Alerts . . .

Nature

The Land

Water is the magic ingredient for attracting wildlife, and Estero Llano Grande State Park offers something special as the largest wetlands environment in the World Birding Center network. A shallow lake, fringed with marsh cane, is actually part of the Arroyo Colorado. Classic Rio Grande woodlands add variety to the park. As part of extensive restoration plans, a former agricultural field has been transformed into wetlands, with an island just right for a secure nesting site.

The Birds

Estero Llano Grande has a well-deserved reputation as a can’t-miss birding destination. In late summer, when water is at a premium, hundreds of waders and shorebirds flock here, including the endangered Wood Stork, along with colorful coastal species like the Roseate Spoonbill and Ibis. Migrating waterfowl also make a beeline for the park’s narrow, shallow lake. Elsewhere, woodland and thorn scrub harbor all the must-see Valley specialties such as the Groove-billed Ani and Altamira Oriole. Adding spice to this mix, visitors may even spot rare Red-crowned Parrots and Green Parakeets.