Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge is known worldwide for its bird watching opportunities. Not only does the refuge have unique birds only found in the U.S. in south Texas, but bird come here from the north to winter and others stop in to rest and refuel on their long migrations in the spring and fall.
In fact, more types of birds have been recorded here than any other national wildlife refuge in the nation.
The best time to see many birds here is November through February.
Over 85 percent of the North American population of redhead ducks come to spend the winter on the lower Laguna Madre. It’s an amazing sight to see birds on the fresh or salt water as far as the eye can see.
The refuge offers viewing areas near the visitor center, or visitors can drive to the freshwater lake and look out over the 3,000 acre lake.
To get to some of the birding hotspots further out on the refuge we offer Bird Tours in our bus. Starting Nov. 19, bird tours will be offered Thurs-days, Fridays and Saturdays from 8:30 – 12:30.
Call the refuge for information and to make a reservation at 956-748-3607 ext 111.
With over 60 miles of trails at the refuge, bicycling has become a popular activity. If you prefer a paved trail, the 15 mile Bayside Loop offers scenic views of prairie and the Laguna Madre shoreline.
A long the way there is a shoreline boardwalk and a raised overlook with a 360 degree view.
For the more adventurous, there are many miles of dirt and gravel trails where you can get away from it all.
Visitors often see bobcats, coyotes, and a variety of birds along the trails, and alligators in the freshwater. There’s even a chance of seeing the elusive ocelot, one of the nation’s most endangered wild cats.
A great way to learn about the wildlife and habitats of the area is by going on a Habitat Tour.
This 3 hour excursion takes visitors through the thornscrub forest, coastal prairie, freshwater wetlands and along the edge of the saltwater Laguna Madre.
A guide will interpret the habitats, the history and inform you about the wildlife of the area. Habitat Tours will begin in December on our shuttle bus, and January through March will be on the open-air tram.
Check the refuge’s website www.fws.gov/refuge/Laguna_Atascosa or call for more information.