Cradled in a bend of the Rio Grande along the U.S./Mexico border, the Sabal Palm Audubon Center and Sanctuary harbors one of the most beautiful and critical ecosystems of South Texas and Northern Mexico. Sabal Palms once grew profusely along the edge of the Rio Grande in small stands or groves extending about 80 miles upstream from the Gulf of Mexico. Today, only a small portion of that forest remains, protected on 527 acres of this Audubon sanctuary.

Ornithological Summary

The Sabal Palm Sanctuary Important Bird Area is home to the Yellow-Green Vireo, Green Jay, Great Kiskadee, Plain Chachalaca, Olive Sparrow, WatchListed Long-billed Thrasher, White-tipped Dove, Couch's Kingbird, and Golden-fronted Woodpecker. In addition the WatchListed Buff-bellied Hummingbird, Olive Sparrow, and Least Grebe that occur here are at the northernmost limit of their Mexican range. While the habitat at Sabal Palm Sanctuary provides critical breeding habitat for many species it also serves as a migratory stopover site, providing many warblers with a place to stop and rest. Some of the migrants are also known to overwinter here.

Conservation Issues

While the area outside of the Sanctuary faces numerous threats, habitat within this IBA is relatively secure thanks to the efforts of the staff and volunteers making Sabal Palm Sanctuary a destination for birders worldwide.

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