The Land: Constructed layer on layer by centuries of Rio Grande floods, the land at Bensten-RGV State Park is rich and fertile, shaded by cedar elm, sugar hackberry, Rio Grande ash, Texas ebony and Anaqua. As a remnant of the once heavily wooded Lower Rio Grande Valley, Bentsen is especially valuable. Re-creating the periodic flooding that built and nourished this land in past centuries is a major goal of the World Birding Center.
The Birds: As one of the larger tracts of Rio Grande floodplain forest remaining in this area, Bentsen is a magnet for the “Valley specialties” that make this park famous. Green Jays and Plain Chachalacas congregate regularly at feeding stations within the park. Other neo-tropical varieties such as Ferruginous Pygmy-owl and Northern Beardless-Tyrannulet are also likely. Virtual clouds of migrating Swainson’s and Broad-winged Hawks are a popular spring and fall spectacle.