South Texas in Winter 2024
Whooping Cranes and The Lower Rio Grande Valley
February 17 – 25, 2024
Tour Length: 9 days
Est. Spaces Left: Spaces available!
Birds, Photography, Butterflies/Moths
Double Accommodation: $3,500/person
Single Supplement: + $600
Max Group Size
14 (2 leaders)
Easy, short hikes, moderate drives
In addition to the endangered Whooping Crane, we will see many South Texas specialties such as Plain Chachalaca, Least Grebe, White-tipped Dove, Common Pauraque, Buff-bellied Hummingbird, White-tailed and Gray Hawks, Ringed and Green Kingfishers, Golden-fronted Woodpecker, Red-crowned Parrot, Green Parakeet, Great Kiskadee, Tropical and Couch’s Kingbirds, Green Jay, Black-crested Titmouse, Cave Swallow, Long-billed Thrasher, Clay-colored Thrush, Olive Sparrow, and Altamira and Audubon’s Orioles. Other regional specialties that can be more challenging, but are still quite possible, include Red-billed Pigeon, Hook-billed Kite, Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl, Aplomado Falcon, Tropical Parula, and Morrelet’s Seedeater. In addition to this long list of regular South Texas birds, one or more rarities from “south of the border” are typically present during the winter months. Examples from recent tours have included Bat Falcon, Social Flycatcher, Fork-tailed Flycatcher, Rose-throated Becard, Golden-crowned Warbler, Crimson-collared Grosbeak, and Blue Bunting. We will have plenty of time to explore the unique tropical flora, abundance of butterflies, and a few mammals of the region.
Whooping Crane; Roseate Spoonbill; Mottled Duck; Plain Chachalaca; Least Grebe; White-tipped Dove; Buff-bellied Hummingbird; Ringed & Green Kingfishers; Hook-billed Kite; Gray, White-tailed & Harris’s Hawks; Great Kiskadee; Tropical & Couch’s Kingbirds; Scissor-tailed Flycatcher; Green Jay; Clay-colored Thrush; Long-billed Thrasher; Olive Sparrow; Altamira & Audubon’s Orioles; Morrelet’s Seedeater; many shorebirds, wintering sparrows and waterfowl; rare vagrants during past tours have included Bat Falcon; Social Flycatcher; Fork-tailed Flycatcher; Golden-crowned Warbler; Rose-throated Becard; Blue Bunting; Crimson-collared Grosbeak
Bobcat; Collared Peccary; Coyote
Sub-tropical, seaside, coastal prairie, oak woodland, riparian, desert
Culture, rare subtropical habitats, butterflies
Planning for the Trip
Corpus Christi International Airport (CRP) at 4:00 PM, and the tour ends in Laredo at the Laredo International Airport (LRD) at 12:00 PM
Comfortable hotels & excellent, local Texas restaurants.
From Corpus Christi includes eight nights of lodging, all meals, transportation, entry fees, guides, taxes, a half-day boat tour at Aransas National Wildlife Refuge, and a full-day King Ranch tour.
Alcohol, personal calls, laundry, and other personal expenses.
Warm to hot and possibly humid, 60 – 95 degrees Fahrenheit. On rare occasions, a cold front reaches the Rio Grande Valley and it is a good idea to bring at least one set of warm layers.
Suggested Clothing and Gear
Credit cards/cash; Binoculars; Scope and tripod (optional); Sunglasses and sunscreen; Extra eyeglasses or contact lenses; Water bottle; Small umbrella; Small day pack/fanny pack; Small flashlight; Mosquito/insect repellant (DEET 25% or greater); Itch relief cream; Lip screen/balm; Prescription drugs – carry in original packaging to avoid customs problems; OTC medicines (antibiotics, cold/sinus, cough drops, eye drops, analgesic (Motrin, aspirin), anti-diarrheal); Toiletries; Hair Dryer; Small alarm clock; Field guides; Hiking Boots/Shoes; Lightweight shoes/sneakers/sandals; Light-weight long pants; Light-weight long-sleeved shirts; Hat with brim/visor; Safari (e.g., Tilly) hat; Rain jacket/windbreaker; Shorts; T-shirts; Swimsuit; PJs or shorts for lounging/sleeping; Wool socks (various weights) and liners.