Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park
Things to Do
As part of the World Birding Center, Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park is a world-class destination for bird-watching. The Rio Grande Valley hosts one of the most spectacular convergences of birds on earth with more than 525 species documented in this unique place. Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park alone has an impressive list of 358 species recorded within the park’s boundaries. Birders have a chance to see migratory birds during their yearly migrations over the valley including flocks of thousands of hawks from the park’s Hawk Tower in the spring and fall. Some birders travel to the Bentsen to see bird species they can’t find anyplace else in the country--from the Green Jay and the Buff-bellied Hummingbird to the Great Kiskadee and the Altamira Oriole.
The visitor center has a bilingual (English/Spanish) exhibit hall, gift shop, meeting room and administrative offices--all surrounded by butterfly gardens and hummingbird feeders. Visitors can take our tram shuttle, ride bikes or walk through the park. A two-story high Hawk Observation Tower with a 210-foot-long wheelchair-accessible ramp gives visitors a bird’s-eye view of the canopy as well as a peek into Mexico. Two enclosed bird blinds and a birding wall allow visitors to see birds up close and watch their behaviors. Over eight miles of trails with bird feeding stations and water features offer a variety of opportunities to encounter wildlife inside the park.
Bird and nature walks are a great opportunity for visitors to meet the wildlife in the park. Other guided tours feature butterflies, dragonflies, and creatures of the night, as well as programs for teachers, students and young naturalists. During the summer months the park has "Beak the heat" birding programs that take place in an air-conditioned room. Regularly scheduled programs are free with park admission.
- Check our Events page for upcoming programs and workshops.
- Borrow a Junior Ranger Explorer Pack for the kids in your group!
- Contact the park to set up a special tour or program for your group. School field trips and special programs are available upon request (fees may apply).
- Learn about our Field Trip Opportunities.
The Texas State Park Store "Algunas Plumas" offers a variety of camping supplies, outdoor equipment, field guides, gifts and food items. The store also rents the following equipment for use at the park:
- Bicycles: regular, children's and trikes - $5 to $12 per day
- Binoculars: $3 per day
The World Birding Center is based on a joint partnership between the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Rio Grande Valley communities, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. It consists of a network of nine distinctly different birding sites, set along a 120-mile historic river road--each sponsored by one of the Valley’s nine partner communities.