Galveston Island is one of the top locations in the country for birding. It has a rich variety of habitats - beaches, wetlands, grasslands, woods, ponds, and bays - in a small area that are home to many common year-round species, as well as numerous others that visit briefly or for part of the year.
Birds visit en-route from and to Central and South America, north in the spring, south in the fall. Most pass on through after stopping for food and rest, but some spend their summers on the Island and breed locally. Galveston in fact sits astride the 95th meridian, the dead center of the trans-Gulf migration route, and is just at the point in the circum-Gulf route where many birds veer northward.
The Island is also an important wintering ground for numerous species that spend most of the year farther north.
The Nature Tourism Council, in partnership with the Park Board, developed a guide to the area’s top birding locations. Different birding habitats such as beaches and bays, bay marshes and wetlands, coastal prairies and upland wood motts are described in detail. A map and seasonal checklist of birds sighted are also included. Click here to download a PDF of the Great Birding guide, or pick one up from tourism brochure racks throughout southeast Texas.
From the Blogs
Don't Underestimate Urban Birding!
Published: Friday, February 08, 2019
Kristine & Bobby Rivers spotted a raptor perched at the base of the First Baptist Church steeple. Binoculars revealed what it was. Read more.
Top 5 Reasons to Bird in the Winter
Published: Wednesday, January 30, 2019
Kristine Rivers offers some thoughts that might make the rest of winter less bleak. Read more.
The Birds of Moody Gardens - Reflections
Published: Friday, January 04, 2019
I found myself spending more time looking at what the birds were doing, not minding that I didn’t see a Spotted Sandpiper along Offatt’s Bayou, or the Belted Kingfisher on the tower in the marsh. Read more.
Love the Ocean? So do we.
Published: Thursday, January 03, 2019
A teenager's perspective of Galveston Harbor tours and seeing dolphins. Read more.
Do You Sea Turtles?
Published: Monday, November 26, 2018
Have you noticed pieces of authentic artwork popping up? More specifically, grand sea turtle statues! We can attribute that to a project called “Turtles About Town”. Read more.