State of Texas

Northern Mockingbird Mimus polyglottos ©Dick Daniels Website
Birding Texas

exas is a haven for birds and birders. No other state in the United States has more species within its boundaries. There are currently over 620 species documented in Texas, that is almost 75 percent of all bird species recorded in the continental United States. One of the reasons Texas is so birdy is due to its variety of habitats. Mountains, deserts, beaches, grasslands, swamps, riparian woodlands and coniferous forest can all be found and each holds its own variety of birds and other wildlife.

Texas has many locations to enjoy birds. Numerous state parks and national parks can be found throughout. The Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail extends along the entire Texas coast for 500 miles listing well over 300 birding sites. Accompanying maps help the visiting birder get to these sites and list some of the possible bird species that can be found. Work is currently being done on a birding trail that will extend from South Texas to North Texas.

A week long birding competition is held every April. The Great Texas Birding Classic is a competition in which birding teams compete against each other in trying to locate as many bird species as possible within a 24 hour period. All money raised goes to bird conservation projects. Texas is a birder-friendly state and it wants everyone to know about it. Texas also leads the country in the number of birding-related events and festivals

Many unique bird species are found here. Texas is the only state in the U.S where Golden-cheeked and Colima Warblers can be found. Many endangered and threatened birds are either residents in, or winter visitors to the state. Many restaurants, hotels and lodges are aimed at attracting birdwatchers.

A trip to Texas is strongly recommended for both expert and novice birders. It is a state with memorable scenery and birdlife. Please visit the links below for more information.If you can only visit one area I thoroughly recommend the lower Rio Grande Valley where one not only has lots of the US special birds but also a lot of birds more commonly associated with Central America! See the page devoted to this area by clicking the link below… where I have moved all relevant links Fatbirder

Rio Grande Valley

This page is sponsored by Birding Ecotours

Top Sites
  • Aransas NWR

    Satellite View
    This is the site for overwintering Whooping Cranes and an observation tower has been built to give long views over the marshes and island where they may be found. The tower is ramped for wheelchair users and gives terrific views of many waterbirds and waders. [Brilliant for herpetologists too with many species of snakes sunning themselves on tracks in the early mornings]
  • Trinity River Water Bird Rookery

    Facebook PageSatellite View
    There is a new handicapped accessible board walk at the Trinity River Water Bird Rookery in Chambers County. It leads to an observation platform where there are benches. This is located where Interstate 10 crosses the Trinty River. From the observation platform one may observe the following egrets and herons: Great, Snowy, Great Blue, Little Blue, Green, Tri-colored, Yellow-crowned and Black-crowned Night Herons. There are also nesting Neo-tropical Cormorants and Anhingas, White Ibis, and many Roseate Spoonbills. There are wintering waterfowl there as well as migrants in season. In the spring there are also many Trans-Gulf migrant passerines and flycatchers. This location is less than a half hour from the Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge.
Contributors
  • Sue Levy

    Upper Texas Coast | Slevy53@aol.com

  • Oscar Carmona

    Kerrville, Texas | hookbilledkite@hotmail.com

    Website
Number of Species
  • Number of bird species: 649

    (As at October 2018)

    State Bird - Mockingbird Mimus polyglottos

Checklist

  • iGoTerra Checklist

    iGoTerra Checklist
    Fatbirder Associate iGoTerra offers the most comprehensive and up to date birds lists on the web
Useful Reading

  • ABA Field Guide to Birds of Texas

    By Mark W Lockwood & Brian E Small | Scott & Nix, Inc | 2016 | Paperback | 321 pages, colour photos | ISBN: 9781935622536 Buy this book from NHBS.com
  • Birders Guide to Texas

    By Edward A Kutac | Rowman & Littlefield | 1998 | Paperback | 383 pages, Illustrations, maps | ISBN: 088415551X Buy this book from NHBS.com
  • Birds of Texas

    By Todd Telander | Falcon Guides | 2012 | Paperback | 96 pages, colour illustrations | ISBN: 9780762774203 Buy this book from NHBS.com
  • Birds of Texas

    Gary Clark & Kathy Adams Clark | Texas A & M University Press | 2016 | Paperback | 618 pages, 500 colour photos | ISBN: 9781623494315 Buy this book from NHBS.com
  • Birds of Texas: A Field Guide

    By JH Rappole &GW Blacklock | Texas A & M University Press | 1994 | Hardback | 280 pages, 614 colour photos, 622 maps | ISBN: 0890965447 Buy this book from NHBS.com
  • Birds of the Texas Hill Country

    By Mark W Lockwood | University of Texas Press | 2001 | Paperback | 228 pages, 32 colour plates, b/w photos, b/w illustrations, tables | ISBN: 0292747268 Buy this book from NHBS.com
  • Chasing Birds Across Texas

    (A Birding Big Year) | Mark T Adams | Texas A & M University Press | 2006 | Paperback | 254 pages, 15 colour photos, b/w illustrations, maps | ISBN: 1585442968 Buy this book from NHBS.com
  • Feeder Birds of Texas

    (A Folding Pocket Guide to Common Backyard Birds) | By Cornell Lab of Ornithology (CLO) | Waterford Press | 2017 | Unbound | 12 pages, colour illustrations | ISBN: 9781620052204 Buy this book from NHBS.com
  • Finding Birds in South Texas

    By Dave Gosney | Easybirder | 2011 | DVD | Runtime: 90 min | Region 2 | ISBN: #192782 Buy this book from NHBS.com
  • Finding Birds in South Texas

    By Dave Gosney | Easybirder | 2011 | Paperback | 40 pages, b/w maps | ISBN: 9781907316319 Buy this book from NHBS.com
  • Great Texas Birds

    Edited by Suzanne Winkler & John P O'Neill | University of Texas Press | 2000 | Hardback | 120 pages, 48 colour plates, 1 b/w fig | ISBN: 0292760531 Buy this book from NHBS.com
  • The TOS Handbook of Texas Birds

    By Mark W Lockwood & Brush Freeman | Texas A & M University Press | 2014 | Paperback | 467 pages, 64 plates with 150 colour photos; 8 b/w illustrations, 641 b/w distribution maps, tables | ISBN: 9781623491208 Buy this book from NHBS.com
Birding Aps
  • BirdsEye Texas Ornithological Society

    Apple iOS |
    | Birds In The Hand, LLC | 20.6 MB | Requires iOS 7.0 or later |

    Texas Ornithological Society provides this FREE app to help you find birds around Texas!!
Festivals & Bird Fairs
  • Balcones Songbird Nature Festival

    Webpage
    The Balcones Songbird Festival is a celebration of nature through a collection of interpretive events to experience both birds and their habitat. The festival takes place April annually.
  • Galveston FeatherFest

    Website
    Galveston is one of the top locations for birding in the nation, and FeatherFest is held during early spring migration - a great time to visit world-renowned birding hot spots like Bolivar Flats and High Island. Also see their Facebook page
  • Laredo Birding Festival

    Website
    Blessed with a rich and diverse river eco-system, Laredo is home to hundreds of species of local and migratory birds. Our prized birds include the White-collared Seedeater (recently renamed Morelet’s Seedeater), Scaled Quail, Gray Hawk, Audubon’s and Altamira Orioles, Green Parakeets, Muscovy Duck, Red-billed Pigeon and Clay-colored Thrush, among many others.​
  • Rio Grande Birding Festival

    Festival
    Every November! The Rio Grande Valley (actually a delta, where the Rio Grande meets the sea) is the place for the single greatest concentration of unique, endemic avian species in the continental U.S. And they’re eye-popping sub-tropical species…
  • Whooping Crane Festival

    Website
    Port Aransas welcomes you and hopes that you will pardon our dust, as there is much to celebrate this year. The Whooping Crane population is at a record high –an estimated 431 cranes wintered at the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge last year. This summer, a record 63 Whooping Crane chicks fledged on the cranes’ breeding grounds at Wood Buffalo National Park in Canada. The Whooping Crane Festival celebrates the annual return of the cranes to their wintering habitat. The Texas Coastal Bend is the only place where you can see the world’s last naturally-occurring population of Whooping Cranes.
Observatories
  • Hornsby Bend Bird Observatory

    Observatory WebsiteSatellite View
    The Hornsby Bend Bird Observatory is a program of the Austin Water Utility's Center for Environmental Research at the Hornsby Bend Biosolids Management Plant. The 1200-acre Hornsby Bend site is located in southeast Austin, Texas...
Museums & Universities
  • Dallas Museum of Natural History & The Mudge Library

    Museum
    The Museum holds the second largest scientific collection of birds in Texas, consisting of over 6,600 specimens. Although most of these are preserved as study skins, 1,400 specimens, representing some 500 species, have been taxidermy mounted for display. Among the more significant included in this collection are a Passenger Pigeon and three Ivory-billed Woodpeckers (two of which are on permanent display). There are also a number of specimens collected by H.P. Attwater, for whom Attwater's Prarie Chicken is named. Specimens from the Attwater Collection date back to the 1880s. The Mudge Library is one of the finest collections of illustrated bird books in the country. It contains rare bird books dating back to 1536, with works by such noted naturalist-artists as Audubon, Gould, Wilson, Sharpe, Lear, Catesby, and Baird. All of these collections are available by appointment to interested parties.
  • Houston Museum of Natural Science

    Museum
    The new dioramas in the Education Wing have been a regular part of the museum for several decades. When their occupied space was deemed essential for renovation, museum staff was unable to simply throw away these dioramas with their rich and fine detail. Instead we decided to make an effort to do what museums do best – conserve these precious historical antiquities, preserving them for future generations to enjoy and appreciate.
Organisations
  • Audubon Society in Texas

    Website
    Offices & Chapters; Centers & Sanctuaries; Upcoming Events
  • Audubon Dallas

    Website
    Today, Audubon Dallas consists of approximately 2,700 members with a focus on birds and wildlife. One of our primary goals is to raise funds in order to expand our current programs, field trips and volunteer efforts in order to reach more children and family groups. We hope these family programs will foster discussions in the home, and make every family aware of the important role it plays in the local environmental community. We teach about our local flora and fauna including the importance of the preservation of local ecosystems through conservation. We post regularly on our Facebook Page and keep records of the birds of Dallas County.
  • Audubon Texas HQ

    Website
    Audubon Texas is the state program of the National Audubon Society. We are working with local chapters, cities, state agencies, and public and private landowners to restore three million acres of grassland habitat, manage 13,000 acres of island sanctuaries along the Texas coast and educate 50,000 students and adults on an annual basis…
  • Bastrop County Audubon Society

    Website
    Bastrop County is located in the southeastern portion of central Texas, 30 miles east of Austin, the capital of the state. Our mission is to promote the conservation, restoration, and enjoyment of natural resources and habitats for birds and other wildlife.
  • Bexar Audubon

    Website
    Nature conservation for the San Antonio area...
  • Big Country Audubon Society

    Website
    We hope you find it informative — we've got all the latest birding news. We hope you find it helpful — we've got directions to birding places. And we hope you find it attractive — we've posted lots of pictures of our birds in the Big Country.
  • Central Texas Audubon Society

    Website
    Welcome to the website of the Central Texas Audubon Society. Here you will find information about our chapter, upcoming events, central Texas birding and more.
  • Coastal Bend Audubon

    Website
    The Coastal Bend of Texas has one of the most diverse and abundant bird populations in North America. Situated next to the largest hypersaline lagoon and longest stretch of undeveloped barrier island on earth, it is a unique area where tropical meets sub-tropical, sea meets semi-arid land, and two major flyways converge. The Coastal Bend Audubon Society is committed to conserving, protecting, and promoting the wildlife and habitat of our remarkable little corner of Texas.
  • Corpus Christi Audubon Outdoor Club

    Website
    Cultivating the natural beauty of Corpus Christi through preservation, activism and education - The Audubon Outdoor Club was founded by forward-thinking residents of Corpus Christi in 1957 to guarantee the continued stewardship of the city's unique natural and ecological resources.
  • El Paso Trans-Pecos Audubon Society

    Website
    We are a chapter of the National Audubon Society. We have a large territory, all of Texas west of the Pecos River ("Trans-Pecos"). Our members are found throughout the Trans-Pecos, but most live in the region's largest city, El Paso. Birds, birding, wildlife, the environment, and our community are the concerns of the El Paso/Trans-Pecos Audubon Society (EP/TPAS).
  • Fort Worth Audubon Society

    Website
    The Fort Worth Audubon Society meets the second Thursday of each month (except June, July and August). The meetings begin at 7:30 p.m. but please come early for the mini-ID class that begins at 6:50 PM. Meetings are held in Room 100 (known as the Everett Lecture Hall), in the Research and Education (RES) building at the University of North Texas Health Science Center on 3500 Camp Bowie Boulevard (at Montgomery Street). Use Parking Lot 6 on Clifton Street. Enter the RES building ground floor at the northwest corner of Parking Lot 6, turn right and go down the hall keeping the south-facing windows on your right.
  • Golden Triangle Audubon

    Website
    Golden Triangle Audubon is dedicated to promoting an increased awareness of birds in Texas. Golden Triangle Audubon is for everyone! Founded in 1996, the organization has a growing number of amateurs and professionals interested in birds and birding in Texas. Golden Triangle Audubon hosts a series of Field Trips throughout the year - opportunities to hone your birding skills. Our publication, the Brown Pelican, is a wealth of information featuring articles about Texas birds, birders, and birding locales; illustrations and photography, research paper, seasonal highlights, and much more! Golden Triangle Audubon welcomes everyone to explore our web site. Learn more about our organization and ways to become involved with Texas bird life.
  • Houston Audubon Society

    Website
    Houston Audubon is a regional nonprofit conservation, education and advocacy organization that focuses on protecting the natural environment for birds and people. A significant part of our work is owning and managing nature sanctuaries to protect habitat for birds and provide people recreational opportunities in nature. We were accredited as a land trust in July 2017.
  • Huntsville Audubon Society

    Website
    A Texas Chapter of the National Audubon Society - Our chapter meets the third Thursday of each month, January - May and September - November (there are no meetings June - August). Meetings are held in the Parish Hall at St. Stephen's Episcopal Church - 5019 Sam Houston Ave, Huntsville, TX 77340 and begin at 6:00 pm.
  • Llano Estacado Audubon Society

    Facebook Page
    Positioned within the Central Flyway and encompassing diverse habitats including: canyons, farmlands, grass- lands, thousands of playa wetlands, range, reservoirs, riparian areas, saline lakes, and urban areas. The LEAS territory is vital for birds, especially neotropical migrants and wetland birds.
  • Monte Mucho Audubon Society

    Website
    To promote conservation and preservation of a healthy habitat in the South Texas region, to encourage the appreciation of birds and other wildlife and to provide educational programs to garner public support on environmental issues.
  • Nature Conservancy in Texas

    Webpage
    Donate today to keep Texas’ natural environment thriving for future generations.
  • Northeast Texas Field Ornithologists

    Website
    Northeast Texas Field Ornithologists (NETFO) is an independent, non-profit organization formed in 1990 for the purpose of encouraging the observation, study, appreciation and conservation of birds and to promote the discovery and dissemination of knowledge about birds, particularly in the Northeast Texas area.area…
  • Prairie & Timbers Audubon Society

    Website
    Organized in 1980, Prairie and Timbers Audubon Society serves Collin County and surrounding counties. We invite you and your family to join our all volunteer range of nature-oriented activities. Monthly meetings are scheduled the 4th Tuesday, 6:30pm, September through November and January through May. They are free and open to the public. Programs are related to wildlife, ecology, conservation and of course, BIRDS!
  • Rio Brazos Audubon Society

    Website
    The Rio Brazos Audubon Society promotes the enjoyment, understanding, and conservation of native birds and their habitat through birding classes, local and regional field trips, habitat restoration, and conservation advocacy. We are committed to service and education for residents and visitors to the Brazos Valley.
  • Rio Grande Delta Audubon Society

    8801 Boca Chica Blvd 78521, Brownsville - TX - US
  • San Antonio Audubon Society

    Website
    San Antonio Audubon Society (SAAS) is a local independent birding club. SAAS promotes the appreciation, understanding, protection and conservation of native birds and their habitats through participation and educational activities. SAAS offers monthly meetings, field trips throughout the year, and volunteer opportunities. Members are involved with education/outreach programs throughout the community. Additionally they sponsor and endorse citizen science projects such as the Great Backyard Bird Count, eBird, bird surveys, and the annual Bexar County Christmas Bird Count. Also see our Facebook page.
  • Tall Grass Prairie Audubon Society

    Webpage
    The Tallgrass Prairie Audubon Society is a private, nonprofit corporation affiliated with the National Audubon Society. The chapter’s approximately 150 members live in east-central Iowa, primarily in Jasper, Poweshiek, Marshall, and Tama counties. The mission of Audubon is “to conserve and restore natural ecosystems, focusing on birds, other wildlife, and their habitats.” To this end, the Tallgrass Prairie chapter sponsors public programs, educational activities, nature walks, bird watching outings, and a newsletter.
  • Texas Birds Records Committee

    Website
    The TBRC has officially added White-crowned Pigeon and Great Black Hawk to the state list. A White-crowned Pigeon was found injured near the Galveston Ferry (Galveston County) on 7 Oct 2017 while the Great Black Hawk was a surprising bird on South Padre Island (Cameron County) on 24 Apr 2018. The acceptance of these 2 species brings the State List to 649 in good standing.
  • Texas Ornithological Society

    Website
    The Texas Ornithological Society (TOS) was founded in 1953 as a nonprofit organization. The purpose of the Society is to promote the discovery and dissemination of knowledge of birds; to encourage specifically the observation, study and conservation of birds in Texas; to encourage the formation of local birding clubs; and to stimulate cooperation among professional ornithologists.
  • Texas Panhandle Audubon Society

    Website
    The Texas Panhandle Audubon Society (TPAS) is the oldest environmental organization in the Texas panhandle. Founded in 1952 by a small group of conservationists, TPAS members engaged in social bird-watching activities but also undertook scientific work. Specifically, by 1962, the group engaged in the annual Christmas Bird Count and other counts that have produced a substantive record of avian population and migration over the decades.
  • Texas Panhandle Bird Club

    Website
    Being a member of the Panhandle Bird Club brings you lots of benefits. Your whole family (household) can join for $15.00 a year. You get a monthly newsletter and the dates of the three field trips per month. The newsletter includes rare bird reports, field trip reports, a gardening for birds article, and other articles from our members. If you want to become a member to the Panhandle Bird Club, e-mail us at Panhandle Bird Club and we will send you a newsletter and you can then fill out the form and send your money.
  • Travis Audubon Society

    Website
    Travis Audubon protects native habitat for birds and other wildlife. In 1952, our founders recognized the vital connection between conserving wildlife habitat and the ecological balance necessary for healthy and sustainable communities. Members enjoy many benefits and privileges, including exclusive access to our three sanctuaries, and discounts on exciting programs and classes. Join us, get involved, and find inspiration in nature. You can read our 2017 Annual Report here. Scroll down to see the latest posts from our Signal Smoke Blog.
  • Twin Lakes Audubon Society

    Website
    TLAS was founded in 1986 with 37 members and Stan Casto, who had been the driving force behind starting the chapter, as president. Other presidents have been: Grant Critchfield. Past presidents: Joye Johnson, Corky Johnson, Tom Robbins, Charles Pekins, Woody Taylor, O.K. Smith, Scott Summers, Rich Kostecke, Gil Eckrich, and Sandy Lowry. For a number of years the chapter maintained the Owl Creek Nature Area on Lake Belton. The chapter has participated in the Christmas Bird Count since its beginnings. Our CBC count circle is designated as TXBU and covers a wide variety of habitats. Participation in the Great Backyard Bird Count in February is encouraged by individuals.
  • Tyler Audubon Society

    Website
    Tyler Audubon's mission is to conserve and restore natural ecosystems, focusing on birds, other wildlife, and their habitats for the benefit of humanity and the earth's biological diversity. Everyone is welcome to our meetings, with free programs of interest to nature fans of all ages. You can also find current information about upcoming birding trips and other events. Check our other links for helpful information, recent sightings, and other birding opportunities.
Reserves

Abbreviations Key

  • BS Bolivar Flats Shorebird Sanctuary

    WebpageSatellite View
    At first glance, you might not see the special qualities of Bolivar Flats, a unique area combining salt marsh, mud flats and beach, each habitat quite different from the other. Every year hundreds of thousands of birds discover that Bolivar Flats is a special place…
  • BS Boy Scout Woods - High Island

    WebpageSatellite View
    The woods of High Island have undoubtedly been an important stopping place for migratory birds for thousands of years. However, they have only been attracting birdwatchers since the 1940s, when birders from nearby Beaumont began to haunt the woods every spring…
  • BS IBA Chester Island Sanctuary

    WebpageSatellite View
    The island is a breeding colony for 18 species of birds, including endangered Brown Pelican, and one of the largest colonies of threatened Reddish Egret on Texas Coast. In 2003, 15,000 pairs of breeding birds were found on the island. The eastern side of the island is characterized by a large sandy beach and is a breeding territory for Black Skimmers, Royal, Caspian, and Sandwich Terns.
  • BS Sabal Palm Audubon Sanctuary

    WebpageSatellite View
    Sabal Palm Audubon Sanctuary is open and operating under a successful partnership with Gorgas Science Foundation. Sabal Palm remains one of the most treasured birding locations in Texas and is serving children and adults who are both residents and visitors to the Rio Grande Valley.
  • NC Baytown Nature Center

    InformationSatellite View
    The Baytown Nature Center is both a recreation area and a wildlife sanctuary that is home to hundreds of bird species, mammals, reptiles, and aquatic species.
  • NC Dogwood Canyon Audubon Center

    WebsiteSatellite View
    Located 16 miles south of downtown Dallas in Cedar Hill, Dogwood Canyon is part of the White Rock Escarpment. Nowhere in North Texas can one find a greater variety of rare species than in Dogwood Canyon. Plants and animals from east, west and central Texas converge here, making the Canyon the only place in the world where one can find the Black-chinned Hummingbird of west Texas nesting in the flowering dogwood tree of east Texas…
  • NC Mitchell Lake Audubon Center

    WebsiteSatellite View
    Our wetland habitat is one of the last critical stopover grounds before the Texas Coast, where 98.5% of long-distance migratory bird species in the US pass through, many which are about to fly for hours or days over open ocean. Not only are we one of the best spots for birding in San Antonio, we also open our doors to more than 4,000 students annually for outdoor science and conservation education, which most students do not get in traditional schooling. So, come explore our habitat, walk our native gardens, take a class or a tour, volunteer, or give your support to our education and conservation programs. Whatever your age or interests we have a way to help connect you the wild and beautiful natural place we live, just far enough south of downtown to melt away everyday life.
  • NC Trinity River Audubon Center

    WebsiteSatellite View
    Nestled in the Great Trinity Forest, we offer a 120-acre outdoor classroom and a state-of-the-art nature center along the Trinity River…
  • NC Valley Nature Center

    WebsiteSatellite View
    The Valley Nature Center's 6 acre park is home to a wide variety of the LRGV's native plants and animals. Many plants were transplanted during the past 25 years to this protected area from sites which were slated for development. There is an on-going effort to enhance the plant diversity of the park.
  • NP Big Bend

    WebpageSatellite View
    here is a place in Far West Texas where night skies are dark as coal and rivers carve temple-like canyons in ancient limestone. Here, at the end of the road, hundreds of bird species take refuge in a solitary mountain range surrounded by weather-beaten desert. Tenacious cactus bloom in sublime southwestern sun, and diversity of species is the best in the country. This magical place is Big Bend.
  • NR Dolan Falls Preserve

    WebpageSatellite View
    Site contains occupied Black-capped Vireo breeding territories as well as habitat for a number of other species of conservation concern such as Painted Bunting and Bell's Vireo. Population surveys at the property are representative of the minimum number of breeding pairs.
  • NR Love Creek Preserve

    WebpageSatellite View
    Occupied territories for Black-capped Vireos and Golden-cheeked Warbler. Also protects habitat for a number of other species of concern such as Bell's Vireo and Painted Bunting.
  • NWR Aransas

    WebpageSatellite View
    Today, this landscape is best known for its prominent place in the American wildlife conservation movement. In 1941, when only 15 whooping cranes survived in the wild, the iconic bird became an emblem of alarm and concern for all endangered and threatened species. Aransas became a focal point of the national and worldwide effort to rescue the species from extinction.
  • NWR Balcones Canyonlands

    WebpageSatellite View
    The primary purpose of the refuge is to protect the nesting habitat of the golden-cheeked warbler and black-capped vireo, two highly endangered migratory birds….
  • State Parks & Natural Areas near Lost Pines

    WebpageSatellite View
    There are three state parks in Bastrop and Caldwell counties: Buescher State Park, Bastrop State Park and Lockhart State Park.
  • WMA Richland Creek

    WebsiteSatellite View
    Birding and more at the huge east Texas reconstructed wetland. The Richland Creek Wildlife Management Area (WMA) is a 13,783-acre site consisting of bottomland forests, previously cleared agricultural lands and riparian forests along the Trinity River. It was formed in 1987 as compensatory mitigation for wetland impacts associated with the construction and inundation of the Richland Chambers Reservoir. In 1996, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) entered into an easement and a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to allow the conversion of up to 2000 acres of land, largely former agricultural land, to constructed marshes.
Forums & Mailing Lists
  • TexBirds

    Mailing List
    Texbirds is an email discussion list (listserve) for Texas birders and those interested in Texas birds and their ecology.
Guides & Tour Operators


Click on WAND for tours, guides, lodges and more…

  • Aransas Bay Birding Charters

    Tour Operator
    Aransas Bay Birding Charters is pleased to announce the addition of a new Captain and boat. Captain Lori and her new boat the, Lady Lori, will be doing tours of the Aransas Wildlife Refuge as well as tours to Port Aransas to photograph the Lydia Ann Lighthouse. The Lighthouse tours can be sunrise or sunset, depending on the type of photo you are looking for.
  • Bird Treks

    Tour Operator
    Bird Treks has been providing small group and custom birding tours for over 20 years. Visit their website to see the incredible tours available, including the Rio Grande Valley for Texas specialties!
  • Birding Ecotours

    Tour Operator
    Birding Ecotours, a leader in small group and custom-made birding adventures worldwide, offers an amazing tour to South Texas for local specialties and wintering Whooping Cranes!
  • Darrell Vollert - Texas Birding Guide

    Guide
    Specializing in birding trips to the Upper Texas Coast, Texas Hill Country, East Texas Piney Woods, and the Central Brazos Valley. Special trips are available for target species such as Red-cockaded Woodpecker, Black-capped Vireo, Brown-headed Nuthatch, Swainsons Warbler, and Painted Bunting. Tel.- 979-251-4986 Darrell Vollert
  • Jon McIntyre - Texas Birding Guide

    Guide
    Private Guided Birding Tours in South Texas - Jon McIntyre has been an avid birder for over 10 years. He has lived in Texas all his life and currently resides in Corpus Christi. He is involved with Christmas bird counts, the Great Backyard Bird Count, birding surveys, and the Rockport Hummingbird Festival. He has also worked two winters aboard the Skimmer Whooping Crane Tour Boat
  • King Ranch Nature Tours

    Tour Operator
    Spend a day on the Ranch and see a variety of tropical and migratory birds, white tailed deer, and javelinas. Group tours and packages, tailored specifically for your group, are also available
  • Southwest Birders

    Tour Operator
    Our goal at Southwest Birders is to increase your enjoyment of birds and nature. We offer custom birding tours that cover California, Arizona, and Texas. Our web site offers bird-finding tips, detailed site guides, quality bird & nature photos, and hundreds of illustrated trip reports going back to 2001
Trip Reports


Click on WAND for tours, guides, lodges and more…

  • 2004 [11 November] - BFA Trips

    Report
    This is a report on an 11-day guided bird-watching tour of Texas with a dba [disabled birders association] group (now known as BFA)...
  • 2012 [12 December] - Uffe Gjøl Sørensen & Hans Jørgen Bruun Pedersen

    PDF Report
    …This included charismatic species like Bobwhite and Scaly Quail, the two Vultures, Crested Caracara, Aplomado Falcon, Whooping Crane, Black Skimmer, Greater Roadrunner, Great Horned Owl, Great Kiskadee, Green Jay, Blue-gray Gnatcather, some wood warblers and many more. We had cracking view of a Bobcat but also enjoyed Coyote and Racoon….
  • 2013 [01 January] - Mark Finn

    Report
    …Other interesting species of note included; Cackling Goose, Harlequin Duck, all three North American scoters, Barrow’s Goldeneye, a passage of 1000+ divers in San Juan de Fuca, over 400 Bald Eagles, Rough-legged Buzzards and Short-eared Owls in high numbers. The Pacific Ocean revealed Marbled and Ancient Murrelets, Rhinoceros Auklets and Common Guillemots. North American sparrows were well represented with seven species….
  • 2013 [04 April] - Chris Benesh

    Report
    …From our comfortable digs in Utopia we explored some of the best that the region has to offer. Lost Maples SNA was great, and the views of Golden-cheeked Warbler there were fantastic. There were lots of other goodies too. The following day, we headed to Chalk Bluff Park to track down a Rufous-capped Warbler….
  • 2013 [04 April] - John Coons

    Report
    The large live oaks at the Smith Oaks Preserve are a magnet for migrating passerines. (Photo by tour participant Daphne Watson)We were fortunate to have conducive weather for migrant birding all week on our trip to the Texas Coast. Migrants moving through the woodlots at High Island were steady with new species being seen each day and no slow days for bird movement. We started in the Piney Woods and Big Thicket areas where we enjoyed close views of Red-cockaded Woodpeckers, Brown-headed Nuthatches, and Red-headed Woodpeckers at Jones State Forest before heading east and finding the first warblers of our trip. Prothonotary, Kentucky, Hooded, Yellow-throated, Pine, and Prairie warblers along with Northern Parula were all seen well on their breeding grounds, but the star had to be a Swainson's Warbler that is truly a local specialty. A pair of Barred Owls put on a great evening show while it was still light.
  • 2014 [01 January] - Chris Benesh

    Report
    …The first Rio Grande Rarities trip of 2014 was a success despite it being a relatively quiet year for rarities. Probably the most notable bird event of the season was the rediscovery of a small group of Hook-billed Kites near Mission, Texas. Five birds in total were found spending the winter here feeding on tree snails. Other highlights included having wonderful views of a pair of Aplomado Falcons near the coast and a cooperative Tropical Parula in Edinburg. Finally, we were able to track down a male White-collared Seedeater in Laredo, which was a treat…
  • 2014 [01 January] - Chris Benesh II

    Report
    The second Rio Grande Rarities trip of 2014 was a success despite it being a relatively quiet year for rarities. Probably the most notable bird event of the season was the rediscovery of a small group of Hook-billed Kites near Mission, Texas. Five birds in total were found spending the winter here feeding on tree snails. It was a close call for us, but we did manage to connect with this rare species…
  • 2014 [03 March] - Chris Benesh

    Report
    …It's hard to pick the real highlights of the trip. We saw a lot of cool specialties: Whooping Crane, Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl, Tropical Parula, Northern Beardless-Tyrannulet, Ringed and Green kingfishers, Red-billed Pigeon, Clay-colored Thrush, Green Jay, Altamira and Audubon's orioles, etc. But the spectacles also grabbed our attention, whether a flock of egrets flying past casting reflections on the water, the splash of colors of migrant warblers, swarming waves of noisy Green Parakeets, trees full of colorful Yellow-headed Blackbirds, migrant kettles of raptors lifting off into the morning sky, or simply a spectacular Texas sunrise. We no doubt came away with many lifetime memories…
  • 2015 [03 March] - Chris Benesh - South Texas

    Report
    ...Other vote getters included the white morph Great Blue Heron that showed well on our boat trip; the sleek Gray Hawks that are increasingly widespread in south Texas; the Barn Owl that flew past us on the King Ranch; the confiding Burrowing Owl right on the border; the Ferruginous Pygmy-Owls so well seen at the King Ranch thanks to our guide Jim Sinclair; the spritely Green Kingfishers seen at a couple of sites in the valley; the colorful Golden-fronted Woodpeckers; a couple of fine warblers by way of Prothonotary and Louisiana Waterthrush; sneaky Sprague's Pipits; and finally, colorful Hooded Orioles.
  • 2015 [04 April] - Chris Benesh & Tom Johnson - Texas' Big Bend & Hill Country

    Report
    ...The next morning we visited Rio Grande Village, where we were treated to some wonderfully active Common Black Hawks and noisy Gray Hawks down the road. A stop at Dugout Wells produced a few migrants as well. The afternoon saw us birding in the Chisos basin where we encountered a nice flock that held a few warblers, Plumbeous Vireo, and Red-breasted Nuthatch.
  • 2015 [04 April] - John Coons - Coastal Texas

    Report
    ...we found American and Least bitterns, Bald Eagle, King and Clapper rails, Purple Gallinules, Snowy, Wilson's and Piping plovers, lots of shorebirds, nine species of terns, Crested Caracara, Scissor-tailed Flycatchers, perched-up Sedge Wren, Gray-cheeked Thrush, Nelson's and Seaside sparrows, and a Bobcat.
  • 2015 [04 April] - Kenny Musgrove, Wayne Geater, Steve Abbott

    PDF Report
    ... A Double-crested Cormorant swam in the harbour and an Osprey sat in the rain on top of a flagpole on a boat. The telegraph wires in front of the hotel produced a wet looking Loggerhead Shrike, Mourning Dove. Great-tailed and Common Grackle, Northern Mockingbird, and House Sparrow, and flocks of Barn, Bank, Tree, and Rough-Winged Swallows migrated overhead.
  • 2015 [04 April] - Steve Arlow - Big Bend to the Upper Coast

    PDF Report
    ... the Beach Photo-shoot (Lee willknow what I mean on that one); the scenery of Big Bend; the Elf Owl at Cottonwood Campground at Big Bend,well Cottonwood Campground in general as it produced some of the best Big Bend birding; the Roadrunner doingwhat Roadrunners should do, the spectacle of the American Avocets at Bolivar and flocks of skimmers and ternsat Rollover Pass. There are many more not mentioned here but the more I look at it perhaps it will be one of thosetrips that will be well remembered.
  • 2016 [01 January] - Chris Benesh - South Texas Rarities I

    Report
    ...we managed good views of a few of them. The best of the bunch was probably the Northern Jacana that performed well for us at Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge. In addition, the female type Crimson-collared Grosbeak showed up, and while furtive, did sit still long enough to enjoy. Other rarities included a nice Tropical Parula...
  • 2016 [01 January] - Chris Benesh - South Texas Rarities II

    Report
    This Rio Grande Rarities tour was a big success. Our luck held out pretty much throughout the tour. The weather was generally really good with the exception of one very cold and windy day
  • 2016 [03 March] - Chris Benesh & Cory Gregory

    Report
    ...One of the main events of the tour came on our first full day; a birding cruise aboard the Skimmer to Aransas NWR led by Captain Tommy Moore. Not only were we graced with dozens of Whooping Cranes (some being nice and close!), but the rest of the cruise also was loaded with highlights like singing Seaside Sparrows, more than a dozen shorebird species, and even a fly-by Aplomado Falcon!...
  • 2016 [04 April ] - Chris Benesh & Cory gregory - Big Bend

    Report
    ...Our first morning at Big Bend saw us visiting Blue Creek Canyon where we were able to track down our first Varied Buntings, Gray Vireo, and at least three different Lucifer Hummingbirds. An Olive-sided Flycatcher was also there. Another Olive-sided was a highlight of our afternoon visit to Dugout Wells. But not before we were able to get nice views of a pair of Black-capped Vireos. A pair of Yellow-headed Blackbirds added a splash of color to the Dugout Wells experience....
  • 2016 [04 April] - John Coons

    Report
    We had a great week in the Big Thicket of East Texas and on the Upper Texas Coast. Wonderful views of breeding specialties in the Piney Woods and a few days of fantastic migration fallouts on the coast made for top-notch birding....
  • 2016 [04 April] - John Coons II

    Report
    ...We also had a number of great birds in the surrounding marshes, rice fields and mudflats. Both King and Clapper rails put on good shows for us in the marshes, as did Purple Gallinules and those Seaside and Nelson's sparrows...
  • 2016 [05 May] - Erik Hirschfeld

    PDF Report
    ...We drove towards High Island, but a small wetland and a promising road (Fairview Rd) stopped us. We saw the first Roseate Spoonbills, Lesser Yellowlegs, Solitary Sandpipers, Black-necked Stilts and other wetland birds. We continued Fairview Rd along the agricultural land a kilometer to a small forest and a canal...
  • 2017 [01 January] - Chris Benesh - South Texas Rarities

    Report
    The 2017 South Texas Rarities Tour was a really pleasant experience. We had some decent weather and a nice variety of highlights along the way. We started things off in Harlingen, visiting a nearby reservoir before heading down to Brownsville and Sabal Palm Sanctuary. We then headed out to South Padre Island and searched some for falcons before heading back to Brownsville for the big evening parrot fly in at Oliveira Park.
  • 2017 [02 February] - Stephen Burch - Houston, Galveston & Gulf Coast

    Report
    ...Having visited the USA about 6 times over the last 30+ years, my USA list is now higher than my UK one! Hence the number of possible lifers for me on this trip was limited, with Whooping Crane being the main one. I was also keen to find a large flock of Snow Geese, as the only ones I have seen in the UK have been odd stragglers often viewed at a great distance. Finding some smaller Ross' Geese in amongst them was also a key target. Having missed Red-cockaded Woodpecker on a visit to Florida several years ago, this one another target in my sights. Having seen the controversial but splendid Hooded Merganser at Radipole Lake a couple of years ago, finding a definitely tickable one would be good as well...
  • 2017 [04 April] - Bob Behrstock - Texas Hill Country

    PDF Report
    ...After seeing a few Dickcissels singing along the road, we stopped at a low water crossing a few miles east of Neal’s where Arthur scoured the roadside and river edge for plants and the rest of us chatted with Easter Sunday picnickers who were enjoying the cool river...
  • 2017 [04 April] - Mike Watson

    PDF Report
    Our latest tour of the Lone Star State produced a very respectable total of 306 bird species, including 65 Birdquest ‘diamond’ species (regional endemics or specialities) and 37 species of American wood warblers! Amongst these were some of the USA’s most sought-after birds. Our journey started down in the palms and subtropical woodland of the Lower Rio Grande Valley...
  • 2017 [04 April] - Woody Wheeler - Big Bend and the Davis Mountains

    PDF Report
    ...Upon cresting the bank, however, there is a sizeablereservoir. Here we found Clark’s Grebes performing a smallportion of their spectacular mating dance that resembles asynchronized water ballet. Western Grebes were also nearby, aswere a variety of wintering waterfowl and an unexpected flockof Willet. Gambel’s Quail perched conspicuously and calledloudly from the shore. Just as we were about to depart, Lynnspotted a lone Ruddy Duck bringing our total to 17 species ofbirds at our first stop....
  • 2017 [11 November] - Michael O'Brien

    PDF Report
    We had a very pleasant visit to this bird-rich part of the country, and we enjoyed a wonderful mix of wintering waterbirds, South Texas residents, and of course, the magnificent Whooping Cranes. Before arriving, we had concerns about how well this area was rebounding after being devastated by Hurricane Harvey back on August 25. Rockport was at ground zero when this storm made its first landfall, and the damage was considerable. Much cleanup remains to be done, and rebuilding will likely take years, but we were pleased to see that many businesses were fully operational and most birding sites reasonably intact.
  • 2018 [02 February] - Doug Gochfeld & Doug Hitchcox

    Report
    This was the inaugural tour of the partnership between Field Guides and Maine Audubon, and what a place to start! The Rio Grande Valley is one of the most iconic birding destinations in the United States, with a great mix of migrants from the north, regional specialties, and a slew of charismatic Mexican species whose ranges just barely make it across the river and into Texas. We were treated to overall good weather, especially when compared with the rest of the atypically frigid winter the valley has been experiencing. A big rainstorm passed the day before the tour started, and the strong winds at the bottom of a big cold front held off until the very last morning of the tour, as we headed to the airport.
  • 2018 [04 April] - Bob Behrstock

    PDF Report
    ...A stop at a feedlot just west of Sabinal yielded the hoped for Yellow-headed Blackbirds, plus Black-bellied Whistling-Ducks, Purple Martins, Common GroundDoves, Least Sandpipers, and a locally uncommon Lesser Yellowlegs...
  • 2018 [04 April] - Mike Neale

    PDF Report
    Illustrated checklist
  • 2018 [08 August] - Michael Marsden

    PDF Report
    ...It's a wonderful birding spot with a pond and lots of mature cottonwoods. Birds in the area included Scaled Quail, Greater Roadrunner, Golden-frontend Woodpecker, Western Kingbird, Scissor-tailed & Olive-sided Flycatchers, Western Wood-Pewee, lots of Vermillion Flycatchers, Say’s Phoebe, Bell’s Vireo, Yellow Warbler and blue Grosbeak...
  • 2019 [04 April] - Pat Lueders - Texas Hill Country

    PDF Report
    Chosen as one of the most memorable events of the trip, we spent the evening viewing 11-13 million pregnant Mexican Free-tailed Bats emerging from the Frio Bat cave. Cave Swallows entered the cave before the bats began emerging, a steady stream of bats leaving to feed as far away as San Antonio, returning before sunrise. A beautiful sunset was a bonus that added to the enjoyment of this remarkable spectacle of nature!
Places to Stay


Click on WAND for tours, guides, lodges and more…

  • Canyon of the Eagles - Lake Buchanan

    Accommodation
    Canyon of the Eagles is a place designed for enjoying nature. Most of the 940 acres of Canyon of the Eagles Park have been set aside as a nature preserve for wildlife, such as Bald Eagles, Black-capped Vireo, and Golden-cheeked Warbler…
  • Deer Lake Cabins - Scroggins

    Website
    An Extraordinary Ranch Resort Tucked Away In The Towering Hardwoods & Pines
  • Robinson's Lodge - Toledo Bend Reservoir in the Sabine National Forest

    Accommodation
    We provide lodging, meals and guide service for birders and other wildlife observers visiting our area. We specialize in groups of up to 20 guest for overnight accommodations.
  • The Bayhouse at Smith Point

    Accommodation
    ...Our little house sits on about 2 acres of waterfront property. A bayou on the north and TrinityBay on the west, provides a perfect environment for wildlife of all kinds...
Other Links
  • Birds of North-Central Texas

    Website
    This site is intended to act as a clearinghouse for bird sightings with associated photo images, area review species, and checklist information for North-Central Texas birds.
  • Birds of the Central Brazos Valley

    PDF Checklist
    The Heart-of-Texas rests in the Central Brazos Valley, ten counties that surround the Brazos River. These include: Brazos, Burleson, Grimes, Lee, Leon, Madison, Milam, Robertson, Waller and Washington counties. Places to bird…
  • Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail

    Information
    The Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail is a state-designated system of trails, bird sanctuaries, and nature preserves along the entire length of the Texas Gulf Coast in the United States. As the state of Texas hosts more bird species than any other in the U.S. the trail system offers some of the most unusual opportunities for bird-watching in the world (Wiki says - I say in USA)
  • Helen's Birding Pages

    Website
    Trip reports, hummers, general birding and more
  • Port Aransas Birding

    Website
    Watch for low flying birds! Located in the Central Flyway, the island boasts hundreds of native and migrating species. Encounters with Coastal Bend nesting species such as the Roseate Spoonbills, Least Grebes, Reddish Egrets, Black-Bellied Whistling Ducks, Bitterns and Rails bring birding enthusiasts back to this island sanctuary time and time again.
  • Texas Birder

    Website
    This page is here to help the visiting birder find the birds of the Upper Texas Coast (UTC). The UTC is made up of Harris County, Fort Bend County, Brazoria County, Galveston, Chambers County, and Jefferson County.
  • Texas Pelagics

    Website
    This website is the only source for information about Texas Pelagic Trips. It is the single and most complete record of past Texas Pelagic trip reports beginning in 1991, photo galleries from past Texas Pelagic trips and information and photos of the seabirds of Texas.
  • Valley Birds

    Website
Blogs
  • Annie - I'd Rather B Birdin'

    BLOG
    Texan’s birding blog - Birding, Photographs, The Texas Coastal Bend Birding Trails…
  • Aslan's Own - Birds O'the Morning

    BLOG
  • Bob Zeller - Texas Tweeties

    BLOG
    I was born in the port city of Muskegon, Michigan, on the shores of Lake Michigan, on October 2, 1934. As a youngster, I had a Brownie Hawkeye camera that was given to me by my parents, and that piqued my interest in photography at an early age. I was always taking snapshots whenever and wherever possible. At that time, I never considered that one day I might be trying to sell my work. Later in life, when my walls started filling up, I started giving my pictures away for anniverseries, birthdays, etc. About fifteen years ago friends started encouraging me to try and market my photography, so now, after following their advice, I have images hanging in homes and offices from coast to coast…
  • Dave Dolan - New Birder

    BLOG
    Last update 2014 - So I have really lost my mojo when it comes to this blog and I decided to give an explanation/ give my excuses to those of you who don’t know me personally. Initially, I stopped posting because I ran out of time/desire to post anymore.
  • J Kyron Hanson - Aviphilia… for the love of bird http://dreambirding.blogspot.com

    BLOG
    Last updated July 2011
  • Jeff Mohamed - SE Texas Birding & Wildlife Watching

    BLOG
    Last updated October 2016 when Jeff moved to Spain. Personal blog focusing mainly on birds and birding…
  • Sam Fason - Birding Central Texas and Beyond

    BLOG
    Last updated March 2012 - A Texas Youth Birder's Adventures in Nature…
  • Sheridan - I Hate Paramo and Other Birding Stories

    BLOG
    I am a serious birder and feminist. I enjoy being outdoors and try to spend every moment I can there. I travel extensively with my partner, Martin.
  • Stephen Ramirez - Birds I View

    BLOG
    My name is Stephen Ramirez, and I attend Texas State University where I am focusing my studies in Geography - GIS. When I am not busy working at the Texas State Recycling Center I spend my time as an avid bird watcher and photographer…
  • Tammy Brown - Lost Pines Life

    BLOG
    For those of you who are unfamiliar with this area, the Lost Pines is an isolated pine forest at least 100 miles from the Piney Woods of East Texas. The Lost Pines is forested with a variety of loblolly pines found nowhere else in the world. It is hilly and green, lush and dense, reminding me of the East Texas Big Thicket where I grew up. Tragically, much of the Lost Pines area was burned in a huge forest fire in 2011, and to lesser degree, again this fall. It’s very heartening to see this resilient community rebuilding and replanting pine trees to restore this important habitat. I live in an area that was spared.
Photographers & Artists
  • Library - The Otter Side

    Image Catalogue
    The Complete Image Catalog is the showcase for the images of the products of THE OTTER SIDE. It is also intended to be an online educational and reference tool. A brief commentary [will ultimately be] included for each species describing the bird, its habitat, and other interesting facts about it. Photographic details (location, lens, and film) are also included for each image. Many of the species have multiple images intended to show additional visual information about the species
  • Neo Tropical Quintana Texas 2009

    Gallery
    Bird photos
  • Photographer - Alan Murphy

    Gallery
    Stunning!
  • Photographer - Cameron Carve - Yes! I take nature pictures

    Gallery
    I am a student at Texas Tech studying Wildlife Management. I have an obsession with birds and birding, but my main goal in life is to be a wildlife photographer. If I was published in National Geographic, I could die with my life complete
  • Photographer - David McDonald

    Gallery
    In late 2005, I decided to try photographing the birds for my own pleasure and to share the beauty of these birds with others. I had never done photography previously, so I had to learn everything. Digital sure makes it easy and inexpensive to learn
  • Photographer - Diane Loyd - Salt Flats Gallery

    Gallery
    Some fine bird pictures from this rockport based photographer
  • Photographer - Greg Lasley

    Gallery
    This website will be devoted to a variety of birding, bird and wildlife photography, and natural history topics. I welcome any input from visitors on ways to improve the contents. Basically, I intend to display various images of interest to birders and photographers. All photographs are by Greg Lasley unless otherwise stated and all copyright is reserved by the photographer. Unauthorized use of any photograph is prohibited.
  • Photographer - Joanne Kamo

    Gallery
    Fine photographer from Houston
  • Photographer - Joe Fischer

    Gallery
    I live in the suburbs of Houston, TX near the Upper Texas Coast which is a great place for bird photography. I started shooting in 2003 and have been hooked ever since. Feel free to browse as you like and leave a comment if you desire
  • Photographer - Martin Reid

    Gallery
    Photographs from around the world.
  • Photographer - Stephen Ramirez - Birds I View

    Gallery
    My name is Stephen Ramirez, and I attend Texas State University where I am focusing my studies in Geography - GIS. When I am not busy working at the Texas State Recycling Center I spend my time as an avid bird watcher and photographer

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