Historic Quinta Mazatlan, located in the Rio Grande Valley of Southern Texas, is a charming and educational destination for both the architectural and nature enthusiasts. Twenty acres of tropical and indigenous habitat surround the Spanish Revival mansion which was built in the 1930’s.
A private residence for much of its history, the grounds and house are now under the stewardship of the McAllen Parks and Recreation Department and the World Birding Center Organization. Visitors are welcome to spend the day winding their way down several trails and exploring the unique flora and fauna of southern Texas.
The Trails at Quinta Mazatlan
The trails include tributes to both art and habitat, with the Statuary Trail, where the ‘wildlife’ is impossible to miss, frozen in time thanks to generous donations. Here, various metal statues represent the denizens of the area without the chance of a careless noise frightening them away.
Ruby Pond is a water feature designed to attract both human and animal visitors, with a flowing waterfall, natural aquatic vegetation, and a visitor’s center, while the hummingbird garden helps inspire visitors to learn how to attract nectar-drinking animals with it’s large variety of plants, over forty varieties represented.
McAllen Bird Watching at Quinta Mazatlan
Perhaps the main reason to visit Quinta Mazatlan, however, is the birds. The Rio Grande Valley hosts more than five hundred species of birds, many of which can be found no where else in the United States. The exquisite Altamira Oriole is one such bird, and it’s black and orange plumage makes it a special treat to spot. The distinctive blue, yellow and green Green Jay puts it’s blue cousin to shame with color, and is another bird that is almost never seen North of Texas. These attractive birds are known for dynamic vocalizations and are a can’t miss attraction. Couch’s Kingbird has a particularly small range and have been spotted in the gardens as recently as 2013, as well as the much harder to see, wood-colored Inca Dove.
Green parakeets and Red-headed Parrots introduce an element of the tropical, and are frequently spotted, along with the subtly beautiful Buff-Bellied Hummingbird. For something more fierce, look for Harris’s Hawk, a rare and breathtaking social raptor known to hunt in groups.
In all, over 160 different species of birds have been documented within the gardens themselves, and visitors are always welcome to add to the list as they traverse the trails at their leisure with guides and lists to help them document their ‘hunt’.
A butterfly garden and cactus garden round out the scenery, helping to attract a wide array of wildlife.
Plan your trip to Quinta Mazatlan at http://quintamazatlan.com.