South Texas Plains
Harlingen Arroyo Colorado World Birding Center
Harlingen Arroyo Colorado WBC Information:
The habitat at the 55 acre Harlingen Arroyo Colorado World Birding Center (formerly Hugh Ramsey Park) is dominated by Texas ebony woodlands. The WBC consists of two separate sites, the Hugh Ramsey Nature Park on the east and the Harlingen Thicket to the west. The nature center is connected to the 40 acre Big Thicket by the Arroyo Colorado (River), and by trails meandering through the city. Big Thicket habitat consists of mixed upland thorn forest. WBC volunteers are working to restore the habitat of both areas to provide breeding grounds for many of the Valley's specialty birds, such as the Green Ringed Kingfishers, Groove-billed Ani, Common Pauraque, Long-billed Thrasher, Olive Sparrow, and the endangered Red-crowned Parrots. On Wednesday nights during the summer months, volunteers meet at the park at 6 p.m. under the direction of the Arroyo Colorado Audubon Society. The two-story, 7,250 square foot visitor center is currently under design. When completed, it will feature a gift shop, observation tower, meeting rooms, enclosed viewing rooms, restrooms and parking. Restrooms, maps, information and parking are currently available at the WBC and at the Big Thicket. The park is managed by the Harlingen Parks and Recreation Department.  World Birding Centers Parks Brochure   
Arroyo Colorado (River):
The Arroyo Colorado, an ancient distributary channel of the Rio Grande River, rises at Lake Llano Grande, 2 miles south of Weslaco in Hidalgo County. The Arroyo carries excess Rio Grande River floodwaters to the Laguna Madre. The river is navigable to barges through parts of its dredged channel from the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway to the port of Harlingen. From Harlingen to Mission it is navigable only to small boats.The section between Rio Hondo and Arroyo City is suitable for recreational use. Estero Llano Grande State Park and WBC is located near its headwaters. The stretch of river near its mouth passes through the Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge. River towns include Mission, Harlingen, Rio Hondo and Arroyo City, Texas.  
Directions to Hugh Ramsey Nature Park:
From U.S. 77/83 south of town, go north to Ed Carey Drive (Loop 499). Exit right (east) on Ed Carey and drive 2 miles. You will cross Business 77, pass the Valley Baptist Medical Center and cross the Arroyo Colorado. Immediately after crossing the Arroyo Colorado Bridge, turn right into the park.