Texas 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.
Flooded Field Big Bend ©Peg Abbott Naturalist Journeys
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.
Ladder-backed Woodpecker Picoides scalaris [Once known as Texan Woodpecker] ©Greg Smith Naturalist Journeys
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
Claret Cup Claret Cup Cactus ©Peg Abbott Naturalist Journeys
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.
Bullock’s Oriole Icterus bullockii ©Greg Smith Naturalist Journeys
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 the lower Rio Grande Valley is thoroughly recommend; here one not only has lots of the US special birds but also a lot of birds more commonly associated with Central America! See that destination page.
Roseate Spoonbills Platalea ajaja ©Peg Abbott Naturalist Journeys
A highly recommended birding (and reptile) spot is:
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, and also for mammals with Armadillo being present in good number.]
Major Source: Fatbirder
Map Source: Googlemaps™
Photo Source: © Naturalist Journeys