"Bird Watching in Texas"
Tips on watching birds throughout the
Lone Star state
With three-fourths of all American birds represented
in Texas, there are birds for the watching anytime, anywhere in
the state. No other state offers the birding variety (or challenge)
that Texas does.
In fact, Roger Tory Peterson devotes an entire volume just to
this state. A Field Guide to the Birds of Texas, available at virtually
any bookstore. Varied vegetation, altitudes from sea level to over
8,000 feet, rainfall from less than 10 inches annually to more
than 55 inches, and a strategic position on the North American
continent, combine to provide Texas' diversity of avian habitats.
In addition, Texas' resident bird population is augmented by multitudes
of migrating species.
Refuges offer exceptional viewing of both rare specimens
and large concentrations of familiar species.
The 624-mile Texas coastline teems
with shorebirds -- gulls, pelicans, egrets and roseate spoonbills,
plus the world's few remaining whooping cranes that winter at
the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge.
The lower Rio Grande Valley area hosts tropical birds,
Inca and white-winged doves, and is the only place in the nation
where such species as white-fronted doves, chachalacas, and green
jays may be observed. Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge is an
ideal spot to add them to a life list.
The Texas Panhandle is
home to horned larks, kites and prairie chickens. Lakes attract
mallard, baldpate and pintail migrants. Muleshoe National Wildlife
Refuge is haven for thousands of wintering sandhill cranes.
In West Texas, there are rare Colima warblers and
eagles, canyon wrens, desert-dwelling flycatchers and tiny verdins.
The Hill Country hosts large
flocks of wild turkeys, almost countless resident and migrant species,
and is the nesting place of rate golden-cheeked warblers. More
open terrain is habitat of fleet-footed roadrunners.
The East Texas pine forests are
the home of several eastern species including the wood thrush,
Acadian flycatcher and Kentucky warbler. A few swallow-tailed kites
may live here with, perhaps, the once-thought-to-be extinct ivory-billed
Birding in Texas can be a rewarding
These articles have each been published previously.
All rights to the stories are protected under the original copyright.