This observation platform is an ideal spot for area visitors to watch migrating shore birds in one of the most popular birding sites in North America. Visitors can see a variety of birds including osprey, Broadwing Hawk, Northern Harrier and Peregrine Falcon as well as spot South Texas specialties such as Green Kingfisher and Least Grebe. Spring warblers are abundant, with more than 35 species, including Golden-winged, Magnolia, Northern, Palm and Tropical Parula warblers, American Redstart and Yellow-breasted Chat.
"I suspect that over the coming years, there will be more life birds checked off on that deck than anywhere else on the refuge, or just about any other single spot in the country for that matter."
- Jeff Howland, Manager, Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge
$25,000 plus $25,000 in local matching funds.
This refuge is home to nearly 400 types of birds and many other species including the Indigo snake, Malachite butterfly and the endangered ocelot.
Say “Hola” to Mexico’s birds in Texas
Peering out of the windows at the Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge observation blind is like tuning into an IMAX movie just for birders. In front of the blind a Least Grebe surfaces silently, rising from the water like a submarine, its golden eyes glowing in the morning light. Overhead, a flock of Black-bellied Whistling Ducks announce their arrival with high-pitched calls. Lucky birders may spy three species of kingfishers in a morning: tiny Green’s, the common Belted’s, and their super-sized cousins the Ringed. It’s a taste of the Mexican tropics, right here in Texas. And, this real-life movie has been made possible with the help of Wild Birds Unlimited stores and their customers.
A $25,000 grant from the Pathways To Nature® Conservation Fund helped staff at the Santa Ana Refuge rebuild the popular observation blind that perches at the edge of water near the visitor’s center. The blind is a highlight for the tens of thousands of visitors who flock to this 2,088 acre Refuge that hugs the bank of the Rio Grande River.
Established in 1942 to protect the now rare thorn forest habitat, Santa Ana is a birder’s paradise. Nearly 400 species have been recorded here, including many Mexican specialties. Visitors can hike more than 12 miles of trails, bike or drive the seven mile long wildlife drive, or take an interpretive tram to learn more about the area’s fascinating history and ecology. Keep your eyes open, as this is one of the few places in the United States where you might catch a glimpse of ocelots or jaguarundi.
The Santa Ana Refuge observation blind is one more way that Wild Birds Unlimited is helping bring people and nature together, with a Tex-Mex flair!
For more information on Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge, visit http://southwest.fws.gov/refuges/texas/santana.html.
The Pathways To Nature Conservation Fund is a partnership between Wild Birds Unlimited stores and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to fund environmental education and wildlife viewing projects. We encourage all of our customers to visit these incredible places. Your patronage helped make these projects possible!