Nature

5 Excellent Spots for Winter Bird Watching in Texas

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During the winter, many creatures head south to escape the cold temperatures. Among these creatures are birds. Birds flock (literally) to Texas to ride out the winter in our moderate weather and this makes for some excellent bird watching all over the state.

Here are five of the best spots for winter bird watching in Texas:

1. Galveston Island State Park

mallard

Photo: Flickr/liz west

Birds from throughout the eastern hemisphere visit Galveston during the spring and fall migration seasons. You can see wading and shorebirds, mottled and mallard ducks, and more. Galveston Island State Park has recorded more than 300 bird species in the park.

2. Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park

greenjay

Photo: Flickr/Dominic Sherony

Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park is a world-class destination for bird-watching. The Rio Grande Valley hosts one of the most spectacular convergences of birds on earth with more than 525 species documented in this unique place. Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park alone has an impressive list of 358 species recorded within the park’s boundaries. Birders have a chance to see migratory birds during their yearly migrations over the valley including flocks of thousands of hawks from the park’s Hawk Tower in the spring and fall. Some birders travel to the Bentsen to see bird species they can’t find anyplace else in the country – from the Green Jay and the Buff-bellied Hummingbird to the Great Kiskadee and the Altamira Oriole.

3. Choke Canyon State Park

caracara

Photo: Flickr/Manjith Kainckara

The Bureau of Reclamation and the American Birding Asso­ci­a­tion have rec­og­nized Choke Canyon Res­er­voir as a place of special im­por­tance for birds and bird­watchers. Large numbers and varieties of birds come to the water and to the adjacent uplands. You might even see a crested caracara (Mexican eagle). Many (typically Mexican) species of birds are near the northern limits of their range here. As a result, this is one of Texas’ finest places to watch birds.

4. Dinosaur Valley State Park

bird watching
Photo: Flickr/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services

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