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County
Starr
Region
South Texas Plains
Nearby
Parks
Roma Bluffs World Birding Center
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Roma Bluffs World Birding Center Information:
The three acre Roma Bluffs WBC, a wing of the World Birding Center, is situated on the bluffs above the Rio Grande River on the old plaza of the former steamboat port in Roma, Texas. Habitat on the 3 acre site includes stands of Texas ebony, and tracts of mesquite and prickly pear brush. The river fluctuates with the release of water from Falcon Dam, located about 20 miles upstream. Activities include guided and self-guided nature tours, guided canoe trips on the Rio Grande, and year round nature classes and group programs. An Interpretive Overlook deck sits high above the Rio Grande River, giving great views of the habitat and wildlife, and the border town of Miguel Aleman, Mexico. The area is designated as a National Historic District.  World Birding Centers Parks Brochure
 
Roma Texas National Historic District:
Roma is the only intact historic U.S. border town in the Rio Grande Valley. The more than 40 historic structures of this community are located in a 10 block area surrounding the main plaza, and include buildings in the wharf area (Hidalgo St. to Juarez and Estrella Streets) such as warehouses, stores and the1927 San Pedro-Roma International (suspension) Bridge. Also included in the historic district is the customs area (Lincoln and Water Streets) which consists of commercial and residential structures, the main plaza area, and the Northwestern Area and a secondary ferry location. Many of the buildings are made of river sandstone, caliche limestone and molded brick, or are adobe buildings. Guided tours of these pre-1900 buildings are available by calling the City of Roma at (956) 849-1411. The city is also working on a self-guided tour map.
 
Rio Grande River:
The Rio Grande rises 12,000 feet above sea level in the Rio Grande National Forest in Colorado as a clear, spring and snow-fed mountain stream. The river cuts through the middle of New Mexico to the sites of El Paso and Ciudad Juárez at the junction of Chihuahua, Mexico and Texas. At that point, because of the 1848 Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo which terminated the Mexican War, the Rio Grande became the international boundary between the United States and Mexico. It forms the western or southern borders of El Paso, Hudspeth, Presidio, Brewster (where the river's sweeping curve gives Big Bend National Park its name), Terrell, Val Verde, Kinney, Maverick, Webb, Zapata, Starr, Hidalgo, and Cameron Counties. The river empties into the Gulf of Mexico. The river has many large and small tributaries including the Pecos and Devils Rivers which enter the Rio Grande at the Amistad Reservoir northwest of Del Rio, Texas. At El Paso the Rio Grande caused friction in the 1870s, when the river bit deep into the banks of Mexico and gradually transferred land to the United States. The famous Chamizal Dispute was not settled until 1963, when 437 acres was ceded from downtown El Paso to Mexico. The agreement economically strengthened both cities. The international border at the two cities is now lined with concrete so that the river will never again shift its channel. In Mexico the river is known as the Rio Bravo del Norte, or Rio Bravo.  Fish Stocking History
 
Birds:
The river woodlands provide habitat for neo-tropical birds, such as the Audubon's Oriole, Brown Jay, Red-billed Pigeon, and the White-collared Seedeater. Other birds include the Great Kiskadee, Plain chachalaca, Clay-colored Robins, Atamira Orioles, and many more. 
 
Birding - Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail, Lower Gulf Coast Region:
Falcon Loop:  West of Roma; Chapeno, Falcon Heights, Falcon Reservoir
Rio Bravo Loop:Fronton, Roma, Rio Grande City, Garciasville, area west of Los Ebanos
Texas Birds 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) 584-2734.
 
Guided Walking Tours:
Guided walking tours which include the courtyard and interpretive overlook, are available December through March. Tours at the Lower Rio Grande Valley National Wildlife Salineno tract are available from January through March, and include the walks along the river (if the fence is not up), and the walks at Roma Bluffs. Call in advance for information. Volunteers are available to assist those taking self-guided tours. (956) 849-4930.
 
Trails and Nature Viewing:
The interpretive overlook deck offers great bird viewing, as does the courtyard. Trails meander through the three acres. A brick stairway leads down to a riverside trail that connects with the adjacent U.S. Fish and Wildlife preserves. Trails are also located at the Lower Rio Grande Valley National Wildlife Salineno tract located off of U.S. 83 before the Falcon Dam turn. Volunteers will direct you to these sites.
 
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
 
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
 
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