Birding at Palo Alto Battlefield

Female Bullock's oriole on a branch
Female Bullock's oriole on a branch

NPS (public domain)

Birding Hotspot

Grab a pair of binoculars, hit the trail, and see what makes Palo Alto Battlefield a birding hotspot. Some bird species you see flying around the coastal prairie of Palo Alto today are the same ones U.S. and Mexican soldiers saw in 1846. The dense thickets of thorn scrub surrounding the large prairie provide native habitat for a variety of bird species.

Take a Closer Look

Keep your eyes peeled and listen closely as you walk along the battlefield trail. You might come across a Botteri’s Sparrow hopping around the grass or a Northern Bobwhite scurrying along. You might even spot an Aplomado Falcon soaring above looking for some lunch. A close inspection of the thorn scrub might reveal a Yellow Warbler foraging through the dense brush or scissor tailed flycatcher perched upon a Yucca. Whether you are a beginner or advanced bird watcher, the peaceful open prairie is a great birding hotspot.


Allocate about 30-60 minutes to birdwatch. You can take a walk through the 2 mile battlefield trail. Or, choose a nice spot to sit and scout.

All ages
Entrance fees may apply, see Fees & Passes information.

Birding at Palo Alto is exciting year round. During the fall and spring seasons migrating birds such as the Painting Bunting and Bullocks Oriole may be spotted.

Accessibility Information

Trails are paved in either concrete or black top. Some sections of the trail are composed of a boardwalk. The grade is fairly flat with a slight rise in elevation as you head towards the overlook. The primary trail is 8 feet wide. The U.S. and Mexican battle line trails are 4 feet wide.

The park is located in Brownsville, TX which is 33 feet above sea level.


Last updated: July 9, 2018