Bentsen State Park sits in the middle of the Rio Grande Valley in south Texas. The park is named for the Bentsen family which donated the original 586 acres to the Texas State Parks Board in January of 1944. The park was set aside for public recreational use, such as picnicking and camping, until 2004 when the World Birding Center chose the site to put their headquarters. In 2004 the roads into the park were closed to the public. All traffic into the park is now either pedestrian or the parks tram.
Over 325 bird species have been recorded in the 764 acre park. The park sits in the middle of the Central flyway and it is a stop over for many different species during migration. Some species end their migration at Bentsen spending the winter in the warm south Texas weather. Other species like the Altamira Oriole above, nest and raise their young inside the park .Bentsen is also a good place to see butterflies with over 250 different species of butterflies. The habitat is so rich for butterflies that the National Butterfly Center is adjacent to the park. There are also dragonflies, spiders, lizards, snakes, javelina and much more wildlife in the park. In 2010 I snapped my first pictures of a bobcat in the wild running across the road in Bentsen. Maybe next time I will get real lucky and get my first picture of a wild ocelot.