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Sabal Palm Audubon Center

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Sabal Palm Audubon Center and Sanctuary
Sabal Palm Audubon Center and Sanctuary

United States, Texas



Sabal Palm re-opened on January 3, 2011. This was made possible with help from the Gorgas Science Foundation of Brownsville, which is now partnered with Audubon Texas.

[edit] Overview

Cradled in a bend of the Rio Grande along the U.S./Mexico border, the Sabal Palm Audubon Center and Sanctuary harbors one of the most beautiful and critical ecosystems of South Texas and Northern Mexico.

Sabal Palms once grew profusely along the edge of the Rio Grande in small stands or groves extending about 80 miles upstream from the Gulf of Mexico. Today, only a small portion of that forest remains, protected on 527 acres of this Audubon sanctuary.

For birders and nature-lovers, no visit to South Texas is complete without a stop at Sabal Palm. The sanctuary is home to many native species of plants and animals which reach the northernmost limit of their Mexican range here and do not occur elsewhere in the U.S.

[edit] Birds

Sabal Palm Audubon Center and Sanctuary
Sabal Palm Audubon Center and Sanctuary

[edit] Notable Species

At the wildlife viewing area, migrating warblers stop to rest, while Green Jays, Plain Chachalacas, Olive Sparrows, Long-billed Thrashers, Altamira Orioles and Buff-bellied Hummingbirds feed nearby. Groove-billed Ani can usually be seen here, too.

Look for Least Grebes, Green Kingfisher, and Black-bellied Whistling-Duck at the resaca and at dusk, Great Horned Owls along the forest trail.

[edit] Rarities

"to do"

[edit] Check-list

Birds you can see here include:

"to do"

[edit] Other Wildlife

The endangered Jaguarundi, rarely seen, is believed to reside on the sanctuary. Other mammals present include Bobcat and Armadillo.

The resaca is home to such snakes as the beautiful turquoise and black Speckled Racer Snake and Texas Indigo Snake.

[edit] Site Information

[edit] History and Use

"to do"

[edit] Areas of Interest

Three trails leave from shortly beyond the Center door. These are the Forest Trail (0.6 mile), the Native Trail (0.4 mile) and Resaca Loop Trail (1 mile). From the Native Trail you can go onto the Via del Rio Trail, and from the Forest Trail you can cross the Resaca on the Vireo Lane to meet up with the Resaca Loop Trail.

These passageways invite you to explore the spectacular mature Sabal Palm and Texas Ebony jungle as well as a young forest of native plants growing on the banks of the Rio Grande and the trees and plants on the old riverbed.

These are self-guided tours; Trail maps are located at strategic points to guide you along the trails. New trail additions that are planned include the Grassland Trail and the Seedling Trail.

[edit] Access and Facilities

  • The Sanctuary is open 7 days a week from 7:00 am to 5:00 pm.
  • Sanctuary may be closed during inclement weather
  • No pets allowed
  • Individual admission is $5.00 per person

[edit] Contact Details

[edit] External Links

Content and images originally posted by Gaga

[edit] Reviews

IanMcG's review With just a short visit of a couple hours or so here in April of 2003, we managed to see some excellent birds, e.g. Buff-bellied Hummingbird, Solitary Sandpiper, Great Kiskadee, Couch's Kingbird, Olive Sparrow, Plain Chachalaca, Altamira Oriole, White-tipped Dove. In November of 2000 we had several Least Grebes here. An impressive little visitor centre, very informative, great T-shirts! Routes easy to follow, could have spent twice as long. Very welcoming at the centre also. Thoroughly recommended.


  • Smallish area
  • easy to cover
  • great birds.


  • None

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