The area around the Rio Grande Valley in south Texas is known as one of the best birding areas in the United States. Sitting in the midst of the Rio Grande Valley is the 2,088 acre Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge. Santa Ana was formed in 1943 to protect habitat for migrating birds. The refuge has perhaps the most biodiversity of any area in North America with a bird list of about 400 species and a butterfly list half the species in North America.
There are numerous species of birds that are not found any where else in the United States then in the Rio Grande Valley. For most it is the most northern portion of their range. This adds to the spectacular birding opportunities that can be found at Santa Ana. Birds like the Fulvous whistling duck, top photo, and the golden fronted woodpecker, above, can often be seen on the refuge. Other species rare species that you might get a look at are hook-billed kites, groove-billed ani and the colorful green jay.
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