South Texas is one of the best birding destinations in North America. Laredo is no exception thanks to its stunning location on the banks of the Rio Grande River and its many lush trails where dozens of species of birds call home.

Laredo is a top destination for birders from around the country thanks to its ideal environment and climate that make birding great year-round. Of course, Laredo certainly has a peak birding season and that is January through February when over 240 species of resident and migratory birds can be found in the area. During this time, the town holds its annual Laredo Birding Festival, which welcomes professional and amateur birders from around the United States and abroad.

During the festival, birders share their hobby and enjoy a variety of seminars to learn more about birding and perfect their craft. There are also a variety of excursions where birders can spot and photograph some of the most beautiful birds in the country. Some of the birds spotted during these outings include the White-collared Seedeater, Clay-colored Thrush, Muscovy Duck, Red-billed Pigeon, Gray Hawk, Scaled Quail, and Audubon’s and Altamira Orioles.

For those who can’t make it to the annual Laredo Birding Festival, there’s no need to worry since Laredo welcomes birders all year long thanks to its rich and diverse eco-system that offers plenty to see. With some research and local input, visiting birders can spot plenty of birds on their own like the green parakeets that hang out in the old chapel on St. Peter’s Square or the Orioles and Kingfishers on the Zacate Creek Trails. In fact, the Zacate Creek Trail is the only location in the United States where four Kingfisher species have been spotted—Ringed, Belted, Green, and Amazon!

Laredo’s many other trails also offer plenty to see. Lake Casa Blanca International State Park is home to Green Jays, native Sparrows, and migrating Warblers. The Las Palmas Trail is home to Clay-colored Robins, White-Tipped Doves, and Green Jays. White-collared Seedeaters have been spotted at North Central Park and along Ranchito Road. San Ygnacio Road is another great stop with sightings of the Groove-billed Anis, Black-throated, Lark, and Olive Sparrows, Painted Buntings, and Orioles as well as flocks of Roadrunners and Quail.

What are you waiting for? Grab your binoculars, your camera, and hiking shoes and set out to enjoy some of Laredo’s most beautiful residents!