June 11-17, 2023
Rio Diablo Birding Camp, hosted by Birding with Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, welcomes birders ages 14 to 18 to experience the southwest region of Texas. From the sky islands of the Chisos and Davis Mountains, to the gracefully rolling hills of the Edwards Plateau, to the harsh yet beautiful brush country, participants should expect to enjoy a fascinating diversity of classic southwest Texas ecosystems.
The rich, exciting bird life of this region will never leave us with a dull moment. However, campers will experience and learn about more than just birds! Afternoon talks and workshops include:
- Texas history
- Careers in wildlife
Structured downtime will allow for independent exploration as well as group bonding. As this camp is organized and run by native Texans, we know that the heat can get brutal quickly this time of year! Therefore, our afternoons are planned to be spent at a relaxed pace with breaks in air conditioning and opportunities to cool off by jumping into a pool, river, or lake almost every day.
Each year’s trip may be a bit different, but in 2023 our itinerary included:
- Start in Del Rio, a cultural and ecological blending of Mexico and Texas
- Big Bend National Park, home to more recorded species of bird than any other U.S. national park
- Davis Mountains State Park and local ranches near Fort Davis, with legendary dark skies and hummingbirds galore!
- Devils River State Natural Area, one of the most pristine areas in Texas
- Shumla Canyon, containing 7,000-year-old rock art
- A private ranch in Edwards County, managed for threatened and endangered species
- Fort Clark Springs, an oasis amidst the arid brush (and a cold pool!)
- Annandale Ranch, home to the second-largest colony of Mexican free-tailed bats
At the end of the week, campers can expect to have seen many iconic birds of the desert southwest and Texas. Our target species include:
- Golden-cheeked warbler
- Black-capped vireo and gray vireo
- Tropical parula
- Colima warbler
- Green jay
- Great kiskadee
- Elf owl
- Varied bunting and painted bunting
- Black-tailed gnatcatcher
- Common black hawk
- All 3 kingfishers (ringed, green, and belted)
- Rivoli’s and Lucifer Hummingbirds
Beyond birds, other wildlife we hope to see include millions of Mexican free-tailed bats emerging from a natural cave, black bear, white-tailed deer, javelina, Texas and crevice spiny lizards, many species of snake, 50+ species of butterfly, and so much more! We can’t wait to share southwest Texas with you!
Our goal is to make RDBC as affordable as possible for our youth. Every sponsorship helps us keep the registration price low! Click the image to the left to be a sponsor.