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Rio Diablo Youth Birding Camp

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June 11, 2024 June 17, 2024

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:

  • Ecology
  • Astronomy
  • Geology
  • Texas history
  • Conservation
  • 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 2024 our itinerary included:

  • Start in San Antonio, 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
  • 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!)
  • Kickapoo Cavern State Park, home to elf owls and 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!

Price: $1,000/camper

Campers have the chance to be selected for a $500 scholarship to attend Rio Diablo Birding Camp. To apply for camp or the scholarship please fill out the appropriate application (see below).

RDBC Camper Application

RDBC Scholarship Application


Texas A&M Agrilife Extension


View Organizer Website


Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Extension Service

600 John Kimbrough Boulevard, Suite 509,
7101 TAMU

College Station, TX 77843-7101 United States
View Venue Website
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