Center Dragonfly Checklist, Mission
National Butterfly Center Butterfly Checklist, Mission
Lower Rio Grande Valley NWR Bird Checklist
Rio Grande Valley Rare Bird Alert:(956) 584-2731.
Annual Great Texas Birding Classic, End of Apr-May:
This annual one week event is held April-May at birding sites located on the Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail including at all the World Birding Centers. The event is a competition to determine which team can identify the most species of birds. The Texas Parks & Wildlife Department sponsors this event. (512) 389-4500. Contacts  Dates & Information
Nov 4-7, 2017
Annual Texas Butterfly Festival, October:
Activities include a reception, Community Day, field trips, a silent auction, a butterfly count, and a  photo contest. (956) 583-5400. This event is held the National Butterfly Center at 3333 Butterfly Park Drive, Mission, 78572. Email
Nov 8-12. 2017
Annual Rio Grande Valley Birding Festival, Harlingen, Nov:
The festival features seminars and keynote speakers, classes (newbies try Birding 101), book signings, children’s activities, “The Roost” onsite café, a cruise on the Arroyo Colorado, and field trips to the King Ranch and other nearby birding sites. The Birders Bazaar has a large number of birding related products for sale. This festival is held at the Lon C. Hill (Fair) Park each November. (800) 531-7346. (956) 423-5440. 1204 Fair Park Boulevard, Harlingen 78550.  Email   Facebook