Birder Heaven: Sabal Palms Sanctuary

sabalpalms-brownsville-tx_lah_4301I was a woman with a mission. On our previous trip to southern Texas (five years ago) I had added the Ringed Kingfisher to my life list, but the Green Kingfisher eluded me. In the following years, I’d hiked miles of southern Arizona, following tips from local birders, but still—no Green Kingfisher. Now that we were back in Texas, I was determined to not only see one, but photograph it as well.

With that goal in mind, we headed to Audubon’s Sabal Palms sanctuary. Situated near the mouth of the Rio Grande, mere yards from the border, this sanctuary protects one of the few remaining groves of sabal palms and the associated habitat. Plenty of trails lead through the thick undergrowth, and you can walk out to the edge of the river and gaze across at Mexico.