Texas Bird Watching - Tours, Lodging, Excursions, & More

Northern Mockingbird is the State Bird of TexasTexas offers some unparalleled bird watching opportunities and with 613 documented birds sighted, Texas exceeds all other states in opportunities to see a wide variety of birds. Bird watching in Texas varies from spotting Golden Eagles, Scaled Quails, or Greater Roadrunners in the Texas Panhandle to catching several bird varieties stopping for a break at South Padre Island before migrating further south. Birding is much more than a simple hobby and there are many benefits of birding that can be enjoyed by both novice and experienced birders. There are more than 50 million birders in the United States and millions more throughout the world, making it one of the most popular and most rapidly growing hobbies in the world. Because birding is easy for all ages to enjoy, it is a popular family activity that can lead to a lifelong hobby. So what are you waiting for, pick up the binoculars and go bird watching.

Aransas National Wildlife Refuge is host to an exotic array of wildlife, including alligators, javelina (collared peccary), snakes, bobcats and whooping cranes. A 16-mile one-way driving tour takes visitors through the refuge's grassland, oak thicket, freshwater pond, and marshland habitats, providing excellent wildlife viewing opportunities. Additional activities include hiking, birding, picnicking, and fishing. Six hiking trails totaling 4.3 miles are available, please bring insect repellent as mosquitoes are usually abundant.

Aransas has a reputation as one of the prime birding locales in Texas, and was originally named Aransas Migratory Waterfowl Refuge. Over 392 bird species have been cataloged in the area, including ducks, herons, egrets and other waterfowl. The refuge's most famous visitor is the endangered whooping crane, one of the rarest animal species in North America. Each year from late-October to mid-April, the only wild flock of whooping cranes in the world makes its long journey south from Canada to winter in the protected habitat of Aransas National Wildlife Refuge. As recently as the 1940's, only sixteen birds remained, but according to the 2003-2004 winter census at Aransas National Wildlife Refuge and surrounding areas the population rose to 194 cranes! Taking a commercial boat tour of the bays and Intercoastal Waterway, offered by operators such as Whooping Crane Boat Tours and Rockport Birding & Kayak Adventures, provides an excellent opportunity to view whooping cranes and other bird species.

Throughout April and May, large numbers of migratory songbirds come to the Texas coast. Ducks and geese are present from August through March, and year-round birding opportunities exist for roseate spoonbills, ibises, herons, and egrets.

Texas Bird Watching Tours and Excursions

Black Skimmer in Port Aransas
One of the highest bird counts on the Gulf Coast

Colley's Fins To Feathers

South Padre Island

Frigate With Colley's Fins To Feathers
By boat or by van up to 60 species native to the area. We get up close for great photos.
Pygmy Owl at Kingsville Ranch
3-9 hour tours seeing anything from pygmy owl to white tail hawk


Altamira Oriole at Roma Bluffs
A riverside nature area of three acres: The gateway to unforgettable birding adventures across Starr County
A raised boardwalk extends out into the cattails for a close-up encounter with Mother Nature. An observation tower halfway down the boardwalk permits a panoramic view of the pond and the surrounding flats.
Viewing from birding center

The only natural, permanent freshwater wetland on Mustang Island which has long been recognized by birdwatchers as an important
stopover site for migratory birds
SPI Birding Center
Learn about the interactions between the location, the plants, and the animals of South Padre Island that all intertwine.
Choose from different tours provided by the Center on the most southern tip of Texas, along the shores of the Laguna Madre.

LLELA Nature Preserve


Bird Watching Lodging & Accommodations


Matagorda Bay Nature Park

The water's calling. This 1,333-acre park and nature preserve is located at the mouth of the Colorado River on the Matagorda Bay peninsula. Visitors can enjoy miles of Gulf of Mexico beachfront, birdwatching in coastal marshes and paddling through wetlands or riverfront. As a major migratory stop for birds, Matagorda, Texas, is a birder's dream destination during the winter months. Tent camping and RV amenities are available for overnight stays as well as two new 25' Flying Cloud Airstreams, which sleep up to four adults each. There also is a gift shop with snacks and souvenirs and a rental facility available for up to 100 people.



Texas State Railroad


Texas State Railroad's Rusk depot offers a unique campground where multiple sightings of Eastern Bluebirds, Barn Swallows and Red-winged Blackbirds, woodpeckers, chickadees, Tufted Titmouse, Pine Warbler, Carolina Wren, Eastern Phoebe and Painted Bunting have been boasted.
Campers enjoy front-row observance of a train passing through their campsites, on select days of train operation. Campers have access to depot amenities which include lunch, gift shop and a train-themed movie theater on train departure days. Also available is a laundry facility and camping supply store. A quaint country chapel and furnished clubhouse are available with reservations.


Bandera, Texas

birding at West 1077 Guest Ranch

The variety of native species to be seen at the 230 acre property and the adjoining 5,500 acre Sate Park make the West 1077 Guest Ranch a prime destination for birdwatchers and nature lovers. Local birds such as Bewick's Wren, Summer Tanager, Ladder-backed Woodpecker, Vermilion and Scissor-tailed Flycatchers, painted Buntings, Black-capped Vireos, Golden-cheeked Warbler and nesting birds of prey are easily seen here and find the perfect amount of cover and foliage to make their home on the property. West 1077 Guest Ranch offers a self-guided trail system, which makes it easy to just get out and enjoy nature. Stay in your private cabin, enjoy meals in the lodge, relax in the swimming-pool and just soak up the peaceful surounding in unspoiled nature in the middle oft he beautiful Hill Country.


Mountain View Lodge

Wimberley, Texas

Mountain View Lodge

The Lodge offers one of the most spectacular views in the Texas Hill Country. Your Wimberley lodging destination is nestled on 5-1/2 acres on top of a hill overlooking the Blanco River Valley. You and your family can spend time hiking, bird-watching, relaxing on the deck by the pool, or cooking on a grill in the picnic area.

The Gage Hotel

Marathon, Texas

The Gage Hotel

Twenty adobe-brick rooms surround a quiet courtyard with fountain where you will enjoy the sounds of birds and the smell of roses as you drink your morning coffee. Each room is uniquely arranged with historic artifacts that transport you to a simpler time. You won't be at loss for attractions as they range from Big Bend to Terlingua Ghost Town.



Texas Bird Watching Resources

Lewisville Lake Environmental Learning Area (LLELA) is 2000 acres with 4 habitats that are home to a variety of birds and wildlife species
These are what Cliff Shackelford, an ornithologist for Texas Parks & Wildlife, in an article in Texas Parks & Wildlife Magazine considers his choice for the most beautiful birds in Texas
What you need to know to start birding in Texas
Here are the best Texas State Parks for bird watching, most of which have blinds, observation platforms, or shelter for bird watching
Here is a list of the five best birding spots in Texas
There are three coastal birding maps to send you on a well-rounded tour of the coast's top birding sites
Vegetation has been planted along the parking lot & entrance trail at the the Birding Center to attract hummingbirds and butterflies
Take in the unique wildlife and scenery of the Panhandle

Prairies & Pineywoods Wildlife Trail

These maps will navigate you in your discovery of the wildlife and enjoyment of the beautiful forests, lakes, and prairies of Texas.
Information on Texas birding and trails plus maps and more - this link gives examples of the Panhandle Birding Trails
Best April and May for spring migrants and nesting activities; November to March for winter birds. Many options for trails in the Feather Lake Wildlife Sanctuary, Tornillo Lakes, Fort Hancock Reservoir, and McNary Reservoir.
This is an archeological site, an archaic wetlands and a botanical garden. The 52-acre park in El Paso’s Upper Valley is a City-owned property leased to a volunteer Board of Directors who are charged with preserving and developing the Park.


Lots of great information
Audubon Chapters of Texas
A list of the State offices and local chapters
Bird Treks
Provides you with a quality, enjoyable, professionally organized birding experience to beautiful and exciting destinations
Bird Watching in Texas
Everything you need or need to know regarding Birding
Texas Birding Clubs
A list of birding clubs in Texas
They specialize in pure nature recordings, without voice overs or background music with selections from birding hot spots around the United States.


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