Trip Ideas

P1160214

West Texas Birding

More than just a hobby, birding connects you with nature in a fun, inexpensive and educational way. Home to over 200 species of birds, El Paso is a prime place to spot something soaring in the air or perched on top of sotol or yucca stalk!

Franklin Mountains State Park
Franklin Mountains State Park
1331 McKelligon Canyon Rd.
915-566-6441 

The Franklin Mountains are the perfect place for bird watching as birds are migrating through the desert into the mountains of the Southwest. A bird blind is located about a mile inside the Westside entrance to the Franklin Mountain State Park. Enjoy watching and remain unseen inside the insulated blind. Log feeders and a spring are within feet to draw the birds and squirrels for your enjoyment

Hueco Tanks State Historic Site
Hueco Tanks State Historic Site
6900 Hueco Tanks Road No. 1
915-857-1135 

This Park is perfect to watch El Paso area birds. On your way to the park keep an eye out for the Golden Eagle! It is home to many year round birds such as the Ladderbacked Woodpecker, White -throated Swift, Scaled Quail, Canyon Wren, Canyon Towhee, and Black-throated Sparrows. During the summer, Black-chinned Hummingbirds, Ash-throated Flycatchers, and Cliff Swallows can be seen in the skies. As winter approaches, Brewer’s sparrows can be seen. Winter is one of the perfect times to come to the park; you may have the opportunity of seeing some very rare birds. You can also get the chance to see the Green-tailed and the Rufous-sided Towhees. The trip to this park will be well worth it for bird enthusiasts.

Rio Bosque Wetlands Park
Rio Bosque Wetlands Park
10716 Socorro Rd
915-747-8663 

Rio Bosque is a 372-acre city park, managed by the Center for Environmental Resource Management of the University of Texas at El Paso, which began restoration efforts in 1998. Before it was confined within levees in the 1930’s, in the fall and winter, water would flow through the park along the route of the Rio Grande River. In the winter, ducks inhabit and migrate in the park. Many animals and birds have returned to the area as the restoration proceeds, and over 200 species of birds have been sighted. White-tailed Kites and Harris’s Hawks are frequent visitors’ to the park. Currently, two pairs of Kites are also visiting the park. Burrowing Owls are starting to be seen peeking from their burrowing entrances during the afternoons.

Featherlake Wildlife Sanctuary
Featherlake Wildlife Sanctuary
9500 North Loop Dr.
915-747-8663 
 

Feather Lake is a 43.5-acre wildlife sanctuary based on a 40-acre wetland built by the City of El Paso in 1969 as a stormwater-retention basin. Since 1976, the El Paso/Trans-Pecos Audubon Society has maintained the wildlife sanctuary. There have been 219 different species of birds observed, especially those associated with water. Feather Lake’s water sources are irregular; the lake is sometimes dry. During the spring, many White-faced Ibis’s come to the sanctuary. In the fall, crowds of Yellow-headed Blackbirds can be seen. In the winter, this park is also inhabited with ducks.

Keystone Heritage & Desert Botanical Park
Keystone Heritage & Desert Botanical Park
4200 Doniphan Dr.
915-584-0563 

Keystone Heritage Park comprises an Archaic-period archaeological site, wetlands, and a desert botanical garden. The 4,500-year-old site is one of the oldest villages in the United States. The wetlands are home to many birds, and over 200 species have been spotted there on their seasonal migrations. The botanical garden features a variety of native plants, and includes a pavilion and a replica of an Archaic period brush hut. The newest component, The Chihuahuan Desert Experience, is a work in progress that will feature a chance for visitors to stroll the 900-mile length of desert over a 17-acre recreation of the plant indigenous life. Open daily from sunrise to sunset.

River Park Trail
River Park Trail
Country Club Rd. Bridge
915-772-5605 

The Rio Grande provides a picturesque backdrop for bird watching. The trail is a stretch of paved trail that parallels the Rio Grande from the New Mexico State Line in Anthony, TX to County Club Road in El Paso, TX. Whether you walk, jog, or ride a bike, this trail provides vistas of the Franklin Mountains to the east and the mesa’s of New Mexico to the west in a quiet and soothing environment.

Billy Rogers Arroyo Park & Nature Preserve
Billy Rogers Arroyo Park & Nature Preserve
Corner of Virginia St. and New York St.
 
 

Located in central El Paso, this untouched arroyo (dry creek bed that temporarily fills with water after heavy rains) sits at the foot of the Franklin Mountains. With beautiful views of El Paso and Ciudad Juarez, the arroyo is a popular site for mountain bikers and nature lovers who enjoy birding or walking through the great Chihuahuan Desert terrain.

El Paso Museum of Archaeology & Wilderness Park
El Paso Museum of Archaeology & Wilderness Park
4301 Transmountain Rd.
915-755-4332 

The museum’s grounds include 15 acres of nature trails, outdoor exhibits and desert garden with various native Chihuahuan desert plants. The trails leading from the Museum are well marked and maintained, with some leading into the canyons of the East Franklin Mountains. For bird enthusiasts you may see doves, gambol’s and scaled quail, verdin, canyon wren, various sparrows, horned larks, turkey vultures and perhaps golden eagles.


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