Bird watching is a hobby that rewards patience, exploration, knowledge, and an appreciation for nature. Some plan their entire vacation around what wildlife they can find and catalog. For those interested in ornithology, here are six great spots in Texas for bird watching that you may want to visit.
1. High Island – Galveston County
High Island is a fantastic spot for bird watching because this standalone island brings in migratory birds from the Gulf of Mexico. Birdwatchers get a chance to see thrushes, orioles, and flycatchers. The island is home to many bird sanctuaries and walking paths, making it an ideal destination for birders.
2. Hornsby Bend – Austin
Hornsby Bend is an amazing birdwatching location, but you may want to pay attention to which direction the wind is blowing. Hornsby Bend welcomes over 350 different species of birds, so it’s worth taking a spring break trip to Austin. However, this spot is also near a sewage treatment plant, so you may need to prepare for some odors.
3. Aransas National Wildlife Refuge – Austwell
The Aransas National Wildlife Refuge is a great spot in Texas for bird watching and should be a must-visit location for any ornithology enthusiast. This wildlife refuge houses the beautiful and endangered Whooping Crane. Experts work hard to keep the birds safe and rebuild their population, and it’s worth seeing these majestic cranes in person.
4. Lake Tawakoni – West Tawakoni
Slightly northeast of Dallas, you can find the beautiful and serene Lake Tawakoni. When visiting the lake, birdwatchers may find Cooper’s Hawk, Crested Caracara, Lark Sparrows, and the breathtaking Bald Eagle. Additionally, the woods surrounding the lake is home to warblers, woodpeckers, and orioles, so it may be good to spend a weekend camping in this area.
5. Bolivar Flats Shorebird Sanctuary – Port Bolivar
If you’re interested in coastal waterfowl, the Bolivar Flats Shorebird Sanctuary is the place for you. This small coast has the widest selection of species and contains nearly every bird you can find along the Texas shoreline. Cormorants, pipers, pelicans, egrets, ibises, herons, gulls, and more flock to this area, making it an excellent beach retreat for those looking for shorebirds.
6. Buffalo Lake National Wildlife Refuge – Canyon
Check out this national landmark if you want to find waterfowl that aren’t along the Texas shore. The Buffalo Lake National Wildlife Refuge boasts many different species of ducks, from the Black-necked Stilt to the Cinnamon Teal ducks. Those looking for nesting birds may also spot Burrowing Owls, Chihuahuan Ravens, and Greater Roadrunners.