360° VR Panoramas of South Texas
Sabal Palm Preserve on the Rio Grande
Texas


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Sabal Palm Grove road at the border fence

Sabal Palm Grove road at the border fence

This massive fence runs parallel to the river through most of the lower Rio Grande Valley. It is supplemented by towers with cameras and motion sensors, plus regular patrols.

Sabal Palm Sanctuary, near Brownsville, Texas

Date photographed: April 1, 2014
See location in Google Maps

The Rabb Plantation House at the entrance to Sabal Palm

The Rabb Plantation House at the entrance to Sabal Palm

Rabb Plantation Mansion at the Sabal Palm Refuge. It was a small portion of this extensive plantation that survived clearing and allowed establishment of the 557 acre (225 hectare) refuge in 1971 by the National Audubon Society.

Sabal Palm Sanctuary, near Brownsville, Texas

Date photographed: April 1, 2014
See location in Google Maps

Inside the Rabb House at Sabal Palm Refuge

Inside the Rabb House at Sabal Palm Refuge

Rabb Plantation Mansion at the Sabal Palm Refuge. This plantation preserved the last small stand of the once prolific species.

Sabal Palm Sanctuary, near Brownsville, Texas

Date photographed: April 1, 2014
See location in Google Maps

Boardwalk trails in the sabal palm grove

Boardwalk trails in the sabal palm grove

In addition to protecting the last natural stand of sabal palm (Sabal mexicana) this refuge is popular with birders. A total of 380 species of birds, many of them Mexican species at the northern limits of their range, have been identified here.

Sabal Palm Sanctuary, near Brownsville, Texas

Date photographed: April 1, 2014
See location in Google Maps

One of the densest groves of sabal palms in the refuge

One of the densest groves of sabal palms in the refuge

Once common in the lower Rio Grande Valley on both sides of the border, the sabal palm now occurs in undisturbed stands only here at the Sabal Palm Refuge.

Sabal Palm Sanctuary, near Brownsville, Texas

Date photographed: April 1, 2014
See location in Google Maps

Spanish moss epiphytes in the sabal palm grove

Spanish moss epiphytes in the sabal palm grove

The sabal palm forest is lush and dense, a mix of broadleaf trees, shrubs and vines. The high humidity nourishes Spanish moss, an epiphytic growth that drapes from branches of the older trees.

Sabal Palm Sanctuary, near Brownsville, Texas

Date photographed: April 1, 2014
See location in Google Maps

Bird watching shelter on the Rio Grande at Sabal Palm Refuge

Bird watching shelter on the Rio Grande at Sabal Palm Refuge

The Rio Grande/Rio Bravo is the actual border between Mexico and the United States, running 1255 miles (2019 km), from El Paso in the desert to the humid Gulf of Mexico. This sub-tropical area is a mecca for birders, affording a chance to see Mexican species that are very rare further north.

Sabal Palm Sanctuary, near Brownsville, Texas

Date photographed: April 1, 2014
See location in Google Maps

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