The Texas Coastal Bend has some of the best bird watching in North America with hundreds of species, including both native and migratory birds. On the stretch of coast between Rockport and Mustang Island, there are several birding centers that are included in the Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail. To give bird watchers the ideal view of these beautiful and varied birds, most centers have constructed boardwalks and observation decks from which to give visitors an up-close look. Between the natural wetlands, the coast, and small wooded areas, it’s easy to see how so many different kinds of birds would gather in this part of the Texas Coastal Bend.
Leonabelle Turnbull Birding Center
The wheelchair accessible boardwalk at the Leonabelle Turnbull Birding Center extends out over the water, giving everyone a great opportunity to watch for birds – and Boots and Bags, the Birding Center’s resident alligators. For more information, visit the City of Port Aransas’s website here.
Aransas Pass Community Park
The Aransas Pass Community Park has two platforms connected by a boardwalk from which to view the marshes and ponds frequented by waterfowl. For more information on this and other bird watching spots in Aransas Pass, click here.
Conn Brown Harbor/Aransas Pass Wetlands
During the winter, you can enjoy watching for pelicans, loons, grebes, and diving ducks at the Conn Brown Harbor and Aransas Pass Wetlands. During the summer, you can sometimes catch a glimpse of a sooty tern. For more information, click here.
Newbury Park Hummingbird Garden
The Newbury Park Hummingbird Garden is the largest hummingbird garden in Texas, and is filled with flora meant to draw these beautiful birds. For a map and more information, click here.
The Port Aransas Wetlands Habitat Park
For observing fresh-water wildlife, try the Port Aransas Wetlands Habitat Park. The park’s boardwalk and gazebo are ideal for birding. For more information, visit the City of Port Aransas’s website here.
Mustang Island State Park
Mustang Island State Park not only has camping, swimming, surfing, and fishing – it has rewarding bird-watching opportunities, both for migratory birds and shore birds. For more information on Mustang Island State Park, click here.
Paradise Pond is Mustang Island’s only freshwater wetlands habitat, and offers birdwatchers an excellent opportunity to see migratory songbirds. Click here for more information.
The Hans & Pat Suter Wildlife Park
Located along Oso Bay, The Hans & Pat Suter Wildlife Park is known by bird-watchers far and wide as a feast for the eyes. The Wildlife Park has a bird and butterfly garden, as well as 22 colored educational signs on the local wildlife. Check out The Caller’s article on The Hans & Pat Suter Wildlife Park here.
South Texas Botanical Gardens and Nature Center
Corpus Christi’s breathtaking South Texas Botanical Gardens has miles of nature trails lined with lush and beautiful plant-life. Along with several gardens and greenhouses, the Botanical Garden has observation platforms and an observation tower from which to view a variety of birds and other wildlife. For more information, visit the South Texas Botanical Gardens by clicking here.
Blucher Park is a fantastic place to observe birds within Corpus Christi. During the spring migration, one can find grosbeaks, tanagers, and orioles around the park’s blueberry tree. Warblers, sparrows, and hummingbirds can also be spotted. Click here for Corpus Christi’s website on Blucher Park.
Aransas National Wildlife Refuge
While the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge is known for hosting a broad spectrum of birds and animals, it is most famous for being a stopping point along the migratory path of the rare and endangered whooping crane. Click here for more information on the Arasnas National Wildlife Refuge and opportunities to observe whooping cranes.
The Aransas Woods provides a spot for neotropical birds to rest on their migratory paths, and the preserve’s fresh water ponds and coastal mottes attract waterbirds such as egrets and herons. For a map of Aransas Woods, click here.
Connie Hagar Cottage Santuary
Named for Texas birding legend Connie Hagar, the Connie Hagar Cottage Sanctuary gives you a chance to see the numerous birds that inspired Mrs. Hagar to move to Rockport. Here, you can see visit several types of bird habitats – between the coastal prairies, the oak mottes, and the wetlands, you’re sure to get an eyeful of all the birds the Texas Gulf Coast has to offer. For more information on the Connie Hagar Cottage Sanctuary, click here.
Goose Island State Park
The Goose Island State Park is a beautiful location for birding. Birders can get a checklist at the entrance of the park, and you can see what birds you can find among the giant and ancient Live Oaks that fill the park. Click here for more information.