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Allen Williams' Backyard - Birding Hotspot - US, Texas, Hidalgo, Pharr - Aviatlas

AVIATLAS BIRDING HOTSPOT


Allen Williams' Backyard

US, Texas, Hidalgo, Pharr

Lon. -98.19587, Lat. 26.18961, Alt. 138 ft

Description:

Allen Williams turned his yard in the Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas into a bird sanctuary that has attracted spectacular birds, including Blue Mockingbird, Slate-throated Redstart, Crimson-collared Grosbeak, and the first Black-headed Nightingale-Thrush in the United States.

Hours: Sunrise to sunset, every day from October through May. During the off-season, call ahead to make sure the sanctuary is open.

Parking: Street Parking is available in a designated area that parallels Sam Houston Street. Do not park in the driveway. Tour groups and buses can be accommodated, but please call ahead.

Hours: Sunrise to sunset, every day from October through May. During the off-season, call ahead to make sure the sanctuary is open.

Parking: Street Parking is available in a designated area that parallels Sam Houston Street. Do not park in the driveway. Tour groups and buses can be accommodated, but please call ahead.

Donation: $10

Habitat:

Target Birds:

During spring and fall migration, Baltimore and Orchard Orioles, Scarlet and Summer Tanagers, Ovenbirds, and Black-and-White and Magnolia Warblers. The rare Blue Mockingbird, ubiquitous Northern Mockingbirds, Long-billed and Curve-billed Thrashers, and Gray Catbirds feast on the juicy berries of brush-holly.

Specialty birds of the Williams Sanctuary
Black-bellied Whistling-Duck
Plain Chachalaca
Harris's Hawk
White-tailed Hawk
White-winged Dove
Inca Dove
White-tipped Dove
Green Parakeet
Red-crowned Parrot
Greater Roadrunner
Groove-billed Ani
Common Pauraque
Buff-bellied Hummingbird
Golden-fronted Woodpecker
Ladder-backed Woodpecker
Vermillion Flycatcher
Ash-throated Flycatcher
Brown-crested Flycatcher
Great Kiskadee
Tropical Kingbird
Couch's Kingbird
Rose-throated Becard
Loggerhead Shrike
Green Jay
Black-crested Titmouse
Black-headed Nightingale-Thrush
Clay-colored Robin
Long-billed Thrasher
Blue Mockingbird
Slate-throated Redstart
Hepatic Tanager
Olive Sparrow
Crimson-collared Grosbeak
Pyrrhuloxia
Blue Bunting
Blue Grosbeak
Painted Bunting
Great-tailed Grackle
Hooded Oriole
Altamira Oriole

When To Go:

All seasons.

Amenities:

Getting There:

The Williams Wildlife Sanctuary welcomes birders and butterflywatchers. It is located at 750 W. Sam Houston Street in Pharr, Texas, (956) 460-9864.

To find it from Pharr, exit U.S. Highway 83 at Jackson Road. Drive south on Jackson a quarter mile to West Sam Houston Street. Turn left (east). The Williams Wildlife Sanctuary is on the north side of the road, half a mile from the intersection. Look for a green and white sign near the parking area.

Tips:

It is about as close to Mexico as you can get while still residing in the United States. Pharr is a suburb of McAllen, host of the annual Texas Tropics Nature Festival and a city that has long served as base camp for birders' explorations of hotspots in the Lower Rio Grande Valley. Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park, the only place in the U.S. where the super-rare Stygian Owl has been spotted, is 14 miles to the southwest. Two-thousand-acre Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge sprawls a mere 10 miles to the southeast. And thel thicket maintained by the Frontera Audubon Society in Weslaco, where not one, but three rarities turned up last winter - Elegant Trogon, White-throated Robin, and Crimson-collared Grosbeak - lies 17 miles east.

Recommended Reading:

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