The Rio Grande Valley's Nature Site

Photos of Edinburg Scenic Wetlands-World Birding Center

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Initial view of the Edinburg Scenic Wetlands-World Birding Center Headquarters as you walk uphill from the parking lot.  Take your time on this walk, and you will see hummingbirds, lizards, numerous butterflies, and lots of other birds.


An absolutely beautiful, all glass Headquarters, seen as you face west.


Substantial plantings of LRGV native plants, to attract both birds and butterflies, are found all over the Edinburg Scenic Wetlands-WBC. 


The air-conditioned, glass building is a comfortable place to watch the birds and butterflies before and after your walking the many trails found throughout Edinburg Wetlands.  Scopes are set up inside the building for birders to use.


At over 25 feet tall, this has to be the largest and most photographed Great Blue Heron in Texas, if not the world.  Heck, it is a World Birding Center site.


Just a few of the computer desks students can use.  Interpretive stations are found along the sides of the glass walls, where you can read about the birds you are seeing and hear the sounds they make.  Besides computers, and interpretive displays, the building contains offices, a gift shop, classrooms, meeting rooms, and aquariums.  The Wetlands Center's naturalists teach thousands of students at this WBC site, each year.  Edinburg Scenic Wetlands-WBC offers a vast variety of programs for the public and particularly the citizens of the City of Edinburg, which built this site.  Edinburg is the county seat of Hidalgo Co., and the home of the University of Texas-Pan American.


This deck, just outside the east side of the Headquarters, is used for students to learn about water quality.  Snakes, frogs, turtles and fish can be seen here.  Great Kiskadees lurk around, hoping to snatch a minnow or dragonfly.  Many dragonflies have been found here.  How about a Blue-faced Darner?


Walk north from the deck to the large pond and you will find many waders and kingfishers.


Looking south, back towards the deck.  Be sure to check all around the trees for birds.  This is a great spot to look for Neotropical migrants.


The observation deck is directly north of the Headquarters building.  Get out the scopes (notice you have a shade-cover, overhead...nice touch, thanks!) and scan for waders, Crested Caracara, Green and Ringed Kingfishers, and White Pelicans.


Your view looking towards the east (right) from the deck.  All the water at the Scenic Wetlands comes from city-treated effluent: rich in nutrients and bait fish, thus loads of waders and shorebirds.


Your view, looking directly north from the observation deck.  The pond is huge, and the birding is great.


Your view looking left (west) from the observation deck.  Check out all the many species of ducks that are found here.


Begin your walk from the observation deck by heading west on the nature trail. There are many, many nature trails at Edinburg Scenic Wetlands-WBC, and they all lead back to an air-conditioned building with some of the coldest water fountains in the Rio Grande Valley.


"Two roads diverged upon a wood"...Robert Frost.  Take one, the birds are always here.


As you walk towards the bridge from the observation deck, keep checking the large pond on your right.  When you get on the middle of the bridge, look to your left (south) into the fresh water pond for ducks, kingfishers, moorhens, and the many flycatcher species that can be found along the sides of the pond.


Your view back towards the large pond.


After crossing the bridge and turning left, take advantage of the benches and sit and scan for birds.  Fresh-water wetlands are the rarest habitat in the state of Texas.  Edinburg Scenic Wetlands-WBC is made special by all these man-made wetlands that aid in purifying the final outflows of the city's effluent treatment facilities.  In case you are wondering, NO there is no odor.


The trail going back to the entrance road and bordering the west side of the long pond.  Go slowly because you can see many species of Valley specialty birds on this walk.


Water in ponds is scarce in the Lower Rio Grande Valley.  Where there are ponds, there are birds.  Keep looking around the edges of the pond as you head south on the trail.


When you reach the road, look back (north) into the long pond you just walked beside.  This is an excellent spot to search for both Green and Ringed Kingfishers.


Downhill and to your right (west) at the trail's intersection with the entrance road is a Community Garden.  This is a very successful and highly popular project of Wetlands Center, where Edinburg citizens can come and grow their own vegetables.


After crossing the entrance road and looking back towards the parking lot.  Continue onto the trails on the southwest side of the Edinburg Scenic Wetlands-WBC, which is adjacent to a large city park.  Birding is good all around the park, but the west side trail, south of the WBC, is one of your best walks for birds and butterflies.


Prickly-pear and Honey Mesquite, Honey Mesquite and Prickly-pear,Prickly....actually, one of the fantastic things about the Wetlands Center is the great diversity of native plant life.  When Edinburg Scenic Wetlands-WBC was created a few years ago, designers pretty much started with a "blank slate".  Careful planning went into choosing the NATIVE trees, shrubs, and flowers that are found throughout the WBC site.  It seldom freezes in this part of the Lower Rio Grande Valley, so plants generally have a full year of sun, warmth and growing conditions.


After walking the trail to the south and coming up on the observation deck, take a break on the shady benches before going to walk out onto a great shorebird overlook.  You have to like Black-bellied Whistling Ducks, because there are always hundreds at this site.


Looking to your left (south) into another vast, fresh-water pond.  Check for ducks, waders, flycatchers, and kingfishers.


Facing west and looking out on the huge pond.  If the water level is low, this is a very good place to look for shorebirds.  Only Estero Llano Grande State Park-WBC and Edinburg Scenic Wetlands-WBC offer shorebirding opportunities to birders at our inland WBC sites.


Facing right (north).  Again, search the water, the mud-flats, and the trees for the many species of birds that can be found here.  After you go back towards the north, stop back at the Headquarters for a cool break.