The Big Bend is a land of desert grandeur, of dramatic limestone canyons carved by the Rio Grande, of hidden springs and waterfalls, and of igneous mountains looming to 7800 feet. The Chisos Mountains, southernmost mountains in the US, are entirely contained within the 800,000-acre Big Bend National Park. To the birder they are best known as the only regular US breeding locality of the Colima Warbler, an essentially Mexican species at home in the wooded upper canyons of the Chisos.
But Big Bend National Park supports a diversity of additional habitats, ranging from floodplain thickets and dry arroyos to Sotol grassland and open slopes of pinyon, juniper, and oak. Almost 450 species of birds have been recorded in the park, more than for any other national park. Regular specialties include Common Black Hawk, Zone-tailed Hawk, Lucifer Hummingbird, Gray Vireo, and Varied Bunting. The Chisos Mountains and the desert oases also support such regular migrants as Dusky Flycatcher, Townsend's Warbler, and Western Tanager as well as serving as "traps" for Mexican vagrants. One never knows what surprises are in store at this time of year.
In addition, we'll visit the volcanic Davis Mountains in pursuit of Montezuma Quail, check Lake Balmorhea for migrant waterbirds, and then head for the Edwards Plateau for three nights at a lodge with prospects of singing Yellow-throated Warblers and a Green Kingfisher over the river in the backyard. We'll also seek the endangered Hill Country breeders, Golden-cheeked Warbler and Black-capped Vireo, and watch the emergence of more than a million bats from North America's fourth-largest bat cave.
Download an itinerary, triplist(s), request space, and see more about this tour...
If you would like a longer birding holiday, some departures of this tour may be combined with:
TEXAS COAST MIGRATION SPECTACLE