Texas: Whooping Cranes and Rio Grande February 2022

Limosa’s winter birding tour to Texas begins by looking for one of North America’s rarest and most spectacular birds, the endangered Whooping Crane. Around 300 'Whoopers' - more than half the wild population - spend the winter at Aransas and after targeting this magnificent species, we swing South towards the Mexican border to sample the avian riches of the famous Rio Grande Valley.


Like a corner of Mexico planted in the USA, this amazing region is home to a range of species that are found nowhere else in North America. Around 40 essentially Mexican species are regularly found along the Rio Grande Valley, where exotic residents include Plain Chachalaca, Neotropic Cormorant, Least Grebe, White-tailed, Grey and Harris’s Hawks, Buff-bellied Hummingbird, Golden-fronted Woodpecker, Green Jay, Great Kiskadee and the rare Audubon’s Oriole. As a bonus, this corner of Texas also straddles the faunal divide between Eastern and Western North America, adding chances of seeing birds such as Cinnamon Teal, Greater Roadrunner, Vermilion Flycatcher, Cactus Wren, Black-throated Sparrow and Pyrrhuloxia for a real taste of “Western” North American birding.


Our carefully planned itinerary allows time to visit the key reserves and to make the most of the region’s exceptionally rich and varied birdlife. We will visit a wide variety of habitats from the wetlands of Aransas (which has one of the highest bird lists of any park in the US) to the dry, thorn scrub around Salineño where we hope to find Greater Roadrunner, Curve-billed Thrasher and Verdin amongst a host of special species.

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