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Last birding hike of the year set for Saturday

November 23, 2018

Outdoor enthusiasts have one last opportunity to enjoy a hike on U.S. Fish and Wildlife property normally closed to the public on Saturday at the Phillips Blanco Tract, 701 Military Highway.

The free event will take place from 7:30 to 11:30 a.m. and will feature bird watching for attendees.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Ranger George Garcia said he encourages the public to take advantage of the unique experience.

Garcia added attendees can expect a 3-mile hike, or more, across the Phillips Blanco Tract and should dress accordingly.

Some items the ranger recommends wearing include long-sleeve shirts, blue jeans, a cap and hiking boots that attendees are OK with getting dirty.

“ We’re going to be pointing out some native plants and endangered species and, hopefully, get some sight on some birds, such as our beautiful and local green jays or turkeys,” he said. “There are about six turkeys there that are always out, and if we’re lucky enough, we’ll see some mammals pop up, such as javelinas, raccoons.”

Saturday’s hike will be the last event Garcia hosts this season.

After that, he will begin planning for events in the spring.

“ Hopefully, when that time comes around, I’ll be hosting events with U.S. Fish and Wildlife, such as learning how to fish, kayaking, and stuff like that,” he said.

The ranger added that attending hikes or outdoor activities can bring relaxation and peace to people.

He said would like the public to consider attending Saturday’s hike to enjoy a day in the outdoors.

“ Overall, it’s a betterment of life,” Garcia said. “When you’re outside, you’re being more active, getting some vitamin D from the sun. Not only that, but birding can take you all over the world. You can see some fantastic birds. Some people have bird lists that go into the thousands and they’ve just been traveling all over the U.S. and other countries looking at some of the most beautiful creatures there are.”

On Saturday’s hike, attendees may be able to see some native birds, such as green jays and great kiskadees, but also some species migrating through the area.

“ We’re into the migration season, so we’re seeing a lot of different species that we don’t have here normally,” he said. “We’re starting to see some warblers, titmouse and bunty. Really pretty birds that are breathtaking to see.”

Attendees are not required to sign up but it is preferred.

To register for the event, visit cob.recdesk.com.

In previous events, Garcia said more than 20 participants who attended were able to see birds as well as indigo snakes and different insects.

The USFW event is in partnership with the City of Brownsville.

Parking for Saturday’s hike will be across Ricos Tacos.

For more info, call Garcia at 956-371-0773.

jsanchez@brownsvilleherald.com

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