Subtropical habitats along the lower Rio Grande are like a part of Mexico north of the border and the northernmost extension of the Tamaulipan Biotic Province. The bird life of South Texas is thus characteristic of northeastern Mexico, and within the United States many resident species and Mexican vagrants are known only from South Texas. For this reason, South Texas has long been a "must" for every North American birder!
We offer our South Texas Rarities tours in mid-winter, the season most likely to produce unpredictable vagrants to spice up the already extremely rich resident avifauna, and we can never be sure what species may turn up next. One past season brought a scattering of Masked Ducks and Northern Jacanas; others a fresh supply of one or more species never before recorded north of the Mexican border (one year yielded North America's first Masked Tityra, White-throated Thrush, and Yellow-faced Grassquit!). In fact, during the past 20 years or so an average of one species per year new to the ABA Area list has been added from the region.
Supplement the vagrants and rarities with large numbers of wintering waterfowl, sparrows, warblers, raptors, and coastal birds present and you have a winter birding adventure of major proportions! During six days of birding along the lower Rio Grande, we'll look for all the specialties for which South Texas is famous, from such common birds as the striking Great Kiskadee to outstanding rarities like the Hook-billed Kite.
Resident species include Least Grebe, Neotropic Cormorant, White-tailed Kite, White-tailed and Harris's hawks, Crested Caracara, Plain Chachalaca, Ringed and Green kingfishers, Buff-bellied Hummingbird, Golden-fronted Woodpecker, Northern Beardless-Tyrannulet, Green Jay, Clay-colored Thrush, Long-billed Thrasher, Tropical Parula, Olive Sparrow, Morelet's Seedeater, and Altamira and Audubon's orioles. In past years, rarities have included Roadside, Short-tailed, and Crane hawks, Green-breasted Mango, Green Violet-ear, Golden-crowned Warbler, Gray-crowned Yellowthroat, Crimson-collared Grosbeak, and Blue Bunting.
Select the KEY INFO tab or click here for our itinerary plus space requests, status, fees, limits, and guides for any departure.
Other Tours in USAALASKA
ALASKA FALL GOLDMINE: Rarities on the Pribilofs & Ross's Gulls in Barrow
ALASKA: NO PLACE LIKE NOME
ARIZONA NIGHTBIRDS & MORE
ARIZONA WINTER SPECIALTIES
ARIZONA'S SECOND SPRING
ARIZONA: BIRDING THE BORDER
FALL FOR CAPE MAY
FLORIDA: Mangroves & Migrants
LOUISIANA: YELLOW RAILS & CRAWFISH TAILS
MAINE IN FALL: Seabirds & Coastal Migrants
MICHIGAN: GREAT LAKES GRANDEUR
NEW MEXICO: Birding the Land of Enchantment
NORTHERN ARIZONA'S CANYONS & CONDOR
OREGON: From the Coast to the Cascades
PENNSYLVANIA'S WARBLERS & MORE: From Cerulean Warbler to Henslow's Sparrow
SLICE OF CALIFORNIA: Seabirds to Sierra
SPRING IN CAPE MAY
SPRING IN SOUTH TEXAS
TEXAS COAST MIGRATION SPECTACLE
TEXAS'S BIG BEND & HILL COUNTRY
ITINERARIES • TOUR STATUS • DETAILS • SPACE REQUESTSITINERARIES • We issue a separate itinerary for each year, typically at least 9 months before that year's first departure. Most itineraries don't vary much year to year, but there may be small or rarely more substantive changes. A sample previous-year itinerary is usually available even if the one for your chosen departure is not. We do not require any deposit for provisional bookings until the itinerary for the departure is ready.
- 2020 sample (PDF)
- 2022 (PDF expected Apr 2021)
DEPARTURES • We have 1 departures currently scheduled through 2022, with details including limits, guides, fees, and space available listed below.
Jan 15-21, 2022
Tour Manager: TBA
Tour Limit: 7
Status: Open - Space is still available on this tour, and we are accepting provisional bookings. No deposit is required until you receive the itinerary. Click below to book space.
Tour Fee: Fee TBD
REQUEST SPACE OR MORE INFO
Enjoy looking through the 8 most recent Field Guides triplists for this tour linked below!