"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 woodpeckers.

Birding in Texas can be a rewarding experience!

These articles have each been published previously.
All rights to the stories are protected under the original copyright.

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